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The 2021 Ultimate Guide to Museums Throughout Delaware

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Expand your mind by learning about Delaware’s vast history, art culture and literary experts at these museums all across the region.

Delaware holds thousands of stories throughout time such as the tales of war, its broad natural history, incredible art, literature and so much more. Learn more about what makes Delaware so unique and celebrate living through a period of history by visiting a museum throughout the region. Every museum is following the CDC’s guidelines and requires each patron to wear a mask as well as follow the safety guidelines.

New Castle County

Delaware Art Museum

The DelArt collection houses nearly 12,000 pieces, including works like the Pre-Raphaelite collection, historical and contemporary American art and American illustrations. Works by John Sloan, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Howard Pyle are housed within the museum, as well as the Copeland Sculpture Garden located outdoors. The museum is opened year-round. • 2301 Kentmere Pkwy., Wilmington, 571-9590

Delaware Museum of Natural History

Experience a lifetime of exploration and discovery at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. Through irs exhibits, education programs and scientific collections, people of all ages will learn about nature and science. The museum is currently closed to visitors, but you can still explore its online collections until it reopens in 2022. • 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 685-9111

Historic Houses of Odessa

Be taken back in time to the 18th and 19th century with incredible architecture, picturesque gardens and historic household items. Opens for the season on March 1st.  Old Bank, Second and Main Streets, Odessa, 378-4119

Iron Hill Museum

The Iron Hill Museum focuses on Delaware’s natural history of the Iron Hill area. Learn about iron milling and the Iron Hill Schoolhouse—one of 80 schools for African-American children between 1919 through 1928. The museum is opened year-round.  1115 Robert L. Melson Lane, Newark, 368-5703

Nemours Estate

Built on a 3,000-acre plot of land, the French-style Nemours Estate was built for Alfred’s second wife Alicia in the late-18th century. This spring, take a walk around the classical French mansion—with more than 70 appointed rooms—and through the formal French gardens. Opening for the season on April 1st.  • 1600 Rockland Rd., 651-6912

New Castle Court House Museum

Built in 1732, the New Castle Court House was the state’s first court and state capitol. Walk the halls and learn how Delaware’s three counties were formed. The museum is opened year-round. • 211 Delaware St., New Castle, 323-4453

University of Delaware, Library, Museums and Press

Includes Mechanical Hall Gallery, 30 N. College Ave., which features changing exhibitions of African-American art and related topics; Old College Gallery, 18 E. Main St., which includes significant works of Brandywine School artists as well as ceramics and sculptures; Special Collections and Gallery at the Morris Library, 181 South College Ave., which features literary archives in a custom reading room; and Mineralogical Museum, 255 Academy St., which displays about 350 mineral specimens. The museums are open year-round. • Newark, 831-8037

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

With a 60-acre garden and an extensive research library, Henry Francis du Pont’s former home is the premier museum. Winterthur features 175 elegantly-furnished rooms with various collections of decorative and fine arts. The museum is open year-round. • 5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 888-4600

Nearby Pennsylvania

Brandywine River Museum of Art

Featuring displays of America’s impressionism, Ralston Crawford’s Air & Space & War plus Fragile Earth, plus numerous more paintings and illustrations, Brandywine River Museum of Art is a must-visit. The museum displays vast collections such as fine art, N.C. Wyeth Catalogue Raisonné and Walter & Leonore Annenberg Research Center. The museum is reopening in June 2021. • 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, Pa., (610) 388-2700

Kent County

Air Mobility Command Museum

Offers exhibits on military life, airlift, and air refueling history as well as an outdoor collection of over 30 vintage planes including the only C-5 transport jet on public display in the world. The museum is open year-round. • 1301 Heritage Road, Dover Air Force Base, Dover, 677-5938

Biggs Museum of American Art

Features fine art and decorative works by American artists from the 17th century and later. Featured exhibitions are regularly hosted throughout the year as well. Experience a variety of different art forms such as sculptures, furniture by early cabinet makers and a collection of regional silver within the country. The museum is open year-round. • 406 Federal St., Dover, 674-2111

Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village

The big barn offers permanent and special exhibits about Delaware’s rural heritage, farming and farm life. The village includes restored, historically significant farm buildings from across Delmarva. The museum is open year-round. • 866 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, 734-1618

Delaware Public Archives

One of the oldest archival programs in the country, it preserves historic and archival material, including documents, photographs, posters, maps, audiotapes and census records, that tell the story of Delaware. It is open year-round.• 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. North, Dover, 744-5000

First State Heritage Park, Welcome Center and Galleries

This walkable network links historic and cultural sites in Dover, including the Biggs Museum of American Art, Legislative Hall and The Old State House. The Welcome Center at the Delaware Public Archives building provides information about museums and historical sites across the state. It is open year-round. • 102 S. State St., Dover, 739-9194

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John Dickinson Plantation

Visit the 18th-century plantation of a founding father. The plantation now tells the stories of farmers, servants and free and enslaved Black men, women and children who worked there. Living history presentations are made several times a year. The plantation is open year-round but reservations must be made beforehand. • 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, 739-3277

Johnson Victrola Museum

This charming museum pays homage to the founder of the Victor Talking Machine Co. through phonographs, recordings and memorabilia. The museum is open year-round but reservations must be made beforehand.  375 S. New St., Dover, 739-3262

Milford Museum

Housed in the old post office, the museum tells the story of Milford from its beginnings on the Mispillion River in the 18th century, as well as the histories of the surrounding communities. The museum is open year-round but reservations must be made beforehand. • 121 S. Walnut St., Milford, 424-1080

The Old State House

Tour the state’s original capitol building. The Old State House is open year-round but reservations must be made beforehand. • 2The Green, Dover, 744-5054

Smyrna Museum

Owned and operated by the Duck Creek Historical Society, the museum displays artifacts of local history and culture. The museum is open year-round but reservations must be made beforehand. • 11 S. Main St., Smyrna, 653-1320

Star Hill Museum

In 1863, a congregation of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was established where the museum is now located. It is believed that the former members of the church were part of the Underground Railroad. Now, the museum educates the public about the hardships of life as a slave. The museum is open year-round but reservations must be made beforehand. • 357 Voshells Mill-Star Hill Road, Dover, 697-9903

Woodburn: The Governor’s House

This Middle period Georgian home was built in 1798 and has become one of the state’s most historical sites. After being purchased in 1965, it is now home to the Governor. The house is open year-round but reservations must be made beforehand. • 151 Kings Hwy. SW, Dover, 739-5656

Sussex County

Bethany Beach History Museum

Memorabilia, photographs and documents housed in the town hall explain the resort’s history. The museum is open year-round.• 214 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach, 539-8011

DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum

This private museum is one of the largest in the Mid-Atlantic and includes artifacts recovered from centuries-old shipwrecks. The museum is open year-round. • 708 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 539-9366

Governor Ross Mansion & Plantation

The mansion, slave quarters and spacious grounds offer a glimpse of life before the Civil War. The mansion is open year-round but reservations must be made beforehand. • 23669 Ross Station Rd., Seaford628-9828 

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Lewes Life-Saving Station

Houses equipment used by 19th-century surfmen. • Pilottown Rd. and Shipcarpenter St., Lewes, 645-7670

Seaford Museum

Established in the old post office, the museum covers history from a local perspective. The museum is open year-round but reservations must be made beforehand.  20High St., Seaford, 628-9828

Zwaanendael Museum

Learn about the Dutch settlement of Lewes in 1631, including the area’s maritime, military and social history. The museum is open year-round but reservations must be made beforehand. • 102 Kings Hwy., Lewes, 645-1148

Want to learn about Delaware’s vast history without visiting a museum in-person? Many of the Delaware museums offer their own online portfolio of their most famous works. Visit Delaware’s Digital History Museum to learn more.