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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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  • 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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  • Black Walnut Winery

    18 varietals and blends made in a refurbished 200-year-old barn

    Black Walnut Winery uses grapes from neighboring vineyards to produce 18 varietals and blends.

    Started by two couples who turned a hobby into a career by refurbishing a 200-year-old bank barn, Black Walnut Winery uses grapes from neighboring vineyards to produce 18 varietals and blends. A variety of events, including live music, take place throughout the year at the winery and its off-site tasting room in downtown Phoenixville.

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  • Buckingham Valley
    Vineyards & Winery

    A friendly, laid-back winery, with more than a dozen varieties

    The 40-acre vineyard at Buckingham Valley is a beautiful place for a stroll.

    This family-run winery has been making and selling great wines for nearly 50 years. (They’re up to more than two-dozen varieties now.) The atmosphere is welcoming as well: Picnic tables, spacious lawns and live music pepper the grounds on special occasions, and the 40-acre vineyard is a beautiful place for a stroll.

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  • PHS Pop Up Garden

    A temporary outdoor escape, at 15th and South Streets, with food, beer and more

    The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s annual Pop Up Garden returns for its fourth year, transforming a forgotten outdoor area into a gorgeous, landscaped community space.

    The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s annual Pop Up Garden returns for its fourth year, transforming a forgotten outdoor area into a gorgeous, landscaped community space.

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