Wilmington is the largest city in Delaware, though still small by U.S. standards with a population of only 70,000. Due to the state's business-friendly laws, Wilmington is something of a center for businesses, with an incredible number of American corporations officially incorporated in the city.
- Downtown Visitor Center, 100 West 10th Street, Suite 20, toll-free: . M-F 9AM to 5PM. Information on attractions, things to do, hotels, restaurants, city history, suggested itineraries, maps and transportation info. Parking available at the Community Services Parking Garage at the corner of 11th Street and Orange Street.
- Wilmington is served primarily by the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL IATA), which offers flights on all major airlines to cities throughout the United States and elsewhere. PHL is about half an hour away by car on I-95. You can also take the train in from PHL, but this is slightly expensive ($8.00 for the train into Center City, and a further $6.50 for the train to Wilmington).
- New Castle Airport (ILG IATA) is closer but does not have commercial air service.
Other Major Airports in Driving Distance:
- Baltimore/Washington BWI
- Newark EWR
- John F. Kennedy Airport JFK
By car, Wilmington is easily accessible along I-95, the major north-south highway along the East Coast, running north to Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston and south to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. I-295 provides access from New Jersey, where it connects to the southern end of the New Jersey Turnpike, by way of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
The distinctive 1 Wilmington Station is centrally located at 100 French St. and serves intercity Amtrak trains along the Northeast Corridor and SEPTA Regional Rail commuter trains from Philadelphia along the Wilmington/Newark Line. Most local buses stop just outside and there are ample parking facilities as well as car rental agencies at the station.
- Amtrak, toll-free: . Waiting room: 4AM-1AM daily; Ticket office: M-F 5:45AM-9:45PM, Sa-Su 6AM-9:45PM. Several Amtrak services along the Northeast Corridor stop at Wilmington Station. The high-speed Acela Express train runs the length of the Northeast Corridor between Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. The Northeast Regional train that runs between Boston, Massachusetts and Norfolk, Virginia also stops in Wilmington. Several long-distance Amtrak trains also stop in Wilmington, including the Vermonter between Washington, D.C. and St. Albans, Vermont; the Cardinal between Chicago, Illinois and New York City; the Carolinian between Charlotte, North Carolina and New York City; the Crescent between New Orleans, Louisiana and New York City; the Palmetto between Savannah, Georgia and New York City; and the Silver Meteor and Silver Star between Miami, Florida and New York City.
- SEPTA Regional Rail, toll-free: . Waiting room: 4AM-1AM daily; Ticket office: M-F 6AM-10AM and 11AM-6PM, Sa-Su 8AM-2PM. SEPTA Regional Rail provides daily commuter rail service from Center City Philadelphia to Wilmington and continuting to Newark along the Wilmington/Newark Line, stopping at the Wilmington Station. In Center City Philadelphia, the train offers connections to other SEPTA Regional Rail lines including the Airport Line train to the Philadelphia International Airport. Fares from Center City Philadelphia: $6.75 advance sales and $8.00 on-board weekdays, $5.25 advance sales and $7.00 on-board evenings and weekends.
Greyhound serves a few cities in Delaware.
DelDOT's network of DART First State buses serve Wilmington and adjacent areas in northern New Castle County, but these are designed primarily for commuters. DART First States buses primarily operate Monday through Friday with several routes offering Saturday service and a few routes offering Sunday service. Fares for DART First State buses are $2.00 per ride and transfers are not issued. Reduced fares for senior citizens or persons with disabilities cost $0.80 per ride while blind persons and children 46 inches in height or under who are accompanied by a fare-paying rider can ride for free. A Daily Pass may be purchased for $4.20, offering unlimited rides for the day. Riders who use more than two buses in a single day are encouraged to purchase a Daily Pass. A stored-value card called DARTCard may be used to pay per ride or to purchase a Daily Pass, offering discounts to riders. The DARTCard comes in seven denominations, with the Gold card costing $9.60 for a $12.00 value, the Blue card costing $12.00 for a $16.10 value, the Yellow card costing $15.00 for a $21.00 value, the Green card costing $30.00 for a $43.20 value, the Purple card costing $35.00 for a $52.90 value, the Platinum card costing $65.00 for a $108.00 value, and the reduced fare Red card costing $14.00 for a $46.00 value.
A car is the best way to get around the city, especially if you plan on driving to office parks, tourist attractions, or other locations outside of the city proper. There are several locations to park in the downtown area of Wilmington. On-street parking in downtown Wilmington is regulated by parking meters. Parking meters have a time limit of two hours and accept nickels, dimes, and quarters as payment. A nickel buys 3 minutes of parking, a dime buys 6 minutes of parking, and a quarter buys 15 minutes of parking. There are also commercial parking lots throughout the downtown area of Wilmington. The Wilmington Parking Authority operates the Customs House Garage at 7th Street between King and Walnut streets, the Brandywine Gateway Garage at 13th and King streets, the Train Station Garage on MLK Boulevard between King and French streets, and the 8th Street surface lot at 8th and Orange streets. Colonial Parking operates the Ships Tavern Garage on 2nd Street between Market and King streets, the One Christina Centre garage at 4th and Walnut streets, the New Castle County Courthouse parking at 5th and King streets, the Midtown Parking Garage at 9th and Shipley streets, the HyPark Garage at 9th and Orange streets, the PNC Bank Center Garage at 222 Delaware Avenue, the 10th and Washington Street surface lot, the Government Center Garage at 9th and French streets, the 7th and Shipley Street surface lot, the 7th and Market Street surface lot, and the 1201 Market Street garage. SP Plus operates parking lots at 208 W. 12th Street, 902 N. Market Street, and 1007 Orange Street.
At the center of downtown Wilmington is Rodney Square, a public square featuring a statute honoring its namesake, and signatory to the Declaration of Independence, Caesar Rodney.
Wilmington's recently redeveloped Riverfront has been transformed from a blighted area into a local tourist attraction. It offers a variety of places to eat, outlet shops, and the newly developed Chase Center which hosts special events and exhibits. Nearby is the Frank Furness Railroad District.
Trolley Square, which is home to restaurants, cafes, bars, and specialty wine shops, is walking distance to Brandywine Park.
Other points of interest include Old Swedes Church (dedicated 1699), a monument to the colony of New Sweden at nearby Fort Christina State Park, and Delaware's tall ship, the Kalmar Nyckel.
- 1 The Brandywine Zoo, 1001 N Park Dr, ☎ . Fun for the whole family. You can take the #2 DART First State bus from the Amtrak station to the zoo.
- 2 Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Pkwy, ☎ . Art museum showcasing exhibits from established and emerging Delaware artists, featuring paintings, sculptures, photography, and crafts. Free on Sundays.
- 3 Delaware History Museum, 505 N Market St, ☎ . Museum showcasing the history and heritage of Delaware, featuring interactive exhibits.
- 4 Hagley Museum and Library, 298 Buck Rd E, ☎ . Museum and library on the banks of the Brandywine Creek at the site of the DuPont family's gunpowder mill and first home and garden. Open for tours.
- 5 Nemours Mansion & Gardens, 850 Alapocas Dr, ☎ . DuPont family country estate that is modeled after Versailles, consisting of a mansion, gardens, artwork, and sculptures.
- 6 Rockwood Park & Museum, 4651 Washington St Ext, ☎ . Park centered around an English-style country estate and museum that was built between 1851 and 1854 and serves as an example of Rural Gothic Revival Architecture.
- 1 Delaware Park, 777 Delaware Park Blvd, ☎ . Delaware Park consists of a thoroughbred race track, casino, and golf course located to the south of Wilmington. The race track offers seasonal thoroughbred racing in along with simulcasts of races from other tracks year-round. The casino at Delaware Park has table games and over 2,500 slot machines on two levels. There is also keno and betting on professional and college sports. Delaware Park offers casual and fine dining options including Legends Restaurant, Picciotti's Pizza and Craft Beer, Del Cap Room, At The Rail Wine Bar and Grille, On A Roll Deli, Rooney's, Kelso's Coffee Shop, New Castle Room, Sports Book, The Grove at Delaware Park, and The Terrace. Delaware Park also has facilities to accommodate banquets. Bars at Delaware Park include Paddock Pub, Hops, Oval Bar, and Wheel Bar. Delaware Park offers an 18-hole public golf course.
- Delaware Theater Company, 200 Water St, ☎ . Local theater company in a small riverfront theater that is home to a professional acting group that performs classic, modern, and youth plays.
- The DuPont Theater. Inside the Hotel Du Pont.
- 2 Grand Opera House, 818 N Market St, ☎ . 19th-century opera house offering a diverse selection of performances from opera to ballet that is home to the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and Opera Delaware.
- Skating Club of Wilmington, 1301 Carruthers Ln.
- Rock Manor Golf Club, 1319 Carruthers Ln. Public links.
- 3 Wilmington and Western Railroad, 2201 Newport Gap Pike, ☎ . The Wilmington and Western Railroad offers steam and diesel-powered excursions along the scenic Red Clay Creek between Greenbank and Hockessin. Excursion trains operate on weekends round-trip from Greenbank station to Hockessin for a 2.5 hour trip, with a 30 minute layover in Hockessin, or round-trip from Greenbank station to the Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove for a 1.5 hour trip, with a 30 minute layover allowing for a picnic. Several themed rides are offered throughout the year including the Easter Bunny Express, Fireworks Express, Back Burner Dinner Train, Brews on Board, Civil War Skirmish Weekend, Great Train Robbery, Murder on the Red Clay Express, Autumn Leaf Special, Halloween Express, Holiday Lights Express, and Santa Claus Express.
Wilmington has many shopping malls and centers to visit. Delaware is the home of tax free shopping.
- Annex Marketplace, 1005 W. 27th St. Old and antique goods chiefly from estate sales.
- Brandywine Town Center, Concord Pike and Naamans Rd. Located north of Wilmington along the Concord Pike retail corridor, this big-box retail complex features Target, Lowe's, Christmas Tree Shops, Regal Cinemas, and more.
- 1 Christiana Mall, 132 Christiana Mall, Newark (I-95 exit 4A, take ramp to Mall Rd), ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Located in nearby Christiana off Exit 4A off I-95, the Christiana Mall is 10-minute drive out of Wilmington. The mall is the largest in Delaware and offers over 150 stores with Macy's, JCPenney, Nordstrom, and Target as anchors, and several other upscale and middle-class stores including Barnes & Noble and the Apple Store. The mall also features a food court and sit-down dining options. Located adjacent to the mall are Cabela's and Cinemark Theaters. The Christiana Mall has a parental guidance policy in place after 5PM on Fridays and Saturdays where shoppers under 17 years old must be accompanied by adult who is 21 years old or older.
- 2 Concord Mall, 4737 Concord Pike, ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Located north of Wilmington along the Concord Pike retail corridor, the mall is anchored by Boscov's, Macy's, and Sears and features over 90 retailers including H&M.
Wilmingtonians are not wanting for good places to eat. To wit:
- River Rock Kitchen, 818 Shipyard Dr, ☎ . Inspired by local ingredients, providing the freshest flavors of the season, River Rock Kitchen is a multi-occasion gathering place for a power breakfast, lunch with business associates or friends, and socializing over drinks and dinner.
- Blue Parrot Bar & Grille, 1934 W. 6th St. Canjun style restaurant with occasional live bands.
- Capriotti's Sandwich Shop, 510 N. Union St. Original location of sub shop that, since opening in 1976, has expanded into eleven states.
- Charcoal Pit, 2600 Concord Pike, ☎ . This local institution, and favorite of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, has been serving up burgers, cheesesteaks and milkshakes since opening in 1956, and offers ice cream sundaes named for local high school mascots along with the "Kitchen Sink" sundae.
- Grotto Pizza. A Delaware favorite, Grotto Pizza is a modestly-priced local pizza chain known for pizza with a swirl of sauce on top. Grotto Pizza has two locations in Wilmington.
- 1819 Pennsylvania Ave, ☎ .
- 2015 Concord Pike, ☎ .
- Harry's Savoy Grill, 2020 Naamans Rd. Upscale American cuisine.
- Mikimotos, 1212 N. Washington St. Upscale Japanese cuisine. Pricey.
- Mazzella's Italian Restaurant, 729 Philadelphia Pike. Family owned pizzeria.
- Mrs. Robino's, 520 N. Union St. Little Italy institution open since 1940.
- Walter's Steakhouse & Saloon, 802 N. Union St. Well-known for their prime rib.
- Yi Palace, 4435 Concord Pike. Chinese.
Delaware has gained national attention for the lower Delaware brew, Dogfish Head.
- Catherine Rooney's, 1616 Delaware Ave. Meat and potatoes Irish bar.
- Iron Hill Brewery, 710 S. Madison St, ☎ . Newark-based brewpub chain's large Riverfront location.
- Kelly's Logan House, 1701 Delaware Ave. This Trolley Square tavern opened in 1864 and is a popular watering hole for young professionals.
- Twin Lakes Brewery, 4210 Kennett Pike, Greenville.
- Best Western Brandywine Valley Inn, 1807 Concord Pike, ☎ , fax: .
- Courtyard by Marriott - Wilmington / Brandywine, 320 Rocky Run Parkway, ☎ , fax: .
- 2 Courtyard Marriott Wilmington Downtown, 1102 N West St, ☎ , fax: . From $139 a night, plus $9.50 a night parking Su-Th, free F-Sa.
- Doubletree Hotel Downtown Wilmington, 700 King St, ☎ .
- Holiday Inn, 4000 Concord Pike, ☎ .
- Hotel DuPont, 11th & Market Streets, toll-free: , fax: .
- The Inn at Montchannin.
- Inn at Wilmington, 300 Rocky Run Parkway, ☎ .
- The Sunday Breakfast Mission. A free bed and meal. However, the line can be long. Be sure to arrive early to make sure you get a bed.
Wilmington is served by all the major celluar companies (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint)
The News Journal is Wilmington's daily, and covers all of Delaware. Philadelphia, New York and Washington papers are also widely available.
Wilmington is said to be one of the most dangerous small cities in the United States. The violent crime rate is very high, and in recent years the city has repeatedly broken its record for homicides in a single year. That being said, most of the violence is related to poverty and drugs (Wilmington's location in between Philadelphia and Baltimore makes it a natural way station for drug traffickers), so it is less likely to affect visitors who stick to the popular business and tourist neighborhoods.
- Arden, Is a small community north of Wilmington, founded by the sculptor Frank Stephens and the architect William Price on the economic theories of Henry George. Arden is a gem of Arts & Crafts style architecture, and has a lively theater and arts scene. The town also has many pedestrian paths that can be used for leisurely strolls,. In the summer, Arden has a long tradition of outdoor theater, which continue to today. In the fall, there is the Arden Fair, which includes many concerts, games and food booths 
- Brandywine Valley, which extends from Wilmington's outskirts across the state line into Pennsylvania to the northwest. The beautiful countryside is accessible in all seasons, but particularly attractive in spring and fall. Home to the Brandywine River Museum and various wineries in the area, such as Chaddsford Winery.
- Longwood Gardens, another few miles up Route 52 in Pennsylvania, is another former duPont estate-turned-museum. Its massive estate boasts some of the most impressive formal gardens in the country, while the palatial conservatory is home to thousands of plant species. A must for any plant-lover.
- Newark. Home to the University of Delaware.
- New Castle (Delaware) 9 miles to the South of Wilmington. Nestled along the Delaware, New Castle's old section has managed to survive much as it looked during the American revolution.
- Winterthur, five miles north of Wilmington along Route 52, is a 900-acre former duPont family estate which is now a museum known for its unparalleled collection of early American decorative arts. Stop at the nearby Buckley's Tavern to relax in an atmosphere with locals or go for a drive along one of the many byways through the surrounding countryside, locally known as Chateau Country.
|Routes through Wilmington|
|Washington, D.C. ← Baltimore ←||SW NE||→ Philadelphia → New York City|
|Washington, D.C. ← Baltimore ←||W E||→ Philadelphia → New York City|
|New York City ← Philadelphia ←||N S||→ Baltimore → Washington, D.C.|
|Baltimore ← Newark ←||SW NE||→ Philadelphia → New York City|
|Washington, D.C. ← Baltimore ←||SW NE||→ Philadelphia → New York City|
|Philadelphia ← Claymont ←||N S||→ Newark → Baltimore|
|Philadelphia ← Claymont ←||N S||→ New Castle → Dover|
|West Chester ← Chadds Ford ←||N S||→ New Castle → END|
|END ← Newark ←||SW NE||→ Claymont → Philadelphia|