Touring the Byway
12 Miles | 4 Days / 3 Nights (Optional Day 5) | Gateway City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
We recommend starting your journey in Philadelphia, before traveling to Wilmington, the largest city in Delaware and one that was heavily influenced by the du Pont family. If you have not traveled to Philadelphia before, you can spend a day exploring locations very significant in American history. Once in Wilmington, Rodney Square, the center of the city, is like a history lesson in Dupont lore. After exploring a bit of the square, visit the Delaware Museum of History to get your bearings about Delaware’s unique history, before venturing out to the Hagley Museum and Library that tells the story of the earliest du Pont ventures in Delaware.
After a good night’s stay at the elegant Hotel Dupont, on Day Two, explore the very elegant Nemours Estate, have lunch at the Delaware Museum of Art and tour the museum, before settling in at the Inn at Montchanin.
On Day Three, you’ll be off to three contiguous locations that were originally part of a du Pont dairy farm: Brandywine Creek State Park, the Delaware Museum of Natural History, and Winterthur, which holds one of the best collections of Americana in the United States. Tuck in at the Inn at Montchanin for a second night.
On Day Four, you’ll be headed north on the Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway through the quaint town of Centerville, on your way to Longwood Gardens and the Brandywine River Museum, featuring the collections of the Wyeth family.
After a night at the Fairville Inn, on an optional Day Five, you can travel west to visit Mt. Cuba, your final du Pont estate on the trip. From there, we wish you a safe passage if you’re traveling on another Delaware Scenic Byway, or a safe and pleasant journey home.
View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations!
Featuring over 1,007 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows in the Brandywine Creek Valley, Longwood, another DuPont estate, is one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the United States. Enjoy native and exotic plants, horticulture, events, performances, seasonal and themed attractions, as well as lectures, courses, and workshops.
Alfred I. DuPont loved showering his new wife with gifts, including building her a 47,000 square foot French neoclassical home, complete with “jardin a la francaise” formal gardens, with 105 rooms spread out over five floors, surrounded by 3,000 acres. Even though the home is classic architecture, it was equipped with the latest technology available in 1907. Nearly 160 jets at the center of a one-acre pool in the spectacular garden, shoot water 12 feet into the air. When they are off, the entire “Long Walk” extending from the mansion to the reflecting pool is reflected in the water.
Located on 235 acres along the banks of the Brandywine, Hagley is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E.I. DuPont when he immigrated from France. The property has been restored and fitted with interpretation in the mill buildings, a worker’s community, the ancestral home, and gardens, revealing the story of this very innovative family who brought a whole new industry to America. Explore the fascinating history of American business, technology, and innovation, and its impact on the world that took place in this small community.
This incredible estate is more than a historic home. The former residence of Henry Francis DuPont, renowned antiques collector and horticulturist, holds one of the most important collections of Americana in the United States, displayed in 175 period rooms, filled with 90,000 objects. The collection, spanning 1640 to 1860, contains some of the most important pieces of American furniture and fine art in the world. The Winterthur Library includes more than 87,000 volumes and approximately 500,000 manuscripts and images, mostly related to American history, decorative arts, and architecture. The mansion is surrounded by gardens that reflect the artistic vision of DuPont, spread over nearly 1,000 acres of forests, meadows, farmland and waterways, a masterpiece of color and design with a year round succession of blooms. Enjoy the gardens on foot or on a narrated tram ride.
The museum features 12,000 works of art that were produced, exhibited and collected in the Brandywine region, including historical and contemporary American art, British pre-Raphaelite art, American illustration and storytelling, the 9-acre Copeland Sculpture Garden, and the Helen Farr Sloan Library and Archives. Highlights include significant holdings of work by John Sloan, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Howard Pyle. Enjoy lunch at the Kaffina Cafe, either before or after your visit.