Welcome to County Lines Country!
It's our pleasure to share some of our favorite things about this area—things that make it such a singular place to live. Whether you’re a first time visitor, new resident or count your time in generations, we hope you’ll find your own favorites.
Day Trips and Outings
Are you ready for a personal tour of the Brandywine Valley and surrounding areas? After 40 years of covering our special corner of paradise, we’ve got a curated collection of sights to share with you.
We’ll start with the three most popular attractions—Longwood Gardens, Brandywine River Museum of Art and Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library—then take you to other stops worth a quick visit or a leisurely tour—your choice.
TOP TIP: You’ll want to see so many attractions, it’s worth getting the aptly named Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport. Save up to $350 on admission to 11 major sights. Valid through Labor Day, $45/adults, $95/families. BrandywineTreasures.org.
TIP: Blue Star Museum programs offer active-duty military and their families free admission. Arts.gov/National/Blue-Star-Musuems.
Top Three Must-Sees
The biggest buzz in our area is the return of the Fountains at Longwood Gardens and the ensuing “Summer of Spectacle,” the result of the two-year, $90-million fountain revitalization. Dazzling daily fountain shows featuring 750 jets of water, glorious new gardens, live music and special events make the dancing fountains, light shows and five nights of fireworks (July 2 & 22, Aug. 12, Sept. 2 & 16) a top stop. Fountain shows through September 30.
Even without the fabulous fountains, a visit to what National Geographic Traveler calls a “National Wonder” is a must. The 1,000-acre gardens feature 11,000 types of plants and more fountains than any other garden in the U.S.! Check online for what’s blooming when you go.
Stop by the Beer Garden to sip brews from Victory Brewing Company and Longwood’s new signature beer—Longwood Seasons: Oro Blanco, a German wheat beer—and enjoy wood-fired pizza and barbeque grill stations under the stars. Thurs.–Sat., through September.
Longwood is also an entertainment venue, hosting 400 performances a year. Kids will enjoy The Brandywiners performing “Beauty and the Beast,” July 27–29, and classical music buffs should reserve seats for the Kennett Symphony’s “Symphony Under the Stars: Love is in the Air” on August 19, Open daily. Rts. 1 & 52, Kennett Square. LongwoodGardens.org.
TIP: Make reservations now! The Fountains will draw even more summer visitors.
Brandywine River Museum of Art
Next on our Brandywine trip is a visit to the Brandywine River Museum of Art on the banks of the Brandywine River. The Museum is home to a world-class collection by three generations of Wyeths—N.C., Andrew and Jamie—plus regional art, American landscapes, still-life paintings and illustrations, all displayed in a spectacular setting.
This year’s spotlight is on Andrew Wyeth to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. See his legacy on display in “Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect,” featuring over a hundred works exploring how his art evolved over the decades, through September 17. Read more in our June issue or online here.
Celebrating the environment for 50 years, the Brandywine Conservancy, which shares this stunning site on the Brandywine River, is hosting events like the July 23 Native Garden Tour and September 30 Bike the Brandywine ride. Open daily, Rt. 1, Chadds Ford. BrandywineMuseum.org.
TIP: For a different view of the talented Wyeths, visit nearby Kuerner Farm, inspiration for Andrew Wyeth’s works, along with the restored homes and studios of N.C. and Andrew Wyeth. Tours through November 19; check website for times.
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library is top stop number three. Here you’ll see one of the premier collections of American decorative arts displayed in a 175-room mansion set in a landscaped 1,000-acre park, all once the home of Henry F. du Pont. The galleries display an astonishing 90,000-piece collection.
On view now, “Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes” challenges you to put on your CSI hat and investigate some of the most clever and costliest deceptions. Or visit in October to see the coronation gown featured in the Netflix series “The Crown”—it’s not as big as the “Downton Abbey” exhibit, but still stunning.
Tour the gardens in a tram or just meander across acres of rolling hills, streams, gardens and forests as you search for the William Penn tree (dating from the 1600s) or the state champion dawn redwood in the pinetum.
For kid-friendly fun, there’s the Enchanted Woods, a three-acre fairy-tale style garden including a Tulip Tree House. Open Tues–Sun. 5105 Kennett Pk., Winterthur, DE. Winterthur.org.
TIP: Say “winter-tour” and sound like a local.