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Wilmington September 11-13

In cooperation with: Delaware Tourism Office
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Ocean City, MD
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Wilmington September 11-13

My husband, my mother-in-law and I will be visiting the Wilmington area the weekend after Labor Day. Our primary concern is a nice hotel in a safe area, preferably not right in Wilmington but within easy driving distance to the Natural History museum and the art museaum. It doesn't have to be fancy but it must be clean, reasonably modern and not in a 'shady' area of town.

We usually stay at Marriotts as their hotels are entirely smoke-free. I don't know of another major hotel chain that is, although I'm not sure.

Any restaurant recommendations for dinner and breakfast would also be appreciated!

Orlando, FL
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1. Re: Wilmington September 11-13

horselover, I'll take a stab since you have no replies and I'm from DE originally...

I can tell you we've been to some lovely weddings at both the Hotel du Pont downtown and at the Hilton Christiana near the Christina Mall. There are some Marriotts near that Hilton too if I recall. The Mall, Hospital, and DE Park (horse racing/slots) are close. Not sure how far these are from where you are going though.

In Newark, the Iron Hill Brewery near the University is decent and I'm pretty sure they have a location in Wilmington too. If you stay at the Hotel du Pont I am sure they can get you somewhere good to eat.

Chester County's...
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2. Re: Wilmington September 11-13

The Delaware Museum of Natural History is on Route 52, and the Art Museum is not far off Route 52. Unfortunately, there aren't many hotels on Route 52 in the Wilmington suburbs -- most are on Route 202.

Two possibilities on 52, a few miles north in PA, are The Fairville Inn and the Inn at Mendenhall. Fairville Inn is a large B&B; Mendenhall is a good-sized hotel/conference center. Both are really close to the DMNH.

Places to eat on Route 52: In Greenville, DE, Pizza by Elizabeths; in Centreville, DE, Buckley's Tavern and Centreville Cafe. Mendenhall Inn has a very nice restaurant for dinner or Sunday Brunch; breakfast comes with the rooms at both Fairville and Mendenhall. Great homestyle breakfasts at Hank's, at Routes 1 and 100 in Chadds Ford. A little south of there on Route 1, The Gables for fine dining (great outdoor patio).

DMNH is quite small and kid-oriented (but interesting for adults, too). Delaware Art Museum is also fairly small. You'll "do" both in a day and have time to spare. There's lots more to do in the area -- check out http://www.thebrandywine.com/index.html and http://www.brandywinevalley.com/

Have a great visit!

scw
Bear, Delaware
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3. Re: Wilmington September 11-13

There are numerous Marriott-owned hotels and suites along Route 202 near Concord Mall. While in DE you can visit the DE History Museum on Market Street in Wilmington. Nemours Mansion and Gardens along with Winterthur Mansion and Gardens are not far away. Longwood Gardens, Brandywine Art Museum and the Brandywine Battlefield are all just over the state line in PA. There are plenty of chain restaurants along Rt 202, too.

Steve

Ocean City, MD
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4. Re: Wilmington September 11-13

Thank you everyone, for your comments and suggestions. Perhaps I should have worded my original post differently...we would like to know which areas are nicer to stay from a safety standpoint. Thanks to the internet, locations of hotels and restaurants are readily available, but when traveling I always feel like I'm 'flying blind' as far as trying to avoid the shady areas.

I realize that all towns have their bad sections. I am just trying to minimize the risk of some problems we've encountered in the past. Many thanks for any insight you can provide.

Chester County's...
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5. Re: Wilmington September 11-13

Anything north of Route 141 will put you in the suburbs and you'll be fine. For hotels within the city limits, I'll defer to those more familiar with downtown Wilmington.

scw
Bear, Delaware
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6. Re: Wilmington September 11-13

As long as you do not stay directly in the city of Wilmington, you should be OK. The hotels along Rt 202 are all out of the city, but they will have a Wilmington mailing address. Also, do not stay in any motels along Rt 13 near the city. If you prefer, look at the City of Newark. It will add about 10 miles to your driving distance to Wilmington, but it is a college town full of nice name-brand hotels.

Ocean City, MD
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7. Re: Wilmington September 11-13

wythany and scw, I appreciate your tips and will certainly take them into consideration. I almost had my mind made up on where to stay until I found out there was a college football home game that Saturday, the 12th. I'm wondering if the area get crazy on game weekends, and if so, how that would affect where we choose to stay in order to avoid traffic tie-ups and noisy hotels.

Once again, many thanks.

Chester County's...
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8. Re: Wilmington September 11-13

Probably best not to stay in Newark that weekend. Many of the hotels are near the intersection of Routes 4 & 896, and that will be a madhouse from noon till late evening. If you were considering the Marriott on New London Rd. (Rt. 896), it's not near the stadium, but is part of the extended campus and will likely have a lot of fans staying.

Plus that's SO far from the two sites you want to visit -- 30 min. to DE Art Museum, even farther to DMNH. Stay on 202 if you want to stay in Delaware. It's a pretty easy trip from 202 over to 52. If you have a navigation system in your car, trust it. If not, print google maps from the hotel to your destinations.

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9. Re: Wilmington September 11-13

If you're talking about the University of Delaware in Newark the hotels there would likely be more busy on a weekend than the week and busier still on game weekends than non game weekends I imagine, but, it is far from a madhouse. This isn't somewhere like Penn State which has a 100,000+ stadium. It's a modest 22,000 seater and attended by many students (who would walk) and locals (who would not be in a hotel). The game that day is not until 3:30 so I imagine you would be long gone out for the day by then so traffic not an issue. Traffic would be in the opposite direction from you anyhow if it were when you were leaving/coming back and not that bad even if you were traveling with it. That being said, would agree, this is pretty far from where you are going. I'd also look into spots further north.

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10. Re: Wilmington September 11-13

If you want a truly special experience, stay at the Inn at Montchanin Village (search under hotels in Montchanin). It may be a tad pricier than what you are looking for, but a a real value for a property of this cailber and it will make your trip truly special. Not only is it completely safe, but it's right in the heart of Brandywine Valley and convenient to all the attractions you plan to visit.