In Delaware, a new Instagram-friendly driving trail spotlights local artists and sites

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By Andrea Sachs,

Michael S. Williamson The Washington Post
Kelsey Montague is one of six artists who created murals for Delaware’s new Discoveries Trail, which features nine outdoor artworks scattered around the state, including at Bethany Beach.

Ask me what I did on a recent trip to Delaware and I will tell you that I stand-up paddleboarded on the Mispillion River. Rode in the back of a pickup truck through a stand of sunflowers. Romped through a cascade of azaleas. And, before heading home, stood in a starburst of sunshine while a dolphin frolicked at my feet. Now ask me how I could participate in so many activities during a pandemic and I will share my strategy: I followed the Delaware Discoveries Trail.

In late September, the Delaware Tourism Office unveiled the latest trail in its oeuvre (it’s No. 5), a collection of nine interactive artworks scattered around the state like breadcrumbs. Visitors drive to the outdoor murals that are located at sites with ample open space — a sculpture garden, a wildlife refuge, a beach club parking lot. The idea is to engage with art, not people.

“The trail is very covid-compliant,” said Liz Keller, the director of the tourism office.

The concept for the trail sprang from the 20-foot-high butterfly wings that Kelsey Montague painted in Nashville in 2016, as part of her international What Lifts You campaign. Taylor Swift fans will recognize the wings that emerged during the 2019 release of her single “Me!”: The singer commissioned Montague to design her a pair, also in Nashville.

[Not all cabins close up for winter. Here are heated options for socially distant exploring.]

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