Who knew Wilmington, Delaware was so beautiful? If you live in the DMV (or even if you don’t), I highly recommend visiting! There’s a surprising amount of stuff to do in the area so I myself am planning another trip in the near future. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie or a nature lover, your soul will feel right at home and leave well-rested and fulfilled.
Technically Longwood Gardens is in Pennsylvania, but it’s close enough to include in this travel guide. It’s about a 20 minute drive from downtown Wilmington so it’s an absolute must if you’re visiting.
This botanical garden is over 1000+ acres so there’s tons to explore, including a spectacular conservatory with everything from bonsai to camellias. I got to see an impressive fountain show while I was there so definitely stay updated on events happening on site. Their holiday light display’s supposed to be amazing so make a note in your calendar!
For those of you interested in visiting, they have discounts for students, seniors and kids age 5-18. If you have a little one that’s 4 years or younger, they get in free. Pricing may seem steep for adults, but after experiencing Longwood firsthand, I’m surprised they don’t charge more. Their hours vary on the month and day of your visit so make sure you check their website before heading over.
This magnificent 77-room mansion was built by Alfred I. duPont in the early 1900s, and it was named after his great-great-grandfather’s hometown, Nemours. The estate is over 200 acres and is home to the largest formal French gardens in North America with stunning features like the Maze garden, the Temple of Love, and the Colonnade.
They have tours scheduled throughout the day, and highly knowledgeable guides are available to answer whatever questions you may have to take advantage. The grounds are huge – and you’re free to walk wherever you’d like – but I recommend taking a garden tour via tram for a solid overview before exploring on your own. You’ll be blown away by the beauty of it all so block off a few hours.
Tickets are $18 per person, but students, active military and seniors get a two dollar discount. Kids aged 5-16 get in for $8, while children under 4 get free admission. They also offer a family discount (2 adults + 4 children) for $40 so make sure to take advantage if that deal’s applicable. Nemours is closed on Mondays, and from May to mid-November, they’re open from 10-5 Tuesday-Saturday and Sundays from 12-5. Starting November 17th, they’re open T,W,F, and Sat from 10-5, Thursday from 10-7 and Sunday from 12 to 5.
Located on 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur was the childhood home of Henry Francis du Pont, and it’s now become the premier museum for American decorative arts. It houses over 90,000 items that were made between 1640-1860, and you can see this extraordinary collection on display at the du Pont family home.
They also had a fabulous exhibit called “Costuming the Crown.” It’ll be there until January 3rd, 2020 so get there if you can. It’s based off the Emmy Award winning Neflix series, The Crown, and there are 40 exquisite ensembles for your browsing pleasure. Take an in depth look at their creative process and see how fashion plays a crucial role in recreating history.
Tickets are $20 per person, but students and seniors only pay $18 and children can enjoy for $6. For those of you interested, the guided house tour is extra so make sure you factor that into your budget.
Start your day off with a tram tour around the property to get an overall view of the grounds. Winterthur’s huge – like Longwood Gardens, it’s over 1000+ acres – so it’s impossible to see everything in one day. Their naturalistic garden alone is 60 acres so wear sneakers and expect to walk quite a bit. Remember to keep a map on you so you don’t get lost, and make it a point to check out both the reflective and koi ponds.
Alright guys, I hope you enjoyed reading my latest recap featuring the best of Wilmington! Some other noteworthy attractions include the Delaware History Museum, the Brandywine Zoo, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Opera Delaware. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though so go wild planning your itinerary.
If you enjoyed this post, also check out free things to do in Boston. Also, if you missed my post on Hotel Du Pont, take a look, and stay tuned for fresh new content every Monday, Thursday and Saturday! Until next time, friends.