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Day Trip Delaware: Pea Patch Island and Historic Fort Delaware

Updated on July 22, 2022
charleskikas profile image

Charles has long experience fishing, hiking, exploring, and camping in the Northeast.

Pea Patch Island Ferry

Getting off of the Ferry at Pea Patch Island
Getting off of the Ferry at Pea Patch Island

Getting There

This installment of Day Trip Delaware begins in the quaint riverfront community of Delaware City, Delaware. Fort Delaware is located on Pea Patch Island. A ferry will take you across the Delaware River to the island. Upon arrival, locate the Park Office along the river next to the docks. The location for your GPS is 45 Clinton St., Delaware City, Delaware 19706.

The Park Office houses the ticket booth, gift shop, and also has schedules for the ferry trips. Purchase your tickets and you are off to the dock to catch the ferry to the island. After a short ferry boat ride, hop off the ferry and begin your journey with a long walk along a wooden boardwalk. At the end waits a truck pulled wagon "reminiscent of a hayride" to the entrance of Fort Delaware.

The Docks at Delaware City

A
45 Clinton Street, Delaware City, Delaware:
45 Clinton St, Delaware City, DE 19706, USA

get directions

The Long Dock

The Pea Patch Island Boardwalk?
The Pea Patch Island Boardwalk?
Looking back at Delaware City from Ferry
Looking back at Delaware City from Ferry
The Boardwalk?
The Boardwalk?
At the curve.
At the curve.
Exterior right side with moat.
Exterior right side with moat.
Interior walking in.
Interior walking in.
Re enactor during my July Day Trip.
Re enactor during my July Day Trip.
Cannon on the roof.
Cannon on the roof.
Close up of cannon
Close up of cannon
Interior looking toward entrance from left side second floor.
Interior looking toward entrance from left side second floor.
Interior.
Interior.
Interior staff offices and general quarters.
Interior staff offices and general quarters.
View from the prison area.
View from the prison area.
Crabby Dicks
Crabby Dicks
Table outside of ice cream shop.
Table outside of ice cream shop.

Arrival at the Fort

Rounding the curve upon your approach to the Fort, you can not help being impressed by the sheer magnitude of this massive structure. Constructed of granite and brick, this place is huge! Upon entering the fort, spend some time in the foyer and check out the massive doors and imagine the amount of force required to break those things down!

This grand entrance leads into the main courtyard and the beginning of your exploration. I decided to go left here, but if you are hungry or in need of a drink, turn right and look for the small open-air food court for snacks and drinks. I remember seeing a guy cooking chicken breasts, hamburgers, and hotdogs on a grill the last time we were there.

Special Events at the Fort

Visit the Fort Delaware website online at: http://www.destateparks.com/park/fort-delaware/index.asp for special dates and happenings at the Fort. When I visited in July, Civil War reenactors were onsite at the Fort and they were very informative, telling stories of life at the Fort during the time of the Civil War. I especially remember visiting the prison site outside of the Fort and listening to tales of prison life with questions being answered by a very realistic prisoner reenactor.

Points of Interest

There are a lot of nooks and crannies in this place. I took my daughter, who was 7 at the time, and she had a great, safe time exploring the Fort. We went everywhere we could. There is a small little gift shop with some really cool souvenirs in the area of the Staff Offices.

Beautiful views of the Delaware River, New Jersey, and Delaware await you from the top of this Mega Fort. Cannons and emplacements conjure images of great battles being waged, as this Fort would protect the ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington as well as Trenton, the former temporary capital of America. Explore the photos I have included and may your trip yield as much fun and interest as it did for my daughter and I.

Eat Out...

Depending on how much time you have left, you must stop and check out the quaint shops on the strip next to the docks. I did not stop in to eat, but I have heard that Crabby Dicks is a great place to eat and hang out. Visit the Delaware City Brewhouse and Grill, this looks like a cool, inexpensive place to stop and quench your thirst and grab a bite to eat. My daughter loved the ice cream shop....of course. The awesome pink bench around the tree outside was just great. Keep your eyes open on my home page. This spring I intend to visit nearby Fort DuPont!!!

Fort Mott: The New Jersey Fort Across the Delaware River

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Charles Kikas

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