Everyone who has travelled the eastern seaboard of the United States has spent at least 20 minutes in Delaware.
But if that’s all you know, you’ve missed far too much.
You may not know that you’ve been within minutes of glorious, world-renowned gardens and museums. You’ve missed the chance to eat at restaurants that the Washington Post says are “worth a train trip.” You’ve passed by hundreds of years of history, driven past protected wetlands that serve as a vital oasis for migratory birds, overlooked countless miles of biking and hiking paths … and spent far too much elsewhere when you could be shopping in tax-free Delaware.
Because here’s a little secret: Northern Delaware might be small on the outside, but it’s bigger on the inside.
In the Brandywine Valley, we sit at the crossroads of the Mid Atlantic – just at that place where north meets south. The rolling green hills and quiet byways of the Brandywine Valley could easily find a home in upstate New York or Vermont, while waterfront nature preserves overlooking the Delaware Bay provide a complete change of scenery in less than an hour’s drive… if you don’t stop for a crab cake sandwich along the way.
Reason #1 - Centrally Located
Northern Delaware is located within two hours of four major cities- Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York and Washington, DC. Meeting attendees that choose to drive will find it easily accessed from I-95. Train lovers will appreciate that over 80 Amtrak trains per day stop downtown at the Joseph R. Biden Jr Railroad Station. Those who are traveling from afar should find ample flights going into either Philadelphia International Airport (located 35 minutes north of Wilmington) or to Baltimore Washington International Airport (located 90 minutes to the south).
Reason # 2- Tax Free State
Meetings in Delaware have an immediate ROI in the form of tax savings! Our hotels only charge occupancy tax, you will find our occupancy tax very competitive to our area 8% in the suburbs and 10% downtown Wilmington. Your meeting will incur NO taxes on any room rental, food, beverage, or audio visual services and these tax savings continue as your guests enjoy our restaurants and attractions.
Delaware offers tax-free shopping and more than 17 million bargain hunters visit the Christiana Mall every year to take advantage of stores like Nordstrom, Apple and Cabela’s. Located less than a mile from the mall, is the Hilton Wilmington/Christiana. With a total of 9,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, the Hilton Wilmington/Christiana is home to 12 meetings rooms that can accommodate groups of 10 to 300, and is the largest area hotel with 266 rooms.
Reason #3 - Vibrant Riverfront
Wilmington’s largest venue for meetings, trade shows, and conventions is the Chase Center on the Riverfront; offering 92,000 sq. ft. of dedicated exhibit space, two beautifully appointed ballrooms, meeting rooms and a fixed seat auditorium. Attached to the venue is a 180 room Westin hotel. Once a thriving ship building center, the Wilmington Riverfront is bustling with new energy. A one-mile+ river walk takes you along local art, sculptures, and a number of bars and restaurants. Area attractions include Frawley Stadium, the home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks Minor League baseball team, the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, a state-of-the art IMAX Theatre, and an 18-hole Riverfront Mini Golf Course. When the temperature dips, a portable ice skating rink is installed in Justison Park and is operational from Black Friday through February and as it rises, an open air beer garden opens up for families and adults to enjoy.
Reason #4 - College Town
The University of Delaware conference centers provide the perfect gathering spaces for social and business events. With a number of facilities in different parts of the state, Clayton Hall in Newark is the largest meeting space with the latest technology, set in a campus environment. This location offers 21 meeting rooms for receptions, business meetings, social events, and association meetings. It is conveniently located adjacent to the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel at the University of Delaware and our transportation incentive can also be used to include additional hotels if needed.
Travelers can also reminisce about their college days while enjoying some of the many restaurants, bars and shops in downtown Newark. Caffé Gelato has options for group dining and also hosts many public events throughout the year, such as “Make Tour Own Pasta” events, “Paint Nights” and multiple wine or beer pairings.
Reason #5- Walkable Downtown
Downtown Wilmington features four hotels with a combined 780 guest rooms and multiple meeting space options all within a one-mile radius. Of the four, the DoubleTree Downtown Wilmington- Legal District has the largest ballroom with a 9,600 square foot ballroom plus 9 additional rooms for breakouts and 217 recently renovated guest rooms.
A walk down Market Street will bring you past many of the area’s top restaurants and music venues. One of these venues is World Café Live at the Queen. After being dark for five decades, the majestic venue was restored in 2013. The charismatic Olympia Room, with over-sized windows overlooking the trendy new LoMA district of Market Street, and accommodates groups up to 100 seated or 175 standing. The Downstairs Live theater holds three remarkable murals noting "Beauty," "Painting" and "Music", will comfortably seat 200 and can expand to accommodate 500 standing.
Reason #6 - Meet like a Billionaire
The DuPont Family started their business in Wilmington, Delaware in 1802 and remains here to this day. The Hotel DuPont is an ideal location for downtown visitors. An historic luxury downtown hotel that was once used as a company and family amenity, the hotel now features 217 over-sized guest rooms, two restaurants, and an executive conference center and 30,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate up to 1200 people.
Hagley Museum & Library is the original DuPont gun powder mill which now offers group tours and walking trails, as well as multiple meeting facilities along the banks of the Brandywine River. The DuPont Country Club offers groups 3 golf courses, 25 tennis courts, and stunning ballrooms and meeting spaces.
Reason #7- History, Culture, and Gardens
The DuPont Family was not the only family to settle in our area! Historic New Castle is a residential town where William Penn first landed on American soil. The town is rich with Swedish and Dutch heritage and features quaint shops and restaurants, an open riverfront park, and historic houses and gardens that your guests can tour. The Brandywine River Museum of Art features paintings from Howard Pyle, Andrew Wyeth many others who originated in this area as well as tours of the N.C. Wyeth Studio and House. Those who enjoy gardens will have many amazing options to choose from! Both Winterthur Museum & Gardens and Mt. Cuba Center offer naturalistic style gardens, while Nemours Estates and Longwood provide spectacular formal garden options.
Reason #8- Free Services & Incentives from the Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau wants to host your next meeting or event - and to give you money back in the process. That’s why we offer the largest transportation incentive in the Mid-Atlantic region. Qualifying events can receive up to $50,000 in transportation assistance. Plus, you’ll save even more with Delaware’s built-in tax-free benefits like no sales tax on meeting room rentals or food and beverages.
Our sales team offers complimentary sourcing! With over 300 meeting rooms and 6,000 hotel rooms county-wide the Greater Wilmington area is the perfect fit your small- to mid-sized needs. Put all of this together with Wilmington’s convenient location in the Mid-Atlantic, easy access via air, rail and car and the savings keep adding up. To learn more about our area, please visit our award winning website, VisitWilmingtonDE.com/Transportation or call our sales team at 1-800-489-6664.