Longwood Gardens – A Must Stop On Your Philadelphia Vacation
By Emily Strandford –
Welcome to the Brandywine Valley. This area provides plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy your vacation here, especially during the Summer, Spring, and Fall seasons. It is home to a wonderful assortment of world-class gardens and museums.
One stop on your itinerary should include a trip to Longwood Gardens and the Brandywine River Museum. Both are within ten minutes of each other. You could easily spend anywhere from a half to a whole day just exploring these two places. Longwood Gardens is located in the historic Brandywine Valley of southeastern Pennsylvania (PA) and northern Delaware (DE).
Pierre S. du Pont developed Longwood Gardens (sometimes called the DuPont Gardens) back in 1906. Today, with the hundreds of employees and volunteers keeping Longwood beautiful, it’s a delight. Over 1,000 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens with over 11,000 different varieties of plants, breathtaking fountains, and lots of events will captivate you. Longwood is so popular that it attracts over 900,000 visitors annually from all over the world. There’s everything from kid’s programs to concerts and gardening demos. Their world-renowned fireworks displays will make you cheer and clap with delight.
Longwood has more fountains than any other garden in the United States. Their fountains have been compared to stately water displays in Europe. This should come as no surprise because Pierre du Pont was amazingly passionate about fountains and water. He created 3 totally different fountain gardens and included an assortment of smaller water displays. Some of these fountains have been either restored and even enlarged on to expand on his original designs. The folks must be doing something right because more and more people come to visit these historic fountain shows.
Naturally, you can’t mention DuPont without mentioning gun powder and fireworks in the same story. The DuPont family has been involved in manufacturing gunpowder for close to two centuries. Pierre’s interest in both pyrotechnics and fountains has blasted (pardon the pun) into one of the best displays of fireworks and water combined, bar none. Because of the people power and time involved in setting up a fireworks show they are limited to 3 to 4 shows each year. You definitely want to make one of the fireworks shows.
High tech has also been added successfully to the mix of fountains and fireworks. Computer technology has brought the fountain shows into the 21st century in a big way. Because Pierre du Pont was always looking to improve Longwood, it’s easy to imagine him being thrilled knowing that his gardens still continue to dazzle visitors.
While you’re in the vicinity, you will want to visit the Brandywine River Museum. The Brandywine River Museum is located in a Civil-War era grist mill thats been changed to a museum. This Museum is famously known for its collection of Wyeth family paintings. It’s hard to imagine that in this country-like setting is one of the largest and most comprehensive Wyeth collections in the world.
The Museum changes its exhibits often. Many of the paintings and other artwork are centered on the Brandywine Valley area, as well as other areas of this region. It’s quite an experience to be looking at a painting and being able to pinpoint the location.
There are also many special events during the year both indoor and outdoor, such as concerts, slide shows, crafts fairs. With all the presentations, you’ll be ready to eat sooner than later and there are Award winning restaurants both at Longwood and The Brandywine Museum. If you are looking for something else, there are plenty of national chain establishments and fast food and everything in between, all within a 10 minute drive.
With the uniqueness of these amazing gardens, you~ll discover something that will make your visit a lasting memory, no matter what your interests are. Because of the spectacular beauty of the open landscapes and the fascinating historical presence of the area, people come back over and over,again and again .