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86 miles SE of Wilmington; 34 miles N of Ocean City; 107 miles SE of Baltimore; 121 miles E of Washington, D.C.

Delaware's northernmost and oldest beach resort, Lewes (pronounced Loo-is) is also its oldest town, founded in 1681 as a Dutch whaling station named Zwaanendael. The community maintains strong ties both to its Dutch heritage, which you can learn about at the Zwaanendael Museum, and to the sea -- as a beach resort, a boating marina, and a port for dozens of fishing fleets.

Though Lewes is where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, the town has grown up west of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, turning away from the water. Here you'll find the historic sites, small shops, restaurants, and inns. The result is a quaint, friendly little town that also happens to have a beach.

Beach fans must take an easy walk across the Savannah Road Bridge to the water. Parking is available in a paid lot. And lots of Lewes vacationers head to nearby Cape Henlopen State Park for the wide, sandy beaches there.

Lewes seems more like a Cape Cod resort than a Delmarva beach resort. With its small-town atmosphere and proximity to beaches, it's a good choice for anybody tired of the bustle of the other resorts.