(Photo by Holly Quinn)
When the Delaware Tourism Office released the Biden Driving Tour through the state on Jan. 19, it was still legally called the President-Elect Biden Driving Tour. Finally, with today’s inauguration ceremony, we can call it the President Biden Tour.
It includes sights seen around the world during the 40 days when Biden and now-VP Kamala Harris made Wilmington their headquarters for press conferences and appointments, as well as some of the president’s favorite places in the First State, and places named after Biden and his family.
The tour includes stops in all three counties, so you can start from north or south. This driving tour is doable in a day. With no stops and light traffic (ie. not during the summer when beach traffic is heavy), it takes about two hours to travel by car from the northernmost part of the state to the southernmost part.
Here are the stops; we’ve added our own additional commentary:
The Queen (500 N. Market St.)
Ordinarily a live music venue, the historic building where Biden and Harris gave pre-inauguration press conferences was built in 1789 as the “Indian Queen Hotel,” and it remained a hotel until 1916, when it became an opulent movie theater. It remained a movie theater until 1959, when it closed down for decades, falling into disrepair. The building was renovated and reopened as a music venue in 2011, keeping much of the old theater’s distinctive details and exposed brick. Also notable: Market Street, where The Queen is located, is on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad byway, and has historically been the site of civil rights events, including in 2020.
The Chase Center on the Riverfront (815 Justison St.)
Probably the site most recognizable from TV news broadcasts since November, the parking lot of the Chase Center is where Biden and Harris gave their outdoor speeches during the drawn-out election. To commemorate Biden’s acceptance speech, the Delaware Discoveries Trail added a mural of Delaware-centric balloons to its tour of interactive street art. The parking lot has also been used as one of the state’s first drive-through COVID-19 testing sites, and continues to be used for distributing COVID-19-related services. Although its indoor events have been cancelled because of the pandemic, the Chase Center itself is usually the home of the Millennial Summit and the future home of neoFest.
Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Railroad Station (100 S. French St.)
Formerly called Wilmington Train Station, the downtown Amtrak station was renamed in 2011 after Biden, who took the train nearly every day for 36 years during his time as senator, up to the start of his vice presidency. The station had undergone extensive renovations before being renamed, and was originally built in 1908 — the last train station to be designed by the renown architect Frank H. Furness. Furness also designed what is now CSC Station, between Biden Station and the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park.
The Biden Welcome Center (530 JFK Memorial Highway)
If you’re traveling across the state, an obvious pit stop is the Biden Welcome Center off of I-95 near the Maryland border and the Welcome to Delaware sign. The welcome center was named after the Biden family in 2018. It’s got fuel and vehicle charging stations, as well as a Popeye’s, Cinnabon and Starbucks among its takeout options (though some restaurants may be closed due to COVID).
UDairy Creamery (535 South College Ave.)
The official dairy of Biden’s alma mater, the University of Delaware, serves some of the best ice cream in the state, if not the best, in flavors like “All Nighter” (a coffee-spiked, chocolate-heavy blend) and seasonal offerings (if you see a flavor with a honey base, definitely order it). UDairy Creamery is also about a mile from the university’s Biden Institute of the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration.
Air Mobility Command Museum (1301 Heritage Road)
Located south of the Dover Air Force Base — which you can not miss if you’re driving through Dover — the museum has over 30 retired Air Force aircraft on display, including a VC-9C that acted as the Air Force Two, transporting VPs, including Biden, from 1975 to 2011.
Junction Breakwater Trail, Cape Henlopen State Park (36470 Seaside Outlet Drive)
Rehoboth Beach is poised to become the next presidential summer retreat. The Tourism Office recommends the Junction Breakwater Trail, which runs between Rehoboth Beach and Lewes, as the southernmost stop in the President Biden Driving Tour. Once there, get out and walk the scenic trail, known for some of the best views of ocean sunrises. Biden has been known to bike the 15-mile trail, which has been commemorated with photos of some of his rides.
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