United States Delaware 10 Top Things to Do in Wilmington, Delaware Written by Rachel Cooper Facebook Twitter Linkedin Rachel Cooper is a travel writer who has lived in the Washington, D.C., area for more than 25 years. She is also the author of several books covering the capital and mid-Atlantic regions. Tripsavvy's Editorial Guidelines Rachel Cooper Updated 04/08/19 Share Pin Email Wilmington is Delaware's largest city and is centrally located halfway between Washington, D.C. and New York City. With convenient access to I-95, the Greater Wilmington area offers miles of country roads taking visitors past historic villages, garden properties, and scenic waterfronts. Visitors can learn about the legacy of the du Pont family by visiting the region's internationally-acclaimed estates and museums. Wilmington is a great destination for a weekend or week-long getaway with a wide range of attractions and events that appeal to the whole family. 01 of 10 Visit the Hagley Museum Rachel Cooper View Map Address 200 Hagley Creek Rd, Wilmington, DE 19807, USA Get directions Phone +1 302-658-2400 Web Visit website The du Pont family had a huge impact on the Wilmington area. To learn all about their legacy, start your visit at the Hagley Museum, the site of the original gunpowder mills founded by E. I. du Pont in 1802. Located on 235 acres along the banks of the Brandywine River, the historic landmark is educational and offers stunning views. The grounds include indoor and outdoor exhibits connected by a shuttle bus that stops at the major interpretive areas. At the Visitor Center, you'll learn about the region's early history and the story of the main du Pont family business, the manufacture of gunpowder in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Tour the Eluetherian Mills and Garden, the first du Pont family home, and learn about the family's five generations. Be sure to go to the Powder Yard which features demonstrations of the water-powered machinery and 19th-century metalworking tools. Annual events at the property are fun too and include a variety of hands-on and visual activities. You can look forward to events such as the Invention Convention, Victorine’s Valentine’s Day, Maker Fest, Bike & Hike & Brews, Fireworks, Antique Car Show, Craft Fair, Hayrides, Twilight Tours, and the Holidays at the Hagley. 02 of 10 Explore Longwood Gardens Russel Ditablan / Getty Images View Map Address 1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348, USA Get directions Phone +1 610-388-1000 Web Visit website Plant Moms 4.4 Built in 1919, the 1,077-acre garden is the living legacy of Pierre S. du Pont, and is the most renowned attraction in the Wilmington area. With 20 outdoor garden areas, four acres of indoor conservatory gardens and 11,000 different types of plants, Longwood is a spectacular place to visit. You can attend classes and workshops, flower shows, gardening demonstrations, garden walks, and other special events. The 30-minute Illuminated Fountain Performance set to music and the annual "Longwood Christmas" are not to be missed. Attend a theatrical performance at the Open Air Theatre or a concert year around. Seasonal events include the Orchid Extravaganza (winter), Spring Blooms (spring), Festival of Fountains (summer), and Chrysanthemum Festival (fall). Longwood Gardens is a popular attraction and tickets sell out during busy seasons so buy your tickets in advance. 03 of 10 Tour Winterthur Rachel Cooper View Map Address 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE 19735-1819, USA Get directions Phone +1 800-448-3883 Web Visit website This 1,000-acre estate of Henry Francis du Pont is a spectacular historic property with a 175-room mansion. Home to four generations of the du Pont family from 1839 to 1969, Winterthur is known worldwide for its preeminent collection of American decorative arts, a natural garden, and research library for the study of American art and material culture. Take a narrated garden tram ride to discover garden highlights and the history of the estate or a house tour to see some of the finest early American antiques filling the rooms where the du Ponts entertained. Explore the roads and walking paths through the meadows to discover beautiful vistas and see more of the estate, including the old train station and barns. You may also customize your visit with a private tour tailored to your interests. 04 of 10 Guide Yourself Through Nemours Mansion & Gardens John Greim/LOOP IMAGES/Getty Images View Map Address 1600 Rockland Rd, Wilmington, DE 19803, USA Get directions Phone +1 302-651-6912 Web Visit website The 300-acre estate of Alfred I. du Pont, built in 1907, includes a 77-room mansion, the largest formal French gardens in North America, a Chauffeur's Garage housing a collection of vintage automobiles, and acres of scenic woodlands, meadows, and lawns. Shuttle buses run between the Visitor Center and Nemours Mansion, and also take visitors around the property with stops at key points of interest. Visits are self-paced and self-guided. Interpretive staff members are on site to answer questions. The estate is closed on Mondays. Continue to 5 of 10 below. 05 of 10 Get in Touch With Nature Jumping Rocks/UIG/Getty Images View Map Address 1400 Delmarva Ln, Wilmington, DE 19801, USA Get directions Phone +1 302-656-1490 Web Visit website The DuPont Environmental Education Center is set on the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge, one of the few urban wildlife areas in the country. With 212 acres located on the Wilmington Riverfront, the refuge offers a unique and natural destination where you can walk and look for wildlife. The tidal marsh is home to bald eagles, ospreys, beavers, dragonflies, turtles, butterflies, wild rice, hibiscus, and other plants and wildlife. The site is open to the public year-round and features nature programs for groups and individuals. The nature center features a 10-acre ornamental garden, a quarter-mile pond loop through a freshwater tidal marsh, and a four-story environmental center with panoramic views of the refuge, the Christina River, and the Wilmington skyline. 06 of 10 Experience the Wilmington Riverfront Jumping Rocks/UIG/Getty Images View Map Address 550 Justison St, Wilmington, DE 19801, USA Get directions Phone +1 302-654-2340 Web Visit website The Wilmington Riverfront is a great destination for dining, shopping, and entertainment. The scenic shoreline along the Christina River was converted into parkland and a spacious gathering area for concerts, festivals, and community celebrations. Major attractions include the Delaware Children's Museum, Frawley Stadium, the Chase Center, City Theater Company, Penn Cinema IMAX, Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, OperaDelaware, Riverwalk Mini Golf, the Wilmington Riverboat Queen, and much more. Riverfront restaurants include Big Fish Grill, Cosi, Del Pez Mexican Gastropub, Firestone, Harry's Seafood Grill, Iron Hill Brewery, Joe's Crab Shack, River Rock Kitchen, Timothy's, and Ubon Thai Cuisine. 07 of 10 Visit the Delaware Art Museum Rachel Cooper View Map Address 2301 Kentmere Pkwy, Wilmington, DE 19806, USA Get directions Phone +1 302-571-9590 Web Visit website The Delaware Art Museum is best known for its large collection of works by Wilmington native Howard Pyle and fellow American illustrators. The collections include a British Pre-Raphaelite art, urban landscapes by John Sloan and his circle, and a survey of American art from the early 19th century through the present. Guided museum tours are available every weekend. Be sure to take a stroll through the outdoor Copeland Sculpture Garden, too. During the summer months, the museum hosts a summer camp program for children ages 6 to 12, divided into two age groups, and focuses on drawing, painting, ceramics, and more. 08 of 10 Walk Historic New Castle Rachel Cooper View Map Address 32 E 3rd St, New Castle, DE 19720, USA Get directions Phone +1 302-322-2794 Web Visit website Historic New Castle is a charming historic town with roots dating back to the 1600s. The town was briefly the capital of Delaware, was the original Penn’s Landing, and was home to early settlers from the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Sweden. Today, it is a great place to stroll the cobblestone streets, shop for antiques, enjoy casual dining, and walk along the riverfront park. You can tour Colonial-period homes such as Dutch House and Amstel House, visit the Old New Castle Court House, and the picturesque Immanuel Episcopal Church on the Green. Continue to 9 of 10 below. 09 of 10 Wander Through the Historic Houses of Odessa Rachel Cooper View Map Address 118 Main St, Odessa, DE 19730, USA Get directions Phone +1 302-378-4119 Web Visit website Known in the 18th-century as Cantwell’s Bridge, the small town of Odessa played a vital role in commercial life along the Appoquinimink Creek as a grain shipping port. Today, you can stroll along the tree-lined streets, tour the beautifully restored historic houses, wander through the lushly landscaped gardens and dine at the historic Cantwell's Tavern. A 90-minute tour includes a guided walk through five historic properties and their gardens including the Corbit-Sharp House, Wilson-Warner House, Collins-Sharp House, Cantwell's Tavern, and Odessa Bank. Visit during the holiday season and step back in time to enjoy a candlelight tour and learn about 18th-century traditions. 10 of 10 Experience Living History at Fort Delaware Louise Heusinkveld/Getty Images View Map Address 45 Clinton St, Delaware City, DE 19706, USA Get directions Phone +1 302-834-7941 Web Visit website Fort Delaware is part of The Delaware History Trail, with locations dating back to 1859. Take a half-mile ferry ride from Delaware City to Pea Patch Island to visit the Civil War fortress that was built to protect the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia and housed Confederate prisoners of war. Today, you can enjoy hands-on history as interpreters take you back in time. Help the blacksmith hammer out new parts for a cannon or work with the laundress. Be on hand when the eight-inch Columbiad cannon fires a live gunpowder charge. Hear the stories of escape attempts from Fort Delaware. The island is home to herons, egrets, and ibis making this a great place for photography and birding. Note that the ferry is open May through September. Paranormal tours are especially popular in October. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit What to See and Do in Brandywine Valley, Delaware Top 12 Day Trips from Philadelphia The 10 Best Things to Do in Delaware for the Holidays 9 Historic House Museums in Washington, D.C. 50 States, 50 Staycations: The Best Staycation in Every State Top Attractions to Experience in Washington, D.C. The Complete Gay Travel Guide to North Carolina The Top 15 Things to Do in Norwich, England Top 15 Things to Do in Knoxville, Tennessee Goa Beyond the Beaches and Bars: 12 Cultural Things to Do The Top 21 Things to Do in Portland, Oregon 12 Things to Do in Corpus Christi, Texas Top Things to Do for Free in Louisville, Kentucky Top 11 Things to Do in Bucks County, Pennsylvania Fun Free Things to Do in Washington, DC Best Places to Visit Near Washington, D.C.