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Andrew Wyeth and the Brandywine Valley

A weekend-long itinerary honoring the artist and his inspiration: the Brandywine Valley

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Credit: G. Widman for GPTMC

Description

When Andrew Wyeth (July 12, 1917 – January 16, 2009) passed away, the world lost one of its most inspired artists.

Wyeth made his life-long home in the Philadelphia countryside, calling upon the Brandywine Valley’s open fields, rich history and seasonal foliage for daily inspiration.

In honor of Andrew Wyeth, we created this itinerary to highlight the fine arts, performing arts, even the literary and culinary arts throughout Philadelphia and the Brandywine River environs that so inspired the artist who inspired us.

Friday 4 p.m.

School’s in Session

Start your Wyeth weekend with a peek at some of his works, nestled in an amazing space at Broad and Cherry Streets.

Wildly colorful and extravagantly detailed, the Pennsylvania Academy for the Fine Arts — a 1876 National Historic Landmark building designed by Frank Furness and George W. Hewitt — provides an extraordinary setting for its collections, which include works by Thomas Eakins, Charles Wilson Peale, Mary Cassatt and Andrew Wyeth. (His Young America painting depicts a young boy on his bike.)

118 N. Broad Street
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Friday 5 p.m.

Arts Hour

Next up is the Philadelphia Museum of Art . On Friday nights, the Art Museum lets loose with Art After 5, a weekly event where live jazz music and cocktails make your art browsing all the more fun.

And don’t leave without viewing some of the Museum’s other 200 galleries, where a full range of fine and applied arts from Asia, Europe and the U.S. are on display.

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Friday 7 p.m.

Take Me To the River

We’re treating you to something special for dinner tonight (in other words, jacket required) — the Water Works Restaurant , a new space just below the Philadelphia Museum of Art with exquisite views of the Schuylkill River and Boathouse Row.

Since water is the theme, seafood is especially apt for ordering — we recommend the Mediterranean-influenced grilled octopus. Thirsty? You’re at the right place. In addition to a generous wine list, the restaurant offers an international list of waters to try.

After dinner, step outside to enjoy the promenade along the river, the sculptural gardens and the illuminated Philadelphia skyline.

640 Water Works Drive
Water Works Restaurant and Lounge
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Friday 9 p.m.

Late Libations

If you didn’t get your liquid fill at the Water Works, take a cab to the Rose Tattoo Café. A hushed space with a long list of wines, this is a perfect place to cap off your night with a hint of romance.

Or if you’re headed back to your hotel in Center City, make a stop at Chris’ Jazz Café. As live music wafts from the stage, peruse their list of cocktails for something to ease you into the end of your first Philly night.

1421 Sansom Street
Chris’ Jazz Café
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Saturday 9:30 a.m.

To Market, To Market

Before heading out to the Brandywine Valley, fuel up at the Reading Terminal Market , a Philadelphia tradition since 1892 that’s now home to nearly 80 vendors. Pick up a fresh-baked brioche from Le Bus Bakery, get a jump-start with a latte from Old City Coffee or snag a booth at the Down Home Diner for rock shrimp with garlic and grits or homemade flapjacks.

12th and Arch Streets
Reading Terminal Market
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Saturday 11 a.m.

The Valley

Just 45 minutes outside of Center City, the Brandywine Valley is home to dozens of picturesque bed and breakfasts.

The Inn at Whitewing Farm is the kind of place that would have inspired Andrew Wyeth. It’s a 1700s farmhouse on 43 rambling acres with a guest cottage overlooking a pond. After you check in, you might want to play a set of tennis on the courts or a round of golf on the 10-hole course.

370 Valley Road
The Inn at Whitewing Farm
West Chester, PA 19382

Saturday 12 p.m.

Wyeth Central

When you’re ready to hit the road again, head to the Brandywine River Museum , a converted grist mill that’s something of a haven for Wyeth fans.

Nestled beside the historic Brandywine River, the Museum’s six main galleries celebrate three generations of Wyeths, along with other Brandywine School artists.

As you stroll its galleries, remember that the very settings which inspired much of the art on view — rolling hills, snowy drifts, and, always, the Brandywine River (or creek, depending on whom you ask) — surround you. For many, this landscape, at once rough and gentle, has become synonymous with Andrew Wyeth, whose work is exhibited here in abundance.

100 Creek Road
Brandywine River Museum
Chadds Ford , PA 19317

Saturday 2 p.m.

Grits and Gravy

For lunch, make like a local and grab a table at low-key Hank’s Place. This local favorite, which was once one of Andrew Wyeth’s go-to spots, specializes in just plain good diner food — and to that end, you may want to order the buttermilk pancakes. They’re outstanding, as are the omelets, and the Reuben, and…

US 1 and Route 100
Hank’s Place
Chadds Ford, PA 19317

Saturday 3:30 p.m.

Blood in the Soil

Next stop is Brandywine Battlefield , scene of the infamous Revolutionary War battle and a creative influence on generations of Wyeths. N.C. Wyeth’s teacher, Howard Pyle, often took his students there, expounding on the site’s “blood in the soil” and the importance of connecting to their artistic subjects.

878 Baltimore Pike
Brandywine Battlefield
Chadds Ford, PA 19317

Saturday 4:30 p.m.

Getting Back to the Garden

Longwood Gardens is just down the road, an internationally renowned horticulture center with 1,050 colorful acres. Each garden design is a horticultural work of art, but it is the East Conservatory, with its new water features, towering trees and seasonal displays that will take your breath away.

1001 Longwood Road
Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square, PA 19348

Saturday 7 p.m.

Countryside Dining

There are numerous possibilities for dinner. If you’re in the mood for casual, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant — the West Chester location of the local chain — is your spot.

Or you could take the short drive to the Dilworthtown Inn, where a cozy and sophisticated ambiance makes the menu of lobster and filet mignon all the more opulent. Doubling as a hotel, the Dilworthtown Inn also makes an excellent choice for your overnight stay.

Finally, the Gables at Chadds Ford, once a dairy barn, is now a sophisticated favorite of foodies. Start off with the mushroom soup; you are in mushroom country after all. After dinner, stick around for a few sets of jazz.

423 Baltimore Pike
Dilworthtown Inn
Chadds Ford, PA 19317

Sunday 9:30 a.m.

Farm-Fresh Breakfast

Breakfast time!

Take this opportunity to try the farm-fresh food at Talula’s Table. Come dinner time, this quaint spot in Kennett Square sports a year-long waiting list for its celebrated tasting dinners. But you’re free in the morning to pick out fresh sausages, soups, pies and other assorted sweets from their gourmet shop.

For a sit-down affair, try Mrs. Mike’s in West Chester. They mostly serve breakfast and the staff is super friendly, making for a perfect start to your Sunday.

102 W. State Street
Talula’s Table
Kennett Square,
PA 19348

Sunday 10:30 a.m

Artsy Offerings

Start your morning with a visit to Baldwin’s Book Barn, a converted 1822 rustic stone barn that’s now delightfully crammed with more than 300,000 books, rare manuscripts and antique artwork.

If you’d prefer to devote your morning to the visual arts, head to downtown West Chester, where savvy gallery and boutique owners offer sophisticated and high-quality merchandise. The Visual Expansion Gallery specializes in original works and prints by Andrew Wyeth and other Brandywine School artists. On the other end of the spectrum, Dragonfly Gallery exhibits emerging talents working in textiles, metals and other media, while the Garrubbo Bazán Gallery takes a regional approach showing contemporary works from around the Delaware Valley.

865 Lenape Road
Baldwin’s Book Barn
West Chester, PA 19382

Sunday 12:30 p.m.

A Toast to Town

Make Chaddsford Winery the last stop on your trip. On weekends, you can choose a guided or self-guided tour through the processing area, tank and barrel rooms and the bottling center.

Then take a minute to toast to your weekend, the beautiful Brandywine Valley and the memory of Andrew Wyeth.

632 Baltimore Pike
Chaddsford Winery
Chadds Ford, PA 19317

Hotels + More

The Basics

Transportation

If you’re traveling from New York, New England, DC, Baltimore, Harrisburg, etc., Amtrak is easy – Book online at Amtrak or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

Driving

If you drive here, stash your car off-street until you leave. Though you might enjoy an occasional cab, trolley or carriage ride, most of these places can be reached on foot. Parking regulations are strictly enforced in the historic area, and you may find yourself getting towed with un-municipal efficiency.

Start at the Center

The Independence Visitor Center (IVC) — the exclusive pick-up location for free tickets to Independence Hall — offers personalized trip-planning services, free WIFI, brochures and maps, informational exhibits and films, a gift shop, two cafes and tickets to all major tours and attractions in the Philadelphia region. Located at 6th & Market Streets across from the Liberty Bell, the IVC is your one-stop-shop for tickets, souvenirs, itinerary planning, maps and more. Stop at the IVC when you arrive in Philadelphia, or call 800-537-7676 to speak to a live concierge.

Accommodations

You can’t get closer to Philadelphia’s greatest sightseeing treasures than the bustling Holiday Inn Philadelphia Historic District , which is right in the thick of everything (distance: 0 miles) and has a sunny rooftop pool with a view.

The Sheraton Society Hill is just four blocks from Independence Hall and a block from Penn’s Landing in residential Society Hill. It has a bit more greenery than most city hotels and a heated indoor pool.

The Philly Overnight® Hotel Package is a popular getaway — and a terrific deal. It’s available throughout the year and gives you free parking (worth $50 or more) and special offers and discounts – in addition to deluxe accommodations in Center City Philadelphia. Check out the package, then pick your favorite hotel.

More food and drink, please!

Of course, what we’ve recommended is just a sample of the amazing range of food and drink in Philadelphia. Take a closer look at the city’s Dining and Nightlife offerings and pick your favorites.

400 Arch Street
Holiday Inn Historic District
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Details

Location

Philadelphia and the Brandywine Valley

Transportation

Feet, cab and automobile

Duration

36 hours (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon)

Neighborhood

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