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Indulge your inner colonist in historic New Castle, Delaware

With its historic homes, gardens, antique shops, and taverns, a trip to New Castle offers visitors a snapshot of colonial life just 15 minutes from Wilmington. Dating back 350 years, New Castle’s claims to fame include hosting William Penn’s first arrival in the New World; the New Castle Court House Museum, the oldest government building in Delaware; and beautiful Town Green, in existence since 1651. And while it’s certainly well preserved, New Castle avoids the kitsch other historical communities embrace—it’s a living residential town, full of treasures and character.

I love a good home-and-garden tour, particularly when the homes are full of original details and craftsmanship. A Day in Old New Castle, held just once a year on the third Saturday in May, is the country’s oldest, offering glimpses into private homes, guided walking tours, and period music and entertainment. Admission is $20 per adult, with all proceeds benefiting the Food Bank of Delaware.

Many activities, though, are free anytime. Enjoy the scenery from Battery Park, at the banks of the Delaware River; go window shopping along Delaware Street; or tour the Old Library Museum. When you’re done exploring, throw back a pint at Jessop’s Tavern or The Arsenal at Old New Castle.

To get more information on New Castle, as well as other destinations in Delaware, check the resources on

Read more of the 50 Affordable Stateside Escapes.

Have a recommendation for New Castle, or another great getaway within Delaware? Post your comment below!

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