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Philadelphia Area Counties

 Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve

Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve Credit: by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s Majestic Countryside

The outlying counties of Greater Philadelphia—Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties—bring culture and entertainment to Philly’s ’burbs, offering numerous nightlife options for all tastes and moods. From the most coveted reservation in the country at Talula’s Table in Chester County to the local filmmakers preview parties at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute in Montgomery County to the renowned live music venue of John & Peter’s in Bucks County, the small towns that make up Philadelphia’s Countryside each offer a distinct experience and together create an area packed with restaurants, nightlife, shops, attractions, museums, history, art, theaters, gardens and much more.

A quick ride on Septa’s Regional Rail or a short drive up the Schuylkill Expressway leads to the quintessential small towns of Philadelphia’s suburbs. With cultural attractions such as Washington Crossing Historic Park and Valley Forge National Historical Park, the countryside reads like a text on early United States history. In the counties, daytime sightseeing blends seamlessly into evening dinner and cocktails. After dark, the main streets of quaint towns like Doylestown, New Hope and West Chester come alive with modern restaurants, chic bars and lounges, casual dine-in pubs and celebrated museums and theaters. Together, all the nightlife elements bring a casual sophistication and a fun-your-way character to the picturesque counties.

With special seasonal and year-round events, there’s no better place to enjoy the warm-weather season than at Chaddsford Winery, where outdoor concerts and tastings make for a lively evening, or Longwood Gardens, where fireworks and fountains light up the evening sky. On Saturdays, June through November, visitors won’t want to miss the opportunity to learn about the mystery and history of New Hope’s famed streets during a guided Ghost Tour.

Bucks County

The northernmost county, Bucks County is not only a scenic destination full of rolling hills, blue water vistas and sweeping fields of lavender—it’s also famous for its covered bridges, miles of antique shops and galleries, quaint river towns and legacy of great American literary figures. By gracefully blending old and new, Bucks County is an ideal place to meander back and forth between past and present, from an early 20th-century locomotive ride through scenic New Hope (New Hope & Ivyland Railroad) to an authentic New Orleans supper served in a restored church (Marsha Brown’s Refined Creole Kitchen & Lounge).

More on Bucks County

Montgomery County / Valley Forge

Southwest of Bucks is Montgomery County, the oldest of 18 Montgomery counties in the United States. But the Montgomery County outside of Philadelphia holds some important distinctions. It’s home to the East Coast’s largest retail shopping mall (King of Prussia) and one of American history’s most significant sites (Valley Forge National Historical Park), kept up to date with modern interpretive activities, storytelling benches, trolley tours and programs. In Pennsylvania’s most affluent county, visitors can also explore the nostalgic main streets, parks and nature trails, heritage sites, sophisticated restaurants and historic overnight accommodations.

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Chester County

To the west of Philadelphia, Chester County boasts history, horses, wine, art, boutiques, fine dining, parks and more. Home to stunning Longwood Gardens, home-shopping institution QVC, lush landscapes made famous by painter Andrew Wyeth and the biggest winery in Pennsylvania (Chaddsford Winery), there would be plenty to do without visiting the county’s most prominent villages. But West Chester, Phoenixville and Kennett Square are so charming, it’s hard to pass them by.

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Delaware County

And between Chester County and Philadelphia, Delaware County is home to parts of the Philadelphia suburbs’ aristocratic Main Line region and home to towns that have been setting standards in dining, shopping and touring for centuries. Situated along Lancaster Avenue, the downtowns of the Main Line offer some of the area’s best-preserved history and poshest destinations, with outposts of some of Philly’s chicest restaurants. Meanwhile, other Delaware County towns offer thriving main streets loaded with microbreweries, outdoor cafés and lively musical entertainment.

More on Delaware County

Counties Map

Don’t miss these hotspots

Featured Listings

  • Dining Under the Stars

    Stroll, shop and dine every Wednesday in Media

    Stroll, shop and dine on State Street in Media during Dining Under the Stars.

    Every Wednesday beginning May 6
    Enjoy an alfresco evening on State Street in Media throughout the summer during Dining Under the Stars.

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  • Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

    The oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed horse competition in the United States

    The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, a 10-day event, attracts horse lovers from around the world.

    May 21-31
    Since 1896, the Devon Horse Show has celebrated and showcased equestrians, and what began as a one-day show is now the oldest and largest multi-breed, outdoor equine show in the country.

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  • Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience at Longwood Gardens

    An immersive garden-wide after-dark installation

    The chance to see stunning sights at Longwood Gardens will continue after dark with the immersive after-dark-only installation Nightscape.

    Opens July 1
    The chance to see stunning sights at Longwood Gardens will continue after dark in the summer and fall of 2015 with the launch of the immersive after-dark-only installation Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.

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  • Spring Blooms at Longwood Gardens

    Longwood Gardens’ celebration of spring

    April 4 – May 31
    At Longwood Gardens, tulips, dogwoods, wisteria, native azaleas, columbines, snapdragons, bluebells and more herald spring’s arrival both indoors and out during the Spring Blooms display, on view through May 31. Breathe in the fresh air and relish the beauty of the gardens, where every day something new bursts into bloom.

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  • Valley Forge National Historical Park

    Where the spirit of the Revolution received its sternest test

    Experience history at Valley Forge.

    With more than 3,600 acres of rolling hills and well-worn trails, Valley Forge is now a magnet for runners, bicyclists and picnickers as well as history buffs.

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  • United States Hot Air Balloon Team

    Take to the sky with a scenic balloon ride

    Ride high above the Philadelphia countryside in a hot air balloon.

    Soar over the Philadelphia countryside in the basket of a balloon with the skilled-professionals of the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team.

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  • Longwood Gardens

    One of the world’s premier horticultural display gardens

    Spring at Longwood Gardens.

    When you’re at Longwood Gardens, it’s easy to imagine that you’re at a giant, royal garden in Europe. Stroll along the many paths through acres of exquisitely maintained grounds featuring 11,000 different types of plants.

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  • Peace Valley Lavender Farm

    Pick your own lavender — or pick up lavender home goods

    Those who imagine themselves to be dwelling carefree amidst the gentle hills of Provence can pick their own lavender, in season, at the Peace Valley Lavender Farm.

    It’s all about lavender at the Peace Valley Lavender Farm. Visitors are invited to pick their own lavender to bring home along with lavender goodies from the gift shop. The six different types of the plants are available for about $1 per ounce.

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  • Horace Pippin: The Way I See It at the Brandywine River Museum of Art

    The first major Pippin exhibition in the U.S. in two decades

    The Brandywine River Museum of Art will feature more than 60 works that capture Pippin’s bold, colorful and candid paintings reflecting life in the African- American community and commenting on race, religion, war and history.

    April 25-July 19
    Horace Pippin: The Way I See It at the Brandywine River Museum of Art will be the first major exhibition of the artist’s works in the country in more than 20 years. It will feature more than 60 works reflecting life in the African-American community.

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  • Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
    Ardmore

    The latest location for this award-winning brewery micro-chain

    Iron Hill Brewery’s regional craft beer empire has come to Ardmore in Montgomery County.

    Iron Hill Brewery’s regional craft beer empire comes to Ardmore in Montgomery County with eight beers on tap, six beers visibly brewed onsite and an 11,000 square-foot restaurant that can accommodate 280 people for lunch and dinner.

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  • Yardley Inn Restaurant and Bar

    Bucks County dining on the Delaware River

    With a contemporary play on comfort food, the Yardley Inn is sure to be on your list of countryside dining destinations.

    In beautiful Bucks County, the Yardley Inn Restaurant & Bar offers a new perspective on our beloved Delaware River with its romantic porch seating. With a contemporary play on comfort food, the Yardley Inn is sure to be on your list of countryside dining destinations.

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  • Taste 4 Travel by Chef Jacquie

    Get a taste of the Italian Market, East Passyunk Avenue, Wayne and more

    Taste 4 Travel by Chef Jacquie offers private, intimate, culinary tasting tours to the Italian Market, East Passyunk Avenue, Wayne and more.

    Taste 4 Travel by Chef Jacquie offers private, intimate, culinary tasting tours to the Italian Market, East Passyunk Avenue, Wayne and more.

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  • New Hope Celebrates Pride Week

    Head “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to Bucks County

    The New Hope Celebrates Pride Parade.

    May 10-17
    New Hope’s annual gay pride celebration is a a weekend full of activities and special events.

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  • Pennsbury Manor

    Explore the life and legacy of William Penn

    Follow in the footsteps of Pennsylvania’s founder and visionary of Philadelphia, William Penn, at Pennsbury Manor.

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  • Kennett Run

    A spring run through Chester County

    Serious runners, biathletes and weekend warriors will find the right kind of challenge at the Kennett Run, a family-friendly event held each year in the charming and historic borough of Kennett Square.

    May 16
    Serious runners, biathletes and weekend warriors will find the right kind of challenge at the Kennett Run, a family-friendly event held each year in the charming and historic borough of Kennett Square.

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