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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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  • Race Street Pier

    Relaxing waterfront respite in the heart of the city

    Located in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the Pier features two levels for riverside recreation — and for watching the tide roll in.

    The Race Street Pier on the Delaware River Waterfront is a relaxing respite in the heart of the city.

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  • Race Street Pier

    Relaxing waterfront respite in the heart of the city

    Located in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the Pier features two levels for riverside recreation — and for watching the tide roll in.

    The Race Street Pier on the Delaware River Waterfront is a relaxing respite in the heart of the city.

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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.

    August 3 – October 29, 2016
    The chance to see stunning sights at Longwood Gardens will continue after dark in the summer and fall of 2016 with the return of the immersive after-dark-only installation Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.

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  • Independence National Historical Park

    The birthplace of American democracy

    The Liberty Bell Philadelphia

    Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Historic Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park (INHP) is located on the site of many of the seminal events that carried the nation through its founding as a global leader of democratic ideals.

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  • Elmwood Park Zoo

    A community zoo dedicated to habitat conservation

    Hand feed lovable giraffes at Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown.

    Featuring over 100 exotic and endangered species, Elmwood Park Zoo is the perfect destination for family fun.

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  • PHS Pop Up Garden

    Two temporary outdoor escapes 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.

    Through September 30, 2016
    The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s annual Pop Up Gardens are back, transforming two outdoor areas into a gorgeous, landscaped community spaces.

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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 five public squares laid out by William Penn in his plan for Philadelphia, boasts a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench and picnic area.

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  • Washington Square

    A leafy retreat with tree-shaded benches, located steps from Independence Hall

    Washington Square is one of William Penn’s original five squares set aside to establish parks for the public.

    Washington Square is one of William Penn’s original five squares set aside to establish parks for the public.

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  • The Circuit Trails

    Hundreds of miles of connected trails for hiking, biking, commuting and more

    The Greater Philadelphia region is home to one of the largest trail networks in the country, collectively known as The Circuit Trails.

    The Greater Philadelphia region is home to one of the largest trail networks in the country, collectively known as The Circuit Trails, providing endless opportunities for recreation and commuting.

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  • Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse

    Fun, free and family-friendly for more than 100 years

    Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse provides kids with 16,000-square-feet of “play mansion” to explore.

    Located in a six-acre, wooded parkland in beautiful East Fairmount Park, this century-old landmark is home to a four-story, 16,000-square-foot “play mansion,” iconic 44-foot wooden slide and state-of-the-art Play Pod filled with a giant see-saw and spinning “jungle gyms.”

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  • Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

    Serenity and elegance in Fairmount Park

    The Shofuso Japanese House and Garden offers 1.2 acres of peaceful gardens and a ceremonial teahouse in Fairmount Park.

    Explore 1.2 acres of serenity and elegance in Fairmount Park, full of landscaped gardens alongside a ceremonial tea house and koi pond.

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  • LOVE Park

    Officially known as John F. Kennedy Plaza

    LOVE Park

    A favorite destination for tourists and locals alike, John F. Kennedy Plaza gets its famed nickname “LOVE Park” due to its famous sculpture. NoteThe park will be closed for renovations through spring 2017, and the LOVE sculpture has been moved across the street to Dilworth Park.

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  • Chaddsford Winery

    Enjoy a locally grown and produced wine in Chester County or at Peddler’s Village

    Chaddsford Winery invites guests out for a luxurious trip to the Chester County countryside, where wine and cider tastings await upon arrival.

    Award-winning Chaddsford Winery offers two locations where visitors can relax in a luxurious sampling session of dry and sweet wines and locally-made cider, too. Visit the countryside winery or swing by the tasting room in historic Peddler's Village.

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  • Sesame Place

    Nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning television show, Sesame Street®

    Meet your favorite furry friends at Sesame Place.

    Sesame Place is the nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street®.

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  • Spring Blooms at Longwood Gardens

    Longwood Gardens’ celebration of spring

    April 2 – June 3, 2016
    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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  • Pier 68

    A public fishing pier, picnic spot and nature oasis in Pennsport

    Pier 68 Park is the latest development of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, which aims to to turn six-miles of the Central Delaware River waterfront into a fully developed public space.

    Now open
    Built as a place for passive recreation, Pier 68 is an angler’s delight with a dedicated space for casting lines and built in fish-cleaning stations. Native trees and plants provide shade in the picnic grove and a cutout in the pier surface allows visitors to watch the tide rise and fall.

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