Claymont is at the far eastern part of northern Delaware, a few miles and minutes from the Pennsylvania border. It largely lies between I-95 and the Delaware River, and is bisected length-wise by U.S. Route 13, more commonly known as the Philadelphia Pike.
Claymont was first settled by the Dutch in the 1600s.
Route 13 was constructed in the early 20th Century, and Claymont began to grow around it, with the more distant areas still being occupied by farmland. The Worth Steel Mill was opened in 1916. Most of the suburbs were built following the Second World War.
Today, Claymont is struggling to remake itself. A large section of project housing has been emptied and is scheduled for demolition and replacement with apartments.
Unlike much of the rest of Delaware, Claymont is fairly hilly. Philadelphia Pike dips up and down numerous times. This elevation results in some pleasant views of the Delaware River and New Jersey, and is great if the starter on your car is shot.
The major natural landmark in Claymont is the Delaware River. The river starts in New York, and by the time it reaches Delaware (Claymont is the first town it comes to), it is over a mile wide and a "broad, sluggish inlet of the sea." Soon after Claymont, it becomes the Delaware Bay south of Port Penn.
As indicated by its name, there is a lot of clay in the soil in Claymont. To find any, simply dig through the few inches of topsoil and you will almost probably hit Claymont clay.
Take the appropriately labeled exit off I-95, or drive north on Route 13, more commonly known as Philadelphia Pike, from Wilmington. There are plenty of hills to park on if a pop-start is in order.
The Claymont Train Station is served by SEPTA and is a short walk from several gas stations or the river.
Fly into the New Castle County Airport, either on the single commercial carrier offering flights only from Atlanta or on private or chartered plane, rent a car, and drive north on I-95 until you get to the appropriate exit.
- US Military personnel only: fly into the Delaware Air National Guard Base at the New Castle County Airport or Dover Air Force Base, and follow above driving directions.
Look for the phonetic alphabet signal flags which spell out Fox Point State Park, swim or paddle ashore, and climb up the rocks and over the short fence into the park. Swimming here is not legal (watch out for the Coast Guard), and swimming in the Delaware River is not advised.
The Claymont SEPTA Station is located near the convergence of I-495 and I-95.
Claymont is serviced by DART bus route 1.
Claymont's hilly terrain can make bicycling less than pleasant. On the other hand, if you like a nice workout and don't mind heavy traffic, you could dig it.
- The Claymont Christmas Parade Held every year on the first Saturday in December, the parade features a multitude of themes plus old cars, aqua-cars, and girls in limos.
- 1 Archmere Academy, 3600 Philadelphia Pike, ☏ .
- Block House, US Route 13. Constructed in 1654 for defense against Indians.
- 2 Claymont Stone School.
- 3 Darley House.
- Robinson House, US Route 13. Built 1723.
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Brave the traffic and check out this monument on the median by the Cumberland Farms gas station on Governor Prinz Blvd.
- Fishing in the Delaware River under several bridges on Governor Prinz Blvd. is a possible pastime. Avoid eating any fish caught in the river. Eating fish caught below Philadelphia is strongly discouraged by the Delaware Department of Public Health.
- Bellevue State Park This spacious and pleasant former DuPont family estate contains a 1 and 1/8 mile track that was used to race horses, but is now used by cyclists and pedestrians. The park also has an outdoor concert cone, pond, cross country course, stables and horses, tennis courts, recycling bins, picnic pavilions, hiking trails, a Frisbee golf course, playground equipment, a nature center, ornate former DuPont buildings, and personal garden plots.
- Fox Point State Park, located between the paint factory and the steel mill, and lying on a thin reclaimed strip of former industrial wasteland between Governor Prinz Boulevard, I-495, two sets of railroad tracks, and the Delaware River, this is a pleasant, green, and peaceful place in the midst of some of Delaware's least-pleasant scenery. There is bike trail, playground equipment, picnic areas, and ample opportunities to watch container and tanker ships sail by. The riverfront view offers a unique panorama consisting of New Jersey shore, the above-mentioned industry, the Marcus Hook oil refineries, and (on clear days) the Philadelphia skyline.
- Tristate Mall and Shopping Center has a Burlington Coat Factory, Save a Lot, and several other shops.
- Goodwill At the intersection of Harvey Road and Philadelphia Pike, this national chain store offers sharply discounted prices on a wide variety of slightly to severely used goods. It also accepts donations.
- Claymont Pharmacy Cheapest milk in town and movies for rent.
- Between Books Traditional comic book and collectable store. Also features RPG games, and other activities for nerds.
- Claymont Steak Shop, 3526 Philadelphia Pike, ☏ . Outstanding cheese steaks, cheesy fries, and lots of other munchables not meant for health food fans. Affordable and tasty.
- Pat's Pizza, 1815 Philadelphia Pike, ☏ .
- Mr. Pasta, 1699 Philadelphia Pike.
- El Tapatia, 1700 Philadelphia Pike, ☏ . Good Mexican food at decent prices.
- China Star, 333 Naamans Rd # 30, ☏ .
- For anyone after authentic Mexican food, there is a restaurant behind the Claymont Pharmacy which is about as authentic as you can get. It is possibly known as Los Potrillos Mexican. +1 302 793-1984
- Mojo 13, 1706 Philadelphia Pike. A rather tiny bar with a huge grinning clown face for a front. Well-known for its high quality live music, mainly of the classic rock variety. A nice little place.
- Stanley's Tavern. A sports bar with decent food, reasonable prices, and (like all restaurants in Delaware) no indoor smoking.
- Holiday Inn Select, 630 Naamans Rd, ☏ .
There are several areas of Section 8 housing and apartment blocks which it may be wise to avoid.
The City Steel Mill, DuPont Paint Plant, a coal power plant, plus the nearby refineries of Marcus Hook, PA, may contribute to the high rate of respiratory aliments experienced by residents. Also, several neighborhoods are occasionally covered in a dusting of fine black powder of unknown origin. Breather discretion is advised.
Swimming in the Delaware River is highly discouraged by the health department. Claymont residents have a saying: If you fall in the river, you don't drown, you dissolve.
- Wilmington is located a few minutes drive south down Philadelphia Pike, Governor Prinz Boulevard, I-95, or I-495.
- Philadelphia can be reached in less than half an hour by getting on I-95, driving north, and getting off at any number of exits.
- Marcus Hook, over the Pennsylvania border, is a town renowned for its two riverfront oil refineries, and its history.
- Chester, Pennsylvania is a few miles north over the state line, past Marcus Hook. Travel there cannot be recommended, however, as it is one of the most economically depressed and crime-ridden areas around. However, it is the birthplace of the Hoagie sandwich.
- Historic New Castle is about 20 minutes south down any of the above-mentioned roads.
|Routes through Claymont|
|Philadelphia ← Chester ←||N S||→ Wilmington → Baltimore|
|Philadelphia ← Chester ←||N S||→ Wilmington → Dover|
|Newark ← Wilmington ←||SW NE||→ Chester → Philadelphia|