advertisement

It took 4 years and $39 million -- and finally the restoration of this 1909 47,000-square-foot château was completed in mid-2009. The home of Alfred I. du Pont and his family, and named after the du Pont ancestral home in France, the 102-room Louis XVI-style château is a model of extravagance. It boasts acres of marble, dozens of glittering chandeliers, paintings from 4 centuries, a clock that once belonged to Marie Antoinette, and gates from palaces of Henry VIII and Catherine the Great. Just as dazzling as the house are the 100 acres of European-style gardens: a maze, sunken gardens, a reflecting pool, a colonnade, and wonderful sculptures. It takes about 3 hours to wander the gardens after the house tour. Tour reservations are a must. Tours begin at the visitor center; arrive 15 minutes before tour time.