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Day-tripping Kennett Square: Longwood Gardens, vineyards and avocado ice cream

It’s not all mushrooms here. Yes, Kennett Square carries with pride the distinction of being the mushroom capital of the world, but it offers so much more for Philadelphians wanting to make the trip out to this artsy Chester County town. Head here for restaurants that rival Philadelphia in quality, plus Longwood Gardens, vineyards, art and more.

How to get there

Public transit to Kennett Square is possible but quite complicated and expensive, so driving is really the best bet. Basically take I-95 south to Delaware 52 north and follow it in to Kennett Square. You should get there in about an hour.

In case, driving is not an option, here’s the route you can take, involving Amtrak’s northeast rail and a cab ride.

Cost

Kennett Square shouldn’t prove too costly, depending on what you do. You’ll at least have to pay for gasoline, and tickets to Longwood Gardens are $20. The rest will depend on what you want to buy, eat or see, but most everything is affordable.

What to Do

Longwood Gardens

Nearby Longwood Gardens is one of the top tourist destinations in the entire Philadelphia area. This sprawling area features indoor and outdoor gardens teeming with more than 11,000 different kinds of plant life. One of its latest additions is the Meadow Garden, which lets you hike through three miles of wildflowers. In the summer, plenty of water plants are in bloom, as well as orchids, the Chinese hibiscus and much more.

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Ron Cogswell via Flickr

Plus, they have the best restrooms in the country. That’s a nice bonus.

Special events

The Art Stroll: The first Friday of each month in the summer, Kennett Square hosts the Art Stroll, a time for businesses to stay open late and showcase their goods. The August Art Stroll happens tonight. Its theme is “Murder Mystery,” with people who attend trying to solve a fictional crime and stores holding clues.

Third Thursdays: Every third Thursday in summer, State Street in Kennett Square closes to traffic and allows for specials from restaurants and businesses, a live band and other activities.

Kennet 3 Thurs
Historic Kennett Square official Facebook page

Shopping

Longwood Art Gallery: This place has been around for decades and offers plenty of varieties of art from regional artists.

Kennett Design: Bring a bottle of wine and appetizer and learn how to paint.

Thomas Macaluso Used & Rare Books: Open since 1973, you’ll find more than 20,000 rare books here, some of which date back centuries.

Kennett Wine
Historic Kennett Square official Facebook page

Activities

Brandywine Valley Wine Trail: Take this trail and tour and taste at four different vineyards in the area.

Taste Kennett Food Tours: Here’s where you can satisfy your mushroom cravings, with tastings and information about why Kennett Square is known for them. Also allows for sampling of other local foods and wines. These tours happen Sunday afternoons at 1.

Restaurants

Half Moon Restaurant: Specializes in wild game, like elk and squab. Also has duck bacon. The New York Times has even been here and recommends it.

La Michoacana Ice Cream: Exotic ice cream flavors, like corn and avocado.

Talula’s Table: Desserts, coffee and dinner. Craig Laban gave it four bells.

Talula table
Historic Kennett Square official Facebook page
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