Lewes, Delaware

Lewes, DelawareThe town of Lewes got its start back in 1631 when a little more than two-dozen men from Holland sailed to the New World to establish a whale-oil colony along the western shores of the Delaware Bay. As the fort of Swanendael, or Valley of the Swans, was centralized, a misunderstanding between the colonists and the native people led to the fort's destruction and the colonists' massacre. Given the initial colonization of Swanendael, this allows Lewes to lay claim to being "the First Town in the First State."

By 1682, William Penn was granted the three lower counties that now make up Delaware as part of his Pennsylvania territory. Penn decided to name the southernmost county for Sussex, England, his home province, and renamed Deale as Lewes after the port city in Sussex, England.

The town thrived as people arrived and merchants set up shop over the years. Churches and a courthouse were built as the town grew and became a busy port where ships would restock supplies. Lewes also served as the seat of Sussex County until 1791 when the government was relocated to Georgetown, a more central location.

By the 1960s, the menhaden business bottomed out. The fish that had produced an industry disappeared and the companies that relied on it had moved on. The loss of that industry, as well as a clam factory, marked a monumental change for Lewes.

Lewes, DelawareFrom 1990 to 2000, nearly 700 additional full-time residents settled in to make Lewes their new home. The population, according to the 2000 census, came in at a little more than 2,900 people.

With nearly four centuries of history, Lewes has been transformed from a community of whalers and fishermen to one that is equally dependent on the sea, but in a much different way. Tourism has helped fuel a 20-year growth spurt in Lewes. Picturesque beach homes have replaced quaint cottages amid the sand dunes, and hardware stores and mom-and-pop stores have made way for bistros and boutiques. The new wave of residents has come seeking a slower paced lifestyle, lower taxes, and the lack of urban crime.

Lewes also remains an east coast port of call and is home to a large fleet of charter fishing boats. It is likewise the base of the Delaware Bay and River Pilots Association, whose members guide cargo vessels to and from the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia. Lewes is also the site of the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies and is the southern terminal for the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.

Lewes Map


Lewes Weather

June 23 @ 8:45pm
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clear sky
Hi: 90° | Lo: 84°
Wind: SW @ 20mph
June 23 @ 11:00pm
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light rain
Hi: 85° | Lo: 81°
Wind: SW @ 14mph
June 24 @ 2:00am
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light rain
Hi: 82° | Lo: 80°
Wind: WSW @ 14mph
June 24 @ 5:00am
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light rain
Hi: 75° | Lo: 75°
Wind: W @ 10mph
June 24 @ 8:00am
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broken clouds
Hi: 76° | Lo: 76°
Wind: NW @ 12mph
June 24 @ 11:00am
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broken clouds
Hi: 78° | Lo: 78°
Wind: NNW @ 13mph

Lewes Events

No Upcoming Events

Lewes Restaurants

Bob Evans Farms RestaurantLewes, DE302-645-0871
Cafe AzafranLewes, DE302-644-4446
China GardenLewes, DE302-645-6445
Fish On!Lewes, DE302-645-9790
Gilligan's Waterfront RestaurantLewes, DE
Hing Wang Chinese RestaurantLewes, DE302-645-0889
Irish EyesLewes, DE302-645-6888
JD ShuckersLewes, DE302-945-8850
Lemon Tree RestaurantLewes, DE302-645-0481
Mr. P Pizza & PastaLewes, DE302-645-1900
Pelican GrilleLewes, DE302-945-6620
Striper BitesLewes, DE302-645-4657
Surf Bagel & DeliLewes, DE302-644-1822
The ButteryLewes, DE302-645-7755
The WharfLewes, De302-645-6271
Tijuana TaxiLewes, DE302-644-8294
Tokyo SteakhouseLewes, DE302-645-9728

Lewes Shopping

Albert Frank's Fine JewelryLewes, DE302-645-1718
Aquamarine on MarketLewes, DE302-644-4550
Auntie M's EmporiumLewes, DE302-644-1804
Back Bay Art Glass, LLCLewes, DE302-645-1825
Blooming BoutiqueLewes, DE302-644-2463
Cape Henlopen WickerLewes, DE302-644-2000
Chatelaine's JewelryLewes, DE302-645-1511
Creative ConceptsLewes, DE302-645-6200
Habersham Peddler InteriorsLewes, DE302-645-8383
Heritage Antique MarketLewes, DE302-645-2309
Josephine Keir Ltd- Antiques, Fine Arts & RugsLewes, DE302-645-9047
Journey'sLewes, DE302-645-1475
Kids' KetchLewes, DE302-645-8448
Lewes GourmetLewes, DE302-645-1661
Lewes Mercantile Antique GalleryLewes, DE302-645-7900
Mare's Bears Quilt ShopLewes, DE302-644-0556
Mugs & StitchesLewes, DE302-360-3600
P.U.P.S. of LewesLewes, DE302-645-9010
PiccolinoLewes, DE302-644-7611
PuzzlesLewes, DE302-645-8013
The Beach JettyLewes, DE302-645-4606
The Furniture GalleryLewes, DE302-645-7043
The Soap FairyLewes, DE302-645-4596
The Stepping StoneLewes, DE302-645-1254
Trader's Jewelry & GiftsLewes, DE302-645-6536
Twila Farrell / The FigureheadLewes, DE302-645-7007
Two Friends, Ltd.Lewes, DE302-644-0477
Very EuropeanLewes, DE302-644-7778

Lewes Lodging

Beacon MotelLewes, DE302-645-4888
Blue Water HouseLewes, DE302-645-7832
Cape Henlopen MotelLewes, DE302-645-2828
Hotel BlueLewes, DE302-645-4880
Hotel RodneyLewes, DE302-645-6466
Inn at Canal SquareLewes, DE302-644-3377
King's InnLewes, DE302-645-6438
Lazy L at Willow CreekLewes, DE302-644-7220
Red Mill InnLewes, DE302-645-9736
Sleep Inn & SuitesLewes, DE302-644-8796
Sleep Inn & SuitesLewes, DE302-645-6464
Vesuvio MotelLewes, DE302-645-2224
Virden House Bed & BreakfastLewes, DE302-644-4402

Lewes Real Estate

No real estate listings available.

Additional Lewes Resources

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