Map all locationsNature, Parks and Gardens
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.
A romantic Victorian landscape garden
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.
America’s birthplace of gardening
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.
Relaxing waterfront respite in the heart of the city
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.
Undergoing renovations to become one of the city’s great green spaces
Located at the foot of City Hall, Dilworth Park is undergoing a major transformation into a modern and welcoming outdoor space.View More
Eco-friendly public space along the Delaware River Waterfront
The Delaware River Waterfront continues to enhance and expand its amazing public spaces with the opening of Washington Avenue Pier.View More
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. 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.View More
July 16-August 17: Shape of fun 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.View More
The site of the first paper mill in British North America
The birthplace of paper in North America, Historic RittenhouseTown is now a preserved village on idyllic Lincoln Drive in beautiful Fairmount Park.View More
A universe of stellar performers entertains under summertime skies
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.View More
William Penn’s powerful agent-secretary, James Logan, made Stenton his country seat
Ben Franklin thought it was worth the trip to Germantown’s Stenton, one of the grandest houses of its time.View More
An exciting pleasure garden that combines art with nature
An exciting new pleasure garden, Chanticleer combines art with nature on the grounds of a country estate.View More
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 that highlight the diverse plant and animal life in the area.View More
Pick your own lavender — or pick up lavender home goods
Those who imagine themselves to be dwelling carefree amidst the gentle hills of Provence can pick their own lavender, in season.View More