Delaware and Chester Counties
Take in the sights of preserved natural environments, visit authentic historical sites and taste nationally recognized wines. These are just some of the typical activities residents and visitors of Chester and Delaware County can enjoy. From the site of a notorious Revolutionary War battle to the Mushroom Capital of the world, a variety of unique attractions and activities make these areas a hidden secret with something for everyone.
A Historical Experience
In Delaware County, specifically Chadds Ford, the Brandywine Battlefield Historic Site invites its visitors to experience the largest engagement of the Revolutionary War. This park brings to life the notorious battle between the Continental Army, led by General George Washington and General William Howe’s British forces on September 11, 1777.
With the goal of reaching Philadelphia, Howe led his troops from the Chesapeake as Washington devised a plan to secure his men on the high ground of Chadds Ford. On September 9th, Washington lined his troops along the Brandywine River only to find he would be outwitted by Howe’s forces. It was a battle that ended with the defeat of the Americans and their retreat to Chester.
Through the park’s tours, various educational programs and camps for children, individuals can interactively learn about this important event in American history. However, visitors can mark the date in early September for the annual re-enactment of what has been proclaimed the largest single day battle of the American War for Independence.
The historic culture of these counties does not stop there, however. For the West Chester Railroad museum, this year marks the 150th anniversary of the first train into West Chester. Other attractions that can take visitors through years past are the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum, Historic Sugartown village and the American Helicopter Museum.
From Gardens to Grapes
Brandywine Valley, made famous by the legacy of the du Pont family, is a major attraction of Chester County with its gardens, museums and wineries.
Among the many exquisite sights to see in this particular area, perhaps one of the most reputable is Longwood Gardens. With a rich history, this premier horticultural display with 11,000 different types of plants both indoors and out, has grown since the early 20th century. At this time of year, Longwood’s landscapes beam with an array of yellow, orange, purple and red trees.
While at Longwood Gardens, tourists can explore the Peirce-du Pont home. Quaker farmer Joshua Peirce built a section of the brick home in 1730 which his successors then extended. In 1906, Pierre S. du Pont purchased the property to save its trees and modified it into his country home and first conservatory. Opened to the public in 1976, the property contains the Longwood Heritage Exhibit which features a collection of photos, artifacts and a video that provide a history of these families and the property they enhanced over the years.
Residents and visitors can enjoy a weekend at the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail featuring six different wineries where guests can tour and taste premium wines. Located between Longwood Gardens and Brandywine River Museum, the historic Chaddsford Winery is open daily and is Pennsylvania’s most acclaimed winery. As a renovated 17th century colonial barn, the winery is a beautiful attraction with a charming country atmosphere. Folly Hill Vineyards is part of a 200-year old Quaker farmhouse where individuals can be seen picnicking, taking scenic walks and tasting wines in the stone carriage house.
The other wineries on this trail include Kreutz Creek Vineyards and Winery with its award winning wines, Paradocx Vineyard with its breathtaking views, Twin Brook Winery with its elegant tasting room and Va La Family Farmed Wines which features rare Italian and French varieties. All of the wineries found on the Brandywine Wine Trail.