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Pictured: Race Street Pier

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Nature, Parks and Gardens

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The Philadelphia region is known as the “Cradle of Liberty” as well as the “Cradle of American Horticulture.” Both traditions began with the enlightened settlers who brought to the New World their curiosity about the natural world. William Penn was so inspired by the eastern hardwood forest that greeted him that he named his colony Penn’s Woods, or Pennsylvania.

His desire to establish a “greene countrie towne” was fundamental to his vision of the colony as a place of religious freedom. Today, the Philadelphia region is blooming with parks and gardens, many of which grace the city’s historic homes and art museums.

Featured Listings

  • Morris Arboretum

    A romantic Victorian landscape garden

    Morris Arboretum

    Stroll through the classical English landscape structures and sculpture gardens at Morris Arboretum, a 92-acre Victorian arboretum. Watch for birds as you enjoy the elegant beauty of the 19th-century grounds, complete with a formal rose garden, majestic old trees and unusual plants from North America, Asia, Africa and Europe. And the arboretum’s soaring permanent exhibit let’s you get a bird’s eye view of the forest on a 450-foot-long canopy walk more than 50 feet above ground level.

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  • Bartram’s Garden

    America’s birthplace of gardening

    Exploring Bartram’s Garden

    John Bartram purchased the 102-acre farm along the west bank of the lower Schuylkill River, three miles southwest of colonial Philadelphia, in 1728, and turned it into America’s first garden. Today, visitors can join a morning bird walk, catch a breeze along the River Trail, stroll through the upper kitchen garden and the fragrant flower gardens or visit the riverside meadow, brimming with grasses and wildflowers.

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  • The New Race Street Pier

    Relaxing waterfront respite in the heart of the city

    The new Race Street Pier.

    The latest addition to Philadelphia’s amazing outdoor spaces, the new Race Street Pier on the Delaware River Waterfront is a relaxing respite in the heart of the city.

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  • Dilworth Park

    Undergoing renovations to become one of the city’s great green spaces

    Rendering of the renovated Dilworth Plaza, opening in 2014.

    Located at the foot of City Hall, Dilworth Park is undergoing a major transformation into a modern and welcoming outdoor space.

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  • Washington Avenue Pier

    Eco-friendly public space along the Delaware River Waterfront

    Climb the 55-foot-tall “Land Buoy”, a public art piece honoring the site’s history as an immigration station.

    The Delaware River Waterfront continues to enhance and expand its amazing public spaces with the opening of Washington Avenue Pier.

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  • Wyck

    The Quaker way of life preserved for 300 years

    Duck into the partially hidden garden along busy Germantown Avenue for a 2.5-acre oasis of color and scent at the historic Wyck House and gardens.

    Duck into the partially hidden garden along busy Germantown Avenue for a 2.5-acre oasis of color and scent at the historic Wyck House and gardens. You’ll be whisked back to the Colonial and Victorian eras as you walk through the rose garden, vegetable garden, lawns and other plantings, many of which are direct descendents of the original 19th-century plantings.

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  • The Oval

    July 16-August 17: Shape of fun on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

    The Oval, an exciting new public space on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

    Returning to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for its second season, The Oval once again will transform an island of asphalt and surrounding lawns at 24th Street and the Parkway into an eight-acre public space devoted to summertime fun.

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  • Historic RittenhouseTown

    The site of the first paper mill in British North America

    Historic RittenhouseTown, the birthplace of paper in North America, is now a preserved village on idyllic Lincoln Drive in beautiful Fairmount Park.

    The birthplace of paper in North America, Historic RittenhouseTown is now a preserved village on idyllic Lincoln Drive in beautiful Fairmount Park.

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  • Mann Center for the Performing Arts

    A universe of stellar performers entertains under summertime skies

    The Mann can seat over 4,500 with room for nearly 10,000 more on the spacious lawn.

    The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, one of the nation’s largest outdoor amphitheaters, is a top summer destination for music lovers in Philadelphia.

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  • Stenton

    William Penn’s powerful agent-secretary, James Logan, made Stenton his country seat

    Stenton was one of the grandest houses of its time.

    Ben Franklin thought it was worth the trip to Germantown’s Stenton, one of the grandest houses of its time.

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  • Chanticleer

    An exciting pleasure garden that combines art with nature

    Chanticleer is a 35-acre “pleasure garden” on the grounds of the old Rosengarten estate in Wayne.

    An exciting new pleasure garden, Chanticleer combines art with nature on the grounds of a country estate.

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  • Silver Lake Nature Center

    235 acres for kayaking, bird walks, pond tours and seasonal festivals

    Silver Lake Nature Center features a butterfly garden, lakes, marshes, meadows, a bog and 4.5 miles of nature trails.

    Silver Lake Nature Center features a butterfly garden, lakes, marshes, meadows, a bog and 4.5 miles of nature trails that highlight the diverse plant and animal life in the area.

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  • Peace Valley Lavender Farm

    Pick your own lavender — or pick up lavender home goods

    Six different types of lavender are available at Peace Valley Lavender Farm.

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

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