When Philadelphia's battered asphalt and noise begin to tire, head for an afternoon at Longwood Gardens, a verdant hamlet 35 miles West of the city in the Brandywine Valley. 1,077 acres of horticultural magnificence occupy one of Pierre S. du Pont's many estates, including an impressive conservatory that stretches about 1/2mile.
Ornamental gardens and topiaries, which rotate regularly, can be appreciated all year round in addition to seasonal illuminations (the Christmas light display is so well-received, guests must reserve tickets in advance). It's not only the sheer size of the property that draws in visitors from around the world but the robust display that easily rivals the impeccably manicured gardens of Europe.
The indoor children's garden, treehouses, model trains (seasonal) and concert series make Longwood a great option for traveling families.
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A World Class Botanical Garden in Pennsylvania
A 45 minute ride from Philadelphia will take you to Longwood Gardens, one of the most spectacular gardens I've encountered in my world travels.
When walking the 1000+ acres, I couldn't help but think this must have been the American version of Downton Abbey in it's day. Even though the gardens history goes back to the 1700's owned by William Penn himself, the current incarnation of the estate exemplifies the early 20th century in all its grandeur and elegance.
Don't miss the Conservatory and the attached Grand Ballroom, which hosts one of the biggest organs in the world.
Longwood Gardens is not just a bed of flowers; it's one of the leading horticulture centers in the U.S.
Including outdoor and indoor plays and performances, greenhouses, sweeping light shows, fountains and waterfalls amid Italianate architecture, and thousands of varieties of rare and beautiful flora stretching across miles, it's a destination place for everyone for every season.