Why visit the Brandywine Valley & Delaware Seashore? Many reasons! Here are the highlighted stops on my 5 day trip!
Brandywine Valley – The Laurels Nature Preserve
Have you ever considered a long weekend in The Brandywine Valley (PA&DE) and the Delaware Seashore? It is an incredibly scenic trip with historic homes, rolling countryside, covered bridges, walking trails, charming beach towns, coastal vistas and abundant historical significance.
I recently spent 5 days visiting The Brandywine Valley followed by The Delaware beach towns of Bethany, Rehoboth & Lewes, Delaware. I started the long weekend visit in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania home to the world-renowned Longwood Gardens.
Rehoboth Beach Delaware
First Stop: Kennett Square Pennsylvania
Mushroom Capital of the World – Kennett Square PA
I like off-the-beaten path spots, and Kennett Square ” The Mushroom Capital of the World
” ranks high on my list of unique spots. The Quakers settled in Kennett in the late 1600’s. The borough of Kennet Square was founded in 1853. Around 1885 one of the town’s founders, who owned flower greenhouses, was looking for something to grow alongside the flowers. On a trip to England he discovered a small indoor mushroom industry and took home some spores to experiment. This industry grew rapidly and ultimately dominated the Kennett area. Follow the link above to read about how mushrooms are grown and harvested.
Kennett Square is the epitome of quaint small town USA with a delightful main street, cute shops and a vibrant community of residents. We shopped at the Friday afternoon farmer’s market with fresh local produce and local crafters. On weekends there is a favorite gathering spot for residents called The Creamery Beer Garden . It is held outside in the Summer and indoors in the Winter. Local craft beer, entertainment and culinary treats are the highlight. I just missed the annual Mushroom Festival which was held the first weekend in September annually.
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Shopping on State Street Kennett Square Historic District
We love staying in airbnb’s. I booked this lovely casita
hosted by an empty nester couple and local Realtors. It was within walking distance of historic Kennett Square and Pete & Joelle were super helpful in offering up suggestions for restaurants and other activities. We took their recommendation for Sovana Bistro
and we were happy that we did! Sovana Bistro describes their food as “European style cuisine with modern American flavors while drawing the attention to some of the great local resources in our region”. In town we walked to Talula’s Table for a farm to table sidewalk brunch reminiscent of a European cafe.
Click the “read more” link to learn more about Longwood Gardens & The Delaware Seashore
Historic home in Kennett Square PA
Second Stop: The Laurels Preserve Nature Preserve Walking Trails
One of 2 covered bridges at The Laurel Preserves Coatesville, PA
Just in time for the golden hour we took a 10 minute ride towards Coatesville, Pennsylvania to the Laurels Preserve. The trails are open to the members of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art. We walked a 5 mile lasso loop that had two gorgeous covered bridges. The elevation was only about 200 feet, and the rolling hills were stunning at sunset.
Walking trail Laurels Preserve
Third Stop: Longwood Gardens
Small fountain garden Longwood Gardens
It is very difficult to capture the immense beauty of Longwood Gardens
. Longwood Gardens was opened to the public in the late 1940s by Pierre S. DuPont. The land and estate were his passion and hobby. He continued to add unique elements to the gardens throughout the years. He loved European gardens, fountains, tropical flora as well as wildflower meadows. The original farm & home grew to an estate of over 1000 acres of world-class fountains, conservatories, and unique individual gardens and meadows. Christmastime is a magical time in Longwood Gardens with the lights and the poinsettia display in the main conservatory.
Gardens in September Longwood Gardens
Main fountains in front of the conservatory Longwood Gardens
Fourth Stop: Bethany Beach Delaware
Beach sunset Bethany Beach
The town of Bethany Beach in Sussex County Delaware was founded in 1901 as a permanent tract of land for a seaside assembly for the Disciples of Christ of Washington D.C. The population of the town is 1,060 but in the Summer months grows to 15,000. Bethany & Fenwick Island are known as “The Quiet Resorts”.
Bethany is just South of the Delaware State Seashore Park which covers 2,825 acres and is a beautiful coastal stretch of land between Dewey Beach and Bethany. It is a favorite resort town for Mid-Atlantic residents most coming from Maryland, Washington D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
We enjoyed delicious meals at Patsy’s a chef owned, Key West and Southern inspired cuisine, 99 Sea Level for a delicious brunch with a waterfront view and finally Pie for rustic pizza.
Fifth Stop: Rehoboth Beach
Dolles Salt Water Taffy Rehoboth
We made a quick stop in Rehoboth Beach which is a neighbor to the North of Bethany Beach. Rehoboth was started as a Camp Meeting Association of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1873. It now has a population of about 1500 full-time residents and swells to 25,000 in the Summer months.
Rehoboth Beach received a 5-Star rating in beach water quality. This award was given only to 12 other locations, one being neighboring Dewey Beach. It is a quintessential East Coast beach town well worth the visit!
We visited Dolles Candyland circa 1910 for some fresh Salt Water Taffy and then to Grotto’s Pizza circa 1960 for a slice of their legendary pizza.
Cute home Rehoboth Beach Baltimore Avenue
Sixth Stop: Historical Lewes
U.S. Life Saving Station – Lewes
Historical Lewes is a history and maritime fan’s dream town. Lewes was the site of the first European settlement in
whaling and trading post that
Dutch settlers founded in 1631 and named
Zwaanendael. Today it is a vibrant year-round community with a population of about 3000 people and growing to a much larger number during the Summer season.
There is something for everyone in Lewes. A beautiful State Park called Cape Henlopen State Park for water & beach related activities, historical tours, boating, and great shopping and dining. We had time for a quick lunch on 2nd street and dined at A Touch of Italy It was delicious and fresh, authentic Italian deli cuisine.
Lewes Historical Society – Shipcarpenter Street Campus
Historical Lewes 2nd Street Shops
Last Stop: Philadelphia International Airport back to LAX
Regional U.S. visits are some of my favorite trips. It is so nice to appreciate the local activities, food and natural beauty in each State. The Brandywine Valley and The Delaware Seashore were a fabulous stop in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The weather was very warm with an “Indian Summer” weekend with temperatures in the high 80’s and low humidity. September is one of my favorite times of the year in this region with few crowds and great weather. I highly recommend a visit!!