Longwood Gardens - A Must Stop On Your Philadelphia Vacation

By: Emily Strandford

One stop on your itinerary should include a trip toLongwood Gardens and the Brandywine River Museum. Both arewithin ten minutes of each other. You could easily spendanywhere from a half to a whole day just exploring thesetwo places. Longwood Gardens is located in the historicBrandywine Valley of southeastern Pennsylvania (PA) andnorthern Delaware (DE).

Pierre S. du Pont developed Longwood Gardens (sometimescalled the DuPont Gardens) back in 1906. Today, with thehundreds of employees and volunteers keeping Longwoodbeautiful, it's a delight. Over 1,000 acres of indoorand outdoor gardens with over 11,000 different varietiesof plants, breathtaking fountains, and lots of eventswill captivate you. Longwood is so popular that itattracts over 900,000 visitors annually from all overthe world. There's everything from kid's programs toconcerts and gardening demos. Their world-renownedfireworks displays will make you cheer and clap withdelight.

Longwood has more fountains than any other garden in theUnited States. Their fountains have been compared tostately water displays in Europe. This should come as nosurprise because Pierre du Pont was amazingly passionateabout fountains and water. He created 3 totally differentfountain gardens and included an assortment of smallerwater displays. Some of these fountains have been eitherrestored and even enlarged on to expand on his originaldesigns.

The folks must be doing something right becausemore and more people come to visit these historic fountainshows.

Naturally, you can't mention DuPont without mentioning gunpowder and fireworks in the same story. The DuPont familyhas been involved in manufacturing gunpowder for close totwo centuries. Pierre's interest in both pyrotechnics andfountains has blasted (pardon the pun) into one of thebest displays of fireworks and water combined, barnone. Because of the people power and time involved insetting up a fireworks show they are limited to 3 to 4shows each year. You definitely want to make one of thefireworks shows.

High tech has also been added successfully to the mix offountains and fireworks. Computer technology has broughtthe fountain shows into the 21st century in a big way.Because Pierre du Pont was always looking to improveLongwood, it's easy to imagine him being thrilled knowingthat his gardens still continue to dazzle visitors.

While you're in the vicinity, you will want to visit theBrandywine River Museum. The Brandywine River Museum islocated in a Civil-War era grist mill thats been changedto a museum. This Museum is famously known for itscollection of Wyeth family paintings. It's hard to imaginethat in this country-like setting is one of the largestand most comprehensive Wyeth collections in the world.

The Museum changes its exhibits often. Many of thepaintings and other artwork are centered on the BrandywineValley area, as well as other areas of this region. It'squite an experience to be looking at a painting and beingable to pinpoint the location.

There are also many special events during the yearboth indoor and outdoor, such as concerts, slide shows,crafts fairs. With all the presentations, you'll beready to eat sooner than later and there are Award winningrestaurants both at Longwood and The Brandywine Museum. Ifyou are looking for something else, there are plentyof national chain establishments and fast food andeverything in between, all within a 10 minute drive.

With the uniqueness of these amazing gardens, you~lldiscover something that will make your visit a lastingmemory, no matter what your interests are. Because of thespectacular beauty of the open landscapes and thefascinating historical presence of the area, people comeback over and over,again and again .

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