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Grand Estates and Splendid Gardens

Wilmington can thank the du Pont family – one of the richest and most venerable in the USA – for the historic estates, museums and gardens they built here. Stop first at the Hagley Museum & Library, original site of the E.I. du Pont Gunpowder Works and the family’s ancestral home. Visit the powder yard and tour the estate and garden. Be regaled at the Nemours Mansion & Gardens, a 77-room French chateau-style du Pont home complete with the largest formal French gardens in North America. At the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, the American antiques collection includes 85,000 pieces.

 

Explore Wilmington’s Swedish History

Families from around the world flock to Wilmington’s Old Swedes Church and Foundation to tour the 1698 house of worship (the oldest in the USA to operate as originally built) and to examine the site’s extensive genealogical records, which date back more than 400 years, for clues to their ancestry. Learn the history of the New Sweden Colony and walk through the Hendrickson House, a 1690 field stone farmhouse. Step aboard the Kalmar Nyckel, a full-scale replica of the ship that brought the first colonists to Wilmington. Wander through Historic New Castle, a 17th-century town brimming with antiques shops, galleries, museums and taverns.

 

Diverse Dining and Culture

Wilmington’s diverse culinary scene speaks to its Colonial history and Dutch roots, as well as to the influence of the Chesapeake Bay to its south. You’ll find raw bar restaurants and crab shacks along with restaurants with regional specialties such as scrapple (pork, buckwheat flour and spices) and cider doughnuts on the menu here. For entertainment, catch a performance at the 1871 Grand Opera House or the Delaware Theatre Company. Visit the Delaware Art Museum to see American artwork spanning the 19th to the 21st centuries. And feel free to shop till you drop in Wilmington – it’s all tax free.

Fun Fact

Capriotti’s “the Bobbie” sandwich, a Wilmington staple filled with Thanksgiving leftovers
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Wilmington gave us Capriotti’s, a restaurant chain known for “the Bobbie” – a sub-style sandwich filled with Thanksgiving leftovers.

Nemours Mansion, the country estate of the late industrialist and philanthropist Alfred I. duPont
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The du Pont family was the subject of the 2014 film “Foxcatcher,” starring Steve Carrell.

Hot Air Balloon over Asheville, North Carolina
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