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The little town of Winterthur, Delaware, sits just north of the Wilmington metropolitan area and a short distance to the west of Philadelphia. It’s in an ideal location at the crossroads of Routes 92 and 100, surrounded by forests and near the beautiful Brandywine Creek.
Much of Winterthur’s history, including its name, is linked to the Du Pont family. It’s named after the Winterthur estate at the center of town, which was the home of Henry Francis Du Pont. The estate name is derived from one of Switzerland’s largest cities, which the Du Pont’s wished to pay homage to with their beautiful country home. While the Du Ponts are most well known for the contributions to the chemical industry, specifically gun powder, Henry is remembered for his works as a horticulturist and art collector.
Winterthur’s rural location is great for lovers of outdoor recreation, with a number of state parks nearby where you can run, hike, or enjoy a picnic. A hike through Brandywine Creek State Park is a must-visit stop when visiting Winterthur. As with much of the land in the area, the Du Ponts formerly owned it, and you can still see many of the stone walls that crisscrossed its terraces in the 1800s. There’s also a nature center, which offers guided tours of the park and is an excellent place for the kids to learn about ecology.
Wilmington State Parks is another great option, especially if you’re considering spending some time in the city. The walking trails visit some beautiful historic sites like the Rockford Tower; a 100-year-old stone tower that now serves as an observation deck for the park. The park also surrounds the Brandywine Zoo, which has over 50 species of animals.
For a short stroll, you might enjoy the Wilmington Riverwalk. It’s only a couple of miles long, but it has some fantastic views of the harbor and is well lit at night. There are some great shops to explore along the boardwalk too. There are also a few excellent golf courses just a short distance away if you’re hoping to hit the links when you rent an RV here.
Finding a place to camp when you get a travel trailer rental in Winterthur can be a bit of a challenge as there aren’t too many dedicated RV parks within easy driving distance. One possibility is the Woodlands Camping Resort in Maryland. It’s a 30-minute drive from Winterthur, and it offers full hookups along with a basketball court, swimming pool, and excellent hiking opportunities in nearby Elk Neck State Forest. The park also organizes lots of community activities, which are great for interacting with fellow travelers.
You might also consider the Philadelphia/West Chester KOA in Pennsylvania. Like most KOA parks, it has amenities including a swimming pool, a dog park, bike rentals, a mini-golf course, and of course, full hookups for your RV rental from Winterthur, DE. This could be a nice place to stay with the Winterthur camper rental if you’re thinking about visiting attractions farther north, like Pennsylvania Dutch country.
There’s also the option of camping in the Walmart parking lot just outside of Wilmington when you book an RV in Winterthur. There won't be any amenities, but the lot can provide a spot to park for a night or two if you're just passing through. It's best to call ahead to confirm availability with store management.
Winterthur has been hugely influenced by the Du Ponts, and you'll find lots of interesting sites in the area related to this famous family. The Delaware Museum of Natural History is one of the prime attractions in the Winterthur area and is the oldest natural history museum in the state. Its extensive collection is due in large part to John E. Du Pont, the naturalist who cataloged many of the specimens that can be seen in the museum today. Since its inception in the 1970s, the museum has continued to grow and now contains the second largest collection of seashells and bird eggs in North America.
To learn even more about the Du Pont Family, you can visit the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library. The massive country estate turned museum houses some of the world’s most famous decorative artworks (tapestries, fine furniture, and vases) from the mid-1600s to mid-1800s. The gardens that surround it are also a peaceful place to rest in the midst of your travels. There’s also the Hagley Museum near Wilmington. It’s built on the grounds of Du Pont’s former black powder factory and highlights the family's contributions to America’s development via explosive and armaments. It also has an interesting exhibit showcasing what life was like for 19th-century factory workers.
The restaurant scene in Winterthur is a mixture of high-end cuisine and basic pub foods. You won’t find many international restaurants here, but Wilmington and New Castle are just a short drive away if you’re craving it.
Winterthur’s rural location also necessitates a bit more driving when you’re in need of supplies. Most of the big box stores and supermarkets will be found close to the intersection of Interstates 95 and 295. The same will be true for truck stops if you need to fuel up or empty the tanks when you get an RV rental in Winterthur.