Great Trips

Add an Outdoor Encore to Your Delaware Concert

Perhaps Arden Fair planted the seed in 1908. Maybe Firefly made it blossom in 2012. Whatever the case, one thing is for certain: Delawareans love their outdoor concerts. Music fans can choose from hundreds of acts, and what a trip it would be. The state’s back roads, byways, and riverfronts are riddled with haunts some would just assume stay hidden in tiny “Delawhere?” Here’s a few worth writing home about:


  • Arden, site of the Shady Grove Music Festival in July, Arden Fair in September, and Analog-A-Go-Go in September

    • Birds: Go birding on the Brandywine Creek when you book your voyage with Wilderness Canoe Trips. Those who do will be among the first to experience the new First State National Historical Park’s Woodlawn Tract.

    • Bites: Fans of this backwoods venue may like the Bellefonte Café’s down-home feel. Plan ahead to enjoy even more live music.

    • Beds: Local members of the Delaware Green Lodging program include Courtyard by Marriott, Doubletree Wilmington, and the Inn at Wilmington.

    • Beverages: Trek south for urban waterfront views at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, or flee to the Pennsylvania countryside at Penns Woods Winery.

    • Believe It or Not: Bob Marley lived just a stone’s throw from Brandywine Creek, near 23rd and Tatnall streets (about 14 miles away). He resided there for over a decade, off and on. In fact, the Peoples Festival 4Peace is held every July in his honor. It’s outdoors too!

    • Benevolence: Enjoy some “volun-tourism” by contacting the Brandywine Valley Association or the Brandywine Conservancy.


  • The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, site of the Firefly Music Festival every June

    • Birds: Flock about 12 miles to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. It boasts some of the best birding in the Mid-Atlantic.

    • Bites: Try Sambo’s Tavern (21+) for river-to-table seafood and waterfront views.

    • Beds: Most camp onsite. However, Dover also offers three affiliates of the Delaware Green Lodging program: Dover Downs Hotel, Mainstay Suites, and the Microtel Inn & Suites of Dover.

    • Beverages: Visit Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company for a tour and tasting; that or wash down your blue crabs with “swampwater” at the Boondocks Restaurant.

    • Believe It or Not: A man from Dover helped give rise to the recording industry. Discover more at the Johnson Victrola Museum, where you can even see his Grammy Award.

    • Benevolence: Take a relaxing walk on Kitts Hummock Beach and turn over any horseshoe crabs you find stranded on their backs.


Woodlands at Dover International Speedway

Photo by Elizabeth Horsey

Firefly Music Festival
Photo Elizabeth Horsey

Firefly Lawn Stage

Photo by Elizabeth Horsey

Firefly stage with fireworks

Photo by Elizabeth Horsey