Delaware is only a few hour’s drive from my hometown of Frederick, Maryland, but a place I have unfortunately rarely visited. There is so much more to this tiny state than beaches! The area of Delaware’s Quaint Villages includes 20+ towns all with their own unique offerings. A few weekends ago, my friend Sara and I decided to get away for the weekend and Delaware’s Quaint Villages was the perfect spot for a girls’ trip. Delaware’s Quaint Villages have delicious restaurants, casinos, museums and historical stories a plenty to keep you busy.
We arrived at our hotel, Home2 Suites by Hilton in Dover, and were impressed by the room size and decor. The room had everything we needed, such as kitchen area, lounging spot and tons of counter space for all of our stuff. (Because we definitely did not pack lightly!) After freshening up we hopped in an Uber and headed to Harrington Raceway & Casino for a fancy dinner at Bonz Restaurant & Lounge to kick off our girls’ trip. We had a fully packed weekend and did a ton during our short two day stay in Delaware’s Quaint Villages. So much in fact I am breaking our trip up into two parts!
Over the next two posts I will dive into everything we did during our trip and the many reasons why you need to get away to Delaware’s Quaint Villages for yourself!
Dinner at Bonz Restaurant & Lounge
Start off your visit to Delaware’s Quaint Villages with an out of this world dinner at Bonz Restaurant & Lounge. Bonz Restaurant & Lounge is located just inside of the Harrington Raceway & Casino but feels like it is a location of its own. For us, dinner at Bonz Restaurant & Lounge was top notch; the service, atmosphere and cuisine exceeded all of our expectations. There is even a massive fireplace to cozy up to on those cold Delaware winter nights!
Sara and I started out with tempura lobster tails with avocado crema and black beans for an appetizer. I am sure you are all thinking “Beans & Lobster. Are you crazy?”; but guys this was delicious and paired so well together. We both ordered salads, Sara the Traditional Caesar and I the Steakhouse Salad which had everything from bacon and avocado to blue cheese.
Our waiter Scotty, helped us pick the perfect bottle of red wine to go with both of our main dishes. I went with the glazed beef short ribs (with turnip, carrots, fingerling potatoes & snip whip) and Sara ordered the slow cooked lamb shank (with brussels sprouts, apple, kabocha and smoked blue cheese). Both were mouthwatering and turned into our favorite meal of the trip.
You will not be disappointed dining at Bonz Restaurant & Lounge! If you are lucky the returning Executive Chef, Ryan Cunningham, will come say hi and give you some insights on his delicious creations.
After our meal we were excited to see a band was setting up to play in the bar area. We could tell this was going to be a fun night!
Try Your Luck at Harrington Raceway & Casino
I had never been to a casino before this trip, so needless to say I was extremely giddy for our visit to Harrington Raceway & Casino. Sara is not new to casinos so she showed me the ropes. I was mesmerized by all of the lights and just the possibility that anyone in there could hit a jackpot! We hopped from ‘penny slots’ to ‘penny slots’ playing for a bit. I took home an extra $20 bucks so I would count my first casino night as a success! We spent the rest of the night people watching and listening to the band back at the Bonz Restaurant & Lounge Bar before calling it a night. We had a fairly early start in the morning and needed our beauty rest.
Explore Spence’s Bazaar & Auction + The Amish Market
We started off our Saturday Morning with a visit to Spence’s Bazaar & Auction and Amish Market which was a great way to ease into the day. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I love antiquing and flea market hunting, so this was my kind of place. Spence’s Bazaar & Auction is filled with various vendors with unique finds. Sara and I strolled around the Bazaar a bit before heading over to the Amish Market for some breakfast.
You can grab all kinds of delicious treats at the Amish Market. From pies, pastries, old school candies and homemade classics; you could eat every meal at this place. The Amish Market truly had everything you could want and at super affordable prices! We of course were there for breakfast and walked around for what seemed like forever until we narrowed down what we wanted. Decisions Decisions! We saw packs of homemade sticky buns which were a must buy (and so so so good!) as well as various breakfast pretzels. Yes you read that right, BREAKFAST PRETZELS! Mine was stuffed full of eggs, bacon, cheese AND hash browns and was pure genius.
Head to the Woodburn (The Governor’s House) & Hall House
Down some quiet streets you will find the beautiful Woodburn (The Governor’s House) & Hall House which has acted as Delaware’s Governor’s residence since 1965. The building was built in 1768 and has since gone through various additions and renovations but has managed to keep much of its original charm. Each Governor that lives in the mansion is able to adjust the decor according to their taste. During our tour we were able to enjoy the first level which included a large foyer (which is home to the ‘wall of First Ladies’), living room (my favorite room) and dining room.
Learn some History around “The Green”
We were lucky enough to be able to go on a private tour of The Green. The Green is one of three public squares in the town of Dover, which was surrounded by 18th century Government buildings, shops and taverns. Back in the day, public gatherings, meetings and markets used to take place in the middle of it.
On our way to The Green we passed through Legislative Mall (another public square area) and we were happy to see a parade taking place!
Soon we reached The Green and met our tour guide, Rachel, outside of the historic John Bell House. The first stop was outside the Loockerman House, which is one of the oldest buildings around the Green. Mr. Loockerman was known as a rich merchant during his time and for lending money to the State of Delaware to help fund the Revolutionary War.
On one corner of The Green is the Golden Fleece Tavern, which is famous for being the place where 30 delegates from various Delaware Counties met to be the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
We also passed a building owned by the famous Caesar Rodney, who was a Delaware delegate and dramatically rode to Philadelphia through a thunderstorm to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Each building had its own story, character and charm. There is so much history just around the Green alone for you to explore!
Grab Lunch at 33 West Alehouse & Grill
By now you are probably starving (we sure were!). Walk a few blocks over to 33 West Alehouse and Grill for one of their yummy burgers or salads. Sara and I went with the blackened chicken salad which comes with candied bacon. So delicious! 33 West Alehouse also has an impressive list of craft cocktails to choose from. Try out the Pear Moscow Mule!
Join in on a Fun Event- Like the 18th Century Market Fair!
It seems like there is always something going on in Delaware’s Quaint Villages. During our visit there was an 18th Century Market Fair in the middle of The Green filled with artisans, vendors, shows and folks in costumes. Our favorites included the 18th century era weaving, circus and brewer demos. There was even a stand that had pure melted hot chocolate for sampling. Needless to say it was a fun time and the beautiful fall foliage was the cherry on top!
This takes us to the middle of our trip. Aren’t Delaware’s Quaint Villages just the cutest?! I have so much more to share with you all about our wonderful trip! Stay tuned for Part 2!
***Thank you to Delaware’s Quaint Villages for sponsoring our stay. As always all opinions are my own.