So much more than tax-free shopping (believe it!) and the beaches (the best!), Wilmington, Delaware, is ideally located between Philadelphia and Baltimore. Coined “A Place to Be Somebody,” Wilmington boasts a small-town feeling while also being the home of major corporations — not to mention United States Vice President Joe Biden and WNBA superstar Elena Delle Donne.
The city itself is undergoing a major revitalization in both the restaurant and culture scene. Here are a few of the “can’t miss” spots, only a short drive from Center City.
421 N. Market St.
Wilmington, DE 19801
Historic Market Street Mall is undergoing a culinary renaissance, thanks to 2014 James Beard Nominee Chef Bryan Sikora. His farm-to-table approach at La Fia may not be revolutionary, but the flavors sure are. His menu changes weekly to reflect what’s in season and available from local producers.
Tip: Not carbo loading? That’s too bad. Everything in the bread basket is made in-house.
The Green Room
Hotel du Pont
11th and Market Streets
Wilmington, Delaware 19801
Feeling fancy? You’ve come to the right place. Tucked inside the lobby of the historic and opulent Hotel du Pont is the sophisticated, legendary Green Room. A recipient of the AAA Four-Diamond Award and Forbes Four-Star Award., the Green Room is as known for its oak paneled ceilings and heavily draperied walls, as it is seasonally-inspired French cuisine.
Tip: Not ready to tuck into a full meal? Try the Lobby Lounge for high tea.
Krazy Kats at the Inn and Spa at Montchanin Village
528 MONTCHANIN ROAD WILMINGTON, DE 19710
Nestled inside a renovated blacksmith shop, Krazy Kats boasts whimsical décor (of you guessed it – cats!) and sensational food. Located in the heart of Chateau Country, the village of Montchanin was once part of the Winterthur estate and one of the few remaining villages of its kind, featuring buildings from 1799 to 1910. The houses are available for overnight guests.
Tip: The Inn boasts a full-service spa if you’re in need of a touch up of your paws and claws.
WHAT TO DO:
Hagley Museum & Library
200 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE 19807
Wilmingtonians have a lot of pride for their place in industry, thanks in part to being the home of the DuPont Company. Located on the banks of the Brandywine River, Hagley is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E. I. du Pont in 1802. Take a walk through the restored mills, visit a workers’ community, and the home and gardens of the du Pont family.
Tip: If you have time, ask to see some of the old DuPont company advertisements in the library archives. The ones for cellophane are particularly humorous.
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Winterthur, DE 19735
The presence and impact of the du Pont family is felt at Winterthur. Winterthur is the childhood home of Henry Francis du Pont, which he opened to the public almost 60 years ago. And we’re so grateful that he did – Winterthur boasts one of the finest collections of American decorative arts and an extensive garden claimed among America’s best.
Henry’s extensive collection is displayed in the unbelievable 175-room house, which still resembles what it looked like when the du Pont family lived here. The Yuletide tour is one of the best ways to kick off the holiday season. And did you know that since May 1997, Winterthur has been the home of the Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens? Mmm mmm good!
Tip: Visiting with young children? Be sure to visit the Enchanted Woods. Pack a picnic and search for fairies and magic in the children’s garden.
Wilmington Blue Rocks
801 Shipyard Drive, Wilmington, DE 19801
Did you know that slugger Johnny Damon once called Wilmington home? Well, not exactly, but he was on the roster when the Wilmington Blue Rocks returned to professional baseball as the Class-A Carolina League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals in 1993. If you’re looking for a fun, entertaining activity for all ages, a baseball game at Frawley Stadium is the perfect fit. Don’t forget to look for team mascots Rocky Bluewinkle and Mr. Celery!
Tip: The stadium is surrounded by walkable eateries, including Big Fish Grill, Iron Hill Brewery and Joe’s Crab Shack.
Alexa Raab is a proud Dela-where-ian having a love affair with the City of Philadelphia. Once a resident, she appreciates the liveliness of the 215 but loves not paying sales tax.