Atlantic Coast

South from Rehoboth stretches one of the last long stretches of pristine beach on the whole northern East Coast: Delaware Seashore State Park (302/227-2800), which contains six miles of open beach with golden-flecked white sand and 2,825 acres of marshland estuary, thronged in season with migrating birds and bird-watchers, along with campers and anglers. The park’s many beaches are all easily accessible from beachfront Hwy-1.

The park has camping and nice new cottages ($1,900 a week during prime summer season!) and is book-ended by a pair of densely developed resort towns: Dewey Beach in the north draws a younger collegiate crowd, while Bethany Beach in the south attracts more families.

Near Maryland, the 1858 Fenwick Island Lighthouse, hidden away amid the mini-malls and trailer parks on the bay side of Hwy-1 just south of Hwy-54, marks the state border. This lighthouse is a local landmark, but the waist-high white Transpeninsular Marker in front of it may be more significant: Placed in 1751, it marked the boundary between the colonies of Maryland and Pennsylvania, of which Delaware was then a part. Showing respect to the colonial proprietors, the more than 250-year-old marker has the Calvert family coat of arms on the Maryland (south) side, and William Penn’s family crest on the other.