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24 Best Things To Do In Wilmington DE You Shouldn’t Miss

Known for its historical landmarks and parks, Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware and the county seat of New Castle.

Wilmington is home to many historical monuments, state parks, works of art, cultural landmarks, and delectable seafood.

Stop by the Delaware art museum to get inspired, visit the parks to relax, hike, and have a picnic.

There are also fine restaurants with amazing dishes and fine beers.

In addition, because of the state’s relatively small size, you can always explore outside of Wilmington to other parts of Delaware at your convenience.

Things to do In Wilmington

1. Nemours Estate

Nemours estate

Al / Flickr

The Nemours estate is a tale of a classical love story between a husband and his wife.

This former DuPont family home, designed in the manner of an 18th-century French palace, has magnificent fountains, pristine formal gardens, and opulent period furnishings.

Alfred I. du Pont erected it in 1909 as a present for his second wife, Alicia.

In fact, Nemours Estate is Alfred’s most lavish gift to Alicia because he loved to shower her with things. It was designed by Carrere and Hastings of New York City.

The 102 rooms in the mansion are all furnished and decorated with period-appropriate extravagance.

In addition, the mansion is decorated with antiques, rugs, tapestries, and paintings from the 15th century.

Once you get here, you can take a self-guided tour of the 200 acres of gardens and grounds, the 77-room Mansion, and the Chauffeur’s Garage.

The house and gardens are open to solitary visitors, and photography is permitted.

Furthermore, trained interpretive staff members are stationed in Nemours Mansion and the Chauffeur’s Garage to help visitors get started, answer questions, and share information.

The estate is open from Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Although, you can also take advantage of virtual tours by going to Facebook and Instagram pages, however, you need to come to really appreciate the magnificence of the estate

Address: 1600 Rockland Rd, Wilmington, DE 19803, United States

2. Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Museum

Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Museum

Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Museum

If you are in for some adventure right here in Wilmington, then this museum will interest you.

Located close to Delaware’s National Park in Wilmington’s 7th Street neighborhood, the Kalmar Nyckel museum offers sailing excursions in addition to informing tourists about the colorful history of the Kalmar Nyckel.

The original Kalmar Nyckel was one of the great ships in America’s colonial history, which endured eight transatlantic voyages.

In the 1600s, the first Kalmar Nyckel brought Swedish and Finnish settlers to Delaware.

The current full-scale duplicate, which is 141′ sparred, is used as a floating school and an inspirational platform for educational outreach.

The museum is the first, and only museum in Delaware, exclusively dedicated to children. It employs interactive displays to educate math, science, and technology.

In addition, there are guided tours of the museum, and the volunteers do a great job to acquaint people with the ship’s history.

This meticulously hand-built replica of the 17th-century ship is open for visits and sporadic sails. Similarly, the replica sails the Chesapeake Bay and allows visitors to learn about the ship’s history.

You can make reservations online for sailing tickets.

The museum is open from Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM to 04:00 PM.

Address: 1124 E 7th St, Wilmington, DE 19801, United States

3. Delaware Children’s Museum

delaware children's museum

Delaware Children’s Museum

Perhaps you are in Wilmington with your kids? Then Delaware children’s museum is one you shouldn’t miss.

This is an awesome place to spend the day with your children for an affordable fee.

The Delaware Children’s Museum is the state’s first and only children’s museum. With interactive displays, the museum teaches math, science, and technology.

With 37,000 square feet of interactive entertainment, there’s always something for every child.

Sports, the human body, transportation, cuisine, water flow, and the arts are just a few of the topics covered in the exhibits.

Each space is thoughtfully created so kids may explore and play safely. In fact, each experience has been meticulously planned by a teacher/researcher to maximize independent play.

In addition, there are platforms on the waterway where kids can see pumps, canals, locks, and drawbridges so they can splash and play with the boats and marine life.

They have membership offers too, so families can take lunch/meal breaks and later continue on their museum tour.

Besides event days, it’s never too busy, so there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy themselves.

Address: 550 Justison St, Wilmington, DE 19801, United States

4. Delaware Museum of Natural History

Delaware Museum of Natural History

Jay Greene / Delaware Museum of Natural History

Want something short or quick to do on an afternoon while in Wilmington? Head to the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

The museum was established in 1957 and offers an interactive ecological exploration of ecosystems from Delaware and abroad.

Receiving more than 75,000 people annually, the museum is the only natural history museum in Wilmington and even.

The best part of this museum is that it is perfect for all ages, so anyone can come here.

Come see big squid up close, see a jaguar up close, and be amazed by the variety of shells from all over the world.

In fact, the only permanent dinosaur collection in Delaware, a model coral reef, and a Science in Action paleontology lab are among the features of the gallery.

Furthermore, there is an entire room (the nature nook) filled with books, art, STEM, and sensory activities for little kids.

The Museum also sponsors a number of special exhibits that are on national tours throughout the year.

Summer camps, school tours, community outreach events, homeschool classes, and other programs are examples of educational initiatives available here.

You can also choose to come here any day as it is open every day from 9:30 am-4:30 pm.

Address: 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807, United States

5. DuPont Environmental Education Center

Dupont environmental education center

Robert Creamer / Dupont environmental education center

The DuPont environmental education center is one free place you can go to spend a few hours in Wilmington.

The educational center, which borders the tidal Christina river, is home to numerous amphibians, birds, animals, fish, and reptiles.

Visitors get to explore the indoor and outdoor exhibits on water-related natural and cultural-historical issues.

The best part? The environmental center is open to the public all year round. There are also courses for instructors as well as programs for people of all ages.

Address: 1400 Delmarva Ln, Wilmington, DE 19801, United States

6. Delaware Art Museum

Delaware art museum

Delaware Art Museum

Looking for inspiration? Look no further, as the Delaware Art Museum is just the right place.

Located on the Kentmere partway in Wilmington, Delaware Art Museum is a gallery with a collection of more than 12,000 works of art.

The Museum is renowned for its sizable collection of British Pre-Raphaelite art, Wilmington native Howard Pyle illustrations, and cityscapes by John Sloan and his friends.

Although this museum isn’t a full day-long excursion, it is a very pleasant way to pass a few hours.

Both permanent collections and frequently changing exhibits are available.

The Helen Farr Sloan Library and Archives, studio art workshops, a children’s learning space, as well as a cafe and museum store are all part of the museum facilities.

In addition to the galleries inside, there is a sculpture garden. Near the parking area, the sculpture garden is immediately around the rear of the museum building.

Don’t forget to visit the gift shop. It has some unique pieces that just might tickle your fancy.

Address: 2301 Kentmere Pkwy, Wilmington, DE 19806, United States

7. Delaware Theatre Company

Delaware theatre company, Wilmington

Delaware theatre company

Located near the Wilmington Market, the Delaware Theater company is the biggest professional theatre in the state.

The theater was established in 1979 and is a terrific place to catch thoughtful, current productions with wonderful entertainment.

Furthermore, it has staged more than 150 plays for more than a million locals and guests.

In fact, they offer quality and top-notch performances like the well-known Dupont Theatre and the seating is comfortable.

Each season, DTC presents five high-quality theatre shows in addition to a number of important outreach and education initiatives.

Address: 200 Water St, Wilmington, DE 19801, United States

8. Brandywine Creek State Park

Brandywine Creek State Park, Wilmington

Brandywine Creek State Park

If you appreciate nature and the beauty it presents, you will love it here.

Two of Brandywine’s most distinctive features are meadows and early 20th-century blue gneiss stone walls.

The park is a peaceful and less disturbed forest area with a 933-acre preserve and trails all around. With more than 14 miles of trails, you can hike as you like.

Its four nature preserves are the Carney Tract, Tulip Tree Woods, FreshWater Marsh, and Flint Woods.

By strolling through the pollinator garden, you can also see uncommon native flora, ground-nesting birds, and pollinators that are abundant in the meadows.

Get your camera out as you’d be seeing some awesome creatures, including American Kestrels, Blue Birds, and Eastern Meadowlarks.

In addition, the meadows are excellent for picnics, kite flying, and disc golf, and in the winter, for sledding and cross-country skiing.

Address: 41 Adams Dam Rd, Wilmington, DE 19807, United States

9. Hagley Museum and Library

Hagley museum and library

Hagley Museum and Library

If you’d like to learn some history about Wilmington, especially the DuPont family, here’s the right place.

This is the home of E. DuPont and the Black Powder mills.

The DuPont family was very prominent in Wilmington. The family arrived in the early 1800s and started their business in the manufacturing of black gunpowder.

Hagley Museum details the history of the Dupont Gun Powder operation along Brandywine Creek in the 1700-1800s.

The grounds of this lovely museum are quite educational and feature a machine shop, a cannon powder demonstration, Foreman’s house, and a one-room schoolhouse.

In addition, the 235 acres of wooded undulating hills along the Brandywine River also contain hundreds of stone remnants from the black powder factory.

There are also dozens of restored buildings connected to the business, as well as the first DuPont family home constructed in America.

Visitors can take a unique “Historic Home and Garden” tour at Hagley Museum.

The Eleutherian Mills Residence, E.I. Du Pont Garden, Hagley Barn, and a carefully curated collection of patent models in the Hagley Library are among the places that can be visited.

Address: 200 Hagley Creek Rd, Wilmington, DE 19807, United States

10. Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts

Delaware center for the contemporary arts

Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts

If you love contemporary arts or just want a beautiful and diverse source of inspiration, center for the contemporary arts is where to go.

The Delaware Contemporary is a non-collecting museum that gives established and up-and-coming contemporary artists an opportunity to exhibit their works.

In fact, Delaware Contemporary is the only Museum of Modern Art in Delaware.

The 33,000-square-foot structure houses administrative offices, an auditorium, 26 art studios, a school, a museum store, and seven galleries.

Their artwork comes from many local artists and is of a high caliber, while they also feature many rotating pieces

Similarly, they also occasionally have artists come to talk about their work in the auditorium.

Although, the museum is not very large, however, they fit in a good amount of varied content that keeps you interested and engaged.

Address: 200 S Madison St, Wilmington, DE 19801, United States

11. Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Wilmington

Sullivan's Steakhouse, Wilmington

Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Wilmington

Planning a date night? Don’t worry, Sullivan’s steakhouse is just the perfect location.

Located near Market Square in Wilmington, Sullivan’s steakhouse serves one of the best steaks, and seafood are served. The foods are accompanied by hand-shaken martinis and live music.

From fresh seafood to a variety of delectable appetizers to soups and salads, you are in for a treat.

The ambiance here is great, and walking into the restaurant feels like you have been transported to another time.

Because of its closeness to the market square, you can shop for the latest trends before dining in style at the steakhouse.

It’s one thing to read about a place, but it’s way better to experience it firsthand.

The steakhouse is open 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm from Monday to Thursday. While it is open 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm from Friday to Saturday.

The restaurant also opens on Sunday although quite shorter than the rest of the days. It opens 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm.

Address: 5525 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803, United States

12. La Fia, Wilmington

La Fia, Wilmington

La Fia

Another restaurant you can check out while in Wilmington is La Fia. La Fia is a little bakery and cafe serving artisanal fare.

Situated on historic Market Street in the heart of Wilmington, La Fia’s menu comprises inventive entrees, pasta, and small plates.

Bread and desserts made by owner-chef Bryan Sikora are also available

The meticulously sourced foods on the menu are inspired by the local area, local farms, and the seasons. However, due to the restaurant’s small size, each person is provided two hours to enjoy their meal.

Don’t forget to taste their Craft beer, exquisite wine, seasonal spirit cocktails, and cuisine.

With its wonderful food, terrific service, nice menu, superb wine selection, and delectable desserts, you will love it here.

The restaurant is open the other days of the week but closed on Mondays and Sundays.

It is open from 5:00 pm-8:30 pm from Tuesday to Wednesday and opens 5:00 pm-8:30 pm from Friday to Saturday.

Address: 421 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801, United States

13. Alapocas Run State Park

Alapocas Run State Park

Alapocas Run State Park

Located in the center of Wilmington, Alapocas park is not a well-known park but definitely one of the most scenic parks in Wilmington.

This beautiful park runs alongside the Brandywine River and if you love hiking, jogging, and cycling, the park will really interest you.

In addition, you can also go rock climbing. It is tucked away in one of the region’s most tranquil spots, following trails through fields and forests.

In fact, the park is reachable from numerous locations.

Along the way, you will pass the remarkable Blue Ball Barn, an abandoned dairy barn that Alfred erected.

The Blue Ball Barn is the ideal location for any meeting, wedding, or conference thanks to its innovative environmental design.

The best part? You can come here any day as the park is open every day of the week from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Address: 1914 W Park Dr, Wilmington, DE 19803, United States

14. Grand Opera House, Wilmington

Grand Opera House, Wilmington

Grand Opera House, Wilmington

Downtown Wilmington is home to some of the most entertaining things in Wilmington, and the grand opera house is one such.

The grand opera hall is an amazing, historic building in the nicest part of downtown Wilmington.

This majestic concert hall was constructed in 1871, and despite its beauty, it also has a fascinating past.

From being built in 1971 to having its name changed and converted to a movie theatre and then Warner Bros. Circuit taking over before being shut in 1967, the history is fascinating.

Furthermore, the Grand Opera House’s vast auditorium continues to enthrall audiences after being renovated as a performing arts center.

The hall engages and entertains its communities through exceptional, varied live performances and educational outreach with more than 100 performances each year.

Performances in this hall include stand-up comedies, symphony orchestras, dance, opera, and programs for young and old people.

With its great acoustic and comfortable atmosphere, you shouldn’t miss this place.

Address: 818 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801, United States

15. Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge, Wilmington

Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge, Wilmington

Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge, Wilmington

The Refuge is situated near Wilmington, Delaware, and is named after a former governor of Delaware, who became well known for his work as an environmentalist, scientist, and campaigner.

The refuge sits on 212 acres along the Wilmington Riverfront.

The refuge has large grounds and an excellent visitor center that is worth visiting first. It will give visitors a general idea of how the grounds are laid out and what they can see and do while they are there.

The refuge is also packed with interactive exhibits and beautiful trails.

Address: 1400 Delmarva Lane Wilmington, Wilmington, DE 19801, United States

Planning a road trip outside of Wilmington? Why not check out our list of things to do in Rehoboth Beach?

16. Stitch House Brewery

Stitch House Brewery

Stitch House Brewery

Didn’t think you would come across a brewery in Wilmington? Don’t let it cross your mind as Stitch house is one fine place to grab a beer.

Located in the bustling N. Market Street in downtown Wilmington, stitch house is a wonderful location to grab some drinks and snacks.

There’s live music, a creative environment, and a savory menu to go with one of their house-brewed beers in the German style.

In addition to the high-quality beers they serve, the beers also come in multiple varieties and flavors.

They also offer a wide variety of cuisine, and for those who don’t like beer, they serve wine and a few mixed drinks.

Because they rotate their beer selections, if you see a beer you like on the menu, make sure to try it then and there because you might not be on the menu the next time.

Walk-ins are welcome and takeaway is offered.

The brewery is open every day of the week from 11 am – 10 pm except on Sundays when the opening time is 12pm.

Address: 829 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801, United States

17. The Zeppelin and the Unicorn

The Zeppelin and the Unicorn, Wilmington

The Zeppelin and the Unicorn

No matter where you go in Delaware, Delaware is a fantastic state for antique shopping, and Wilmington is not left out.

At this huge expansive antique store in Wilmington, you’ll find thousands of antique goods and uncommon oddities.

The collection is a collaboration between more than 40 dealers, and as a result, many of the rooms are themed.

There are just many rooms filled with vinyl records, books, oddities, toys, comic books, action figures, antiques, primitives, oddities, and other rarities.

Furthermore, antique knobs and handles are available in another room to redesign furniture, while local artists’ works are in another.

In short, you’re sure to find almost anything you want here, whether you’re shopping for housewarming presents, Christmas surprises, home decor, or just something unique for a loved one.

With thousands of goods available here, it’s just the ideal location to get gift items.

Address: 400 Silverside Rd #95, Wilmington, DE 19809, United States

18. Govatos Chocolates, Wilmington

Govatos Chocolates, Wilmington

Govatos Chocolates, Wilmington

You might not be able to taste a bar of century-old chocolate; however, you can have a bar of chocolate from a century-old structure.

The only candy manufacturer in Wilmington, Govatos, still uses the same process to create hand-dipped candies as it did when it started.

From chocolate-covered cherries and chocolate-covered pretzels to luscious truffles and almond bark, Govatos is home to a large selection of candy.

In fact, the smell of chocolate hits you the moment you walk in and you are taken back in time.

A wide variety of homemade chocolates, sweets, truffles, chocolate-covered pretzels, and other treats are available at this eatery and candy store.

Furthermore, you can either buy a pre-packaged box of chocolates or select individual chocolates.

Whether for Valentine’s or you just want to have a good time by yourself, you are always in for a treat

The hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Address: 4105 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803, United States

19. Brandywine Zoo

Brandywine zoo

Brandywine Zoo

This zoo should be on your list if you need an afternoon family outing.

Brandywine Zoo is house to a range of animals from North and South America as well as temperate Asia, is situated at Brandywine Park in Wilmington.

Around ten to fifteen exhibits, a ticket counter, a small cafe, and a petting zoo enclosure are all present in the zoo.

While strolling through the serene setting of the zoo, you can learn about endangered species, conservation, and the animal kingdom

Nevertheless, depending on the time of year and season you come, you can spend as much time as you want here, but mostly one to two hours is enough to see the whole exhibit.

In addition, the zoo hosts unique occasions, specialized family programs, and summer camps created especially for kids of school age.

You shouldn’t miss the petting zoo area where you can get to pet baby goats and can even get a close-up look at your favorite animal by participating in the meet and greet.

The zoo has accessible viewing places, a snack bar, a gift shop called Zootique, and a picnic area.

Since the zoo is outdoors, make sure to check the weather as the zoo closes during bad weather.

Address: 1001 N Park Dr, Wilmington, DE 19802, United States

20. Wilmington and Western Railroad

Wilmington and western railroad, Wilmington

Wilmington and Western Railroad

How about a train ride in Wilmington? Wilmington and Western Railroad is not Hogwarts Express, but the ride on the train is magical.

The Wilmington and Western provide steam-diesel train rides through Wilmington’s picturesque Red Clay Valley.

The Wilmington & Western Railroad began operating on October 19, 1872, and transported people and products between the Red Clay Valley’s local towns and factories.

The Pullman carriages and locomotives are operated by incredibly pleasant volunteers who keep them in excellent condition.

Today, the train has moved thousands of people across the red clay valley weather for train leisurely afternoon train rides with loved ones or special occasions.

It offers a variety of trips that cater to every age, like themed trips with Santa, Princesses, and Super Heros which serve the younger ones.

There are also adult trips, such as dinner trains, and the Beers on Board, with local breweries introducing their special brews, all while enjoying the outstanding views of the Brandywine Valley.

In addition, there is a small gift store and plenty of space in the train station where passengers can wait to join the trains, which is crucial in bad or hot weather.

Address: 2201 Newport Gap Pike, Wilmington, DE 19808, United States

21. Bellevue State Park, Wilmington

Bellevue State Park

The Bellevue State Park

Bellevue State Park is a park in Wilmington which was previously owned by Williams DuPont, Jr.

The Bellevue State Park is an amazing place to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities, like walking, jogging, hiking, fishing, and cycling.

Prior to the 1930s, Woolton Hall, a Gothic Revival castle, stood where Bellevue Hall currently stands as the park’s focal point. In addition, the Dupont collection of international trees surrounds Bellevue Hall.

Tennis courts, equestrian facilities, gardens, a running track, and a scenic pond amid meadows and trees with a view of the Delaware River surround the park.

There’s also the option of playing disc golf through woods and meadows.

Take a stroll along the paved Northern Greenway Trail.

Gather your fishing gear and bait for a quiet session, or simply relax by the water and take in the peace.

If you time your visit right, you will even get to attend summer concerts in the park.

Address: 800 Carr Rd, Wilmington, DE 19809, United States

22. Delaware Children’s Theatre

Delaware children's theatre, Wilmington

Bill Pfingsten / Delaware Children’s Theatre

The Delaware Children’s Theatre offers a live theatre experience directed and performed by professionally trained directors and actors along with talented children in age-appropriate roles.

Although it is small; however, it is an amazing venue.

Furthermore, it has been providing entertainment for audiences of all ages for more than 40 years.

The Delaware Children’s Theatre, which is based in Wilmington, has worked to give kids a platform to share their talents and a chance to enrich their cultural lives.

Each show features live music performed by its own Pit Orchestra, and beautifully designed sets and costumes.

While the theatre is closed on weekends, it is open on weekdays from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Address: 1014 Delaware Ave, Wilmington, DE 19806, United States

23. Big Fish Riverfront, Wilmington

Big Fish Riverfront, WIlmington

Big Fish Riverfront

Located conveniently on the Wilmington riverfront, Big fish Grill is one of the best places in Wilmington for all things seafood

In addition to hand-selected seafood prepared at its peak freshness, Big Fish Grill also serves superb steaks and pasta in a laid-back setting.

Great food and drink specials are offered every day during Happy Hour at the bar.

With the 7 enormous HD TVs, you can always be sure you won’t miss some of your favorite shows while enjoying their delectable dishes.

Address: 720 Justison St, Wilmington, DE 19801, United States

24. Rockwood Museum

Rockwood Museum

Rockwood Museum

Built-in the 1850s, Rockwood Park and Mansion is a public park with a six-acre historic garden and a mansion with a museum.

The home, which has been passed down through numerous generations of relatives, is currently owned by a non-profit group.

All year long, Rockwood provides private, small-group, and ghost tours.

Family programs and kid-friendly activities are also among the program options.

The Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival, Holiday Open House, and the Delaware Shakespeare Festival are all significant annual events you can attend here.

Address: 4651 Washington Street Extension, Wilmington, DE 19809, United States

Final Remarks

Wilmington is a great tourist destination worthy of recommending and should be on your bucket list.

From the Delaware art museum to parks and numerous historical sites, you’ll love it here.

Make sure to sail on the Kalmar Nyckel!

Jolly Travel!