Wilmington is one of the oldest and largest cities in Delaware. Though oftentimes referred to as the corporate capital of the world, Wilmington is also home to a bevy of fantastic places to visit and attractions to see. Wilmington started as the first Swedish settlement in North America, the history of which is displayed in several museums throughout the city. The following destinations are among the most popular in all of Wilmington and should definitely be the first places you visit when moving to the city.
Riverfront Wilmington is a wonderful 3-mile market and pavilion area that provides visitors with access to plenty of delicious eateries to dine at, lively entertainment and fun cultural attractions. If you love shopping, some of the best stores in Wilmington can be found on this riverfront, such as the Wilmington Rowing Center and Veritas Wine and Spirits. As for dining, there are a myriad of cafes and restaurants on the riverfront that are sure to satisfy any palette. For a contemporary Parisian cafe that specializes in sandwiches, Cosi is one of your best options. If you enjoy seafood, make sure to stop by the Big Fish Grill or Joe's Crab Shack. Ubon Thai is a wonderful eatery with an intimate atmosphere that offers a menu that's dedicated to exotic Thai cuisine. Several art and entertainment centers are situated along the waterfront, as is the intriguing Dupont Environmental Education Center. Consider stopping by the Riverwalk Mini Golf course, which includes 18 surprisingly challenging holes of golf. (Photo Credit: https://riverfrontwilm.com)
The Grand Opera House
The Grand Opera House is a majestic performing arts theater that's dedicated primarily to opera, ballet and symphony shows. However, other concerts and events are held at this ornate opera house from time to time. Tickets to these shows are very affordable, providing you with the opportunity to travel to The Grand Opera House on numerous occasions. As there is a lot of variety when it comes to the events held at the opera house, you're sure to have a different experience each time you stop by. It's recommended that you purchase tickets for the show you're interested in a couple of months in advance of the show date as this will guarantee you the option of selecting the best seats in the house. Make sure to check your coat when arriving.
Nemours Mansion & Gardens
Nemours Mansion and Gardens is a regal family estate that you might expect to see in the English countryside. This 102-room chateau was built in the opulent style of Louis XVI, the former King of France that was married to the famous Marie Antoinette. This estate includes over 100 acres of picturesque gardens that serve to greatly enhance the scenery, which consists of the largest number of French gardens in the entirety of North America. When touring the mansion, you will be met with a variety of elegant and luxurious rooms, bathrooms and game rooms, the latter of which are equipped with several pool tables and a bowling alley. Nemours Mansion and Gardens provides a great picture of how nobility lived in the 17th and 18th centuries without the need of a trip to France. One of the more unique aspects of this mansion is the vast collection of antique cars that are kept on the grounds, which date back to the 1920s and '30s. As for the gardens, several fascinating sculptures can be found throughout the grounds. This area includes a large pool at the center of the gardens, which is notable for the 157 jets that shoot water 12 feet into the air.
Delaware Children's Museum
The Delaware Children's Museum is a museum designed entirely to entertain children of all ages, from toddlers to teens. There are lots of exhibits throughout the museum that are sure to pique the interests of your children. The Stratosphere is likely the highlight of the museum as it basically encompasses a unique and exciting 30-foot climbing structure. Take your children to the Studio D section of the Museum, which provides kids with the ability to test their drawing skills and participate in several additional hands-on activities. Bank On It is a wonderful exhibit that actually teaches children everything there is to know about money management in a way that's fun and interesting. For more scientific minds, The Power of Me exhibit focuses on the human body, allowing children to test their capabilities in several adventurous ways. Endurance and flexibility are just a couple of metrics tested in this exhibit. If you would like your child to become interested in the environment, then the ECOnnect exhibit is the place to be. This exhibit focuses specifically on clean and sustainable energy.
Alapocas Run State Park
Alapocas Run State Park is a wonderful park area that's perfect for biking, hiking and running. This state park is located in the very heart of Wilmington and includes numerous trails of varying difficulties and lengths for you to partake of. If you have children that you would like to take to the park, the massive 27,000-square-foot Can-Do Playground is something that they will definitely enjoy. Though you must have access to a free permit, rock climbing and rappelling are available in certain areas of the park. Consider visiting Fort Delaware or Fort DuPont when in the area, both of which served as military bases in the past and will provide you with a fantastic glimpse into the history of the region. The highlights of this park are the many scenic trails and greenways that can be found throughout. When traveling to this destination, consider picking up a map of the area. (Photo Credit: http://www.destateparks.com/PARK/alapocas-run)
Delaware Theatre Company
One of the pillars of the amazing culture found in the city of Wilmington is the Delaware Theatre Company. This company is a professional acting group that puts on a large selection of captivating plays in a small theatre. These plays range all the way from classic to modern ones. Popular plays like "The War of the Roses" and "The Christmas Carol" are held at this theatre throughout the season. Despite the fact that they are a small theatre group, they still host a large number of plays throughout the year. The selection of plays they choose are diverse, which basically ensures that you're able to find something of interest. Tickets are very affordable as well.
Brandywine Park is another scenic park in Wilmington that is known for its picturesque route alongside the Brandywine river. Along this area, you will find monuments, sports fields and attractions that all of the family will find enjoyable. Consider having a picnic lunch with friends or bringing along your dog to the off-leash area in the park. Your kids will have fun on the sizable playground while you spend time hiking along the many beautiful trails in the area.
The Goat Kitchen and Bar is a unique and popular eatery in Wilmington that offers a comprehensive alcohol menu and is open for brunch, lunch and dinner. If you're having a drink with a friend or partner, there's a lot to choose from as the menu includes many red and white wines, cocktails and draft beer. If you're eating there for brunch, consider the classic eggs Benedict or banana pecan french toast. For lunch or dinner, the expansive menu includes burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, pizzas and large entrees. For a lighter meal, try the crab and lemongrass Pho. If you want something heartier, pick up a Carolina pulled pork sandwich or Gaucho steak. No matter which dish you choose, you're sure to leave satisfied.
Wilmington & Western Railroad
The Wilmington & Western Railroad is a historic railroad museum that highlights a train station that played a rather substantial part in the Civil War. In fact, one of the highlights of this railway station is the unique Civil War Skirmish weekend that's held on an annual basis each September. This event provides guests with a round-trip train ride of just over two hours that highlights the actual site of a skirmish that took place in the Civil War between Confederate and Union forces. This is just one of dozens of fascinating events held throughout the year that make this destination a must see. (Photo Credit: http://www.wwrr.com/)
Big Fish Grill on the Riverfront
The Big Fish Grill on the Riverfront is a casual and family-friendly eatery that provides customers with a large menu dedicated to seafood. Catering is also available. If you're dining in, start your meal with an Alaskan snow crab cluster appetizer. Follow this up with a broiled stuffed Maine lobster or grilled Scottish salmon. For dessert, the pecan apple cobbler is a must buy. A delicious raw bar is available if you prefer fish and seafood that's uncooked.
No matter what you wish to do when in Wilmington, the city has something for everyone. When moving or traveling to this destination, this list provides you with places to visit that fully capture the unique and fascinating culture of the city.