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Wilmington has undergone a revitalisation in recent years, and though business is perhaps still the main attraction, there are pockets in and around the downtown area that are well worth a visit, beginning with the Riverfront on the Christina River. Visitors can stroll along a waterfront path leading to the Shipyard Shops, the rowing center and various restaurants and museums.
The city comprises many distinct neighborhoods, and for those seeking a less touristy experience, Trolley Square is an excellent option. It's full of shady sidewalk cafés, cosy bistros and lively pubs, including Kelly's Logan House, a local institution since 1864 and the only place to be on St Patrick's Day. Stately old homes and restored town houses surround the area. Not far away is Little Italy, home to Mrs Robino's, one of the city's oldest and most popular spots for authentic Italian food. During the summer, the best way to cool off is with a treat from one of the historic community's countless Italian water ice stands.
For many visitors, the most appealing attractions lie just outside city limits, in the beautiful Brandywine Valley. The area is a horticultural delight, with endless gardens and arboretums, as well as the 'American castles' of the du Pont family, including Winterthur and Nemours, magnificently preserved and packed with artwork and antiques.
The official U.S. currency is the United States dollar (symbol: $). ATM's everywhere.
Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely used and accepted, even for transactions worth only a few dollars. In fact, in some cases, it may be the only way to make a transaction. Note to overseas visitors: Prices of goods and services always seem lower than they really are, as taxes and gratuities are seldom included.
Most states have a sales tax, ranging from 2.9% to nearly 10% of the retail price; 4-6% is typical. Sales tax is almost never included in posted prices (except for gasoline, and in most states, alcoholic beverages consumed on-premises), but instead will be calculated and added to the total when you pay.
Tipping in America is widely used and expected. While Americans themselves often debate correct levels and exactly who deserves to be tipped, generally accepted standard rates are:
The U.S. has no official language at the federal level, but English is by far the standard for everyday use. Several states have declared their official state language as English. Spanish is also official in the state of New Mexico, where it is widely spoken; French is official in Louisiana and the Hawaiian language is official in Hawaii, but neither approaches the use of English and are official for primarily historical reasons.
In major metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles, many drugstores and supermarkets are routinely open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, while department stores, shopping centers and most other large retailers are typically open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and often with shorter hours on Sundays - generally 11 a.m. or noon to 5 or 6 p.m. On holidays, the tendency is to remain open (with the exception of the most important holidays like Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day where stores are generally closed)
Holidays in the USA
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