First established in 1683 and the state's capital since 1777, Dover grew up around The Green—the parklike center of town designed by William Penn. The Green makes a good place to start touring the city. It's surrounded by many beautiful houses and excellent historical displays, including the Delaware State House, built in 1792, and the Biggs Museum with its fine American art and furniture collections. Old Dover Days, a historical celebration, is also held in the city in early May.
The Delaware State Museum Complex (three blocks from The Green) contains regional artifacts from prehistory through colonial times. For a glimpse at what a typical late-19th-century main street was like prior to the era of electric power, stop by the Museum of Small Town Life. Music lovers will appreciate the Johnson Victrola Museum, which features a unique collection of record players and other memorabilia and is dedicated to Eldridge Reeves Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Co.
On the outskirts of the city is the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village, complete with a re-creation of rural life in the state more than a century ago, and the John Dickinson Plantation where the "Penman of the Revolution" wrote many of the documents that formally protested British rule. West of the city in the Rose Valley area, there is a small but very active Amish farming community.
For those who want to combine sightseeing with vacationing, the 500-room luxury hotel at Dover Downs includes a slots casino, spa and fine dining, as well as the track's traditional harness racing October-April and NASCAR races in June and September. 45 mi/72 km south of Wilmington.
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