Touring the Byway
12 Miles | 4 Days / 3 Nights (Optional Day 5) | Gateway City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

We recommend starting your journey in Philadelphia, PA, where you can learn about the city and its role in the early days of the American government on a Constitutional Walking Tour, embrace your inner Rocky Balboa on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, enjoy some of the city’s tastiest offerings at the Reading Terminal Market, and visit The Academy of Natural Sciences, the country’s oldest history museum, before staying at one of Philadelphia’s historic hotels.

On Day Two, you’ll travel to Wilmington, DE, a city heavily influenced by the du Pont family. See the Nemours Estate, Hagley Museum and Library, and Delaware Art Museum, and spend the night in the beautiful and elegant Hotel Du Pont. The next day, Day Three, you’ll begin your drive on the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway, traveling north on Route 52 to Hockessin, DE for the Mt. Cuba Center and Ashland Nature Center, and to Kennett Square, PA for Longwood Gardens and the Longwood Bed and Breakfast Inn, your accommodations for the evening.

View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping,  and lodging recommendations!

Highlighted Attractions

Longwood Gardens

Features over 1,007 acres of gardens, woodland, and meadows in the Brandywine Creek Valley. It is one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the United States and allows visitors to enjoy native and exotic plants and horticulture, events and performances, seasonal and themed attractions, as well as lectures, courses, and workshops.  

Nemours Estate

A 300-acre country estate with jardin a la francaise formal gardens and a French neoclassical mansion built to resemble a French chateau, it was created by Alfred I. du Pont for his second wife and its 105 rooms on five floors occupy nearly 47,000 feet.

Hagley Museum and Library

Located on 235 acres along the banks of the Brandywine, Hagley is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E.I. du Pont in 1802. This example of early American industry features indoor and outdoor exhibitions, including restored mills, a workers community, and the ancestral home and garden of the du Pont family. People of all ages are invited to investigate and experience the unfolding history of American business, technology, and innovation, and its impact on the world. This is a place where innovation inspires and imaginations run wild.

Brandywine Battlefield

The 1777 Battle of Brandywine was the largest single day engagement of the American Revolution where nearly 30,000 soldiers (not including civilians, teamsters, servants, and other members of the army) squared off on a ten square mile area of roughly 35,000 acres. Today’s battlefield landscape encompasses nearly fifteen different municipalities with the main gateway of interpretation being the park. Brandywine Battlefield Park is a 52-acre park that was the epicenter of George Washington’s continental encampment but is often mistaken as being the entire battlefield itself. The visitor center offers exhibits, a museum store, and an orientation film.

Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art

Housed in a converted nineteenth century mill with a dramatic steel and glass addition overlooking the banks of the Brandywine River, this museum is sometimes referred to as the Wyeth Museum because it showcases the work of Andrew Wyeth, a major American realist painter, and his family. The museum’s permanent collection features American illustration, still life works, and landscape painting by Jasper Francis Cropsey, Harvey Dunn, Peter Hurd, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, William Trost Richards, and Jessie Willcox Smith. The glass-wall lobby overlooks the river and rolling countryside that inspired the Brandywine School earlier in the early 20th century. The museum campus is also home to the separate studios of N.C. Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth, and Kuerner Farm, the source of much of Andrew Wyeth’s inspiration.

To experience all that Visions of Vanished Centuries has to offer, download the complete itinerary!

The detailed itinerary includes: