Cape Henlopen State Park De is a land of gentle dunes and singing shorebirds. Cape Henlopen State Park is revered for its rich assortment of activities: sunbathing on the park’s six miles of shoreline; fishing from the jetty; walking or cycling down the miles of wildflower-adorned trails. Cape Henlopen State Park is a big place with lots to do including camping, biking, hiking, kayaking, touring a WWII fort, and much more. Many people come to the park and just hit the beach, but park has so much more to offer. You can also visit all of the beautiful Delaware beaches here.
Cape Henlopen State Park DE Weather – When to Visit
Summer is the most popular season, and for a good reason. From May through August, the temperatures are idyllic, usually remaining in the mid- to upper 80s. This is when the crowds come to play along the Delaware seashore. Vacation rental and hotel rates are at their highest, though you might say you get what you pay for. If you decide to visit during the summer, you’ll still want to bring layers, as nighttime temperatures can get into the low 70s and upper 60s.
Post-Labor Day weekend, the crowds begin to thin out and the fall temperatures will be between the upper 50s to upper 70s. This is the time to capitalize on lower hotel rates, though some attractions in the area close or reduce their hours outside of the summer season. However, visitors can still soak up the immense array of outdoor activities that the area has to offer.
Best Cape Henlopen Area Beaches
This swimming beach provides lifeguard patrols between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Umbrellas can be rented during the summer. The swimming area also features a modern bath house with showers, changing rooms, and a food concession. Mobi-Mat equipment, consisting of three 30-foot mats allowing those in wheelchairs and power chairs to access the beach from the boardwalk, is also available at this location.
The main attraction for many visitors is swimming and sunbathing along the park's spectacular beaches. Two ocean swimming areas feature modern bathhouses with showers and changing rooms. Lifeguards patrol the beaches from 9 am to 5 pm daily between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Snack foods are available at the bathhouses, and umbrellas, chairs, and rafts can be rented on the beach. Mobi-Mat equipment is also available here.
The white sand beaches gradually slope into the Atlantic, creating a broad swimming area. Lifeguards patrol the swimming beach daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. One of the newest features at the park is the modern bathhouse, which offers convenient showers and changing rooms, a gift shop, and a snack food concession. During the summer months, umbrellas, chairs, and rafts may be rented on the beach. Mobi-Mat equipment is also available here.
Best Cape Henlopen State Park Activities
Catch a Sunrise at Herring Point
Herring Point is one of the best places in the park to watch a sunrise. The sun will rise directly over the water, and there are rock outcroppings that make for beautiful photos.
Visit the Touch Tank and the Aquariums in the Seaside Nature Center
In the nature center you can encounter local reptiles, fish, and other marine organisms. There is also a touch tank where you can find horseshoe crabs, whelks, and more. You can talk with a knowledgeable naturalist, grab a park map, and even pick up a souvenir. The Nature Center is a great place to start your day, and you can rent bikes for free from the bike barn next door.
Bike or Hike the Bike Loop
The Bike Loop Trail will take you through the park and give you a good overview of the place. The trail is an easy ride, and you can stop and see a few things along the way including the Observation Tower, Fort Miles, the Fishing Pier, and the Nature Center. If you're starting your day at the Nature Center, you can rent bikes at the bike barn and catch the trail from the front of the Nature Center.
Climb the Observation Tower
The Observation Tower was originally a WWII Fire Control Tower, but today, you can climb to the top to get a spectacular 360 view of the entire park. If you are doing the Bike Loop Trail, be sure to stop here!
Tour the Fort Miles Museum
Cape Henlopen was a military fort during WWII, and you can still see the bunkers and the battery where the guns were kept. Tour the artillery park and take a guided battery tour if you can.
Best Cape Henlopen State Park Area (Lewes) Restaurants
Heirloom Over $30
Experience the seasons through their ever evolving menu inspired by seasonal ingredients. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall each offer their own unique bounty of fruits and vegetables for distinct seasonal flavor. Menu Telephone: 302-313-4065 Web: Heirloom
Striper Bites $11 – 30
An award-winning “nautical bistro” that evokes a fun-spirited blend of the Northeast and Key West. Striper Bites features an array of fresh seafood cuisine along with chicken, steak, and salads. Menu Telephone: 302-645-4657 Web: Striper Bites
Honey's Farm Fresh Gourmet Kitchen $11 – 30
A unique cafe off the beaten path in historic Lewes serving farm fresh breakfast, fresh juices and lunch. Telephone: 302-644-8400 Web: Honey's Farm Fresh Gourmet Kitchen
The Surfing Crab $11 – 30
At The Surfing Crab they have a passion for seafood. We strive to make every dish we offer the best you've ever had. Come join our family tradition of fresh seafood and crabs! Menu Telephone: 302-644-4448 Web: The Surfing Crab
Kindle $11 – 30
Kindle offers seasonal American fare with a bit of a French influence, as well as an amazing selection of wines by the glass. Pull up a stool at the bar or dine by candlelight in their cozy dining room. Menu Telephone 302-645-7887 Web: Kindle
Best Cape Henlopen State Park DE Area (Lewes) Bars
125 2nd St, Lewes Telephone: 302-645-8877 Web: Half Full
Pig & The Publican
516 E Savannah Rd, Lewes Telephone: 302-313-4487 Web: Pig & The Publican
On The Rocks Roadside Grill
43 Cape Henlopen Dr, Lewes Telephone: 302-644-6028 Web: On the Rocks Roadside Grill
Rose & Crown
142 2nd St, Lewes Telephone: 302-847-4475 Web: Rose & Crown
111 Bank St, Lewes Telephone: 302-645-7887 Web: Kindle