Welcome to our Delaware Meeting and Event Planning Guide, which covers the state’s events, attractions and activities, written with the meeting planner in mind. Delaware is the perfect size, and its offerings are huge: Rich history and cultural offerings; natural beauty that includes pristine beaches and sites for outdoor adventures; gaming, nightlife and world-class cuisine. Add to these assets the savings factor—that, since meeting venues in Delaware offer low lodging taxes (as well as no tax on food and beverage), groups can save up to 14 percent on their budget by having their meetings here—and the compelling advantages to convening in Delaware are obvious.
Delaware is well served by several major airports, like Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) which is a 26-minute drive to Wilmington and less than an hour from Newark. Dover, the state capital, is approximately 90 minutes from PHL and Baltimore/Washington DC Thurgood Marshall International Airport. Wilmington is easily accessible by Amtrak's Northwest Corridor train with more than 80 stops per day, and major highway arteries connect the state to Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The state's largest cities are Dover, Wilmington, Newark and Rehoboth Beach. Dover, the state's capital since 1777, has several attractions of historical significance. The greater Dover area is an entertainment center, comprising Dover Downs Hotel & Casino (the state's largest) and the Dover International Speedway, a NASCAR facility. Wilmington is the largest city in Delaware; meeting venues include the Chase Center on the Riverfront and the historic Hotel DuPont. Wilmington was also the birthplace of the E. I. Du Pont Company and now features several museums with glorious works of art as well as providing insight into the legacy of the DuPont family. Newark is home to the University of Delaware, and has facilities for educational conferences.
The Delaware shore is accessible by ferry from Cape May, NJ. Rehoboth Beach, a charming resort destination, is the nearest ocean resort to Washington, DC, with an abundance of outdoor activities. It has a mile-long boardwalk that offers everything from arcades to thrilling rides to pizza. An interesting fact about Rehoboth, the largest summer resort in Delaware, is that it began as a spot for camp meetings amid sweet smelling pine groves. Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island and Lewes are also situated along the Atlantic shore. Nationally recognized for its many historical treasures, Historic Lewes is known as the "First Town in the First State."
The Nemours Mansion (more than 100 rooms) features French architecture and spectacular gardens. Winterthur Museum and Gardens have the largest collection of decorative arts that were made or used in America between 1640 and 1840.