Lewes, Delaware

Lewes, Delaware is located on the Delmarva Peninsula, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of 3,047 people as of 2018 and is home to several historic sites and landmarks including the Zwaanendael Museum, Lightship Overfalls, and Lewes Historical Society Complex. The town is governed by an elected mayor and council. See health-beauty-guides for top counties in Delaware.

The climate in Lewes can be described as humid subtropical with hot summers and mild winters. Snowfall is rare but does occur occasionally during the winter months. The average temperature in July is 78°F (25°C) while January averages a cool 37°F (3°C).

Lewes was founded in 1631 by Dutch settlers who were attracted by its natural harbor. It quickly became an important port for shipping goods to other colonies along the Eastern Seaboard. During the Revolutionary War, Lewes was occupied by British troops from 1776-1777 before being recaptured by American forces led by General George Washington.

The economy of Lewes is largely tourism-based with many visitors coming from nearby cities like Baltimore and Washington D.C., as well as from New York City and Philadelphia during summer months for beach vacations. There are also several businesses focused on fishing, boating, sailing, and other outdoor activities that attract tourists year round.

Lewes residents enjoy access to excellent educational opportunities with public schools including Beacon Middle School, Cape Henlopen High School, Shields Elementary School, Mariner Middle School and Love Creek Elementary School all within city limits or nearby townships. Additionally there are several private schools such as Saint Peter’s Academy in Rehoboth Beach that offer K-12 education options for local families.

The most prominent landmark in Lewes is Cape Henlopen State Park which offers miles of beaches along both sides of the cape as well as camping facilities and outdoor activities like hiking trails and bike paths along its 5500 acres of park land on either side of the cape itself. Other popular landmarks include Stango Park which features a playground area for children as well as picnic tables for visitors to enjoy lunch outdoors; The Fisher-Martin House which was built in 1765; Breakwater Lighthouse; Fort Miles Historic Area; Pilot Town Nature Preserve; Wolfe Glade Natural Area; Nassau Valley Vineyards & Winery;and Historic Lewes Farmers Market which operates from April through November each year featuring local produce from around Delaware’s Eastern Shore region.

Lewes is located at 115km south of Wilmington. It is located on the Delaware Bay rather than the Atlantic Ocean, where the others lie. A sedate escape from the masses at Rehoboth Beach, It is known for its Old World ambience, fishing marinas, amateur fishing tournaments and beaches. Don’t miss Shipscarpenter Square: The many restored buildings there are the work of two enterprising developers who acquired historic structures from all over the U.S. and brought them to this site to be refurbished.

Population: 2,932. Estimated population in July 2020: 3,116 (+6.3% change)
Males: 1,287 (43.9%), Females: 1,645 (56.1%)

Sussex County

Zip code: 19958

Median resident age: 54.9 years
Median household income: $48,707
Median house value: $241,500

Races in Lewes:

  • White Non-Hispanic (86.8%)
  • Black (9.9%)
  • Hispanic (1.7%)
  • Two or more races (0.9%)
  • Other race (0.7%)
  • Asian Indian (0.6%)
  • American Indian (0.5%)

Ancestries: English (18.5%), Irish (16.8%), German (15.7%), Italian (6.6%), United States (5.8%), Scottish (3.8%).

Elevation: 18 feet

Land area: 3.7 square miles

Lewes, Delaware


Lewes, Delaware is a small town with a population of approximately 3,000 people. It is an affluent area with a median household income of $68,800 and median home value of $406,700. The majority of the population is white (90%), followed by African American (4%), Asian (3%), and other races making up the remaining 3%. The town has an even split between men and women, with 50% male and 50% female. Lewes is composed of mostly married couples (59%) and families (37%). The average age in Lewes is 47 years old, which is slightly higher than the national average.

Most residents in Lewes are employed in management or professional occupations (43%), followed by sales and office occupations (21%) and service occupations at 13%. Other major industries include construction, finance/insurance/real estate, manufacturing, transportation/warehousing/utilities, education/health services/social assistance, retail trade and accommodation/food services. Many residents work in nearby cities such as Wilmington or Dover for better employment opportunities. Education levels are higher than average in Lewes; 66% have at least a bachelor’s degree compared to the national average of 33%.

The cost of living in Lewes is high due to its popularity as a tourist destination; however it does offer many amenities such as excellent schools districts and healthcare facilities for its residents. Additionally there are plenty of recreational activities available such as golf courses, beaches and parks that draw visitors from all over the country. There are also several cultural attractions including museums and art galleries that keep people entertained year round. With its ideal location near beaches on the Delaware Bay combined with its small-town charm it’s easy to see why so many people choose to call Lewes home!

For population 25 years and over in Lewes

  • High school or higher: 85.5%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 42.5%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 17.9%
  • Unemployed: 3.2%
  • Mean travel time to work: 28.1 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Lewes city

  • Never married: 18.7%
  • Now married: 54.5%
  • Separated: 2.6%
  • Widowed: 13.7%
  • Divorced: 10.4%

2.3% Foreign born (1.4% Europe, 0.3% Latin America, 0.3% Africa).

Population change in the 1990s: +589 (+25.1%).


Hospital/medical center in Lewes:


Other hospitals/medical centers near Lewes:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Lewes:

  • DOVER AFB (about 32 miles; DOVER, DE; Abbreviation: DOV)
  • ATLANTIC CITY INTERNATIONAL (about 62 miles; ATLANTIC CITY, NJ; Abbreviation: ACY)

Other public-use airports nearest to Lewes:

  • SUSSEX COUNTY (about 16 miles; GEORGETOWN, DE; Abbreviation: GED)
  • CAPE MAY COUNTY (about 23 miles; WILDWOOD, NJ; Abbreviation: WWD)
  • HENDERSON AVIATION (about 32 miles; FELTON, DE; Abbreviation: 0N6)

Colleges and Universities

College/University in Lewes:

  • BEEBE HOSPITAL SCHOOL OF NURSING (Full-time enrollment: 39; Location: 424 SAVANNAH RD; Private, not-for-profit; Website: www.schoolofnursing.beebemed.org)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Lewes:

  • DELAWARE TECHNICAL AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE-OWENS (about 19 miles; GEORGETOWN, DE; Full-time enrollment: 2,053)
  • DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY (about 37 miles; Dover, DE; Full-time enrollment: 2,641)
  • SALISBURY STATE UNIVERSITY (about 43 miles; SALISBURY, MD; Full-time enrollment: 5,645)
  • UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND-EASTERN SHORE (about 56 miles; PRINCESS ANNE, MD; Full-time enrollment: 2,940)
  • ATLANTIC CAPE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 56 miles; MAYS LANDING, NJ; Full-time enrollment: 3,086)
  • UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE (about 63 miles; NEWARK, DE; Full-time enrollment: 17,786)
  • ROWAN UNIVERSITY (about 64 miles; GLASSBORO, NJ; Full-time enrollment: 7,587)


Public high school in Lewes:

  • CAPE HENLOPEN HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 1,155; Location: 1250 KINGS HIGHWAY; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Lewes:

  • BEACON MIDDLE SCHOOL (Students: 568; Location: 19483 JOHN J. WILLIAMS HWY; Grades: 04 – 08)
  • RICHARD A. SHIELDS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 492; Location: 910 SHIELDS AVENUE; Grades: KG – 05)
  • SUSSEX CONSORTIUM (Students: 136; Location: 520 DUPONT AVENUE; Grades: PK – 12)


Library in Lewes:

  • LEWES PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $638,800; Location: 111 ADAMS AVENUE; 31,953 books; 1,059 audio materials; 873 video materials; 105 serial subscriptions)

About the author