posted by Cindy Boyer, Director of Public Programs
I’ve just returned from a visit to the Brandywine Valley area, in preparation for The Landmark Society‘s 4 day/3 night tour in September 2013. The kind Delaware folks invited me on a familiarization tour. I was able to visit some of the sites and restaurants we’ve scheduled for our group tour, and I know we are all going to be so spoiled by the ambiance, the interesting sites, and the unique stories we’ll experience.
But I was pleasantly surprised by a new experience, one that I did not know much about before my trip last week: a visit to Historic New Castle, Delaware. Imagine a small village with a green designed by Peter Stuyvesant, lined with buildings from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.The streets hold charming restaurants and shops, and some of the byways and alleyways still boast cobblestone surfaces.
It’s a living community, with many of the historic structures lovingly restored as homes and businesses. There are several house museums and historic sites open to the public. Add to that a breathtaking panorama of the Delaware River, and you have a destination like no other. I am thrilled that we are able to add a visit to Historic New Castle to our itinerary! We will enjoy a guided walking tour, lunch in the village, and time to explore on your own.
New Castle will top off our Brandywine Valley experiences: At the Hagley Museum we’ll enjoy an elegant home, stunning autumn vistas of the Brandywine River, picturesque “blue stone” structures – and a black powder demonstration. Nemours estate is a little bit of Versailles in America – well, given the size of the estate it’s a lot of Versailles. Winterthur offers gardens and grand mansions. Of course the granddaddy of all of them – Longwood Gardens – the largest horticultural site in North America – provides massive gardens, intimate tree houses, conservatories on a grand scale – even organ concerts and dancing fountain shows.
PHOTO: Courtesy Longwood Gardens
The creature comforts that await you on this tour are not to be missed. My stay at the Hotel DuPont last week had me feeling like a princess – an elegant place to call home for a few nights. They’ll be celebrating their centennial year when we visit. Meals will reflect the diversity of the area’s cuisine. I hope you will make a point of trying the product of the nearby mushroom farms, some crab cakes – or that local delicacy, scrapple.
Please consider joining our executive director Wayne Goodman on this very special trip. Follow this link for more information or to register for the tour.