Lewes is located in the southern part of the state of Delaware, in Sussex County, at the point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the entrance to the Delaware Bay. It is considered part of the Eastern Shore and the Mason–Dixon Line is just 34 miles west of Lewes. This central location has made Lewes an attractive tourist destination, weekend get-away, and a home base for those commuting to their jobs in larger cities.
Lately, it is becoming more popular for those retirees who wish a more relaxed lifestyle. Lewes, through wise planning and self determination, has maintained the balance between modern living and historic preservation. Growth, both in the business and residential areas, has been encouraged but controlled, so that Lewes continues to be the family-oriented town that has attracted many people over the years.
Sussex County is the largest of the three counties of Delaware, comprising 605,403 acres. The eastern border of Sussex contains the bay and 24 miles of ocean coastline stretching southward from Cape Henlopen to Fenwick Island at the Maryland state line. The southern and western area is bounded by Maryland, with Delaware’s Nanticoke River draining into the Chesapeake Bay.
The composition of the area includes forests, marshland, ocean and bay beaches, bay, river, ocean, and freshwater ponds including the cypress ponds — the farthest north the southern bald cypress tree reaches in south central Sussex.
Recreational activities are available all year within five state parks, two state forests, twenty state fish and wildlife facilities, and a national wildlife refuge.
Sussex County’s economy is divided among agriculture (mainly through the poultry industry), manufacturing and commerce, and recreation and tourism. Sussex County is within a half-day’s ride of Norfolk, Richmond, and New York City, and within two hours of Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. The cost of living and conducting a business is less than nearby metropolitan areas.
Delaware, located on the Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States, is composed of 1,982 square miles in land area. Over 783,000 people reside in Delaware, making it the fourth least populated state. However, only six other states are more densely populated. New Castle County is the most heavily populated of the three counties. Sussex County has exceeded the national average in population growth. Historically, Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution and Lewes was the first settlement in the state.