By Julia Randall, Stays and Getaways
Otherwise known as the Garden Capital of the world, this stunning part of Pennsylvania’s ‘Chateau’ country is the perfect destination for a fall weekend getaway. Located just a short drive from Washington DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Brandywine Valley is easily accessible and a perfect escape from the city. This past weekend we took a road trip to Brandywine to explore the natural beauty and wide open spaces that await visitors of the Valley. As the world has changed around us, the small towns across Chester County have created and innovated new safe spaces and solutions in order to re-open its doors to visitors. Experience the magic that is Brandywine in Autumn.
Check- in to the Inn at Whitewing Farm & Check Out of Reality
Stay Small & Stay Safe at the Inn at Whitewing Farm
With just 10 guest rooms and 13 acres of picturesque property to roam and explore, socially distancing here at the Inn is easy. Staff here are committed to provide the highest level of safety by taking extensive measures in cleaning and sanitation. To ensure guests feel comfortable and secure during their stay, new options have been made available such as breakfast delivery to your suite in the morning and the option to reduce in-room housekeeping services. To learn more about how The Inn at Whitewing farm is keeping guests safe visit their website here for covid-19 safety procedures and more.
What To Do & What’s Open :
St. Peters Village
This historical 19th century village sits along the French Creek in Chester County. A visit here is like taking a step back in time. A small stretch of road makes up the village, but there is so much to discover here. During your visit you can check out the charming Inn at St. Peters Village, and dine outside on their patio terrace overlooking the French Creek. The village features a collection of quirky local shops, a bakery and a phenomenal vintage arcade. If you plan on checking out the arcade (which I highly recommend you do) make sure you bring cash! The arcade features a coin machine and all games cost just a quarter to play.
Shopping in Kennett Square
Located just minutes from Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square is a charming and vibrant small town. Packed with so many unique and local small businesses we had a blast exploring and partaking in a little retail therapy. A few of our favorite spots in this area:
- Grab a coffee at Philter
- Learn more about what makes Kennett Square ‘The mushroom capital of the world’ at Mushroom Cap
- Shop a curated collection of vintage, antique and locally made products at worKS. PS – This place is SUCH a gem! Do not miss out on a stop here, there’s truly nothing else like it.
- Invest in some local art at Square Pear Gallery! Our favorite artist with work on display here was Stephanie Ryan, be sure to check her out!
Less of a secret, and more of a legend. Considered one of the great gardens of the world- Longwood features 1,100 acres of meadows, gardens, and woodlands including a 4 acre conservatory. The highlight of any visit to Longwood is easily the evening illuminated fountain show. Free with admission, each evening guests can marvel as 1,719 water jets dance in the night sky reaching as high as 175 feet. The show is choreographed with music, lights and even some flames of fire. When I say this experience is magic, I’m talking on a Disney for adults level scale- do not miss out on this! Be sure to book your tickets to visit Longwood in advanced! Limited tickets are available each day in order to create a safe socially distanced experience!
West Chester’s Artisan Exchange Food Market
Surely one of the best kept local secrets in Brandywine Valley. This market can be found every Saturday from 10 am -2 pm just minutes from downtown West Chester. The artisan exchange recently transformed into an outdoor market to ensure a safe experience for visitors and vendors, locals and visitors join here to shop small and support the local artisans. There are so many types of unique cuisines from around the world to taste here! Click here for more info on visiting the Artisan Exchange!
The Whip Tavern
Hidden in the rolling hillsides of Southern Chester County you’ll find The Whip Tavern. A spunky English pub known for its picturesque outdoor seating, sits alongside a creek and has an amazing beer selection. Dishes range from shepherds pie, fish & chips, burgers or even the curry of the day! Our tip – Save room for dessert, the Sticky Toffee Pudding is to die for ! Be sure to make your reservation ahead of time here, there is limited availability due to social distancing precautions!
Dine outside at West Chester’s open air market place
West Chester, is another one of the great small town treasures in Brandywine Valley. Named “one of the world’s most perfect small towns.” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, West Chester has also proven its will grow and thrive despite the difficult recent times. In response to social distancing measures the main street of West Chester has been transformed into an open air market. Restaurants on Gay Street have all taken to their new outdoor dining spaces with their own personality. You can just feel the small town pride and ingenuity here – there is no doubt that West Chester is a must see during a Brandywine Valley getaway, now more than ever.
Located just a few minutes from Longwood Gardens, Chaddsford Winery is a centrally located staple to the Brandywine experience. I love this spot for so many reasons maybe the greatest being the energy and atmosphere that is created by the staff here. You can sip on award winning wine without a single drop of snobby wine culture. Fun and interactive pairings such as ‘adult trick or treating’ (candy and wine pairings – how great is that?) make for a memorable, laid back experience. No matter when you visit there is sure to be something exciting happening here. Reservations are required on Saturdays + Sundays and are strongly encouraged on Fridays.
If you’re a fan of craft beers, Victory Brewing is probably well on your radar. Known for its Belgian Tripel – The ‘Golden Monkey’, what you may not know is that Victory has its roots right here in Brandywine Valley. With three tap rooms across the region you have every excuse to stop for a flight and some bites (The bar food here is phenomenal, come hungry- order the wings). Make your reservation online ahead of time here !