Christmas in Historic Odessa, Delaware captures all of the charm and tradition of the holiday season. It’s not over-commercialized reindeer or cartoony men in red suits. It’s far more innocent and heartfelt. The town captures a yuletide feeling that hardly seems to exist anymore these days. The small town of historic homes put on its holiday finest each year to awe, inspire, celebrate and welcome visitors. My husband and I made a trip to Odessa, Delaware to experience the holiday cheer and the historic homes in person.
For over a century, HOTEL DU PONT in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, has been hosting guests. From presidents to kings and queens, HOTEL DU PONT has been THE place to stay, dine and be entertained. But it’s also the ideal place to stay if you’re discovering the region along the Pennsylvania-Delaware border that’s peppered with museums and history (Longwood Gardens, Nemours Mansion & Estate, Winterthur, Brandywine River Museum of Art). Recently my husband and I checked in at Hotel Du Pont for the night and it was the perfect place to unwind and relax.
A day of culture. Art and afternoon tea. It’s difficult for me to think of a better way to spend a day. And Wilmington, Delaware, has just the answer. After my recent trip to the Brandywine River Museum of Art, I headed down to downtown Wilmington. Only a short drive away from the museum is the historic HOTEL DU PONT. The luxurious hotel serves up afternoon tea that will spoil and delight. It’s a day to savor and enjoy.
It doesn’t take long to become impressed by the HOTEL DU PONT. Even those unfamiliar with its legendary reputation for luxury will soon get the picture once they step inside the lobby.
Judging by the photo above of Nemours Mansion and Gardens, where do you think I am? France? Germany? Italy, perhaps? You’d be forgiven for thinking so. But I’m actually in Delaware. That’s right. The First State and the home of tax-free shopping has a magnificent mansion that draws on European influences.
Nemours Mansion and Gardens was the home of Alfred I. du Pont. The massive estate is today open to the public. It’s quite a remarkable home with impressive gardens. In fact, they are the largest formal French gardens in North America. And that’s before you consider that the estate isn’t in Europe and, really, isn’t all that old. It’s a taste of Europe’s royal golden age that is hard to find on this side of the Atlantic.
If you’re anything like me, it always seems to be the attractions that are close by that I never get around to visiting. For years I’ve wanted to visit Winterthur and for years I just never got around to it. Funny how that works out. Fast forward to the announcement last year that Winterthur would have a special exhibit of costumes from the television show Downton Abbey. Then all of sudden, I made time to go to Winterthur. Funny how that works out.
So with my partner in crime for the Downton Abbey exhibit — in this case, my mother — we headed down to Delaware on a Friday morning to indulge in the dress of the English wealthy being exhibited in an American mansion.