Don't let its size fool you. Delaware is a state that has a lot to offer. You'll soon realize what makes the second-smallest state in the US one of the top destinations to visit in New England. There are attractions and things to do in Delaware for everybody.
Delaware is a hidden gem that's worth checking out. You'll instantly be amazed by how scenic the state is with picturesque coastal drives, forest hikes, and scenic boat rides along the shore.
There's tons of history to discover during a trip to Delaware. It was one of the first colonies established when the Europeans arrive at the "new land." You'll find several Delaware attractions that preserve the state's history and are excellent resources to learn more about it.
You won't have a hard time immersing yourself in the wonders of Delaware when you arrive. There's a lot to love about Delaware, from the interesting landmarks to the fun activities to the friendly folks you meet.
Plan your adventures with our list of the top tourist attractions in Delaware.
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Race towards the Speedway for a truly unique sporting event. The Dover International Speedway is the proud home to some of the best in NASCAR races, as well as having previously hosted USAC and the Indy Racing League. And those are just a small few of the events located at this site.
While you can visit the speedway for any number of reasons, it’s highly recommended you go to their website and find an event that suits your interests. For example, there are several races to attend, playoffs to root for anxiously, and even a few cup series you won’t want to miss.
Tickets here range based on the event. Events with higher turnouts typically have higher costs, but that all depends on the seller and time. Before planning your vacation to Delaware, take a look at the full schedule and see if anything lines up with your trip. You might just find your new favorite attraction.
People come from far and wide to watch these races, and they can get heated and exciting! It is one of those events that are not regularly seen across the country, so be sure to check out this unique experience at a park as great as the Dover International Speedway.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Dover
Address: 1131 N Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901
Nestled on the shore of the Brandywine Creek comes one of the top Delaware attractions. The Hagley Museum and Library is a historical museum with numerous interactive educational experiences.
It is 235 acres of prime Delaware land that follows the trail of Brandywine Creek. Not only is it an interesting stop on any tour of Delaware, but it is also incredibly beautiful.
The architecture of the building is intricate and often lined with blooming flowers. The gardens originate from the first du Pont family and have been kept impeccably well maintained since 1803.
The Hagley Museum is open every day from mid-March to early November from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. From November to mid-March, the grounds are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, save for holidays.
Admission is $15 for adults, seniors (62 and up) and students are $11, children (6-14) are $6, and under 5 is free. This is truly an attraction for the whole family!
Accommodation: Where to stay in Wilmington
Address: 298 Buck Rd, Wilmington, DE 19807
Airplane lovers and history buffs will have the best time at the Air Mobility Command Museum. It houses an impressive vintage aircraft collection, and the staff is more than excited to tell you all about them.
The Air Mobility Command Museum’s collection of more than 35 antique aircraft is one of the rare things to see in Delaware. Its collection includes Military aircraft from WWII, large cargo transport airplanes, and more.
Visitors are welcome to climb into them to explore the interior and cockpits. Many of the aircraft are preserved and renovated from the 1950 to1970s.
As fun as it is to walk around the planes, taking a guided tour will make you appreciate them more as you learn about their flight adventures. Learn about the ocean-crossing trips, first flights, etc., from pilots who have flown the planes.
The museum gives plenty of ways for visitors to engage. It has a flight stimulator to put you in the pilot’s seat. It also hosts events.
Address: 1301 Heritage Rd, Dover AFB, DE 19902
Also Read: Top 10 Space and Aviation Museums in the USA
In Rehoboth, every day is a beach day! Rehoboth Beach is both the city name and the actual stretch of coastal land nestled on the Atlantic. It is one of the most popular destinations in the state, and with good reason.
Not only do you get the typical luxuries of any public access beach, but there is even a bustling boardwalk. On the North Boardwalk, you can find some of the best scenery in Delaware, as well as primetime shopping, found right on the banks of the ocean.
Rehoboth Beach has also been known to host its fair share of events and concerts. The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand actually hosts free concerts on the sunny shores of the Atlantic.
As a public beach, it is open to the general public (residents and visitors alike) free of charge and is accessible year-round. Come early if you want to find the best parking spots, and stay lay to watch the sun dip below the horizon.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Rehoboth Beach
Address: 1 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Brandywine Zoo has been welcoming visitors to its gates as early as 1905. It is one of the smaller zoos in the state, yet still one of the area's biggest attractions.
All within 4.7 acres, Brandywine creates a fun, enriching experience to marvel at exhibits and animal enclosures that spark wonder. From mammals to birds to reptiles and invertebrates, Brandywine zoo has a little bit of everything.
Depending on weather conditions, some exhibits may not be available for viewing, but generally, this zoo is lively and open for business daily.
The Brandywine Zoo is open every day (excluding holidays and special events) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fees and rates here are dependent on the season.
From May 1st till September 30th: seniors are $5, adults are $7, children from 3-17 are $5, and anyone under 3 is free. From October 1st to April 30th, seniors are $4, adults are $5, and children are $3.
Check with the website during the winter months for availability as some excessive weather conditions may shut down the operations.
Address: 1001 N Park Dr, Wilmington, DE 19802
Also Read: 30 Best Zoos in the US
Spanning an impressive three hundred acres, Nemours Mansion and Gardens is a beautiful country estate located in Wilmington.
The mansion boasts classic French architecture and a chateau-style with more than one hundred rooms over five floors. You will find beautiful furniture and antiques within the mansion, as well as incredible artwork and artifacts.
The gardens are equally as stunning and you can enjoy taking in the gorgeous landscaped surroundings as you tour the exterior of the mansion. You will find fountains, sculptures and even a maze garden to explore here.
Address: 850 Alapocas Dr, Wilmington, DE 19803
Regardless of if you’re a regular commuter on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry or if you’re riding as a tourist, you can’t deny that it will be your favorite part of the day. The historic ferry is more than a method of transportation but is a way to get scenic viewpoints of Lewes.
Cape May-Lewes Ferry started in 1964 with service between Lewes, Delaware, and North Cape May, New Jersey. The journey is 17-mile across Delaware Bay which takes about an hour and a half to finish one way.
Watch as the historic boat pulls away from the historic harbor with Lewes as the backdrop. It’s a ferry meant to have a pleasurable passage. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot dolphins swimming alongside the boat.
Stay in New Jersey for as long as you’d like. It’s not uncommon to see tourists purchase roundtrip tickets on the ferry. Of course, that means you’ll climb aboard again as soon as you dock in the harbor.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Lewes
Address: 43 Cape Henlopen Dr, Lewes, DE 19958
Get a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the du Pont family, one of Delaware’s historic wealthy families, at the Winterthur Museum. The estate was built by Henry Francis du Pont, who grew a reputation for his antique collection.
When Winterthur Museum was first opened to the public, du Pont's original antique objects were first among the museum collection.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the home to see a lavish lifestyle from the colonial era. You'll tour several rooms to see original period furniture, art, and decoration.
The site of the Winterthur has several other facilities. When du Pont lived at the estate, he took up an interest in horticulture that remains a centerpiece for the museum today.
The museum has an award-winning 60-acre museum featuring decorative objects, mixed flowers, and more. Also, don’t forget to take a peek inside the stone cottage.
Winterthur Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Address: 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE 19735
Situated in Milton, the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery opened its doors in the mid-1990s and now produces hundreds of thousands of barrels of beer each year. The company now brews a range of different beers with an eclectic range designed to suit a wide variety of tastes and preferences.
If you consider yourself a beer lover, it is well worth booking in for one of the excellent tours that the brewery offers, where you can learn more about the brewing process, sample some of the great beers, try beer-infused food, and more.
Address: 6 Village Center Blvd, Milton, DE 19968
A water adventure awaits at Jungle Jim’s. It’s one of the top family attractions in Delaware, with water rides and attractions for everyone.
Get ready to be soaked as you spend a day at Delaware’s largest waterpark. The park has everything you need for a good time.
Go for a cruise down the lazy river, or try keeping your head above water at the wave pool. And the six water slides are more than enough to provide hours of fun. If you’re traveling with children, they can take advantage of the designated kid’s pool area.
Need a break from the water? Jungle Jim’s has plenty of out-of-water fun. Check out some of the activities like mini-golf, batting cages, rock climbing, and bumper boats. There are also places to grab a bite to eat in between the fun.
Jungle Jim’s – River Safari Water Park is open seasonally between Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Address: 36944 Country Club Rd, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
If you aren’t familiar with John Dickinson, he’s one of the most famous names from Delaware. He’s an early settler who grew his wealth with tobacco and grew his fame by signing the US Constitution. Visitors can explore the origins of his life at the John Dickinson Plantation.
The plantation was established in 1739. It has been home to numerous families over the centuries, and it now features exhibitions to learn about its residents.
You’ll hear stories from the former families, farmers, and people enslaved at the plantation. Each story is a vast difference in how they experienced the plantation.
John Dickinson Plantation is just a small part of the larger historical park. The plantation covers 13 acres, which includes Dickinson’s childhood home.
Visitors can take guided tours of the plantation. Tours are conducted by staff in period costumes full of knowledge about John Dickinson and the colonial times.
Address: 340 Kitts Hummock Rd, Dover, DE 19901
The natural landscapes within the Brandywine Creek State Park are like you’ve never seen. The park was a former Du Pont farm but established in 1965 consisting of four nature reserves: Tulip Tree Woods, Flint Woods, FreshWater Marsh, Carney Tract.
Brandywine Creek State Park is a year-round Delaware attraction in which you enjoy the outdoors. It’s a place full of outdoor recreation and exercise.
Go for a hike along the Greenways Trails or Rocky Run Trail. There are also nature walks through the poplar forest, or check out the nature center. You’re sure to see tons of wildlife living in the preserved natural environment.
Other popular activities in the park include fishing and biking.
Brandywine Creek State Park is a pet-friendly park. It’s bigger than 933-acres, so it has plenty of things to see and do. And keep an eye out for the historical stone walls from the 19th century decorating the park.
Address: 41 Adams Dam Rd, Wilmington, DE 19807
Delaware’s first inhabitants, the Nanticoke Indians, get the recognition they deserve at the Nanticoke Indian Museum. The museum is owned and operated by the tribe, whose goal is to tell the public about their tribe’s history.
Nanticoke Indian Museum is Delaware’s only Native American museum that opened in 1984. The former schoolhouse building is now full of exciting artifacts collected throughout the tribe’s history. You’ll see lots of handicrafts, including toys, clothing, pottery, weapons, baskets, and more.
Take a guided tour to learn more context about the tribe. Tours are conducted by tribe members who are always happy to share history and details about their tribes. The tours point out notable facts in each exhibition.
Visitors interested in exploring the culture and heritage of the first people in Delaware, the museum is an excellent resource. It's an authentic look into the tribe's heritage. The museum is now designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Millsboro
Address: 26673 John J Williams Hwy, Millsboro, DE 19966
Delaware’s Old State House is the original Delaware State Capitol Building. It was built in 1791 to house all government activity during the early years of becoming an independent country.
The Old State House is located in Dover. It’s a modest building of just two floors and is designed in a distinct Georgian architecture style. It’s been restored to its original appearance, so much of what you see is a good representation of how it used to look.
Tours are available for visitors who want to take a walk through history. It’s one of the best things to do in Delaware to learn about state history and how it helped shaped the nation. Tours include legislative chambers, the courtroom, study halls, offices, and the elaborate staircase.
The Old State House was actively used as a government building until 1933. It’s now used as a museum. It’s included on the National List of Historic Places.
Address: 25 The Green, Dover, DE 19901
The world-class artwork kept inside the Delaware Art Museum makes it one of the best places to visit in Delaware. Its fine art collection exhibited in the permanent and temporary galleries always has something exciting on display.
Delaware Art Museum has an impressive collection of over 12,000 pieces. It rotates these objects to refresh its galleries. Its most recognized artist is Howard Pyle, a native Wilmington artist.
It’s also known for the British Pre-Raphaelite art and American art. Temporary exhibitions can feature invited artists, contemporary themes, and more.
You can easily spend hours walking one floor, so keep track of time so that you make it to the other floors. And don’t forget to check out the outdoor sculpture garden. The garden covers nine acres, with numerous large-scale sculptures places throughout it.
The best day to visit is on Sunday when it’s free for everyone! Of course, museum members have free entrance any day.
Address: 2301 Kentmere Pkwy, Wilmington, DE 19806
Also Read: 20 Best Art Museums in the USA
For nearly six decades, Funland has been one of the exciting alternative tourist spots in Delaware if you’re thinking about visiting Rehoboth Beach. The iconic amusement park is a staple of the beach boardwalk.
Some people visit Funland as their main destination. Others stop by during their visit to the beach. Regardless of how you end up at the park, you’ll always be pleasantly surprised by how much fun it is.
Funland is an amusement park for all ages. It has a total of 18 rides, including thrill attractions and rides designed for kids. See if you can hold your stomach on the SeaDragon or see if you can survive the free-fall drop.
Kids have several ride options, including bumper boats, cars, train rides, and airplanes.
The good thing about Funland is that its free entrance to the public! So, you only need tickets to ride the attractions and play games.
Address: 6 Delaware Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
See where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean at ‘the Point” in the Cape Henlopen State Park. It’s part of a cape jutting off the coast that gives locals and visitors a place for recreation and beautiful scenery.
Cape Henlopen State Park has a scenic landscape with rolling dunes, forests, and reaching out to the coast. It’s designated as a state park to preserve its natural and historical significance.
The region of Delaware, now recognized as the Cape Henlopen State Park, was very active during WWII. It was a former military base, and a WWII fort is one of the popular points of interest.
Also, if you find the WWII Observation Tower, you can climb to the top of it for one of the best sights to see in Delaware.
Visitors can enjoy hiking the nature trails, riding the bike paths, kayaking, and fishing. An inside tip is to go to the nature center for free daily bike rentals that you can use in the park.
Address: 15099 Cape Henlopen Dr, Lewes, DE 19958
Also Read: The Best Beaches in Delaware
It’s quite easy to find new Delaware destinations for visiting the beach. Towns like Bethany Beach are frequent vacation spots in Delaware that attract visitors from all over.
Bethany Beach is a place for relaxation. It’s a secluded beach ideal for families who want to spend time playing in the sand or swimming in the ocean. Bring a chair and lounge in the sun, or bring gear for snorkeling to see what fish you encounter by the shore.
Of all the beaches in Delaware, why visit Bethany Beach? Not only does it have clean beaches and clear water, but the surrounding area always gives you a fun beach day.
When you need a break from the water, go for a stroll on the boardwalk. There are tons of local shops and seafood restaurants to check out. Exploring the town is just as fun as hanging out at the beach.
Accommodation: Where to stay near Bethany Beach
Address: Bethany Beach, DE
Also Read: The Best Beaches in the USA
The landscape of the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is like none other. Established in 1937, visitors now have a chance to explore this unique landscape.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge runs along the coast of the Delaware Bay. It’s one of the largest tidal salt marshes remaining in the world. The park does an excellent job at conservation while allowing visitors a chance to see it up close.
Visitors can enjoy the refuge in a way suitable for them. It has hiking trails that are excellent for birdwatching. The trails take you through the area for a chance to spot lots of bird species, including hawks, swans, and herons.
Another way to enjoy the park is by taking a scenic drive. Visitors can follow the loop path that winds for 12 miles through the park. Now, you don’t have to get out of the car to see the park’s beauty.
Address: 2591 Whitehall Neck Rd, Smyrna, DE 19977
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Fort Delaware State Park is a landmark site designated to preserve its history. See how the site was used during the civil war and preserved artifacts.
Fort Delaware State Park is a defensive fort in the Delaware River. It’s strategically positioned in the middle of the river on Pea Patch Island. The fort is only accessible via a 10-minute ferry ride from the mainland.
The historic fort is well-preserved for its age. It was built in the mid-19th century and kept many of the original features. Touring around the fort will take you around to see abandoned canyons, barracks, and structures still standing.
Visiting Fort Delaware State Park is an engaging experience. There are hands-on activities, and also the staff is dressed in period costumes. It gives a glimpse into life at the fort during the Civil War. Be sure to check the schedule to catch a live reenactment.
Address: 45 Clinton St, Delaware City, DE 19706
Ever since its opening in 2010, Delaware Children’s Museum has been sparking ideas in the minds of kids. It’s the only kids’ science museum in Delaware and one of the most fun places to go in Delaware with kids.
Delaware Children’s Museum (DCM) strives to boost interest in STEM subjects for kids. It achieves it by developing fun yet educational exhibitions.
The hands-on activities make you forget that you’re learning something because you’re having so much fun interacting with them.
Most of the topics at DCM center around science and technology. It has immersive worlds like a kitchen, construction site, and sports. Kids get to explore the inner workings of each of these themed exhibits and more.
DCM is catered towards toddlers to pre-teens. It’s an easy way to keep kids occupied and entertained for hours while visiting Delaware.
Address: 550 Justison St, Wilmington, DE 19801
Also Read: The Best Children's Museums in the USA
The outdoors awaits you at Lums Pond State Park. The park surrounding the pond is the perfect place to enjoy a day outside with friends or family.
Lums Pond is Delaware’s largest freshwater pond. The entire park is established around it, where much of the land is designated for recreation. It features hiking trails around the pond. Or check out the Go Ape Tree Top Adventure.
You can’t visit Lums Pond without spending time in the pond. Although it’s not ideal for swimming, it’s the perfect place for boating. Pedal boats, kayaks, and rowboats are a few of the favorite boating sports in the pond. There are rentals available to use in the park.
In case you can’t get enough of Lums Pond State Park on your first visit, consider camping at the park. It has designated campgrounds for tent camping and RV hookups.
Address: 1068 Howell School Rd, Bear, DE 19701
Also Read: 25 Best State Parks in the United States
It’s not long before more people start to visit the Biggs Museum of American Art. It’s one of the hidden gems of Delaware, but the exhibitions are on par with the best museums in the country.
Biggs Museum of American Art has 16 galleries sprawled across three floors. Each gallery is unique as it displays locally made art, decorative art, antique pieces, and historical artifacts.
The museum is considered to have one of the best collections of American fine art and decorative art.
There’s always plenty to see at the Biggs Museums of American Art. It has a large collection that takes up some time to check out each object. The rotating museum exhibits also give you something new to experience every time you visit.
Check out the public events sponsored by the museum for adults and kids. And if you’re visiting on the first Saturday of the month, entrance is free.
Address: 406 Federal St, Dover, DE 19901
Immerse yourself into the maritime heritage of Delaware at the DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum. It’s one of the best Delaware attractions to learn about the state from an underwater perspective.
DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum is located on Fenwick Island. It’s one of the largest museums of its kind, with more than 10,000 artifacts.
It’s constantly cycling through its exhibits to display everything in the collection. That means that there’s always something new to check out at the museum.
There are several must-see items within the museum. You’ll get to see real treasure with a chance to hold the gold bars. There are also recovered objects from shipwrecks.
One of the special moments is being able to meet the owner during your visit. The owner is a friendly guy who’s always ready to share stories about his travels and diving excursions. In fact, many of the objects in the museum were collected by the owner while diving.
Address: 708 Coastal Hwy, Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Learn about the rich architectural history of the state at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village. It’s located in Dover, which is a fitting site given Kent County’s historical impact on the industry.
Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village has two venues to check out, a museum and an adjacent village. The museum is where you’ll learn about the history of agriculture in Delaware. It has exhibitions showcasing old farm equipment, used tractors, and other machinery.
Spend some time exploring the exhibitions before going next door. Adjacent to the museum is a recreated village from the 1890s. The village is complete with a barn, farmhouse, schoolhouse, windmill, and other buildings.
Costumed staff work in these buildings to give viewers a look at how life used to be during the era.
The best time to visit is during the holidays when the museum and village feature decorations.
Address: 866 N Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901
Witness the early technology for transportation at the Marshall Steam Museum & Friends of Auburn Heights. This magnificent museum showcases what was considered to be at the forefront of technology during its day.
Marshall Steam Museum has its attraction on steam-powered mobility. The museum has a designated car exhibition, which includes cars that entirely operate on Stanley Steam.
The collection consists of an original Ford Model T, two Packards, and other hard-to-find vehicles. Be sure to read the information plaques to learn how the cars turn steam into power.
Have you ever heard about Steamin’ Days? It’s a monthly event at the museum where visitors are invited to ride on vintage vehicles. You’ll ride cars and trains that both operate with steam and original electric-powered concepts.
The museum site includes a Du Pont Mansion. The mansion is open to the public to tour inside to see original furniture and styling.
Address: 3000 Creek Rd, Yorklyn, DE 19736
Everyone loves a great show, and Grand Opera House never lets you down. Any show you catch during the performance season is worth all of the accolades that they attract.
The Grand Opera House was built in 1871 originally as a Masonic Temple. The building designed proven valuable as it delivered quite the sound experience to attendees. It has acoustics that heightens the play or concert experience.
The main auditorium of the Grand Opera House fits 1,208 people. Don’t be surprised if you find a show sold out because that happens often. The opera house hosts various arts events, including live performances, theater, and concerts.
Check the calendar when you’re visiting Delaware to see what event is playing at the opera house while you’re in Wilmington. Checking out the venue during the day lets you admire the architecture, but attending a show is a must-do if you can.
Address: 818 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801
The Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park bring out your inner animal. Put yourself to the test as you attempt to conquer all of the different obstacle courses.
Go Ape is an outdoor adventure course set up in the middle of the forest. You’ll feel immersed in nature as your trek across adrenaline activities like crossing the high ropes or channel your inner ape while tree climbing.
You’ll soar high above the canopies on the zip line course as you go from one platform to the next to navigate to the end.
The adventure park is a fun, active activity for adults. You can spend a few hours at the park getting competitive on the courses to see who is the best at them. Plan for a day at the adventure center, and you’re sure to get your heart pumping.
Address: 1042 Howell School Rd, Bear, DE 19701
Lewes, Delaware is officially the first place settled in the state. The Zwaanendael Museum was built to dedicate the first European colony in Delaware.
Europeans established the colony of Swanendael on the site of the museum. The museum is one of the oldest remaining buildings in town, built in 1631 by the Dutch.
It was modeled after City Hall from Hoom, Netherlands. It’s one of the unique things to see in Delaware. The museum is full of history, from the exhibitions to its exterior.
The town established the museum on the 300th anniversary of when the European colony was founded. The museum is meant to tell the story of the first European settlers.
The exhibitions walk you through the arrival, settlement, and hardships encountered along the way.
The Zwaanendael Museum expands two floors. Both floors are worthwhile to explore if you have time, and you’re sure to discover some interesting tidbits about Delaware.
Address: 102 Kings Hwy, Lewes, DE 19958
Sound recording and music recording were born right in Delaware. Thanks to E.R. Johnson and his invention of the Victor Talking Machine in 1901, the sound was finally able to be recorded to playback later.
Johnson Victrola Museum exhibits a collection of vintage sound players and recorders. The vintage gramophones and photographs on display are in working condition from the 1890s to the 19030s.
You can ask the staff to give you a demonstration, and they will play a record from the device.
The sound played back then still has a warm sound that we can appreciate today. One of the highlight machines in the museum is the Victrola player. The museum features several different models to see how the machine developed over the year.
It’s hard to believe that the John Victrola Museum is free to the public. Tours through the museum’s two floors are self-guided.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Dover
Address: 375 S New St, Dover, DE 19901
Delaware is a year-round travel destination. You'll never wonder what to do in Delaware because you can find fun activities in any season.
These are only a glimpse of the exciting things to do in Delaware, regardless of how many times you've already visited. You'll never run out of unique things to explore, especially when venues like the museums change every time you visit.
We've touched on a few of the must-visit attractions in Delaware that you don't want to miss. It's a small state, but you'll have a good chance to be able to check out the entire list!