Most people know Cape May, New Jersey, the historic town that shares the mouth of Delaware Bay, and the ferry that crosses it, with Lewes. Lewes (population 3,127) has the same coastal character and historic preservation tendencies as Cape May, only with fewer tourists and more affordable real estate. And there is a local citizenry dedicated to keeping the charm and history in balance.
“In 1999, residents raised more than $1 million to purchase Canal Front Park,” says Mike DiPaolo, executive director of the Lewes Historical Society. “A group wanted to build a shopping center and condo complex, and the citizens were able to buy the land. It’s now a green space and marina.”