Chateau Country Itineraries
This itinerary is only a suggestion and is done on your own with the purchase of a single ticket. With the Chateau Country ticket, you may schedule your time here as you wish – tickets are valid until December 31, 2006, and therefore may be used on multiple days (though not multiple visits). Please keep in mind that Hagley and Winterthur are both closed on Mondays; Longwood is open every day. Visit www.chateaucountry.org for more information, for more itineraries, or to purchase Chateau Country tickets.
One full sightseeing day:
10 a.m. – Noon
After breakfast at your hotel, visit Hagley Museum and Library, where the du Pont story begins. Located on 235 scenic acres along the Brandywine River, at the site of the family’s first black powder works, Hagley tells the story of life and industry in the nineteenth century through exhibits, tours, restorations, and demonstrations. Check in at Reception in the Visitor Center, where you can view the orientation film and exhibits. Then take the shuttle bus along the river to Eleutherian Mills, the 1803 home of patriarch Eleuthère Irénée du Pont and his family. After the house tour, explore the barn and the nineteenth-century vehicles it houses, and stroll the French-style garden before walking or taking the shuttle bus back toward the site entrance.
Noon – 1 p.m.
Stop for a quick lunch at one of the many cafes in Greenville or Centerville. Ask the Hagley ticket office or your concierge for more information.
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Your next stop is Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, the former home of the late Henry Francis du Pont. If you haven’t eaten yet, have lunch at the Garden Cafeteria or Cappuccino Café. The 175-room mansion is a world-renowned center for American decorative arts set amidst a spectacular garden. For a general overview, purchase a Galleries & Gardens Pass; there are also specialized guided tours for which reservations are highly recommended. If time permits, stroll through the beautiful grounds to appreciate H. F. du Pont’s horticultural genius.
3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. (later on selected evenings)
Your final destination is Longwood Gardens, named by National Geographic Traveler as one of America’s “50 Places of a Lifetime.” Longwood is known for its horticulture, with more than 11,000 types of plants growing on the 1,050-acre property, including four acres under glass in the Conservatory. Displays and floral highlights change throughout the year. The late Pierre S. du Pont, Longwood’s founder, loved to entertain; this legacy continues with an extensive performing-arts program, fountain shows, and special events. Take advantage of this full calendar and see a performance if you have the chance.
Have an early dinner (until 6 p.m.) at on-site Terrace Restaurant, which offers cafeteria-style and sit-down dining, or drive back to your hotel, perhaps stopping for dinner along the way. If you still have energy for walking, explore one of Wilmington’s lively neighborhoods: The Riverfront, Trolley Square, Little Italy, all of which offer a variety of dining options. Some locations have late-night music and dancing.