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Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Trip to Brandywine

Living in New Jersey, sometimes I feel far away from the beautiful travel destinations that fill my bucket list.  I forget that there are some incredible hidden gems to visit only a few hours away.  Last weekend, I discovered that only two hours away from my house there is a magical area of Pennsylvania called Brandywine, where you can see hundreds of historical buildings, the incredible Longwood Gardens, and go wine tasting at one of their many vineyards.

 While we opted to stay at an Airbnb to save some cash for the weekend, there are some really great bed and breakfasts in the area that are taken right out of your favorite fairytale.

We started our trip by driving to the Longwood Gardens, about a two hour trip from start to finish. As we began our walk through (about four hours and we only covered part of the gardens!) we passed gorgeous floral displays, a still, moss covered lake, and rolling hills that seemed to go on forever.  We enjoyed the meadow garden the best, which consists of 86 acres of flowers, plant life, and trails.  Another favorite moment of the walk was the Conservatory.  This indoor section contained bright, tropical plants, as well as waterlily displays.

After dropping off our bags at our comfortable Airbnb home, we ventured off to see one of the many wineries.  We enjoyed a tasting at the Chaddsford Winery, and even got to keep the glasses!  I, admittedly, am not very experienced in wines, but after this tasting I know more about what kinds I like.  If you haven't done one before, you definitely should try it out.  It was more fun than I expected!

Our last day in Brandywine, we decided to visit the Nemours Mansion, and it took up our entire day.  We had looked up the mansion online and thought it looked like a cool spot, but we could not have imagined how beautiful it would truly be until we got there.  You arrive at the visitors center and walk through a small museum taking you through the history duPont's magnificent structure.  Then, a shuttle bus picks you up and brings you to the actual home and gardens.  The many rooms inside the mansion were beautifully decorated and filled with history.  Original paintings from 18th century France filled the walls, and gold was laced into the moldings.  The gardens in the front of the house speak for themselves.  As you walk through the duPont's Alice-in-Wonderland-like front yard, you pass statues, fountains, and beautiful flower beds.  You can't help but think what it would have been like to live like they did.

Overall, the trip was relaxing and beautiful.  I love being outdoors and exploring, and I never thought there would be so much to see only two hours away!

Helpful Links for Your Branywine, PA Trip:
Nemours Mansion TICKETS
A list of Bed and Breakfasts in the area can be found HERE
A list of Brandywine Wineries can be found HERE
Longwood Garden TICKETS
A New York Times Travel ITINERARY

 Happy Travels!

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