Plan Your Visit

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.


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.

Holiday Hours

Historic Odessa will be open November 13 through December 31st, 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.