The Best of Wilmington

How often do you take some extra time to unplug, de-stress and get away from work? It's very important and can lead to being more creative, more energetic, and more productive. We encourage you to take some extra time before or after The Fall Event to find your balance. It's an important part of running a successful business – and there's lot's to discover in Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley!

The average temperature in September is 76 F. For more facts on Wilmington click hereGet the 10-day weather forecast here.

Below you'll find links to estates, gardens, garden centers, restaurants, shopping, tours, and more to help you create your bucket list for Wilmington!


 

 

Located between Washington D.C. and New York City, minutes off Interstate 95, Wilmington, Delaware offers equal parts adventure and relaxation. If you are looking to unplug, recharge and connect with the natural world, there's acres and acres of uncrowded, open green spaces to explore throughout the Brandywine Valley... a destination marked by sharp contrasts. Town and Gardens. Past and Present. Commerce and Culture. Beauty and Brains. Gritty and Gorgeous. Historic and Hip. It is these contrasts that make each experience more vibrant, each moment more distinct, and each sight more authentic and beautiful.

The region is also home to some of the finest gardens and estates in North America, and one of the country’s oldest and most influential families: the Du Ponts. The rich history reads like a novel that cannot be put down, with deep influences from early European settlers, the African American freedom movement and the Industrial Revolution.

Wilmington’s culture, arts and music scene is unbelievably diverse for a city of just over 69,500 people. Foodies will find a thriving food, beer and wine landscape that can hold its own against any major metropolitan area.

So grab your list and get ready to take notes. There is so much to do and see in Wilmington and the surrounding the Brandywine Valley!


30 GARDENS IN 30 MILES

With a tradition of horticulture going back 300 years, Philadelphia is America’s Garden Capital. Visit more than 30 public gardens, arboreta, and historic landscapes, all located within 30 miles of Philadelphia – and many of these gardens are just minutes from Wilmington! We'll be visiting Longwood Gardens on Tour Day, but there's so much more to see... and we don't want you to miss the chance of seeing ChanticleerMt. Cuba CenterNemours EstateScott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Whatever you're looking for in Wilmington, you can find it here: https://www.visitwilmingtonde.com/things-to-do/. Or, view the digital Official Visitors Guide of Wilmington & The Brandywine Valley! You'll find lots of listings and links below.


GRAND ESTATES. GLORIOUS GARDENS. GREAT GARDEN CENTERS.

The name du Pont is virtually synonymous with Delaware. In 1802, E.I. du Pont de Nemours, the son of a wealthy French immigrant, founded a gunpowder factory on the banks of the Brandywine River. The family became wealthier and more successful with every succeeding generation, with the DuPont company ultimately becoming a worldwide leader in science and technology. But the legacy of the du Pont family goes far beyond industry. Thanks to the du Ponts’ contributions to the arts, culture and horticulture over the past two centuries, the Greater Wilmington and Brandywine Valley region is world-renowned for its gardens and mansions. Be sure to carve out some time during your visit to explore this horticultural mecca!

Hagley Museum and Library is where the du Pont story begins! Set on 235-acres along the Brandywine River, Hagley Museum and Library includes the original Du Pont Company powder mills and the first du Pont family home in America and includes exhibitions, demonstrations, and walking trails. We recommend a minimum visit of 3 hours and remember to wear comfortable shoes. In compliance with Delaware's COVID-19 guidelines, Hagley is operating with modified, self-guided tours with many outdoor exhibits and areas for visitors to safely explore. Visit website for full details.
Nestled in the rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley, Winterthur is a historic estate on par with some of the most famous estates in the country, such as Biltmore Estate, The Breakers, and Monticello. This unique national treasure, a former du Pont family home in northern Delaware, encompasses an eye-popping mansion featuring stunning interiors, a magnificent 60-acre naturalistic garden, and an unrivaled collection of American decorative arts, all set on 1,000 gorgeous acres. Enjoy tours of the house, garden, and grounds as well as ongoing and special exhibitions in the Galleries, dining and more. Visit website for full details.
Nemours Estate comprises an exquisite, 77-room Mansion, the largest formal French gardens in North America, a Chauffeur's Garage housing a collection of vintage automobiles, and 200 acres of scenic woodlands, meadows and lawns.
Mt. Cuba Center was voted “Best Botanical Garden” in the 2020 USA Today 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards, Mt. Cuba Center and is one of Delaware’s hidden treasures. Find space to breathe, relax, and wander along its paths, which guide guests from the formal gardens of a du Pont mansion through lush woodlands, picturesque meadows, and tranquil ponds. And check out their Mt. Cuba Collection –  five exceptional native plants for beautiful gardens that support wildlife and now available at select retailers (like Gateway Garden Center).
The Delaware Center for Horticulture offers garden tours, workshops, family fun! The Delaware Center for Horticulture offers activities for everyone throughout the year. The gorgeous gardens at TheDCH are an oasis in Wilmington. Always free and open to the public, the Center includes an art gallery and the grounds overlook Brandywine Park.
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania was formerly the estate of John T. (1847-1915) and Lydia T. Morris (1849-1932), a brother and sister who purchased and landscaped much of the arboretum's current site beginning in 1887. John Morris was interested in growing plants from around the world, including those collected in China by E. H. Wilson around 1900, and many of today's specimens date to Morris' original plantings. Today the arboretum contains more than 13,000 labelled plants of over 2,500 types. The arboretum is set within a fine, mature landscape, primarily designed in the English park style but with Japanese influences.

For more interesting information on these exceptional places to visit in The First State, go to https://walkingontravels.com/wilmington-de/.

 

GREAT GARDEN CENTERS AND GROWERS YOU'LL WANT TO VISIT

  Bountiful Acres has been a Bucks County landmark in Buckingham, PA since 1955. Starting as a roadside produce market, this Garden Center Group Member has grown into a premier garden center covering six beautiful acres. We hoped to visit  them on Tour Day but the distance would not allow. But Dave and Christine Flack would love to have you visit on your own time!
  Bucks Country Gardens is a premiere destination Garden Center in Doylestown, PA specializing in landscape, home decor, and outdoor living, and located less than 8 miles from Bountiful Acres. Gasper Landscape Design & Construction is the area’s premier design-build company experienced in tackling any size landscape, hardscape or carpentry project.
  Dambly's Garden Center, Berlin NJspecializes not only in a full line of gardening products, but they also supply a full line of bird seed, horse and livestock feed, Belgard pavers and wall systems, as well as propane and firewood. This year they have launched a canning and hydroponics department. During the holiday season they convert into a Christmas destination store! As a Group Member, Harold and Arnette would welcome a visit!
  Gasper Home & Garden, Richboro, PA is a 6-acre landscape nursery and greenhouse offering plants, pond supplies, gardening accessories, pottery, unique gifts, and seasonal home décor –a true garden center destination. In addition, you'll find Gasper Landscape Design & Construction, Gasper’s Exterior Furnishing Gallery and Bucks County Hardscape & Building Supply – all with the know-how and expertise needed to tackle any home or landscape project in one location. 
  Magnolia Garden Village, Magnolia, NJ is recommended by locals as a good destination for landscaping ideas. They service all Chick Fila’s and Sports Fields in Philadelphia & South Jersey locations.
  Overdevest Nurseries, Bridgeton, NJ has been dedicated to providing the highest quality plant material for the Independent Garden Center channel since 1952. They grow over 2,000 varieties of trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, and patio plants providing a "one stop" source for green goods. As a family-owned, wholesale-only nursery, they partner with leading independent garden centers and distributors throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. 
  Shady Brook Farm, Yardley, PA  is one of the last working farms in historic Bucks County, PA, is THE place for family fun. In addition to their garden center, they are known for their Farm Market, pick-your-own crops, as well as great special events and festivals. Other Centers from all over the east coast visit them just to gather ideas.
  Terrain at Devon was opened in 2018, following the success of the Terrain at Styer's, and offers an expansive, horticultural retreat that beautifully pairs indoor and outdoor spaces for celebrations of all kinds. Located in the Main Line suburbs of Philadelphia, the venue combines elements of rustic charm with modern elegance and amenities to create a venue unlike any other in its region. The venue is part of the lifestyle center, Devon Yard, where it is situated adjacent to the terrain nursery providing a seasonally evolving backdrop for all occasions transforming the local garden center into a celebration of nature.
  Valley Forge FlowersThe Barn and Garden Shoppe, The Cottage, and The Cottage Cafe is quite the experience! For more than a decade, Valley Forge Flowers has brought to life the feature exhibit at the PHS Flower Show and owner, Barbara King, is now a sought-after lecturer at numerous trade events and a regular gardening expert seen nationwide on QVC after premiering The Barbara King Home and Garden Collection in Spring 2013 on QVC.

 

You can build your own Brandywine Valley Adventure with the new Brandywine Valley Adventure Pass... choose from 13 of the Brandywine Valley's top attractions to build your perfect ticket to the history, culture and gardens of Greater Wilmington & the Brandywine Valley.  You'll find old favorites like Hagley Museum & Library, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, the Delaware Art Museum and the Brandywine River Museum of Art.  Plus, there are new attractions not found on the Brandywine Passport, including the Brandywine Zoo, Marshall Steam Museum, and the Historic Houses of Odessa. Visit the most popular attractions in town, at the best prices possible!

If any of this is on your "bucket list" now is the time to make it happen! Plan to come early or stay over after The Fall Event.

Check back soon for more information... we're adding new information daily!


WILMINGTON RESTAURANTS AND MORE

The culinary scene of Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley has its roots in the taverns and inns of Colonial times, where warm hospitality and seasonal dining were both expected and a necessary way of life. But over the centuries, those roots have grown far and wide. You'll find influences from the farm-to-table values of the Pennsylvania Dutch to our north, the seafaring coastal communities of the Chesapeake Bay to our south, and the global connections forged through the corporate offices and busy ports of the city of Wilmington. For a complete list of local restaurants visit the Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau website. If you're interested in outdoor dining, Visit Wilmington has compiled a list of Downtown Eateries and Bars, Riverfront Eateries and Bars, Local Shopping, Activities, Museums and Local Culture, as well as Breweries and Meaderies. Those with Outdoor Seating are noted. For this PDF list, CLICK HERE.

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.

Following is a list of favorite local restaurants provided by Kyle McKean (Star Roses) who lives in the Brandywine Valley area. Thanks Kyle!

Le Cavalier at The Green Room, located in Hotel Du Point, is a modern, French brasserie from Chef Tyler Akin. Pronounced: luh-KAH-vuhl-YAY, it honors the deep equestrian tradition in the Brandywine River Valley and the du Pont family's history of horsemanship. Influenced by the flavors of North Africa and Provençe, Le Cavalier is a neo-brasserie offering thoughtfully sourced French classics and inventive riffs on French staples paired with natural wines designed to complement the fare. Helmed by Chef-Partner Tyler Akin—the acclaimed Philadelphia chef and restaurateur behind celebrated restaurants Stock and Res Ipsa Cafe—the restaurant aspires to artfully blur the lines between approachability and elegance. Akin aims to blur whimsical and nostalgia with offerings that are inspired by beloved childhood memories.

Constitution Yards Beer Garden is a seasonal beer garden featuring 30,000 sq. ft of outdoor space at Justison Landing, along the Christina Riverwalk. Helping to round out what has already become the area’s go-to place for summer time fun, Constitution Yards features classic backyard BBQ fare, an ever-changing rotation of craft beers, frozen cocktails, and plenty of space for backyard games like corn hole, badminton, bocce, life-size jenga, a full sized wiffleball field – and axe throwing!

Wilmington Brew Works is the first production brewery in Delaware’s largest city since 1955. Housed in a 100-year old former laboratory in the old 9th Ward, we are keeping the spirit of the building’s origins alive with new and innovative Ales, Lagers, Sours and Ciders. The family-friendly taproom has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating for you to enjoy a drink with friends - old and new.

Farmer & The Cow – Burgers, bourbon and steaks

Stitch House Brewery – House-brewed beers, craft cocktails & creative pub grub (including Fried Bologna Sandwich) served in a rustic, historic setting.

Bardea Food & Drink – Contemporary bistro featuring elevated Italian cuisine, including pasta dishes & wild boar. The 'feed the table" experience sounds interesting... just like being at home! 

The Copper Dram – small but amazing hand-crafted drinks and food.  In a nutshell, The Copper Dram is a COCKTAIL BAR.  Our focus is on expertly crafted cocktails (both classic & contemporary), a wide selection of wines and beers, and awesome food...all served in a friendly, comfortable environment.

Brew Ha Ha! – a series of unique cafes across the Brandywine Valley offering coffee lovers a locally roasted Delaware coffee in a boutique experience.

La Fia – an intimate bistro located on historic Market Street in Wilmington and owned by Chef Bryan Sikora and his wife Andrea Sikora. The diverse menu at La Fia allows diners to enjoy a light meal of small plates and small courses as well as rustic entrees. La Fia has over 20 wines by the glass, craft beer, and seasonally inspired craft cocktails. Everything is made in house at La Fia from the breads in the bread basket to the desserts.

DE.CO Food Hall – a launchpad for chefs and a haven for eaters. This contemporary food hall in located in downtown Wilmington in the DuPont Building (connected to Hotel DuPont) and features 8 unique restuarant stalls, an atrium bar and private event space.

Torbert Street Social – hidden behind the well known restaurants of Washington Street, located in what was once one of Delaware'e historic stables brings together a fusion of elusiveness and complexity, serving only the finest spirits and cocktails. If you're looking to disappear for a delicious bite to eat and a uniquely crafted cocktail, get away to Wilmington's best kept secret!

DELAWARE ON TAP

With more than 20 breweries, wineries and distilleries in Delaware and just across the border in Pennsylvania, a trip along the trail is a fabulous way to spend a few days. And, the city's craft cocktail scene is on fire so if you only have time for a quick soul-quenching adventure you can experience it at Merchant Bar, Torbert Street Social or the Crow Bar. You can download the "Delaware on Tap" App to get a head start and chart your course!

https://www.visitdelaware.com/beer-wine-spirits-trail/


Tax-Free Shopping in Wilmington

No sales tax. Ever. That's the promise of all Delaware shopping, from fashionably upscale department stores to the mom-and-pop corner store, from the newly renovated malls to the thriving main streets. There's no sales tax on electronics or digital necessities - which might explain why Christina Mall's Apple store sells more iPhones than any other store in the country. And at the end of the day, when you sit down to a nice dinner (and maybe stop into a local wine shop to grab a bottle from one of the wineries along the Vintage Atlantic Wine Region) ... there's no sales tax on any of that either. Check out the local shopping at Visit Wilmington!


Touring Wilmington

Trip Advisor has some cool ideas for Wilmington Tours... from a steam locomotive tour, canoe day trips, the River Taxi and the Wilmington Trolley, you're sure to find something of interest!

Want to get out and explore Wilmington on your own? Here's 6 Self-Guided Walking Tours you may enjoy – with the GPSMYCITY App. Choices include Wilmington's Churches, Museums and Art Galleries, Historical Buildings and Longwood Gardens!

 


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