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Pictured: Race Street Pier

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Nature, Parks and Gardens

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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  • Franklin Square

    Carousel rides, mini-golf, burgers and more

    Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia’s five original public squares, boasts several family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench, picnic area and more.

    Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia’s five original public squares laid out by William Penn in his original plan for the city, boasts several family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench, picnic area and more.

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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.

    Now open
    Located at the foot of City Hall, Dilworth Park has undergone a major — and awesome — transformation into a modern and welcoming outdoor space with new plantings, lawns, a programmable fountain, a cafe with outdoor seating and two iconic glass entrances to the underground concourse.

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  • Paine’s Park

    Fantastic skatepark in the heart of the city

    http://photos.visitphilly.com/PainesPark_2013-6-M.Edlow-400vp.jpg

    Located on the Schuylkill River Banks, Paine’s Park is a public, riverfront oasis for skateboarders and visitors alike.

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  • The Oval

    Pop-up park returning for two weekends this October

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

    The Oval, a popular pop-up open-air public space on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, returns for two weekends in October. After a fantastic summer of family-friendly fun, food trucks, live music and an incredible beer garden, The Oval is returning with an autumn-centric celebration.

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  • Fairmount Park Horticulture Center

    Home of the Centennial Arboretum — 27 acres of majestic Asian, European and North American trees

    The Horticulture Center is home to the famous Japanese House and Garden, also known as Shofuso.

    With a small pond, a creek, a wetland and a network of paths, picnics are a favorite family activity at this historic arboretum in Fairmount Park.

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  • Brandywine Valley Harvest Festival

    Celebrate the 2014 vintage along the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail

    Paradocx Vineyard is one of six wineries and vineyards taking part in this year’s Brandywine Valley Harvest Festival.

    October 4 to 5
    As summer turns to fall, it’s harvest time at the region’s wineries. Last year’s crop is already turning into wine and, once again, it’s time to celebrate the harvest in the Brandywine Valley.

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  • Autumn’s Colors and Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens

    Celebrate fall with chrysanthemums, music and more

    Longwood Gardens celebrates the harvest season with Autumn’s Colors, a festive showcase of fall colors.

    Open through November 23
    Longwood Gardens celebrates the harvest season with Autumn’s Colors, a festive showcase of fall colors, and the Chrysanthemum Festival, when more than 20,000 blooming chrysanthemums take over Longwood’s four-acre conservatory.

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  • Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show

    “Circle the Square” with fine art

    The Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show welcomes more than 140 artists from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

    On the first Friday through Sunday of June, a popular outdoor art show fills Rittenhouse Square

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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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