Back To Blog

Spend a Cool Summer at Brandywine Valley Attractions

I show a lot of love for Sussex County and the beaches in my blog posts because Bill and I enjoy everything about living in Lewes. But Delaware is full of many more beautiful and enjoyable places that are within walking or easy driving distance of all of the neighborhoods spotlighted on our Web site Some of the most special are in the Brandywine area around Wilmington, a vibrant place for culture, history and unique experiences that was recently named one of Conde Nast Traveler’s Best Places to Go

One of the best ways to visit many of them this year is with the 2024 Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport. When you purchase it you’ll be able to enjoy 12 individual attractions all for the price of the passport. It’s valid between now and October 31st, although you’ll only be able to use it to visit Longwood Gardens until September 30th.

You can get an Individual Passport for $49 and a Family Passport for $99 When you purchase it you’ll receive a text that will make it instantly available to you, without having to download an app. You’ll present the digital passport at each location to receive the terrific discounts. 

The passport is designed primarily for use via your phone, but if you want to purchase a printed version you can visit the Wilmington & Brandywine Valley Visitors Center located at Riverfront Wilmington, 920 Justison Street, Suite 5,+Wilmington,+DE+19801/@39.7298025,-75.5620126,19z/data=!4m6!3m5!1s0x89c6fd62cce7d455:0x1c78935e21827a36!8m2!3d39.7298939!4d-75.5619547!16s%2Fg%2F11g4j8mg5c?entry=ttu Thursday through Sunday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

Here are some of the highlights on this Treasure Trail.

The Brandywine Museum of Art is housed in a former 19th Century mill on the Brandywine River. It’s filled with wonderful paintings and other works that showcase the scenic Brandywine Valley, and is home to a celebrated collection of paintings by three generations of the Wyeth family. If you’re especially enamored of the works, you can visit Kuerner Farm just 10 minutes away and go on a docent-led tour that spotlights some of the real-life scenes that inspired Andrew Wyeth.

The Delaware Art Museum features contemporary art and works that predate that Renaissance painter and artist Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known in modern times as Raphael. A main attraction is the Howard Pyle collection. Pyle taught the patriarch of the Wyeth family – N.C. Wyeth – and completed accomplished paintings and commercial art pieces that were published in Harper’s Monthly and other popular magazines.

If you’re fascinated by evolution – or want to visit a place that might enchant your grandchildren – check out The Delaware Museum of Nature & Science You can learn all about Earth’s ecosystems via a map spotlighting tropical rainforests, Arctic tundra and the African savanna along with three different ocean environments. 

If you appreciate historic mansions and beautiful design, you’ll love the four stately house museums that are included on the trail. The Hagley Museum & Library is an indoor-outdoor experience with its vast gardens that take you back to the history of the du Pont family, whose company supplied more than half of the black powder used by the Union Army in the Civil War and the dynamite that cleared land for the building of railroads to the West Coast.

Alfred du Pont also built the Nemours Mansion, a palatial structure replicating 18th Century French architecture, in particular the features of Versailles. Its vast gardens feature sculptures by Prosper Lecourtier and Henri Crenier and a gorgeous pool with 157 jets that spray, according to the Web site, “in a choreographed arc.”

Rockwood Park is another wonderful place to visit on a good-weather day because it features many trails lined with all kinds of greenery and flowers and is centered by another mansion built by the Bringhurst family. The park is also the site of the Delaware Shakespeare Festival

One of the East Coast’s most well-known house museums is Winterthur

the childhood home of Henry Francis du Pont. Set amid sprawling and beautiful gardens and lawns, it houses one of the most important collections of furnishings and art, including the Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens. 

There are other wonderful places on this Treasure Trail, including The Delaware Contemporary museum, The Delaware History Museum, Longwood Gardens, the Mount Cuba Center, and The Read House and Gardens , located in Historic New Castle and overlooking The Delaware River. 

Get all of the details about the Treasure Trail Passport and learn about many more attractions described in a free Visitor’s Guide to Wilmington at the Brandywine Valley at