Philadelphia, PA - Chester County's Brandywine Valley has all the makings of an idyllic fall drive and overnight stay-cation. With a lot of lively towns full of pre-19th century wood and stone structures amplified by the colors of fall foliage.
The Brandywine Valley Staycation
From Philadelphia head out on I-95 South to Route 322 West, then take Route 1 South, right into Kennett Square, the mushroom capital of the world.
Pay a visit to The Mushroom Cap and The Woodlands at Phillips to uncover the history of the mushroom industry, or simply grab coffee and breakfast at Philter before continuing your road trip. However, don't forget to pay a visit to Talula's Table in Kennett Square to pick up a few treats.
After getting your provisions, head north on Route 82 through Coatesville, a recently re-energized former steel town. On the way, drive-by Speakman Covered Bridge, a 75-foot-long bridge which has a unique Burr arch-truss design.
The Chester Count Road Trip
Pullover at Lukens Historic District alongside the Brandywine River or proceed northbound on Route 82, where you can appreciate the colorful fall trees and scenic farmland.
Stop for a lunch break by the lake at Hibernia County Park, decked out in fall colors, or head farther north to French Creek State Park. The site of Hopewell Village National Historic Site, where a well preserved "iron plantation" tells the story of America's early industrialization attempts.
Get right back onto Routes 82/345 and Route 401 East: You're now on your way to Ludwig's Corner Horse Show and Country Fair, where several Underground Railroad routes are believed to have crossed. It's additionally the site of Citadel Country Spirit USA, a three-day country music festival happening in August 2021.
Head southbound onto Route 100, which takes you to multi-hued hiking trails at Marsh Creek State Park, or travel straight towards West Chester, a post-Colonial and current seat of Chester County.
While continuing your journey, take a peek at yet another Burr arch-truss covered bridge: Harmony Hill (also known as Gibson's Bridge). This 78-foot bridge traverses the east branch of the Brandywine Creek.
Find a parking spot in downtown West Chester, where you'll encounter fantastic shops and boutiques, including Jane Chalfont Kiki Boutique, Kaly, Green-Eyed Lady, Tish, and Eclat chocolatier.
Before dinner, check into your hotel: The Hotel Warner or historic Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast Inn. Dinner choices include Limoncello, Teca, or Iron Hill Brewery.
The next day, travel down Route 842 West, then Route 82 South and Route 926 East for a visit to Longwood Gardens, Which is one of the world's most celebrated public gardens. Located on 1,077 acres, Longwood contains 20 indoor gardens, on top of 20 outdoor gardens, along with a fantastic conservatory.