Explore Philadelphia

Hit The Road: Brandywine Valley, Bucks County and Chestnut Hill

Head beyond city limits to the beautiful countryside of the region for a daylong break from urban hustle and bustle.

Head to the countryside for must-see museums, award-winning wineries, top shopping destinations and blooming gardens. Follow our guide to exploring the region. Trust us, it is well worth the ride.

Brandywine Valley

Nestled in the hills of southern Chester County, roughly 30 miles beyond city limits, is the charming and historic Brandywine Valley. The area’s rustic landscapes served an inspiration for famed artist Andrew Wyeth, and visitors can view Wyeth’s masterpieces at the Brandywine River Museum of Art (1 Hoffman's Mill Road, Chadds Ford, PA, 610.388.2700). Less than a mile away along Route 1, the state’s largest winery, Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA, 610.388.6221), offers samples of reds and whites, self-guided tours and festive events all summer. Nearby Va La Vineyards (8820 Gap Newport Pike, Avondale, PA, 610.268.2702) likewise produces great local wines and hosts occasional alfresco afternoon concerts. Also in the area, Longwood Gardens (1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA, 610.388.1000) is a horticultural wonderland spanning 1,050 acres with a packed summer schedule of performances, fountain shows and fireworks. For more attractions and events, visit www.thebrandywine.com

Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens rambles over 1,050 acres of gardens, woodlands and meadows. (©B. Krist/Visit Philadelphia)

Bucks County

Located 25 miles from Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA, is a picturesque countryside of Rockwellian towns boasting lush vineyards, historic mansions, eclectic shops, charming covered bridges, blooming gardens and top dining destinations. In Doylestown, head to the Mercer Museum (84 S. Pine St., Doylestown, PA, 215.345.0210), a six-story concrete castle that holds over 40,000 artifacts from early America, or admire Pennsylvanian Impressionist paintings at the James A. Michener Art Museum (138 S. Pine St., Doylestown, PA, 215.340.9800). Next, venture to New Hope, a colorful town along the Delaware River. Climb aboard a 1925 steam locomotive and ride the rails along the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad (32 W. Bridge St., New Hope, PA, 215.862.2332).  Afterwards, head to Main Street and shop everything from handcrafted household items to antique treasures from an eclectic array of boutiques. For more attractions and events, visit www.buckscounty.org

Buck County Covered Bridge
Take a tour through 10 of Bucks County's 12 remaining 19th century covered bridges. (©B. Krist/Visit Philadelphia)

Chestnut Hill, Manayunk & The Main Line

Chestnut Hill is known for unique, upscale shops and restaurants, cobblestone streets, sprawling mansions and a vibrant farmers market. Most of the actions is location along Germantown Avenue, one of the oldest streets in the country, so start here before wandering the scenic side streets. Be sure to explore the Morris Arboretum (100 E. Northwestern Ave., Phila., PA, 215.247.5777), a 92-acre Victorian landscape garden with winding paths, streams and floral displays, and the Woodmere Art Museum (9201 Germantown Ave., Phila., PA, 215.247.0476). to see over 2,500 works of art that celebrate the art and artists of Pennsylvania.  Nearby, Manayunk is a draw for a young crowd with its restaurant-and-bar-lined Main Street. Stretching along Lancaster Avenue northwest of City Line Avenue, the Main Line includes the upscale towns of Merion, Bryn Mawr, Villanova and Wayne, among others. SEPTA Regional Rail lines make all three areas super-accessible from Center City. For more attractions and events, visit chestnuthillpa.com, manayunk.com

Top of the Hill Market
Shop fresh produce, meats and fish at Top of the Hill Market just a short walk from Germantown Avenue. (©J. Fusco/Visit Philadelphia)