Seaford is located in Sussex County Delaware, in the southwest portion of the state near its border with Maryland.
The area around Seaford is flat and rural and largely agricultural, though commercial fishing is a big economic driver as well, both in the area’s tidal rivers and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Seaford that warrant a look while in the area.
1. Seaford Museum
The Seaford Museum has been open for nearly two decades and is home to one of the area’s most complete collections of memorabilia relating to the region’s culture, history, and economy.
The items on display touch on the Native American people who called the area home long before it was officially settled, as well as the canning and shipbuilding industries, agriculture, and the railroads.
There are also exhibits that recount the roles African Americans and women have played over the years. Most visitors agree that their time spent on-site was both engaging and educational. Plan on spending about an hour before heading off to explore other attractions.
2. Eastern Shore AFRAM Festival
The Eastern Short African American Festival (AFRAM) is held annually on the second Saturday in August when the weather in The First State is usually perfect for being outdoors.
For its impressive variety of activities, the festival is in a class of its own. Previous attendees have described it as a unique mix of state fair, family reunion, and business networking event.
The AFRAM Festival is particularly well-known for its fantastic food, arts and crafts, and live music, which includes gospel, blues, jazz, and reggae.
If you plan on relaxing on the lawn and listening to music, bring a blanket or lawn chair because seating is limited.
3. Davellis Bagel Café
Though many travelers tend to gravitate toward national chain eateries that they recognize from state to state, others prefer supporting local businesses like Davellis Bagel Café in Seaford.
Davellis is open every day except Sunday, from 6:30 until mid-afternoon. It is popular for its comfortable environment, attentive staff, and home-style food that’s reasonably priced.
Nearly all of what’s offered at Davellis is made fresh on-site daily; their soups, sandwiches, and salads are among the perennial favorites.
The only gripe most visitors have is that they’re not open for dinner. If your schedule allows, consider swinging by for breakfast before heading off to explore, or a late lunch after a long day on your feet.
4. Nanticoke Riverfest
The Nanticoke River runs from central Delaware and empties into the Chesapeake Bay in neighboring Maryland.
In many ways, it’s the heart of the region, both for recreation and as a means of livelihood for the local community.
The Nanticoke Riverfest is held in July and has been a much-anticipated annual event for nearly two decades.
It’s a family-friendly occasion that includes races and games, arts and crafts, lots of great food and drinks, and even live entertainment throughout the day.
For those traveling with little ones, there’s a kids-only fishing tournament, guided treasure hunt, and a spectacular boat parade.
5. Ross Mansion and Plantation
The Ross Mansion and Plantation were once the home of the state’s Governor and include more than a dozen acres of land that date back to the Civil War-era when many of the farms in the area used slave labor.
The plantation home features impressive architecture and a number of outbuildings, like slave quarters and workshops; their pasts are unique and eerie.
Both the home and grounds include exhibits and memorabilia that give visitors unique glimpses into the lives of those who lived and worked on the plantation, as well as the events that surrounded some of the country’s most formative years.
6. Bethany Beach Jazz Festival
Bethany Beach is just a short drive east from Seaford. For many visitors, it’s a perfect day trip option.
The Bethany Beach Jazz Festival is held in September and is a free and family-friendly event.
The festival features a number of local musicians that play both traditional and contemporary jazz. It all takes place at the boardwalk’s bandstand, making it convenient for those who’d like to combine a few hours of music, food, and drink with some time at the beach.
Generally, the summer beach crowds are gone by September, so parking and lodging shouldn’t be concerns.
7. Cape Henlopen State Park
Cape Henlopen State Park is one of Delaware’s most visited coastal attractions. In addition to being natural and undeveloped, it’s also home to many historical curiosities.
The park is comprised of more than 7,000 acres, most of which are adjacent to the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Swimming, sunbathing, and biking are popular park activities, and there are several campgrounds that are open year-round as well.
Lovers of history appreciate the park’s abundant concrete towers that were used for spotting enemy submarines during the Second World War, and the fishing can be quite good in the fall from the 24-hour fishing pier.
8. Delaware Wine and Ale Trail
For such a small state, Delaware has a surprising number of microbreweries. Its wine and distilled spirit scenes have experienced renaissances in recent years as well.
The Delaware Wine and Ale Trail is the informal name often used for the route that winds its way between the state’s adult beverage producers. Though many fans of intoxicating spirits choose to explore the trail on their own, a number of professionally guided tours are available as well. Tours include historic narration along the way, as well as stops for food and sightseeing.
By last count, there were more than a dozen stops along the trail.
9. Southeastern Delaware Artists Studio Tours
Mainly due to its rural nature and endless expanses of undisturbed coastline that are nothing short of inspirational, Delaware has always had a thriving local art scene.
Southeastern Delaware Artists Studio Tours is another of the state’s annual events that draws crowds locally, and from some Mid-Atlantic States like Maryland and New Jersey.
The event is held over two days at the end of November and has been going strong for more than two decades.
A number of local artists, galleries, and studios open their doors to art-loving visitors, and each year, the number of participants has been expanding.
10. Historic Lewes Farmers Market
For a relatively small town, Lewes features an impressive number of farmer’s markets. They’re all put on by a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting local farmers with regional consumers.
Two of the town’s three markets are held during the summer months — one at George H.P. Smith Park and the other at Crooked Hammock Brewery.
The former is open on Saturdays from 8 AM to noon from early May to late September, and the latter on Wednesdays from 8 AM to noon from early June to late August.
There’s a fall market too that’s open from early October until the end of November.
11. Rehoboth Boardwalk
For many beachgoers, boardwalks are the perfect places to spend an evening after a long day in the sun.
They’re often throwbacks to a different age, when ski-ball and cotton candy were the norm and cell phones hadn’t yet been invented.
The Rehoboth Boardwalk is one of the beach town’s most iconic attractions. Though it has its fair share of noise and glitter, it’s definitely more relaxed than others at nearby resorts like Ocean City, Maryland.
The boardwalk features lots of games and rides, mini-golf, arcades, souvenir shops, and plenty of tasty dining options as well.
12. Trap Pond State Park
At nearly 4,000 acres, Trap Pond State Park is one of Delaware’s largest. It’s located outside Laurel just up the road from Seaford.
The park is notable as the most northern bald cypress forest in the country. For many visitors, it’s like taking a trip into the deep-south without spending two days in the car getting there.
Park activities are numerous, and many active guests end up staying on-site for a while enjoying everything from hiking, biking, and fishing to picnicking, sunbathing, and volleyball.
Bird watching is popular as well, especially in the marshy areas amidst the stands of semi-submerged cypress trees.
13. Delaware Seashore State Park
Delaware Seashore State Park is located in Rehoboth, where the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay meet.
The park is comprised of nearly 3,000 acres and is surrounded by endless expanses of water. It’s a particularly popular destination for those who prefer to avoid the crowds often associated with the area’s more commercial beaches.
Two stone jetties jut out into the water and are great for fishing. In designated portions of the park, it’s okay to drive vehicles right onto the beach for surfing, swimming, and fishing.
The park also hosts a number of annual events, and chairs, umbrellas, and rafts are available to rent on-site.
14. Tanger Outlets
Anybody who’s spent any time in southern Delaware can tell you that Tanger Outlets seem to multiply like rabbits, especially in Rehoboth Beach where they’re on nearly every corner.
The outlet malls are anchored by big-name national brands like Izod, Eddie Bauer, and Gap. Since the state has no retail sales tax, they’re great places to stock up on the things you’d buy anyway, and save bundles in the process.
In addition to clothes and shoes, there are books, toys, sporting goods, and electronics. The facilities also include lots of dining choices.
Free shuttles are offered as well, so check online for details.
15. Rehoboth Beach Museum
Located on Rehoboth Avenue, the Rehoboth Beach Museum was founded in the mid-‘70s to promote and preserve the area’s rich history, much of which dates back more than two centuries to the time around the Revolutionary War and the founding of the nation.
The museum exhibits include impressive collections of historic memorabilia like clothes, tools, weapons, and documents, and there are two distinct buildings as well.
Admission is free, but donations are encouraged and gladly accepted. Most visitors agree that despite its small size, the museum ended up being one of the highlights of their trip to southern Delaware.