DuPonts and Wyeths Lived Here

The Brandywine Valley gave rise to two 20th-century dynasties: one aristocratic and one artistic. Their homes can tell you stories.

If You Go

Map illustration by Mary Ann Smith

What Else to See

Nemours Mansion & Gardens. Can’t get enough of the du Pont pomp and properties? Check out stately Nemours, the playground of Alfred I. du Pont and his wife, Alicia, for whom he built this 77-room, late-18th-century, French-inspired estate with 300 acres of formal gardens to explore. nemoursmansion.org

Where to Eat

In Kennett Square, head to Philter (philtercoffee.com) for a caffeine fix, or Talula’s Table (talulastable.com) for a quick bite or a full meal at the chef’s table. Portabellos (portabellosofkennettsquare.com) hits the spot with rich mushroom soup and crêpes, along with a mouthwatering stroganoff with beef short ribs over black-truffle potatoes. Antica (anticapa.com) in Chadds Ford serves savory Italian specialties with a local flair. Note: Many restaurants in this area are BYOB due to pricey liquor licensing.

Where to Stay

The Fairville Inn (fairvilleinn.com) is centrally located and offers a range of lodging options, from rooms in the sunny main house to private cottages. Breakfast includes made-to-order omelets and an array of bite-size baked goods. Formerly part of the Winterthur estate, The Inn & Spa at Montchanin Village (montchanin.com) boasts elegant period rooms in 11 historic, restored buildings. The local Hilton Garden Inn (hilton.com) has its own restaurant that has twice won second place in the local mushroom-soup competition at the annual Mushroom Festival (Sept. 9-10, 2017). Roughly 65 percent of U.S. mushrooms are grown in the region.

Where to Shop

At Phillips Mushroom Farms (phillipsmushroomfarms.com), you’ll find exotic mushrooms—pom pom, lion’s mane, maitake—growing and learn why this area is known as “the mushroom capital of the world.” The store carries on the motif with everything from glittery mushroom ornaments to mushroom supplements and cookbooks. You can take home some fresh fungi for cooking, too. The eclectic gift shops at Longwood Gardens, Winterthur and the Brandywine River Museum of Art offer everything from fresh plants and native seeds to gorgeous coffee-table books, ceramics, garden accessories, jewelry and prints.

Local writer Amy Brecount White adores all things that bloom and the evocative paintings of Andy Wyeth.


Related Stories

Categories: Travel