15 Best Things to Do in Townsend (DE)

Written by Bart Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Townsend is a town of about 2,500 residents that’s located in central Delaware’s New Castle County.

It’s just west of US Route 1 between Wilmington and Newark to the north, and Smyrna and Dover to the south.

Due to its central location, visitors have a variety of activity options at their fingertips, ranging from museums and historical attractions to gaming, auto racing, and pristine beaches farther to the south along the Atlantic coast.

The area around Townsend is most easily explored by car, but there are a few in-town attractions as well.

Below are 15 things to do in and around Townsend, Delaware.

1. Townsend Municipal Park

Picnic in the ParkSource: M.Volkova / shutterstock
Picnic In The Park

Townsend Munipical Park is located on the northeast corner of Edgar Road and Main Street, just a few blocks west of the downtown area.

For those who’ve spent a long day in the car visiting the area’s historic attractions, it’s the perfect place to unwind and stretch your legs.

The park’s amenities include ball fields and paved walking paths, as well as lots of treed areas and wide-open spaces that are suitable for picnicking, relaxing with a good book, and taking the dog for a walk.

Those visiting with dogs will need to keep them leashed at all times and clean up after them.

2. Sushi Yama

SushiSource: smspsy / shutterstock

Though Delaware’s more well-known for its fresh seafood, tasty pizza, and abundant microbreweries, it’s also home to a few hot sushi restaurants as well.

Sushi Yama is located on Main Street in nearby Middletown and is a favorite for area sushi lovers who value fresh food and reasonable prices.

Their rolls are perennial menu favorites and come in an impressive variety that include ingredients like salmon, avocado, and fish roe.

Previous guests have commented on Sushi Yama’s attentive staff and authentic Japanese décor. For those who prefer their seafood cooked, there are other non-sushi and sashimi options.

3. Back Creek Golf Club

GolfSource: Mikael Damkier / shutterstock

For most of the spring, summer, and fall months, the weather in Delaware is perfect for golf.

Its coastal location means that it generally experiences early springs and mild winters, and golfers in the area have a dizzying array of golf options at their fingertips.

Back Creek Golf Club is located in Middletown and offers golfers a unique links-style course that’s consistently rated among the country’s best public courses.

The course’s amenities include practice areas, a fully-stocked pro shop, and a popular bar and grill that’s big with the post-round crowd.

Tee times go quickly during peak season, so plan accordingly.

4. The Everett Theater

Everett TheaterSource: Alexanderphoto7 / shutterstock
Everett Theater

Community theaters often get pushed to the side when there are more commercial and touristy attractions close by.

That’s too bad, because many smalltown theaters put on high-quality performances with local talent, and tickets are usually dirt cheap.

The Everett Theater traces its roots in Middletown back more than a century. Over the years, it’s been a Masonic Hall, movie house, and performing arts theater.

The perfect place to spend a romantic evening away from the crowds, it’s conveniently located near a number of popular restaurants, making it a good option for the dinner and show crowd.

5. The Hagley Museum and Library

Hagley Museum and LibrarySource: Dee Dalasio / shutterstock
Hagley Museum And Library

The Hagley Museum and Library is spread over more than 200 acres that include extensive grounds and historic outbuildings once belonging to the wealthy DuPont family.

The museum and library are located on Hagley Creek Road in Wilmington. Their collections include historically significant artifacts, books, and documents that relate to the state’s history and culture.

Guests tend to learn quite a bit about national history while on-site as well. For many, it’s one of the most memorable and informative experiences of their trip.

Admission is relatively inexpensive, and most visitors stick around for a few hours before heading off on other adventures.

6. Frightland

FrightlandSource: FOTOKITA / shutterstock

For lovers of the eerie, macabre, and hair-raising, there are few attractions in Delaware more appropriate than Frightland.

Frightland is located on Port Penn Road in Middletown and features haunted houses, carnival-style rides, and lots of other activities that have been known to keep families busy for hours.

A variety of entrance passes are available, including a VIP option that allows you to skip long lines during peak times.

It’s possible to book tickets online prior to arrival, which is a great option for those coming in from out of state. There are plenty of food and drink choices on-site as well.

7. Augustine Wildlife Area

Augustine Wildlife AreaSource: Emmily Bottari / shutterstock
Augustine Wildlife Area

The Augustine Wildlife Area includes more than 3,000 acres of undisturbed land, much of which lies adjacent to the Delaware River near Port Penn.

The area is popular with outdoorsy types, who appreciate its abundant trails and amazing river views. It’s home to a variety of bird species that are relatively easy to see from the trails.

Deer hunting is another park activity, but it’s strictly monitored and only allowed with a permit at certain times of the year, so do ample research into seasons and regulations before heading out.

The wildlife area has a designated dog park as well.

8. Delaware Museum of Natural History

Delaware Museum of Natural HistorySource: Jim, the Photographer / Flickr | CC BY
Delaware Museum Of Natural History

The First State is definitely more known for its human history than it is for its natural history, but Wilmington is home to a world-class museum that’s focused on the latter.

In fact, it’s the only museum of its kind in Delaware, and its impressive exhibits touch on dinosaurs, the environment, ecology, and science.

Much of what you’ll experience was designed with young visitors in mind, but older kids and adults generally find the museum both engaging and educational as well.

Admission is relatively inexpensive, and many visitors choose to swing by when the weather isn’t particularly conducive to outdoor activities.

9. Filasky’s Produce

PumpkinsSource: xsense / shutterstock

Since the beginning, Delaware has been a big agricultural state. Even these days, much of its flat, coastal land is dedicated to farming.

The Filasky family has been farming in Delaware for more than three decades and have won statewide awards in years past for their sustainable practices and contributions to conservation.

The family’s produce stand includes a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables grown nearby. They offer family activities throughout the year as well, especially at harvest time and during the holidays.

The market is generally open from the end of April until the middle of November.

10. Nemours Mansion

Nemours Mansion and GardenSource: RLBolton / Flickr | CC BY
Nemours Mansion And Garden

Over the years, the DuPont family has had numerous mansions spread across the state.

Many of them are among the most opulent residences of their kind in the country, but for the most part, they’re now museums open to the public, and not private homes.

The Nemours Mansion was built to resemble a European alpine chateau. Guests tend to agree that visiting offers intriguing insights into the lives of the fabulously wealthy in years past.

The mansion includes priceless art and furniture and other amenities and housewares that were considered the height of luxury and extravagance by the standards of the day.

11. White Clay Creek State Park

White Clay Creek State ParkSource: James Geisler / shutterstock
White Clay Creek State Park

White Clay Creek State Park is located in north Delaware’s New Castle County and is an easy day trip option for those visiting Townsend.

The park is comprised of more than 3,000 acres and extends over the border into a state park of the same name in neighboring Pennsylvania.

White Clay Creek is the park’s centerpiece and offers visitors numerous activity choices, like swimming and fishing.

Biking, bird watching, and mountain biking are popular as well along the park’s trails that stretch for nearly 20 miles. Consider checking out the nature and visitor centers before heading out to explore on your own.

12. Wilmington & Western Railroad

Wilmington and Western RailroadSource: Kelleher Photography / shutterstock
Wilmington And Western Railroad

For most of its existence, railroads were the primary means of long-distance transportation from one state to another.

The old steam engines of the Wilmington & Western Railroad hauled people and freight, and much of the line’s tracks ran through downtown Wilmington before heading off into the country.

By the ‘60s, the railroad had outlived its usefulness. Since then, it has operated as a tourist attraction only.

Train tours are a great way to see the state from a unique perspective. Since they include narration, guests will learn lots about the area’s history and economy as well.

13. The University of Delaware

University Of Delaware CampusSource: w:User talk:Cargoudel / Wikimedia | CC-BY-SA-3.0
University Of Delaware Campus

Colleges and universities are fantastic community resources that often get overlooked by harried vacationers.

The University of Delaware is located in Newark. Like most campuses, it is usually abuzz with activities that range from sporting events and lectures to art shows, live entertainment, and political rallies.

The Bob Carpenter Center is one of the university’s main attractions and is home to the school’s men and women’s basketball teams.

When not hosting collegiate sporting events, the center often features minor league NBA games, concerts, comedy acts, and even professional wrestling.

Tickets to most events may be purchased in advance as well as at the door if they’re not already sold-out.

14. Midnight Oil Brewing Company

Midnight Oil Brewing CompanySource: Midnight Oil Brewing Company / Facebook
Midnight Oil Brewing Company

Like many small breweries, Midnight Oil began as the hobby of a dedicated home-brewer, who eventually decided that his products were good enough to warrant a legitimate business.

Midnight Oil Brewing Company is located on Pencader Drive in Newark and features an impressive selection of brews with wide-ranging colors and flavors.

Their brews run the gamut from traditional to contemporary, and there are always a number on-hand to accommodate those with particular tastes.

Their seasonal beers are among their favorites, as are their IPA and stout. Brewery tours are available for those who’d like a behind the scenes look at how craft beer is produced.

15. Fred Rust Ice Arena

Ice SkatingSource: Marc Bruxelle / shutterstock
Ice Skating

The Fred Rust Ice Arena is located on the campus of the University of Delaware in Newark. It is famous for being the training home of numerous world-class figure skaters, including Olympic great Tara Lipinski.

The arena often hosts figure skating competitions and hockey games, but when it’s not, it’s frequently open to the public.

Casual skaters can rent skates on-site, and for those who’ve never tried it, skating is a great way to use muscles that typically don’t see much action.

It’s especially fun for little ones, but be warned – you may experience sore joints and muscles for a few days afterward.

15 Best Things to Do in Townsend (DE):

  • Townsend Municipal Park
  • Sushi Yama
  • Back Creek Golf Club
  • The Everett Theater
  • The Hagley Museum and Library
  • Frightland
  • Augustine Wildlife Area
  • Delaware Museum of Natural History
  • Filasky’s Produce
  • Nemours Mansion
  • White Clay Creek State Park
  • Wilmington & Western Railroad
  • The University of Delaware
  • Midnight Oil Brewing Company
  • Fred Rust Ice Arena