April 26, 2018 | Active Adult Travelogue

Meridian Crossing lays a path of exploration, putting residents within reach of the nation’s treasures.

The legacy of America unfolds around Northern Delaware. You can explore over 30 historical sites in the First State alone, and then venture to Philadelphia, PA, and Washington D.C. to see museums, monuments, and memorials honoring our country’s greatest achievements and heroes; but the fun does not stop there. These metropolises also host unique culture channels and energized outlets of entertainment, so as to give you a continuous flair for life in new and exciting ways.

Active Adult residents (55+) of Meridian Crossing are surrounded by flourishing greenery in this beautifully-landscaped suburban community. Reminiscent of a traditional American parkland, Meridian features broad green spaces, ponds, and sagely-planted elms and oaks that all serve a higher aesthetic purpose, melding in well with the architecture of the Dutch Colonial-style homes; but more importantly, the openness and visual appeal of the community grounds encourage active living and finding connections with neighbors in a healthy environment. Gracing the community’s easterly side is a dense woodland with winding trails; these woods are home to a choir of songbirds and several small mammals, including popular tree bats that control the mosquito, moth, and beetle populations.

Most of Delaware is surrounded by water, with Chesapeake Bay to the west and the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay to the east, and the moderating effects of these aquatic bodies lessen temperature extremes for nearby locales. Northern Delaware, in particular, has a humid continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Summer showers are frequent, dropping around 43 inches a year, and residents see nearly 19 inches of snow during the winter months. Seasonally severe weather events like spring and winter nor’easters regularly occur, and high autumnal winds blow through the county. Still, locals enjoy the various sights and festivities that accompany each season. Spring welcomes soft-hued blossoms at Winterthur Gardens, and summer teases the countryside into a lush green frenzy. Autumn sets the land aglow with fiery foliage – thousands of crimson, orange, and golden-leafed treetops, and winter ushers in a soft blanket of white to turn into snow angels and snowmen before letting snowballs fly.

Delaware, better known as the “First State” – the first to ratify the U.S. Constitution, has a proud legacy, boasting many historic sites and places that resonate with America’s milestones. There are over 30 museums, grand estates, and noteworthy architecture to explore along the Delaware History Trail, a program sponsored by the Delaware Tourism Office. Step inside a WWII fighter plane at the Air Mobility Command Museum or ride a steam locomotive on the Wilmington & Western Railroad, with special events like Murder on the Red Clay Express and Civil War Skirmish. Drive northwest of Wilmington to the DuPont Mansions – Nemours, Winterthur, and Hagley – to walk the magnificent garden estates in all their blooming splendor every spring. The mansions are open to self-guided tours, and one is swept away by the elegance and antiquity of the lavish manors; indeed, you could spend a whole day viewing the 102 rooms of Nemours, 175 rooms of Winterthur, and 22 rooms of Hagley, plus the libraries, gunpowder mills, and Chauffeur’s Garage with the DuPont family’s vintage automobiles. Celebrate the past at First State Heritage Park’s annual Market Fair (November), where goers can interact with living history characters; observe 18th-century-style entertainments and trade demonstrations; and buy hand-crafted items. Dover Days (May) draws in thousands to watch the grand parade, view a classic car show, explore old war encampments, shop over 350 vendors, and catch the spring NASCAR races at Dover International Speedway. Bet your luck on the horse races at Dover Downs Casino or go with friends on a tax-free shopping spree at the upscale retailers of Christiana Mall in Newark. If you are disposed to treat your palate to a delightful assortment of foods and spirits, embark on these two tasty trails, also sponsored by the Delaware Tourism Office. The Delaware Culinary Trail puts the spotlight on 24 iconic restaurants that range from bistros to steakhouses to taverns to seafood grills, so you get a generous serving of the best in local and international cuisines. Be sure to reserve a table at the AAA Four-Diamond award-winning Green Room at Hotel du Pont, renowned for its French-inspired cuisine and unforgettable setting of gold chandeliers, fumed oak paneling, Italian mosaics, and original oil paintings. After sampling good eats, go on a tour of the state’s 20 finest breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, and meaderies with the Delaware Beer, Wine & Spirits Trail.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – a 46.1-mile drive northeast on I-95 – is famed as “the birthplace of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Home to a number of historical landmarks and fascinating museums, as well as popular ethnic and artistic wonders, Philly poses an exciting scene for a weekend of scholastic adventure. Stroll through Historic Philadelphia, which includes Independence National Historical Park, where you can see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall; the Historic District has over 20 historically-significant sites and attractions to explore, from the President’s House, where George Washington and John Adams lived during their terms, to the Benjamin Franklin Museum, to the Declaration (Graff) House, the inner walls of which saw Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. Behold the beautiful mosaics of Isaiah Zagar at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens in the South Street District, Philly’s premier shopping destination, with over 400 shops that deal in modern and vintage fashions, records, comic books, antiques, and other unique products. Walk South 9th Street Italian Market to experience a most-welcome assault on your senses; the delightful aromas of spices, ground coffee, and chocolate wonderfully mingle with a symphony of crackles, crunches, and sizzles you hear amidst the blend of international dialects, as you shop America’s oldest outdoor market.

Washington D.C. – a 101-mile venture southwest on I-95 – is a national treasure of American history and endless discovery; truly, there are so many things to see and do here that even if you spent a week in the nation’s capital, you would not experience everything it has to offer. The Smithsonian Institution, comprised of 17 museums, galleries, and the National Zoo, has nearly 140 million objects, artworks, and specimens on display to inspire and educate your curiosity about the world we live in and humanity’s wide-ranging achievements; better still, admission to all these locations is free. Washington’s National Zoo is home to 400 different species of animals, including lovable, but endangered giant pandas, and you can visit the National Archives Building to see the nation’s three most important documents, before heading to the world’s largest library. Pay respects to the fallen heroes and leaders of our nation at the famous monuments and memorials strewn throughout the capital. Listen to the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, host to nearly 3,000 events a year that include magnificent performances of opera, theater, dance, and more. Find special gifts for your loved ones when you shop the 180 vendors at the Downtown Holiday Market (late November through December), and be sure to sample the local flavors of one of the country’s most vibrant dining scenes. Named restaurant city of the year in 2016 by Bon Appétit, D.C. has a variety of bistros, cafés, steak houses, and other bold eateries that pose eclectic menus of power breakfasts, boozy milkshakes, vegetarian bibimbap, succulent sushi, and so many more scrumptious eats, you will have to return to the capital time and time again to sample them all.

Outdoor recreational pastimes near and around Bear, Delaware, encourage you to get back to nature and enjoy an active lifestyle out of doors. As the seasons turn, you can harvest fresh produce at local pick-your-own farms, with May strawberries being the most sought-after fruit. Be amazed at the dazzling Fireworks & Fountains Shows of Longwood Gardens and witness impressive equestrian feats at the Point-to-Point steeplechase horse racing event at Winterthur Museum & Gardens. Bombay Hooks National Wildlife Refuge provides occasions to hunt deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, and small game to control populations and habitat management objectives, while largemouth bass and catfish fishing expeditions are available at Killens Pond and Lums Ponds. Catch some waves at Dewey Beach – an 81.6-mile drive southeast – and go crabbing in Rehoboth Beach with Crab Claw Adventures; additional beaches strewn up and down the Atlantic coastline offer ample opportunities to enjoy the sea salt air as you kayak, parasail, go horseback riding, or attend a number of seaside events like the annual Great Delaware Kite Festival at Cape Henlopen State Park.

The vast green countryside of Northern Delaware yields challenging, fun layouts for golfers of any skill level to play. Tee up on the North and South Courses of the Wilmington Country Club, designed by notable golf course architects Dick Wilson and Robert Trent Jones, respectively, to feature plenty of slope, heavily bunkered fairways, neat water hazards, and large, multi-tiered greens. Wilmington’s courteous practice facilities and professional instructors can help you achieve personal goals, and at the end of a thrilling game, you and your fellow players may dine at one of the Club’s seven venues that range from elegant, formal dining to casual poolside fare. The DuPont Country Club has three 18-hole courses – DuPont, Nemours, and Montchanin – that have entertained celebrity golf legends like Betsy Rawls and Bob Hope for years. Enhance your shot making with the well-designed fairways and greens of the DuPont Course, or sharpen your accuracy with the varying elevation and lies of the Nemours Course. You can also test your short game and scoring ability with the small greens and narrow fairways of the Montchanin Course. When you feel good about the almost 50 courses of Delaware, you can branch out your game to courses in neighboring states.

Meridian Crossing is a grand-scale community that caters to single and growing families, as well as active adults, providing desirable amenities that not only promote healthy recreation, but also encourage friendly social interaction. Designed to reflect the traditional American parkland, the open green spaces give residents leave to play portable lawn games like croquet, ladder golf, bocce ball, washers, and bean bag toss. The baseball and soccer fields welcome weekly play by age-appreciative teams, and after each game, teammates can gather for a picnic under the blue gazebo. There are four playgrounds for the grandchildren to expend their energy, and the dog park gives your canine friend all the room he needs to run and play. The easterly woods boast their winding trails for avid joggers and bikers, but the carefree nature lover can also walk the paths to birdwatch, collect natural objects for crafts, or simply “get away from it all.” On those hot summer days, when driving to the beach is too much a bother, residents take a refreshing dip in the outdoor lap pool at the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse is a stimulating environment, complete with a gymnasium, conference suite, and Wi-Fi room, as well as a fully-equipped kitchen, rec room, and movie theater that residents can rent out for special occasions. Meridian Crossing also plans special community events throughout the year to encourage neighborly connections through fun activities and social hours.

The twin homes of Meridian Crossing imitate the Dutch Colonial style, with vinyl sidings, brick foundations, flared eaves, dormers, and double-hung windows with shutters. Each home has a covered front porch to sit and enjoy the sunrise, while an optional back patio (not covered) facilitates your entertaining needs, should you wish to invite the family over for a summer BBQ and watch the grandkids play in the backyard. Both floorplans – Regency (1,846 sq.ft) and Taylor (2,221 sq.ft) – are open concepts with comfortably inviting room layouts. The fluidity from the foyer to the backyard enables you to move swiftly from one end of the home to the other, and the unobstructed flow between the contemporary kitchen, dining room, and exquisite family room makes it easy to host a gathering of friends; yes, you never need to worry about missing the punchline while you prepare the hors d’oeuvres – no walls, no isolation. Truly, these two-story abodes are all about convenient connections between occupants and visitors, as is further attested by the wonderful vaulted ceilings of the family room that visually open up the space, and overhead the balcony of the spacious loft bridges conversations between those downstairs and anyone on the second floor. The addition of an optional stone fireplace makes the family room seem cozier during the winter months, and even adds a little cheer to your December holiday décor. The Regency and Taylor plans provide 2 bedrooms and 2.5 to 3 baths, with an optional third bedroom (both floorplans) and even fourth bedroom (only Taylor) to encourage loved ones to visit more often without fear of crowding or need of a hotel room. A downstairs study (optional for Regency) allows you to work from home, while the unfinished storage space upstairs, which could be turned into the optional third bedroom, may be converted into an artist’s workroom, man cave, or rec room instead. For your comfort, the master suite bath can be upgraded to a luxury design that includes a soaking bathtub and a walk-in shower with seat. Desirable features are included with every new home, and these features include, but are not limited to, a walk-in pantry, walk-in closets, stainless steel appliances, dual vanities, and hardwood floors. The simple landscape package includes lawn care and snow removal, and one of the most appealing factors of living in Delaware is the super low taxes, and that includes no personal property taxes.

Life in Meridian Crossing promises to be a painted tale of adventure, one with vibrant brushstrokes of learning, as you explore the institutes and historical sites that publish our nation’s legacy; but then there are also subtle dabs of social togetherness fostered by this splendid Active Adult community, and you meet and connect with like-minded individuals who become lifelong friends. Now is the time to live the life you deserve, a life of fun, freedom, and fulfillment, and all this comes with the carefree, innovative possibilities presented by Meridian Crossing.

Additional Sources

Northern Delaware Highlights

Things to Do in Philadelphia

Things to Do in Washington D.C.

An Overview of the Smithsonian Institution Museums in Washington, D.C.

Visiting the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Eater’s Guide to Dining in D.C.

Explore the Outdoors of Delaware

Top Golf Courses in Delaware

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