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Located in Chester County, PA, about an hour outside of Philadelphia, Longwood Gardens showcases more than 9,000 species and varieties of plants spread out across more than 1,000 acres of gardens and elaborate horticultural displays.
This celebrated botanical garden attracts visitors from around the globe thanks to outdoor and indoor gardens, fountain shows, and picturesque meadows and woodlands.
The horticultural haven also hosts hundreds of events each year, including gardening demonstrations, educational programs, children’s activities, concerts and musical theater.
The institution was originally founded by Pierre du Pont in 1906 and has since become world-renowned for its dedication to botany, design, education and art.
Simply put, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s premier horticultural display gardens.
Welcoming millions of domestic and international guests each year, the Kennett Square attraction lives up to the hype thanks to exquisite presentation, dynamic programming and absolutely gorgeous plants, flowers, gardens and more.
The proof: The attraction has raked in all sorts of awards over the years, including best botanical garden, best tulip display, best holiday lights at a botanical garden, and even best public restroom.
Located in Chester County, PA, about an hour outside of Philadelphia, Longwood Gardens boasts 9,000 varieties of plants.
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
In the tranquil oasis of Longwood Gardens, visitors stroll along paths that wind through acres and acres of exquisitely maintained grounds.
A new vista presents itself at each turn: the Italian Water Garden, Flower Garden Walk and Peirce’s Woods, a year-round woodland garden.
Throughout the gardens, guests might see various forms of wildlife, including deer, butterflies, birds, beavers, bees and more while strolling across bridges stretching over numerous water sources on the grounds.
The Meadow Garden, in particular, features an elevated boardwalk and presents unique views of the landscape and the flora and fauna that inhabit the space.
Each season brings a different pleasure: spring features magnolias, tulips and azaleas; in summer, roses and water lilies; the fall brings foliage and chrysanthemums; while winter begets camellias, orchids and palms.
Another can’t-miss: the attraction’s fountain displays, upgraded in 2017 and featuring 1,719 jets that twirl and dance to music during the daytime and during special nighttime shows.
Upgraded in 2017, Longwood Gardens' fountain displays offer spectacular shows both day and night.
— Photo courtesy Longwood Gardens
Inside the Conservatory, guests find an entirely different garden experience, from the centerpiece Exhibition Hall — home of many seasonal displays like Orchid Extravaganza — to the Acacia Passage and the Orangery.
Surrounded by tree-covered seating and Longwood’s famous fountains, the Indoor Children’s Garden provides a safe and engaging space where children can learn about nature with amazing plants and fun activities around every corner. The Garden features a Central Cove, a rain curtain and a Bamboo Maze, filled with a jungle of tree-sized bamboos for children to explore.
The Indoor Children’s Garden provides a safe and engaging space where children can learn about nature.
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
Also, Longwood Gardens features several dining options including a cafe, a beer garden and a full-service restaurant, called 1906.
A ticket to the gardens is required to access the restaurant and cafe.
The Gardens truly shine during the end-of-year holidays during A Longwood Christmas — when seasonal plants adorn the grounds, fountain waters dance to Christmas tunes and the gardens glow bright with 500,000 twinkly lights spread throughout dozens of decorated trees.
Timed admission tickets are required in order to view this dazzling display.
Longwood Gardens' holiday display stuns each and every year.
— Photo by H. Davis
Longwood Gardens allows a limited number of visitors per day, so purchase tickets in advance to guarantee admission.
While most guests typically stroll the grounds for three to four hours, those who prefer to take their time are welcome to stay until closing.
For more about Longwood Gardens, click the button below.
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