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Best Day Trips from Philadelphia: Things to see in the Countryside of Philadelphia

I had the good fortune when visiting Philadelphia for the first time to also explore its countryside. Just an hour’s drive was a beautiful escape which included country wineries, stores, cafes and the popular Longwood Gardens attraction. In this post, I share some of the best day trips from Philadelphia with a list of things to do in Philadelphia’s countryside.

Kayaker on boat in river at Brandywine River Museum

Best Day Trips from Philadelphia

The road trip started at the Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia. We followed the I-95 S to US-322 W in Upper Chichester Township. There we followed highway US 1 which took us straight to the Brandywine River Museum and Conservancy our first stop. The remaining stops were also along this highway and very close together.

Entrance at Brandywine River Museum of Art Countryside of Philadelphia

Guided Tour: Discover Brandywine Valley: Private Driving Tour

Brandywine River Museum and Conservancy

Our first stop on our countryside of Philadelphia visit was the Brandywine River Museum in Chester County. The museum is an excellent stop for art lovers and nature lovers. They have some exhibitions on display of nineteenth and twentieth-century American art.

start of river trail at Styer’s Garden Café

Outside the museum are some nature trails protected by the Brandywine Conservancy. These trails are part of the Brandywine Creek Greenway. Along the creek, you’ll find kayakers and tubers enjoying a ride. Along the paths you’ll appreciate the beautiful trees and wildlife.

Entrance way to Terrain Garden Store

Terrain Garden Store and Styer’s Garden Café

We made our way to the Terrain Garden Store which was filled with fresh flowers, gardening paraphernalia and country store gifts. There were plenty of things to shop for even for those who are not looking for garden type paraphernalia.

appetizer on board at Styer's Garden Cafe

Lunch at Styer’s Garden Café

Located inside a greenhouse as part of the Terrain Garden Store the Styer’s Garden Café was a highlight of my day. From the fresh lemonade, the exquisite appetizers to my refreshing salad, I recommend a stop here for lunch when visiting the Countryside of Philadelphia.

fresh squeezed pink lemonade in mason jar on table

The cafe menu was inspired by local produce, meats and dairy products from the seasonal harvest of farmers in the region. This means that all the delicious photos you are now seeing will change depending on when you visit.

Long baguette on board covered with egg salad and greens

I love restaurants that offer a menu that changes with the season as it means a great meal of fresh food that tastes phenomenal and it says I will likely never have the same lunch twice.

Peach salad with grilled shrimp on plate at Styer's Garden Cafe PA

For my main, I had a peach salad with grilled shrimp. I just wanted a light lunch as we had a big dinner planned at Longwood Gardens.

Two bottles on table overlooking winery at Galar Estate Vineyard

Local Tour: Valley Forge Private 4-Hour Tour

Drinks at Galer Estate Vineyard & Winery

What’s a trip to the countryside without a wine tasting on a deck overlooking a vineyard? The Galer Estate is the perfect stop for an afternoon tasting. Their vineyard was the perfect backdrop as we sampled some of their award-winning favourites.

House on a hill behind the vines of the Galer Estate Vineyard PA

Afternoon and Evening at Longwood Gardens

Explore the Philadelphia’s Botanical Gardens

While we could have easily spent an entire day here, I was glad for the time we had to explore the massive botanical garden. With over 1000 acres of outdoor and indoor garden displays and some special shows including hourly fountain shows, this attraction is a must if you are in the Philadelphia area.

water fountain amongst trees shooting water at Longwood Gardens PA

Garden highlights include the Italian water garden, Peirce’s Woods, the Forest Walk and the main fountain garden.

Inside greenhouse display with tropical flowers at Longwood Gardens

Dinner at 1906 Fine Dining and Terrace Café

Overlooking one of the many gardens is the beautiful and sophisticated 1906 restaurant. The restaurant is a certified green restaurant with a commitment to locally-sourced ingredients. Be sure to make reservations as this is a favourite spot to eat at the gardens and even during the week we found it was full.

Fountain show with lights at night in Longwood Gardens PA

Longwood Garden’s Fountain Show

To end our beautiful day in the countryside we had front row seats to the newly restored and updated fountain show. The update included new lighting and fountains which can shoot water 175 feet in the air.

Night fountain show with water fountains lit in pink, purple as they move to music

The fountains are then choreographed to music in a spectacular 30-minute show.

The drive back to Philadelphia was about an hour after the fountain show ended. It was a lovely way to spend the day in a more relaxed pace from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Bed in boutique room at Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia

Where to Stay – Kimpton Hotel Monaco

We stayed in the Historic Neighbourhood of Philadelphia at the Hotel Monaco. Located in the midst of the historic district the Hotel Monaco is also somewhat close to the waterfront and the convention centre.


Kimpton Hotel Monaco Reviews: My Hotel Monaco Review | TripAdvisor Reviews
See Availability and Pricing: Trip Advisor | Hotels.com | Travelocity | Expedia


Also in Philadelphia:

Close up of water fountains lit up in purple and pink at Longwood Gardens

Travel assistance provided by Visit Philadelphia on a media press trip. The opinions in this post are my own.

In this post, we share some of the best day trips from Philadelphia with a list of things to do in Philadelphia’s countryside. Just a little over an hour drive was a beautiful escape which included country wineries, stores, cafes and the popular Longwood Gardens attraction. | #Pennsylvania #CountrysideofPhiladelphia #Philadelphia #travel #roadtrip #botanicalgarden #longwoodgardens |

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