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The 2018 Ultimate Guide to Museums in Delaware

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New Castle County

Delaware Art Museum

In addition to its famous Pre-Raphaelite collection, the museum houses works by N.C. Wyeth, Frank Schoonover, Howard Pyle and Edward Hopper, as well as the outdoor Copeland Sculpture Garden. • 2301 Kentmere Pkwy., Wilmington, 571-9590

 

Delaware Children’s Museum

The museum builds imaginative minds through play and informal math-, science- and technology-based learning. • 550 Justison St., Wilmington, 654-2340

 

Delaware Museum of Natural History

Dinosaurs, birds and other interesting natural resources share space with an impressive collection of seashells, plus find special exhibits and a busy calendar of events. • 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 658-9111

 

Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame

Find the best Delaware athletes from throughout the decades at this shrine adjacent to Frawley Stadium. Group tours available year-round.  801 Shipyard Drive, Wilmington, 425-3263

 

Fort Delaware

This fort on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River shows what life was like for a prisoner during the Civil War.  Pea Patch Island, Delaware City, 834-7941

 

Hagley Museum and Library

See the machinery of the original DuPont gunpowder mills and visit the du Pont ancestral home on the Brandywine. • 201 Hagley Creek Road, Wilmington, 658-2400

 

Historic Houses of Odessa

Admire beautiful examples of 18th- and 19th-century architecture.  Old Bank, Second and Main streets, Odessa, 378-4119

 

Iron Hill Museum

The museum focuses on the rich history of the Iron Hill area.  1355 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, 368-5703

 

Kalmar Nyckel and Copeland Maritime Center

Tours and sails aboard the replica Swedish ship that brought the first settlers to Delaware. Plus, a maritime center featuring the permanent “Watercraft of the World” exhibit. • 1124 E. Seventh St., Wilmington, 429-7447

 

Nemours Estate

This nearly 300-acre du Pont estate features formal French gardens and a classical French mansion of more than 70 beautifully appointed rooms. • 850 Alapocas Road, Wilmington, (800) 651-6912

 

New Castle Court House Museum

Learn how our three counties formed Delaware. • 211 Delaware St., New Castle, 323-4453

 

New Castle Historical Society

Documentation of the area’s homes and buildings and tours of the Amstel House and Dutch House. • 30 Market St., New Castle, 322-2794 

 

Pencader Heritage Museum

A free museum telling the history and heritage of Pencader Hundred and the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, site of Delaware’s only Revolutionary War battle. • 2029 Sunset Lake Road, Newark, 737-5859

 

Rockwood Museum

This 72-acre Victorian English Gothic country estate features original furnishings, a conservatory and garden. It is open year-round for guided tours and regularly hosts public special events. • 4651 Washington St. Extension, Wilmington, 761-4340

 

University Museums at University of Delaware

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; and Mineralogical Museum, 255 Academy St., which displays about 350 mineral specimens. • Newark, 831-8037

 

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

The former home of Henry Francis du Pont is the premier museum of American decorative arts, a world-class destination with 175 beautifully furnished and accessorized rooms, galleries and a 60-acre naturalistic garden. • 5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 888-4600

 

Nearby Pennsylvania

Brandywine River Museum of Art

Displays Wyeth family paintings and illustrations, plus American art including landscapes, portraits, still life paintings and illustrations, with a special focus on artistic practice in the Brandywine Valley. • 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, Pa., (610) 388-2700

 

Kent County

Air Mobility Command Museum

Offers exhibits on military life and, outside, a collection of vintage planes, including the only C-5 transport jet on public display in the world. • 1301 Heritage Road, Dover Air Force Base, Dover, 677-5938

 

Barratt’s Chapel and Museum of Methodism

Barratt’s is the oldest church in the United States built by and for Methodist congregants. • 6362 Bay Road, Frederica, 335-5544

 

Biggs Museum of American Art

Features fine art and decorative works by American artists from the 17th century and later, and it regularly hosts feature exhibitions. • 406 Federal St., Dover, 674-2111

 

Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village

The big barn offers permanent and special exhibits about farming and farm life. The village includes restored, historically significant farm buildings from across Delmarva. • 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. • 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. North, Dover, 744-5000

 

Delaware State Police Museum

The museum preserves the history and educates the public about the original highway patrol and the State Police. • 1425 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, 739-7700

 

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. • 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. North, Dover, 744-5055

 

Harrington Historical Society Museum

The exhibits tell stories about harness racing, the local fire company, military veterans and more. The society also maintains the Old Church and the railroad complex on Hanley Street, including the railroad tower, caboose and watchman’s hut. • 108 Fleming St., Harrington, 398-3698

 

John Dickinson Plantation

Visit the 18th-century plantation of a founding father. Living history presentations are made several times a year. • 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.  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 surrounding communities. • 121 S. Walnut St., Milford, 424-1080

 

The Old State House

Tour the state’s original capitol building. • 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. • 11 S. Main St., Smyrna, 653-1320

 

Star Hill Museum

Educates the public about the hardships of life as a slave. • 357 Voshells Mill, Star Hill Road, Dover, 697-9903

 

Woodburn: The Governor’s House

The Colonial home of the governor is open to the public several times a year. • 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. • 214 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach, 539-8011

 

Cannonball House

Famous for the cannonball still in its facade, this building is also home to The Lewes Historical Society’s maritime museum and is open year-round. • 118 Front St., Lewes, 645-7670

 

DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum

This private museum includes artifacts recovered from centuries-old shipwrecks. • 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. • 23669 Ross Station Road, Seaford628-9828 

 

Lewes Life-Saving Station

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

 

Lewes History Museum

The Lewes Historical Society’s collection of artifacts, artwork, documents, maps and photos. • 101 Adams Ave., Lewes

 

Nanticoke Indian Museum

Native American jewelry, pottery, arrowheads and spears. • 27073 John J. Williams Hwy., Millsboro945-7022

 

Rehoboth Beach Museum

Houses exhibits related to the 115-year-old town and operates the Anna Hazzard Tent House, an original camp meeting building on Christian Street. • 511 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7310

 

Seaford Museum

Covers history from a local perspective.  20High St., Seaford, 628-9828

 

Treasures of the Sea

See treasures from the 1622 wreck of the Spanish galleon Atocha. • Delaware Tech, 21179 College Drive, Georgetown, 259-6150

 

Zwaanendael Museum

Learn about the Dutch settlement of Lewes in 1631. • 102 Kings Hwy., Lewes, 645-1148

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