A lot of NASCAR fans tend to get caught up in raceday excitement and forget that there are other things to do around the tracks. Sometimes, race fans don't always want to just hang around the track. I have not been to or visited all of these places but many of these have been suggested by fans or natives of the towns and states or even by folks in the NASCAR industry themselves! Others have come from websites or the chambers of commerce. So sit back and take an armchair road trip with me across the circuit...
First State Heritage Park- suggested by CityofDover.comThis park is heralded as the state’s first urban “park without boundaries”. Stroll through this park to find many historic public buildings, that is if you’re into the history thing. Among the historic buildings and homes are Delaware’s first permanent capitol building and the Woodburn and Hall house. Woodburn, which has served as the home to Delaware’s governors since 1965, was built in the late 1700s. The Hall House, next door to Woodburn, serves as the Governor’s guest house. Both buildings are open for public tours but only at certain times..
Aside from the historical aspect, you can attend one of the many “First Saturday” events at the park. To download a guide to all of the park’s events, or for hours or driving directions, you can visit the website.
Performing Arts Centers- suggested by CityofDover.com and VisitDelaware.comIf you have a taste for the finer things in life, such as the ballet or the symphony, you might want to visit one of the several performing arts centers around the state.
Located right in the heart of Dover is the Schwartz Center for the Arts, formerly known as the Dover Opera House. In a state of disrepair, the building was renovated and reopened after many years of the doors being closed in 2001.
Aside from performances and special events, the Schwartz center is also open for meetings and receptions. They have several lovely rooms and even a smaller auditorium available to rent for private parties or meetings. You can learn more on their website.
Outside of Dover itself, you can visit one of the other performing arts centers such as the Delaware Theater Company and First State Ballet Theater, both based out of Wilmington. To learn more, point your browser to VisitDelaware.com.
Amethyst Sportfishing- suggested by VisitDelaware.comAre you more into relaxing on the water with a fishing pole and a beer? Then, this is not the place for you. However, if you’re into serious sportsfishing, you will want to check this place out. Located in Millsboro, you can hop on a charter boat and do a little fishing. Or you can take a “trolling” tour for 12 hours and a grand. Hey, we never said it would be cheap!
If budget is not an issue, hop on the Amethyst for a day, or half day, with some of your friends and enjoy some real fishing in the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Visit their website for more information. Please keep in mind that prices posted are for the 2009 season so you may want to contact them via the posted phone number or email address.
Shopping & Leisure in Delaware- suggested by VisitDelaware.com and CityofDover.comThe Dover Mall boasts several national chains and a kid’s club, but perhaps their greatest asset is that they offer parking for RVs for fairly reasonable prices and parking for cars for $20-$30 per day for the race weekend at Dover. You can find out more information at the mall website or visit the Dover Race Parking website.
If you’d rather step away from the race festivities for a while, you could take a stroll through Downtown Dover. They have many shops to visit and you can find plenty of free parking throughout the downtown area. Visit their website for more information.
If you’re willing to take a drive outside of Dover, you can check out the Tanger Outlet Center in Rehoboth Beach. All shopping in Delaware also appears to be tax-free. Check out the website for more information.
Wait, what do you mean it’s empty??
Maybe we can just go Punkin’ Chunkin’ instead. No, I have absolutely no idea what it is either, but how can you go wrong with the word '”chunkin’”? Apparently people throw pumpkins for leisure in Bridgeville, DE.
Whatever your taste for the strange, offbeat, or bizarre, visit RoadsideAmerica.com for a list of unique and strange roadside attractions to visit across Delaware and the US.
Quick facts:State Capitol
Founded: 1683 by William Penn
Estimated population: 34,120
Estimated land area: 26,000 acres
Photo credits: DeStateParks.com & RoadsideAmerica.com