15 Things to Do in Wilmington Estate (DE)

Wilmington Manor is a borough of approximately 10,000 residents located in New Castle County in north central Delaware.

It is located on the west bank of the Delaware River, between Wilmington to the north, Newark to the west, and Newcastle to the south.

Like most towns in the state, there are plenty of historic sites nearby, as well as museums, galleries, shopping, and many large state parks up north.

Day trips to the beach are also popular, and games and racing are a big draw in Dover.

Here are 15 things to do in and around Wilmington Estate, Delaware.

1. Karmanikl

Karmanikl

Kalmar Nyckel is one of the most iconic symbols of the First State. The historic replica of the sailboat that played such an important role in Delaware history is now a popular tourist attraction.

The boat is staffed with trained seafarers and women and knowledgeable local guides. While the wind doesn’t always cooperate during a trip, time spent on Kalmar Nyckel is often the most memorable activity on a vacationer’s trip.

Tours typically last several hours and include portions of the Christina and Delaware Rivers and Delaware Bay.

Reasonably priced, sunscreen, bottled water and hats are highly recommended.

2. Rockwood Building and Museum

Rockwood Museum and Park

History-conscious travelers visiting Delaware can spend a few days visiting all of the state’s museums without running out of options. For those visiting the Wilmington Manor area, the Lockwood Mansion and Museum is one of the most popular.

The mansion has impressive Gothic architecture and was originally built in the mid-1850s.

For most of its existence, it was the residence of a prominent local family, filled with period art, furniture and household items that were quite fashionable by the standards of the day.

Admission won’t break the bank, and for those with flexible schedules, there’s free access on the first Sunday of every month.

3. Three Ddd’s Steaks and Hoagies

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

While neighboring New Jersey and Philadelphia often make headlines when they have world-class pizza and subs, Delaware has quietly built a reputation for itself in recent years.

Three Ddd’s Steaks and Hoagies are located on Moores Lane, New Castle. It’s a popular destination for lovers of Jersey and Philadelphia-style cheesesteaks, traditional pizzas, and Italian cold-cut subs.

Rumor has it that they don’t skimp on portion sizes, and their breads, doughs, sauces and cheeses are always fresh.

Their menu also includes wraps, sandwiches and salads. For those on the go, takeaway orders are also available.

4. Rogers Manor Park

Picnic in the park

For most travelers planning to visit all the popular vacation hotspots, local parks are often kicked to the side of the road.

However, for the savvy traveler looking to get some exercise and save a few bucks, they’re a great community resource that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Just a few blocks from downtown Wilmington Manor, Rogers Manor Park features tennis courts, baseball fields, lots of open space and paved paths, perfect for a leisurely morning or afternoon stroll.

Some of the best restaurants in Wilmington Manor are also nearby, and there are often free-to-view mini-baseball and softball games.

5. Pigeon Restaurant

Pigeon Restaurant

While national chain restaurants are the new normal in much of the country, there are still plenty of options for those who would rather eat homemade food and support local businesses.

Just minutes from Wilmington Manor, just off Interstate 95, Dove Diner is described as quaint, cozy and welcoming.

Don’t expect waiters in tuxedos and white tablecloths, but expect traditional food, reasonable prices and a relaxed atmosphere.

Perennial favorites on the menu include club sandwiches, soups, salads, chicken croquette and hearty breakfast options like omelets, house-style fries, fresh juices and piping hot coffee.

Calorie-counting people can also eat fruit and oatmeal.

6. Old and New Castles

Old New Castle, Delaware

While it’s definitely not as famous as Virginia’s Williamsburg Colony, New Castle is one of the best-preserved towns of its kind in the mid-Atlantic region.

Dating back to the days of the American Revolution, it’s still full of cobblestone streets, historic bars, and several well-preserved historic sites that are fun and interesting.

The Old and New Castles are easy to explore on foot, and for those who would rather let a professional handle all the nasty details, there are some guided tour options.

7. Winterthur

Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library

For much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the extremely wealthy and influential DuPont family owned many palatial mansions across the state.

Historic Winterthur in Wilmington was once the home of Henry Francis du Pont. Now the home and museum are open to the public through professional and self-guided tours.

With nearly 200 rooms, the residence looks more like an American industrialist than a European royal, and most visitors are amazed at the unfathomable wealth that made it all possible.

The grounds include attractive gardens connected by paved paths, and many guests spend three to four hours on site.

8. Iron Mountain Science Center

In years past, families traveling with children rarely had the opportunity to engage and educate their children while entertaining them, but now, that’s all changed.

Located on Robert L. Melson Lane in Newark, the Iron Hill Science Center is one of Delaware’s most famous attractions.

Its interactive exhibits cover a variety of topics, from weather, technology and animals, to art, history and geology. Needless to say, boredom won’t be a problem.

While much of the center’s design is for kids, it’s also generally popular with older kids and their parents.

9. Fred Rust Ice Arena

ice skating

Because of its coastal location, Delaware’s winters are generally much milder than those of its inland neighbors like Pennsylvania and Maryland.

That being said, it’s also one of the most famous ice skating rinks in the area, conveniently located on the University of Delaware campus in Newark.

Fred Rust Ice Arena is a training center for world-renowned figure skaters. While its rinks are usually reserved for hockey league and figure skating events, they are also often open to free skating.

Skates and helmets can be rented, but check the events calendar on their website before going on a special tour.

10. Read the house

Read about house and garden

New Castle’s Read House is located in the town’s historic downtown and was built in the early 1800s.

Its original owner was a prominent lawyer and businessman whose father was a signer of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Built in the Federalist style common at the time, the home included a dozen rooms and nearly 15,000 square feet of interior space.

Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is open to tourists and tour groups Wednesday through Sunday, April through December.

11. White Clay Creek State Park

White Clay Creek State Park

White Clay Creek State Park is located in the northwest corner of Delaware, near the intersection of Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

It spans over 3,000 acres and is connected to the Pennsylvania nature reserve of the same name.

The park’s creek is its core, meandering nearly 20 miles through a variety of natural environments that are home to many animals and birds common from the multi-use trail.

There is also a nature center near the entrance to the park, so consider checking it out before heading out into the wild.

12. Longwood Gardens

Longwood Garden

Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania is another favorite, but unlike most other attractions, it’s a unique blend of the natural and man-made worlds that fascinates many visitors.

Gardens tend to draw the biggest crowds during the annual spring blooms, but they are beautiful year round.

The land on which the garden now stands was once purchased by the DuPont family to protect local trees that would otherwise be felled to make way for farmers’ fields.

Many garden lovers consider the Longwood Gardens to be one of the most majestic in the country. They are often venues for special events, the most popular of which are Christmas celebrations and light shows.

13. Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Iron Mountain Brewery and Restaurant

Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, located on East Street in Newark, started out inconspicuous, but has grown in popularity in a relatively short period of time.

Iron’s Hills beers come in a variety of colors, flavor profiles and alcohol levels. Their offerings change seasonally, so you may have different options each time you go.

While many small-batch breweries have food trucks tending to hungry customers, Iron Hill has its own restaurant, which is known around the world for traditional homemade fare like steak, macaroni cheese, and grilled chicken.

This is a family friendly establishment with reasonable prices considering the quality of food and drinks.

14. Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge

Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge

Unlike nearly all of its contemporaries, the Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge is located in an urban area, making it a convenient option for city dwellers who want to experience the great outdoors without wasting time traveling to remote corners of the state .

Most of the reserves are adjacent to Wilmington’s riverfront. Large swaths of unexplored natural areas have a unique knack for making visitors feel like they’re farther away from civilization than they really are.

The sanctuary features an indoor learning center that’s worth checking out; it will give you an overview of the park’s layout and what you’ll be seeing and doing.

15. DuPont Environmental Education Center

DuPont Environmental Education Center

Located on Delmarva Lane in Wilmington, the DuPont Center for Environmental Education is a free attraction open to visitors year-round.

While first-time visitors mostly associate Delaware with its Atlantic coast, the state is primarily agricultural and includes many different natural environments.

Much of the center’s grounds are located along the Christina River. They are home to an impressive array of animal species, especially in areas where land meets water, such as swamps and wetlands.

Staff at the center offer a selection of regularly scheduled tours and activities throughout the year, most of which are suitable for all ages.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Wilmington Manor (DE), Delaware
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