New Castle is a nice place to spend a summer day if you are looking for something to do, a place low-key and easy to get to. It is where William Penn first landed, and is the pivot point for the circular top boundary of Delaware. The historical center is the Green, where anyone can direct you if you have trouble finding it (unlikely). There, you will find a statue of Billy Penn, himself, (larger than life, but one you can touch and climb on) several historical buildings, a historical cemetery, and quaint shops and restaurants. (I am not qualified to recommend shops or restaurants. Try them all.)
You can then walk along The Strand, the street along the river with magnificent historical old houses. (Don’t think about buying one. Many cost over a million and rarely come up for sale.) There is plenty of free parking available on the streets, so there are no commercial lots. In fact, you could drive around and simply pull over to see something interesting. (At least on a weekday.)
“Strand,” by-the-way, means a strip of land next to the shoreline, so London has a more famous road along the Thames called “The Strand,” and there is a Strand movie theater on the Ocean City boardwalk.
The city dock on the Delaware River is only a block or two away from the Green. See what’s there, look across the river to rural Jersey, then walk south (away from the Delaware Memorial Bridge, visible in the distance) past the small beach and sailing club, and you will come to the river walk (Battery Park) that continues along the river for another mile or two. Most walkers turn around before reaching the end. Note the range lights, still lit, that once guided ships from the bay onto the river.
The historical part is similar to the Old Town section in Philadelphia, except smaller, less crowded, and friendlier. Plus you have the river walk in Battery Park if anyone still has energy left.
Google the town, and you will find links to several websites. Here is one.
I consider New Castle to be an undiscovered gem, small but far more accessible than anything in Philadelphia. This is just between you and me—lets keep it undiscovered.
(In all of this, I am talking about historic New Castle. Other parts of New Castle have a reputation for motorcycle clubs and late-night bar fights. But these parts are out-ot-the-way, and you would be unlikely to end up in one. Signs to the historic district are clear, and the route is direct.)
In memory of
a native of Ireland
who departed this life
March 13, 1800
Aged 33 years.
He was beloved in life
And lamented in death
Here lieth the body of
ELIZABETH wife of
James & Jane McCullough
who departed this life
July 1 A.D. 1818
In the 42nd year of her age
And at her request was interred in
the same grave with her Husband
—gravestone in New Castle, DE