I was completely unfamiliar with the estate and Alfred I. duPont, so we loved that there was a brief video on his history after you buy your tickets and before you head to the shuttle that will take you to the house. The admission is $17 for adults, which seemed a little bit steep coming from the land of DC (where most museums & things are free), but the cost was completely justified. The visitors center is top notch and they have shuttles running every few minutes around the estate-- combined with the overall upkeep of the estate.
The estate was originally 3,000 acres(!), now 200 acres, as much of the land is occupied by the Children's Hospital funded by the Nemours Foundation. The estate has the largest french gardens in North America and I imagine it's the closest thing I'll ever experience to something like Versailles. The house was finished in 1910 after only 18 or 19 months of construction, which seems crazy when you consider the size and detail of the estate.
|butler's pantry; conservatory|
|grand staircase; view from the gold room|
You're able to tour three floors of the estate, and it was really cool to peak into so many of the rooms. The tour is self-guided but in most areas there are guides that are eager to share bits and pieces of the history. I also found it really helpful that there's a sign with each room that has highlights or fun facts about who might have stayed there or where different decor or furniture was from. We didn't get any photos of the massive garage on the grounds, but it houses five antique cars.
Next up to visit are Vanderbilt Mansion, the Rockefellar Estate, and Old Westbury (and hopefully one day the Biltmore, but that requires a plane ride). We both agreed it was well worth the drive to explore something so different and take a step back in history. We highly recommend if you're ever in the Wilmington area.