THE BRANDYWINE VALLEY'S MOST VISITED ATTRACTIONS
Longwood Gardens, created by Pierre S. du Pont, is one of the premier arboretums in the country if not in the world. The Gardens encompass horticultural displays, walkways and meadows on 1,050 acres. The beautiful four acre conservatory and fountains are not to be missed. Touring the gardens leisurely can take between four and eight hours and comfortable shoes and clothing for the season are advised. Longwood is open every day of the year from 9 am- 5 pm and from Memorial Day to Labor Day remains open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings until 10:15 offering a concert and the summer Festival of Fountains.
Admission charged and includes most evening festivities. 610-388-1000.
Winterthur Museum & Country Estate
Henry Francis du Pont assembled a collection of early American antiques (1640-1860), which are displayed in 175 rooms of his country home which is one of the few surviving American country estates. The collection is world renowned and serves as the foundation for the museum's nationally acclaimed research library. The Garden Tram operated March through December and provides you with a panoramic view of life at Winterthur. Enjoy walking the woods and gardens with their wonderful springtime display of azaleas and rhododendron. Visit the Enchanted Woods, a magical fairy-tale garden for children of all ages. While each of the highlight tours lasts approximately one hour, additional tours, visiting the galleries, the Campbell Soup Tureen collection and the exquisite gift shop can provide you with a full day of enlightenment.
Admission charged; open daily 10 am - 5 pm; 302-888-4600.
Hagley is the birthplace of the du Pont company and the first du Pont home in the new world. Eleutherian Mills was built in 1803 by E.I. du Pont, is set among 230 acres of trees and flowering shrubs and overlooks the Brandywine River. Not only was this the first home of the du Pont family, but, the black powder factories were built within walking distance of the house and the safety standards which were built into these plants has been carried through to the company's culture today. Visitors can spend about a day touring the house, its gardens, the powder yards, the Blacksmith Hill worker's community, machine shops and the museum of industry with its interesting special exhibits. Look for the Du pont automobile, once the most expensive car in the world.
Open most days 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Admission fee; 302-658-2400.
Nemours Mansion & Gardens
Nemours, a 300-acre country estate, was built by A. I. du Pont between 1909-1910, contains 102 rooms, and is a fine example of a modified Louis XVI French chateau. Not only is the mansion furnished with fine examples of antique furniture, rare rugs, tapestries and outstanding works of art, but, you will also be able to see the various utility systems of the house, many designed by A. I. Du pont. Tours take about two hours and are scheduled for 9 & 11 am, 1 & 3 pm, Tuesday through Saturday and 11 am, 1 & 3 pm on Sundays. Reservations are required which your innkeeper can help you with.
Open 5/1 - 11/30. Admission charged, 302-651-6912.
Brandywine River Museum
On the banks of the Brandywine River in Chadds Ford, the museum houses the premier collection of three generations of the Wyeth family, as well as works by Howard Pyle and other important American illustrators. The museum offers the visitor the opportunity to relax and enjoy the river setting while touring the gallery (allow 1.5 hours). From April to November a tour of N.C. Wyeth's studio and home take are an optional extra (allow one hour).
Hours of operation are 9:30 am - 4:30 pm daily, closed Christmas Day. 610-388 2700.