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“Amazing place with so much to do”

Cape Henlopen State Park
Ranked #1 of 51 things to do in Lewes
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This oceanside state park comprises 155 campsites and the Seaside Nature Center.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
140 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Amazing place with so much to do”
Reviewed August 6, 2011

We went biking, walked on the Pine trail and others, swam at the main beach and Herring Point, visited the Nature Center, etc etc...we love this park and look forward to visiting it (and the town of Lewes) every summer. It is always beautifully maintained and the staff is friendly and inviting.

Visited August 2011
1 Thank JWUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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930 reviews from our community

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Everything was great except for the bugs”
Reviewed August 5, 2011

We recently did an overnight camp at the park. Drove to DE from DC in the morning, got there early afternoon. The beach was crowded but there was still plenty of room. The various sites in the park are very interesting, as it is an old army base. Our campsite was spacious and on the outer edge of the camping area, which I would recommend. The inside sites seemed smaller and more claustrophobic, and they are closer to the bath house - lots of foot traffic there, but good I suppose if you like to go to the restroom or shower often. The bath house was clean and we didn't wait to shower at all. Everything was great until we camped that evening. Then the one downside to the park revealed itself - the bugs. Horseflies on the beaches were bad but tolerble, mosquitoes and yellowjackets at the campsites a little less tolerable. And worst of all concerning the bugs, we woke in our tent the next morning to find dozens of gnats crowding around the top of the inside at the tent roof. It had been a hot night and sleeping was difficult, so we were all in shorts and tees on top our our sleeping bags. Little did we know that while we were sleeping, we were providing a healthy meal for all those gnats at the top of the tent. We only realized that we had been bitten dozens of times the day after our trip, The bites were slow to reveal themselves, but they did so with a vengeance. Little constantly itchy red bumps all over us by the dozens. We have been itching for several days after the fact and the bites are still there, but at least itching a bit less as time goes on (but still itching now four days later). So I recommend the park overall, but bring and wear bug spray, especially while sleeping in a tent. Our tent had no holes in it and those nasty gnats got in and did their business anyway. The bug spray's a hassle, but it will be saving you a lot of future discomfort if you just put it on!

Visited July 2011
6 Thank DRLinDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Cape Henlopen This is an awesome vacation and day spot for camping families, singles,couple”
Reviewed July 29, 2011

Just returned from 2 days camping in Cape Henlopen State Park. I live in Ocean City NJ so you wonder why go to another Beach? I wanted to camp and get away. I read so many mixed reviews that I was a bit concerned about the conditions of the bathrooms. I took the advice of bringing a hose for hook up. Good advice. This was last minute. I ended up with a handicap site which was near the bath house. Yes, there were people walking by. But quiet hours start at 10 pm. People adhere. Yes the sites on the outside are better. Would it stop me from going? No. Just know it's one on those campgrounds with alot of people but not intrusive. Were the bathrooms at the campground dirty? No. There's only 3 showers and 3 stalls. I didn't wait more then 10 minutes for a shower. However, bathrooms at the beach location were gross.
Awesome amentities. They have bikes they give your for a donation. They are in great shape and they have alot of them. You are happy to make the donation. They have historic sites you can visit on your ride. We climbed an old WWII tower with a great view. The first day we went to the main beach. Really crowded! A nature center where they have activities planned daily. You have to sign up. They also have a great beach where it is unguarded, fishing is allowed. The type of waves there are fine for a dip. This beach was less crowded by far. But to what would be the south is another fishing beach, It has 2 jetties, you have to get there really early for limited parking and it's port a potties. I think it's called Higgins it's past Biden center.
We just popped over on the Ferry. Town is really close if you want to do other activities. It was great for my 2 boys, one teenager and one 11 year old. Fun! There is an $8.00 fee if you go in for the day. That is included in what I think was $35.00 for the night.
The water ice at the beach was great.

Visited July 2011
6 Thank Lesliessc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middletown, Delaware
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Beautiful beaches...avoid crowds!”
Reviewed July 29, 2011

Cape Henlopen State park is full of beautiful sites and great beaches! I've lived here in DE for 5 years and always went to Rhoboth, but a family wanted a photoshoot in an uncrowded spot and this was the place! If you live in DE or have DE tags on your car it is $4.00 to get in, unless you have the state park pass (35.00 for the year). Out of town tags...$8.00. The park has campgrounds, and what I find most beneficial- 2 totally different kinds of beaches! If you follow the signs to the beach-bath house- you will find a very nice, clean, bathhouse (with bathrooms and showers and changing rooms), there is also a little snack bar that sells stuff like hotdogs, burgers and fries...the beach is great as well, there are waves, and plenty of families, as well as plenty of lifeguards and it's not as crowded as all the other beaches.
If you want serene beachs...ones that look like Bermuda...nice white sand...no waves...views of Lighthouses, and the pier that takes the Ferry out- follow the signs to "The point".
Half of the The Point is roped off for nesting grounds for birds, it's a photographers dream with the beautiful beach plants, and all the birds. There is only baby waves so children can actually swim in the water and see their feet.
There are a few things you should know tho...for those that may be squirmish:
- There are a lot of Dead horse shoe crabs, this point is one of 2 places in the world where horse shoe crabs go to mate, so they have been being stranded...and there are quite a few dead ones
-Along the water line there are alot of crushed shells, so if you have senstive feet, or you dont want the kids to complain, wear water shoes
-There are little black snails and sand crabs in the shallow water (my kids enjoy catching them- and letting them go. Do not take them home...they are salt water crabs and they will not live if you do not replenish them with fresh salt water.
-There are tiny minnow looking fish that swim up on the sand islands and jump out of the water in schools...it's very fun to watch.
-Last time I was there a cable of some sort had washed ashore- half still in the ocean, so walk down the beach past that cable so the kids wont get hurt, it's rusty and I'm afraid of tetnus.
-There are mating horseshoe crabs- please do not disturb them...their are also some in the water, they will not hurt you, they do not sting with their tails...they are harmless, but if you step on one, it may hurt as all sea life (mullosks and stuff, cling to their shells and make an unpleasent surface to step on)
-The walk is a little long down the hill (if your out of shape ...like me :) haha) so pack light.

Other wise...if you get here early, there are little sand islands the kids can all go and play on...and swim (like in a pool) with out waves knocking them down. HOWEVER, AT THIS BEACH THEIR ARE NO LIFEGUARDS...PLEASE WATCH YOUR CHILDREN CAREFULLY!
When the tide comes in the islands disappear (in July that happens around 4 pm)...if you get there and just relax-bring your camera, there is historic watch towers overlooking the beach, and often there are deer in the grasses behind you.
This is by far my favorite beach exceeding every beach I've been to on the east coast!
I'll post some photos.

Visited July 2011
7 Thank Mammapaparazza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton, Delaware
Level Contributor
131 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A Hidden Gem”
Reviewed July 28, 2011

Faced with caring for 4 grandchildren and 100 degree heat, we followed a friend's advice to try the Park. What a delightful surprise!!! The ocean-side, life-guarded beach was wonderful. The water was actually cold and there was a lovely breeze for the sun-bathers. The children (ages 5-12) had a ball playing in the surf and after showers in the great facilities provided, we headed to the Nature Center which houses large aquariums with fascinating fish, a hands-on horseshoe crab exhibit and a reptile room. You can "use" bikes (no fee) to explore the well marked trails in the park. From there we went to the fishing pier which is on the bay side and has a lovely calm, shallow beach (too hot for this day) which would be perfect for a cooler day and for very small children. There one can fish, swim or rent kayaks.
There are other smaller beaches, not guarded but with dunes and very pristine. Admission is $8.00 a car for non- residents and $4.00 for residents. Season passes can also be purchased and there are always special activities going on. We will surely go back!!!

ould be great on a cooler day and perfect for very small children.

Visited July 2011
Thank Carolyn F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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