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Every year, Cape Henlopen State Park draws thousands of visitors to a pretty patch of coastline in Delaware's southeast. Campers come from far and wide to swim at pristine beaches, fish from a bayside pier, kayak and windsurf on beautiful waters, and find any other way they can to explore this 7,000-acre state park.
Located less than one hour southeast of the state capital, Dover, Cape Henlopen is easily accessible for travelers from the metropolitan areas of Philaadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. Better yet, the park's large campground offers 140 sites with water and electric hookups.
So if you're planning a coastal RV camping getaway in Delaware, search for an RV in Sussex County and set a course for this much-loved state park.
If you're setting out on an RV camping adventure at Cape Henlopen State Park, you might like to start your vacation with a trip to the Seaside Nature Center. Boasting a 495-gallon two-level touch tank that also offers viewing windows, the center is the place to go if you want to catch a close glimpse of stingrays, horseshoe crabs, and a variety of other marine species. Five other 1,000-gallon tanks contain species of local fish, making this a great spot for kids to learn and enjoy themselves at the same time.
If you're more of an "outdoorsy" type, you'll no doubt want to head straight for the beach. This park is home to some of the best beaches in Delaware, offering a chance for visitors to either relax or tackle any one of several outdoor activities.
If you're feeling lazy, find a spot on the sand to spread out a towel and catch a few rays of sun. Surf fishing is another popular pastime for those keen to cast a line from the fishing pier or straight from the beach, but please note that fishing is only allowed in certain areas of the park and, in some places, only during specific hours.
For those who prefer slightly more active pastimes, the activities just keep on coming. You could take a dip in the ocean, head out to explore on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, wait for the breeze to pick up so you can go windsurfing, or maybe try your luck clamming. There's a designated swimming beach near the Lewes park entrance, and lifeguard patrols run from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
If you want to camp with an RV at Cape Henlopen State Park, there are 140 standard sites available. The campground is set in a scenic location amid pine-covered sand dunes, and the beach is never too far away from most sites.
Water and 50- and 100-amp electric hookups are provided, with fire rings and picnic tables available as well. Pets are welcome but must be kept leashed at all times.
Other highlights include a kids' play area, a camp store stocking essential supplies, laundry facilities, and multiple dump stations.
The campground features a one-way circulation pattern to make it easier and safer for you to navigate with your RV. However, please note that the maximum RV length allowed varies between sites. While most are back-in sites with vehicle length limits varying from 15 to 45 feet, there is also a small number of 90-plus-foot pull-through sites, so check if there are any restrictions when choosing your site.
If you need a break from sleeping in an RV, 12 camping cabins are available. And if you decide you'd like to rough it in a tent for a night or two, 22 walk-in tent-only sites are also provided.
When you've finally had your fill of the beautiful scenery and myriad recreational activities on offer in Cape Henlopen State Park, load up your camper and hit the road. But don't worry — you won't be driving for long before you find another attraction worth stopping at and checking out.
Steer your rental RV to the southwest and you can be in Trap Pond State Park, with its excellent hiking trails and fishing, within an hour. If you're really looking to immerse yourself in nature and get up close and personal with a variety of wildlife, the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is just a short trek to the north.
Of course, if you'd rather head for the urban jungle, you could be touring the Philadelphia Museum of Art in a little over two hours, or head west for a two-and-a-half-hour drive to the national monuments of Washington D.C.
There's lots to explore in this part of the world, so what are you waiting for?