Pride Journey Summer Getaway: Greater Wilmington, Delaware and the Brandywine Valley
Founded in 1979 by artists, The Delaware Contemporary presents exhibitions of regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized artists that explore topical issues in contemporary art and society. Admission is free, and all art on display is for sale. There’s a great little museum shop on site too. Every first Friday of the month, it hosts new exhibition openings along with food trucks and a cash bar on site. Other highlights have included live jazz and poetry readings. It’s something different each month.
Nemours, modeled after Versailles, is the most opulent of the Brandywine Valley’s former du Pont family estates and gardens. It comprises an exquisite, 77-room mansion filled with original family furnishings, the largest formal French gardens in North America, a chauffeur's garage housing a collection of vintage automobiles, and walking trails through 200 acres of scenic woodlands, meadows and lawns. Unique features include original resident A.I. du Pont’s early 20th century man cave and the black and gold Russian Gates from a palace built by Catherine the Great.
Wilmington’s newest neighborhood, the Riverfront is a thriving area with many waterfront dining options, cultural attractions, and fun things to do like mini-golf and axe throwing. This year, it celebrates its 25th anniversary with plans expected to be announced soon for the east side of the river, connected with the west side of the Riverfront in 2020 with the opening of a new foot- and vehicle traffic bridge. The Constitution Yards Beer Garden is an excellent spot to spend a sunny afternoon. The Riverwalk runs along the Christina River and connects with the Jack A. Markell Trail, a primarily flat multi-use trail that links this area with historic New Castle. The 7.5-mile ride from Wilmington to New Castle provides even more opportunities for exploration and fun.
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library is home to one of the nation’s most important collections of American decorative arts. This fascinating collection includes a number of surprising items including a magnificent early classical-style sideboard and original matching knife boxes once owned by Andy Warhol. Outside the walls of the estate home is a 1,000-acre preserve perfect for exploring on foot or via a guided tram tour. Colorful flowers, shrubs and trees are in bloom from late winter into the fall. The Enchanted Garden is a must-see for kids at heart. The reflecting pool (formerly the du Pont family swimming pool) is a lovely spot for respite and meditation. Also onsite is the Winterthur Museum Store, a treasure trove of home decoratives, garden items and other unique finds.
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, the taproom is filled with the natural light of large arched windows and long tables reminiscent of a German beer hall. When the weather warms, the brewery’s two outdoor patios create the perfect space to savor one of its delicious microbrews or ciders. While the brewery serves light snacks only, La Pizzeria Metro is right next door, and patrons are welcomed to bring over one of their wood-fired pizzas (or food from any other dining establishment) in to enjoy with their beer. The brewery is one of the flagships of the region’s growing beer and wine scene. The Delaware on Tap app lets visitors easily sip their way through the entire Delaware Beer, Wine and Spirits trail.