Lewes, Delaware (pronounced “Lew-is”), is a quiet town situated at the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay (an area referred to as Cape Henlopen), most famously known for being the “first town in the first state.” It’s a cozy and picturesque town with mossy-roofed cottages nestled between historic buildings still baring the marks of Revolutionary War cannons and ship-filled inlets. It’s a walking town, easily navigated in a long day’s stroll, meandering through the Historic Complex of the Lewes Historical Society, a block filled with the well-maintained and original buildings of significance to Lewes’ history- schoolhouses and a (Greek Revival styled) doctor’s office and other such buildings, all so perfectly charming (and truthfully old) that it could easily serve as a 19th century movie set. There are graves at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (founded in 1681) dating to the 1600s, a walking labyrinth, homemade ice cream at King’s Ice Cream, and an abundance of fresh seafood. Lewes is historic, beautiful, and wholesome– and sometimes that combination is a necessary escape.
Lewes is a place for relaxing. A place to rise early, embrace the morning with a cup of coffee or hot tea over an Atlantic sunrise, enjoy a traditional home-cooked breakfast, toss a blanket upon the beach at Cape Henlopen State Park for an afternoon nap, before returning to Lewes for an evening stroll and dinner in one of the town’s small yet delicious restaurants. It’s a place to retire early too. The town is quiet by 10 p.m. This is relaxing.
The Blue Water House, an artsy inn in Lewes, is a lovely establishment to spend your mornings and evenings, aside colorful paintings and sculptures, well-styled rooms (the Hemmingway Suite is simply enchanting, in an anomalously sophisticated way), cozy outdoor seating areas backdropped by vintage canoes, interesting art pieces, and comfy chaise lounges.
The amenities are simple and ever-appreciated. Buckets of beer varieties and bottles of wine are left about in the communal dining area at cocktail hour, all amidst antique furniture, a fully stocked kitchen, and windows overlooking the bay. And breakfast is served communally at the community of kitchen tables all while jolly kitchen folk whip up hams and pastries and teas and coffees and juices and pancakes and everything else that makes breakfast perfect. There are complimentary cruiser bikes as well as house umbrellas and beach towels to make days spent adventuring more convenient. There’s even a telescope on the patio. The Blue Water House is the perfect place to call home while visiting Lewes.
And for dinner? I highly recommend Half Full, an innovative pizza and wine bar in the town’s historic center. Half Full has a pretty extensive wine & beer list and seasonally creative pizzas on both the always-changing house menu and the daily specials. We had two- one baring fresh lump crab, Manchego cheese, and sweet corn and another with house-made prosciutto and asparagus. On the current fall menu, try the Fall Veggie (butternut squash creme, sauteed mushrooms, Swiss chard, Gruyere) or the Pork and Apple (roasted garlic sauce, braised pork, Gala apple, Gruyere)- both for $11. I suppose I left out that Half Full’s prices are reasonable too.