Plan Your Visit


Historic Odessa is open to the public March through December, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 4:30 PM and Sunday 1 PM – 4:30 PM, Monday by reservation.

Historic Odessa is closed January and February, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Visiting Historic Odessa: Guidelines

For the safety of our visitors and properties:

  • Our Gardens are smoke free.
  • While dogs are permitted on the grounds, they must be curbed and leashed at all times. Dogs are not permitted within the buildings.
  • Please respect our plants, trees and shrubs and remain on paths.
  • Visitors are welcomed to take photographs but should not interfere with the enjoyment of other guests.
  • All professional photographers must be HOF members at the $125 Contributor level and must check in at the Visitor Center.
  • Tours of our historic buildings take a  minimum of 90 minutes and include steps to entries and multiple staircases within buildings; we recommend wearing sturdy walking shoes.
  • Small handheld music devices with earphones are permitted on the grounds only, large radios with speakers are not permitted.
  • Picnicking on the grounds is permitted, picnickers are required to remove all trash; shade tents, charcoal or gas grills and bonfires are not permitted.
  • Children are required to be accompanied by an adult.
  • Children may not climb in trees, hang from branches, or jump from carriage blocks, steps, brick walls or fences.
  • Please treat all living things with respect. Please do not feed the wildlife.
  • Firearms are prohibited.


During your visit you may be filmed, videotaped, and/or photographed by a Garden employee or contract photographer. Your attendance serves as permission for the use of your image by the Museum and its constituents.

All professional photographers and videographers are required to be HOF members at the $125 Contributor level in order to have full access to the historic houses and grounds of Historic Odessa. Learn more »

Whether you have an hour or a day, spend it in Historic Odessa.

“To my surprise, I soon found myself in the pleasantest spot I ever saw in New Castle County, below Appoquinimink Creek … the land rises into gentle eminences, is very good, and affords situations that appear to be healthy.”

- John Dickinson, May 13, 1789

Cantwell’s Bridge

Known in the 18th-century as Cantwell’s Bridge, Odessa played a vital role in commercial life along the Delaware River as a busy grain shipping port. Today, you can stroll along tree-lined streets and admire examples of 18th- and 19th-century architecture in one of the best-preserved towns in Delaware. You can tour a remarkable collection of antiques and Americana preserved in period room settings and quaint exhibits.