Touring the Byway
4 Days / 3 Nights | Gateway City: Baltimore, MD

We recommend starting your journey in Baltimore, before a very short trip to Annapolis, where you will be introduced to the early maritime heritage of the coastal region at the Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park, and Historic London Town, before staying at the Historic Inns of Annapolis.  

On Day Two, head for Seaford, Delaware, at the beginning of the Byway, where you can tour the Ross Mansion and Plantation, the Seaford Museum and Seaford Train Station.  Stay at the Hampton Inn in Seaford.  

On Day Three, you can drive one of the loops of the Byway, passing Invest, the former DuPont plant, enjoy Woodland Park, take the Woodland Ferry across the river and stroll the Chapel Branch Nature Trail on the other side. From there, it’s a short trip to Philips Landing State Park, where John Smith met the Nanticoke Tribe. A bit further on, you’ll reach Bethel, once a bustling shipbuilding town, where you can tour the Bethel Maritime Museum, before heading back to Seaford for the evening.  

Day Four takes you back south to Laurel, where you can tour the Cook House Museum, the Laurel Heritage Museum, Old Christ Church, and swing over to Trap Pond State Park, before heading to historic Lewes, to visit the Historic Shipcarpenters Campus before catching the Cape May-Lewes Ferry to New Jersey.  

From there, if you’re traveling another Delaware Scenic Byway, we wish you safe passage or a safe and pleasant journey home.

View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping,  and lodging recommendations!

Highlighted Attractions

Ross Mansion and Plantation

This rare complete Victorian mansion dating from 1860 has been lovingly restored and authentically furnished as it was in the period when William Henry Harrison Ross lived in the home. The property includes the only documented log slave quarters in Delaware, a granary, stable, smokehouse, corn cribs, and a Honeymoon Cottage built from a pattern book. Ross was an extremely popular governor who brought train service to Delaware and other innovations, but when the Civil War broke out, Ross supported the Confederacy because he was a slave holder and was forced to flee to England.  His mansion stands as a reminder of his pre-Civil War life

Seaford Museum

Filled with history of interesting characters, here you can meet Patty Cannon, the greatest murderess in American history, who ran a gang of 60 people that was larger than the Bonnie and Clyde gang, who stole more than Jesse James and survived longer than Al Capone. Coming from an influential family, she was perhaps responsible for more enslaved people being captured and sold to slave traders in the South.  Here you can also learn more about Governor Ross and his wife Elizabeth. Exhibits illustrate the history of the region with thousands of local artifacts beginning with the Nanticoke Indians and continuing through agriculture, shipbuilding, canning, poultry, railroads and more.  There is also a gallery with changing exhibits featuring special topics.

Philips Landing State Park

It is believed that it was here at the confluence of the Nanticoke River and Broad Creek was the place that Captain John Smith met the Nanticoke Tribe in 1608.  The wooded areas and walking trails in the surrounding Phillips Landing Recreation Area allow visitors to experience a taste of the isolated natural beauty that Smith encountered.

Old Christ Church

Constructed in 1772, this historic church is one of the few remaining unaltered wooden structures of its age and type in the United States. The paneled walls, a barrel-vaulted ceiling, and wood box pews that are evocative of pre-Revolutionary days, when meeting places such as this were the community centers of rural colonial America. Guided tours are offered on a scheduled basis.

Woodland Ferry

Cross the Nanticoke River on the Woodland Ferry which has been operating since 7134, now transports vehicles and passengers between Seaford and Laurel.

To experience all that The First State's First Region has to offer, download the complete itinerary!

The detailed itinerary includes: