- This Byway runs from Wilmington to the Pennsylvania border in the state of Delaware
- 12.25 miles (19 km)
- One hour without stopping or 2-3 days to visit places along the way.
The Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway sweeps past striking gardens and stunning estates along the gently rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley. Numerous historic sites and museums are found along the way.
The internationally-renown Brandywine River Museum and Delaware Art Museum house a considerable number of pieces by artists such as Andrew Wyeth, Jamie, Howard Pyle, and John Sloan, among others. The works displayed here portray the scenic beauty of the Brandywine Valley and are the pride of its people.
The du Pont family had an enormous influence on the region which is clearly visible in every aspect of the valley. In downtown Wilmington, the du Pont Theatre is the cultural focus of the town where Broadway shows enthrall the crowds, and Hotel du Pont stands with its staunch display of luxury, once an icon of international stature.
The magnificent Nemours, Winterthur, and Longwood estates - once inhabited by the du Pont clan - complete with manicured landscapes and exquisite gardens, punctuate the city of Wilmington and are open to the public. Longwood Gardens is a must see with over 1,000 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens that tantalize its guests throughout the year.
The Byway is a Y-shaped path running between Wilmington and the Pennsylvania border. From its origin at the Pennsylvania border, it follows Route 52 (Kennett Pike) to Wilmington. Starting from Route 52 (Pennsylvania Avenue) in Wilmington, an alternate arm to the Byway follows Route 100 (Montchanin Road), for 3 miles to the Pennsylvania border (end of the Byway).
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
The park was formerly a du Pont family dairy farm. With over 900 acres, Brandywine Creek State Park is a Piedmont paradise and naturalist's dream. It became a state park in 1965, and was one of the first parks in the nation to be purchased with Land and Water Conservation Funds. It has beautiful Brandywine Valley views, bird watching, nature preserves, and several miles of pedestrian, bike, and horse trails through its landscape. Nature classes, tours, and events are offered throughout the year.
At the intersection of Route 52 and 100, take Route 100 north to Adams Dam Road. Turn right on Adams Dam Road. The park main entrance is on the left.
Centreville Village (DE)
Charming Centreville Village has fifteen buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was founded by Quakers. The village is ideal for biking trails and shopping at antique shops, art galleries, and more.
Delaware Art Museum (DE)
Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum was built to preserve and exhibit the works of Howard Pyle. In 1935, Samuel Bancroft donated his collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and land for a new museum. Today, the museum showcases works by various Brandywine Valley artists.
From Route 52 turn right onto Bancroft Parkway which leads to Kentmere Parkway. The Art Museum sits where the two parkways meet.
Delaware History Museum (DE)
The Delaware History Museum features three galleries of changing interactive exhibits on Delaware history. Some displays include costumes, regional decorative arts, and paintings. The gift shop boasts handcrafted items and souvenirs.
Starting on 11th Street at the Hotel du Pont, go 6 blocks south on Market Street. The Delaware History Museum is located on the west side of the street.
Founded by John du Pont, the Delaware Museum of Natural History features life-sized dinosaur skeletons, over 117,000 bird specimens, the second largest collection of birds' eggs in America, and one of the top ten shell collections in the US.
Gibraltar Mansion and Gardens (DE)
After purchasing Gibraltar in 1909, Hugh Rodney Sharp and his wife Isabella du Pont Sharp built the du Pont mansion of today. It features an exquisite formal garden with a pavilion, statuary, and plants collected from trips abroad. One of Americaâ€™s best known female landscape architects, Marion Cruger Coffin, designed the restored garden.
Goodstay House and Gardens (DE)
The Goodstay property was once the home of Ellen du Pont Wheelwright and Robert, her landscape architect husband. He constructed a magnificent garden, complete with a magnolia walk,boxwood-lined garden rooms, a reflecting pool, and a natural woodland garden accompanied by a stream. Today, the gardens are open to the public and the Goodstay House is a facility of the University of Delaware.
The Hagley Museum and Library collects and preserves, the history of American industry, particularly that of the du Ponts. It is located on 235 acres along the Brandywine River in Wilmington,Delaware. Some features include restored mills, a workers' community, and the du Pont family's home and gardens.
Turn right onto Route 100/141 at St. Joseph's on the Brandywine Church, go a few hundred feet to the Hagley entrance on the left.
Hotel du Pont and du Pont Theatre (DE)
The Hotel du Pont was created by Pierre S. du Pont in 1913. With its elegant Old World lobby, opulent Gold Ballroom, and ornate Green Room, it is considered one of the finest examples of European craftsmanship in North America. The du Pont Theatre, part of the Hotel du Pont, showcases Brandywine artists and Broadway shows.
The historic Inn at Montchanin Village was first founded as a settlement for du Pont powder mill employees. The hamlet and rail station, were restored by du Pont family members and are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Inn is a first class accommodation experience, with cottage guest rooms and a stylish,on-site restaurant. It is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Plan for 2 - 3 days if intending to sightsee.