Itinerary: Historic Homes & Gardens

Lemon Hill Mansion in Fairmount Park, above, was built in 1800 as a summer retreat by successful Philadelphia merchant Henry Pratt.


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Philadelphia is filled with spectacular historic homes, gardens and arboretums just waiting to be explored. If you like this itinerary, be sure to check out the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Guide to Center City Gardens.


  • Half-Day Itinerary

Begin in the 18th century colonial garden in Independence National Historical Park, and step into the handsome, vine-covered gazebo, the centerpiece for this charming period garden of flowering plants, herbs and vegetables.

Next, tour the 18th century mansion of Dr. Philip Syng Physick, “Father of American Surgery.” The house is a stunning example of Federal style architecture, filled with French-influenced neoclassic furnishings. And don’t miss the Powel House, an elegant Georgian mansion, which counts Benjamin Franklin and George Washington among its famous visitors.

Stop by City Tavern for lunch, and enjoy authentic Colonial cuisine.


  • Make It a Full Day
Discover America’s first botanical garden – Bartram’s Garden – which houses the oldest Gingko tree in the country.

For a one-of-a-kind experience, arrange to enjoy dinner in a historic home, by contacting a special event planner from Historic Philadelphia.


  • Make it a Weekend: Day 2

Take a guided tour of the historic mansions of Fairmount Park, all exquisite examples of Colonial architecture and the former homes of Philadelphia’s elite.

Picnic on the grounds of Fairmount Park, with a view of Philadelphia’s skyline.

Tour the Brandywine Valley, including magnificent Longwood Gardens – often called the world’s premier horticultural showplace with more than 1,000 acres of woodlands, majestic gardens, opulent conservatories and dancing fountains.

Return to Philadelphia for dinner at one of Center City’s many group-friendly restaurants.


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