West Chester

AAA’s Theresa Gawlas Medoff gives her tips on how to spend a great 48-hour getaway in one of Chester County’s most visited Main Streets.

“It was first known as Turk’s Head, after the inn that opened there in 1762 to serve travelers journeying along Pottstown Pike, Wilmington Pike, Philadelphia Pike and Lancaster Pike. Back then, the tavern—and the Pennsylvania borough that sprang up at this crossroads—was one day’s journey from each of those cities. Its current name might be less poetic, but today’s West Chester has become a destination in its own right, with a downtown dining and shopping district that’s the envy of many a small town, a rich history that can be read in its well-preserved buildings, and a host of nearby attractions.

Day One From City to Garden Begin your introduction to West Chester with a self-guided walking tour of downtown, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (You can find a map and details online at downtownwestchester.com.) Historic and architectural gems date from the 1789 red-brick William Darlington Building, which served as home and office for the man considered the father of West Chester, to the Hotel Warner, which preserves the façade, lobby and grand staircase of the 1930 Art Deco Warner Theater.

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Hotel Warner