A stroll through the streets of historic New Castle, Delaware, will take you back in time. Surrounded by one-and-a-half acres of formal gardens, the Federal Mansion is an architectural landmark with seasonal adornments and museum gift shops. The city is a National Historic Landmark district and ties to William Penn. There’s something for everyone in this beach town. If you’re looking for a quick getaway, consider a weekend in New Castle.
The waterfront of New Castle is home to Battery Park, which is named after the old artillery fortifications that were used to defend the city from enemy ships. In fact, Battery Park is where William Penn first arrived in the New World, and today it is an important location for commerce along the Delaware River. Visitors can enjoy a stroll along the waterfront of the Delaware River and see what the Docks were used for before the Civil War.
Among New Castle’s many attractions are its historic houses and gardens. The Old Dutch House features Colonial-style cuisine, as well as traditional British pub grub and Dutch dishes. The menu features salads, crab cakes, roast duck, and Pilgrim’s Feast, and a wide selection of beers. The historic buildings in New Castle date back to the early 17th century. The town’s Old Dutch House has been named one of the nation’s most picturesque small towns on multiple occasions.
If you plan to drive to New Castle, take I-95 from Wilmington, Delaware. Follow it approximately 3.2 miles. Pass the Crossroads Shopping Center on the right and the John G. Leach School on the left. At the stop sign, turn right onto Delaware Street and proceed about 0.6 mile. From there, you will see the Terry House. The Terry House is located directly across from the Second Street. You can park on either side of Market Street.
A walk through the town’s historic homes is another fun way to explore the area. The May Market is an annual event which will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2022. This market also features free gardening advice and accepts credit cards. Proceeds from the May Market help support the Arasapha Garden Conservancy’s programs and historic New Castle gardens. You can even enjoy a luncheon in the town’s historic buildings.
Prior to the 17th century, New Castle was the center of government for Delaware. The Delaware General Assembly was located here in 1677. After Penn’s Philadelphia era, however, residents grew uncomfortable with the conservative Quaker influence and petitioned for a separate legislature. They were granted their own legislature in 1702 and formally broke away from Pennsylvania in 1704. This period was a time of prosperity for New Castle, which saw many lawyers and judges relocate to the city. During this time, three of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence were from New Castle.
Located southwest of Wilmington, Newark is a small college town. You can enjoy a visit to the Christiana Mall and White Clay Creek State Park in this picturesque city. Another fun activity in Newark is a visit to the scenic Newark Reservoir. It’s also home to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which is lit at night and commemorates World War II soldiers who fell in battle. The bridge crosses the Delaware River and is an excellent option for transportation between New Castle and Pennsville, New Jersey.