The Diamond State. The Riverfront City. No matter what you call it, it’s hard to argue that Wilmington, DE, is one of the most vibrant cities in the Mid-Atlantic region. With iconic spots like the Wilmington Riverwalk, Delaware Art Museum, and Brandywine Park, living in Wilmington means an abundance of activities. 

Whether you’re settling into a downtown Wilmington apartment or a cozy space in Trolley Square, navigating the city can be overwhelming. That’s why our Redfin team has asked some locals for unique things to do in Wilmington to help you get to know your city more.

1. Visit Old New Castle

If you visit Wilmington, DE, make sure you don’t skip Old New Castle. “My favorite thing to do around Wilmington is to walk around Old New Castle,” suggests Jenifer Santo Photography, local wedding photographer. “This little city is a piece of history: I love the cobblestone streets and the feeling you get walking on them, as if you are walking through time. Old New Castle held the first continental congress before they moved to Philadelphia, so there is so much to learn and see in this cute little hidden treasure of a town. There is the Markell Trail where you can hike, walk, or bike, between the Wilmington Riverfront and New Castle Battery Park. So go and check it out.”

Jenifer Santo Photography

Courtesy of Jenifer Santo Photography

2. See the Nemours Estate

The Nemours Estate is one of the flagship attractions in Wilmington, so the locals suggest that you don’t miss it. “My favorite way to spend an afternoon in Wilmington is to visit the gorgeous Nemours Estate,” recommends Wilmington family photographer, Courtney Landrum. “Its sweeping formal gardens and endless rooms to explore make it a great place to feel inspired and learn about the history of the area. No matter the season, you can find something new to admire.”

3. Things to do on Market Street

Locals also love the many memorable things to do on Market Street in Downtown Wilmington. “Wilmington has a ton of amazing hidden gems,” says Delaware County Photographer, Aubrey Montgomery, from Brey Photo. “You could explore Wilmington every day for a year and still not discover them all. The Delaware Historical Society on Market Street has an incredible museum as well as an amazing library. Across the street from the Museum is the Quoin Hotel. Downstairs you’ll find Simmer Down, the most cozy, intimate speakeasy that used to be a bank vault.” 

4. See a show

Aubrey recommends, “You can catch a show at The Queen, where you can get right up front and personal with your favorite artists, and hop on over for a drink and a bite to eat. Virtually every corner of Wilmington has some unique, vintage, nostalgic spot that’s loaded with history and heritage from the First State. It’s the perfect blend of hometown and big city vibes and they’ve really done a great job increasing public safety to allow for a more fun, relaxed trip.”

5. Coffee at Brew HaHa

You’ll need to keep up enough energy to tackle all the fun things to do in Wilmington, DE. What better way to recharge than to hit up a local-favorite coffee shop?

The Brew HaHa in Greenville is my favorite local coffee shop,” recommends Ali, Delaware’s family and motherhood photographer at Moon Bloom Photo. “I remember the first time I visited, I thought to myself, “this place has been right up the street, all along?”

The atmosphere makes me feel like I am on vacation. On weekends, you can sip your cappuccino while listening to live folk music.  Their scratch kitchen serves a variety of gourmet meals as well, and has many options The aesthetics are curated with lots of brass and wood; there is plush green velvet upholstery, and a collaged wall of vintage newspaper clippings and botanical illustrations. This BrewHaHa location even boasts outside seating under a portico. If you are up for a shot of espresso and escapism– this is the coffee shop for you.”

6. Stroll Wilmington’s historic gardens

Ali also recommends, “Situated on the grounds of the Greenhill Country Estate, which is now the Wilmington Campus of the University of Delaware, Goodstay Gardens holds a rich historical significance for Wilmington, DE. It was the childhood home of esteemed author and illustrator Howard Pyle, as well as generations of the DuPont family. Maintained by dedicated volunteers, this garden offers an immersive glimpse into Wilmington’s cultural heritage. Best of all, the gardens are completely free and are open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk.

Visiting Goodstay Gardens feels like entering your own secret garden, where the bustle of the surrounding city of Wilmington fades into birdsong. The spring is my favorite time to visit – the iris and peony gardens are both in bloom and a long row of magnolia trees.”

7. Hike Brandywine Park

Take a moment away from the city sights and get out into nature by visiting Brandywine Park, a pet-friendly favorite for outdoorsy types and casual hikers alike. “My favorite thing to do on an afternoon in the city of Wilmington is hiking the trails in Brandywine Park,” recommends Wilmington photographer Jeff Batt

“It’s right on the river, there are waterfalls and plenty of old structures and interesting details to look at. It’s also bike and pet-friendly. Brandywine Park is one of the oldest public parks on this side of the country and the cherry trees around the restored Josephine Fountain are stunning in late April. There are endless photo ops there.”

8. Go to a museum

In a town known for its rich history, it only makes sense to visit some museums while you’re there. Seems as though the locals we interviewed agree, too. 

“My favorite thing to do in Wilmington is visit the Delaware History Museum,” says Justine Hendricks from the Digital Collections of the Delaware Historical Society. “I enjoy taking an up-close look at objects and photographs that illuminate the rich history and traditions of Delaware and showcase the state’s history and culture in a new light.  I love visiting the Read House & Gardens outside Wilmington, in New Castle, DE. Strolling through the beautiful, well-kept gardens, admiring the home’s exquisitely preserved interiors, and enjoying the unobstructed views of the Delaware River transports you back in time for an afternoon.”

This post was originally published on this site