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Plan Your Side Trips from Philadelphia Vacation

It's easy to expand your view of the Philadelphia area by taking one or more day trips to destinations that are within an hour's drive of the city. Head southwest, and in 30 minutes you can be immersed in a whole new world—or make that "worlds."

First you can see the verdant hills and ancient barns of the Brandywine Valley, home to three generations of Wyeths and other artists inspired by

the rural landscapes outside their windows. Then you can visit the extravagant realm of du Pont country, including Pierre S. du Pont's resplendent Longwood Gardens, whose summer fountain displays are world-renowned, and Winterthur, an important repository of American decorative furnishings, over the border in Delaware. Or you can explore the Revolutionary War battlefield of Brandywine at Chadds Ford. These attractions are year-round favorites of Philadelphians, and area bed-and-breakfasts and inns make the Brandywine appealing as an overnight or weekend trip and as a day excursion.

The historical park at Valley Forge adds another dimension to the revolutionary story that began in Independence Hall. Not far away, the town called King of Prussia dates to that period, but is now primarily synonymous with shopping, thanks to its huge upscale mall. It's a half hour from Philadelphia and also accessible by public transportation.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Brandywine River Museum The work of iconic American painter Andrew Wyeth, as well as that of his illustrator father, N. C. Wyeth, and son, Jamie, is celebrated at this museum.
  2. Longwood Gardens The internationally renowned gardens and conservatories are worth a visit any time of the year.
  3. From farm to table Enjoy a gourmet lunch in the homey Talula's Table in Kennett Square or stock up on provisions for a picnic lunch or supper.
  4. American History lesson Valley Forge, the site of the American revolutionary force's difficult encampment in the winter of 1777, is now a lovely park with miles of walking and jogging trails.
  5. One man's treasure The collection of American furniture and objects amassed by Henry Francis du Pont at Winterthur offers a window on the nation's past through design.

When To Go

When to Go

Each season provides plenty of reasons to visit this area, which is about 45 minutes' to an hour's drive from Center City Philadelphia. Spring...

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