"A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is to wish to hold on to it, to possess it and give it weight in one’s life. There is an urge to say, ‘I was here, I saw this and it mattered to me.” 
                            ― Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel

He was right. 
Creating travel art and photography is how a person literally says "I was here, I saw this and it mattered to me."

This Sketch & Shoot Tour invites you put your own spin on amazing places and experiences you can only find from Philly to the Brandywine.

Whether you journal, draw, paint, blog or love to post photos on Facebook - we've got links to all types of places to let your creativity run wild:
  • Historic Sites
  • A Working Colonial Plantation
  • Cool Bridges
  • Vintage Theaters
  • A National Wildlife Refuge
  • Horse Racing
  • Unusual Architectural Sites
  • Town Parks sitting directly on the banks of the Delaware River
  • Crazy Festival opportunities
  • Mansions & Gardens
But first...check out a few 'Delco' Paintings by one of our own favorite sons, George Rothacker -- a nationally renowned artist who resides on our Main Line.  To see more of his work visit him at: George Rothacker


The 69th Street Terminal celebrated its 100th birthday in 2008.

 69th Street: Today & Yesterday
Acrylic on canvas – 26" x 36"

The Tower Theater, in Upper Darby

Built in 1927, The Tower Theater is an iconic concert hall where everyone from Bruce and Bowie, to today's chart topping acts have performed.  Known for its natural acoustic properties, the venue has also been used for recording live albums.

Boyle's Garage

Acrylic on canvas
A landmark of Radnor Township, Boyle’s Garage has always been known for its personalized service (and its usually high gas prices :)

 Villanova Chapel

Acrylic on canvas

Villanova University is a private university located in Radnor Township. Named after Saint Thomas of Villanova, the school is the oldest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Chicken, Steaks, and Beer

Acrylic on canvas – 20" x 30"

Like similar corners in towns and cities across the country, the busy intersection of the 60th and Haverford Avenues is home to this popular, well announced market featuring chicken, steaks, seafood, and beer.


Now Let's Start Planning Your Own Artful Tour of Delaware County.

This multi-generational family of artists found inspiration here...and you will too.

Nestled in the Brandywine is one of our nation's famous museums of American art: the Brandywine River Museum. Often called the "Wyeth Museum" for its extensive collection of works by the internationally acclaimed Wyeth family - grandfather N.C., father Andrew and son Jamie - it is housed in a converted 19th-century grist mill on the Brandywine River in Chadds Ford.

NOTE: When you visit, don't miss the opportunity to tour the N.C. Wyeth House & Studio, as well as Andrew Wyeth's Studio and the Kuerner Farm, where for more than 70 years, Andrew painted 1000 pieces inspired by its people, animals, buildings and landscapes.



The tour copy suggests a wide variety of places that would appeal to artists and photographers of all genres - but if you have a particular special interest, please visit our web site and click on 'attractions' for even more ideas.


As with all of our driving tours, we want to help you easily match the sites you want to visit with nearby hotel accommodations.  But since every artist will choose different sites that inspire them, we can't pre-design this tour.

So we have designated 5 sections of Delaware County

        Each section has a different personality, character, charm and history:
        Main Line
        Main Streets

Every site in the tour copy also mentions which section it is located in.

You simply match the location of the site you want to visit - with hotels located in the same area.

For example:  The tour suggests painting the Cathedral at Villanova University. In the tour copy, Villanova is referenced as being on the Main Line.  Therefore you would check the Main Line listing (immediately below) to see which hotels are also on or near the Main Line.

1) Main Line - Upscale shopping, gardens, historic estates and collegiate energy in the Wayne & Radnor area
Radnor Hotel
Wayne Hotel
Wayne B&B

2) Main Streets - Cool towns & townships with combinations of gorgeous architecture, tree-lined streets, dozens of festivals, historic sites, town parks & squares, and holiday parades
Alpenhof Bed and Breakfast
Days Inn Springfield
The Longfellow House
Magnolia House Bed and Breakfast
Quality Inn Media
Purcell Darrell House
3) Riverside - Several densely populated towns (including Tinicum, Essington, Ridley, Chester, Marcus Hook ) buttressing up against each other along12 miles of Delaware River waterfront like a one-of-a-kind patchwork quilt of:
  • Riverside parks
  • 19th century style home designs
  • Remnants of a ship building legacy
  • Old and new manufacturing plants 
  • Oil Refinery
  • Major League Soccer Stadium
  • Casino and Race Track
  • and yes...the Country's first Urban National Wildlife Refuge!
Holiday Inn Express
Waterfront Inn
Quality Inn Essington
Best Western PHL
Clarion Hotel and Conference Center
Comfort Inn PHL
Springhill Suites
Microtel Inn and Suites
Red Roof Inn
Renaissance Hotel PHL

4) Brandywine - History-rich towns, vineyards, farms and fields dotting the Brandywine countryside including Chadds Ford, Glen Mills, and Concordville...home to the Brandywine Battlefield, Brandywine River Museum and many Colonial historic sites
Brandywine River Hotel
Staybridge Suites
Wyndham Garden Inn Glen Mills
Hampton Inn & Suites Glen Mills
Inn at Grace Winery
Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast & Carriage House
5) Crossroads - Densely populated neighborhoods bordering or near Philly, with a rich multi-cultural heritage, rock n' roll's famous Tower Theater, globally inspired cuisine and shopping...includes Upper Darby, Darby, Lansdowne, Glenolden and Drexel Hill

Riverside Hotels listed above are all about 10-15 minutes from the Crossroads
Several Main Street Hotels listed above are also between 10 and 15 minutes from the Crossroads

Now Let's Tour...what moves you?

If you are one of the new breed of Urban Sketch Artists you may want to head for our Crossroads neighborhood where a rich multi-cultural heritage mingles with hard-working blue collar communities. Dozens of languages are spoken amid busy sidewalks lined with global shops and restaurants featuring every cuisine imaginable.

The 69th Street Bridge is an architectural beacon for people traveling to and from center city and the Delco Crossroads.

On the Riverside there are amazing state-spanning bridges, railway lines, and waterways where giant freighters are nudged up and down the Delaware River by feisty tugboats.  Cruise ships glide under the Commodore Barry Bridge and in the summer, sail boats and regattas dot the waterway.  On it's shores, glorious old buildings and plants that once energized the country, wear their past with dignity, even as new buildings elbow their way in-between them. The Wharf at Rivertown is a very cool 396,000 square foot office building that was once an electrical generation station.

One of our popular Main Street Towns, is Media - which is also the county seat.  During the week the town's got a real legal eagle vibe, but the show-stopper is the Media Courthouse, a statuesque grand dame of justice, witnessing more than 145 years of both famous and not so famous trials.

If greenery and gardens are your favorite subject, head for the Main Line and Chanticleer Estate & Gardens .  It was named one of the most beautiful "Secret Gardens" in North America by National Geographic Traveler Magazine, and is a top rated garden attraction on TripAdvisor.

In our Main Streets is Swarthmore College, home to the Scott Arboretum.  Another gorgeous garden setting just outside of Media, is Tyler Arboretum, a mecca of giant outdoor exhibits from gargantuan bug displays to dozens of tree-houses scattered amid its woods and meadows. A very 'imaginative' place to visit.

True Eco-artists will have a hard time deciding what to sketch or photograph first at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.  This was America's first Urban Wildlife Refuge. Located on the Riverside in Tinicum, it exists in the shadow of skyscrapers and planes dashing in and out of the PHL airport.  It also shares a waterway with cruise ships, freighters, sailboats and highways carrying millions of cars past and above it's 1000 acres of flora and fauna.

Historic Colonial buildings are in every corner of the county, from the old original courthouse in the Riverside town of Chester The 1724 Chester Courthouse, to an  Historic Octagonal School House on our Main Streets, in Newtown Square. 

Brandywine's Newlin Grist Mill helped keep the country fed during the Revolutionary War and along with its amazing guts of gears, the structure features a 160 acre park setting.

The Bartram Bridge is a covered bridge literally spanning both this County (from just outside of our Main Street town of Newtown Square) and our Chester County neighbor to the west.

At Delco's Crossroads is one of the most iconic Rock n' Roll Concert Halls in the country - The Tower Theater.

Swarthmore College is home to the Scott Arboretum, and just outside of Media, Tyler Arboretum has become a mecca of giant outdoor exhibits from gargantuan bug displays to dozens of tree-houses scattered amid its woods and meadows.

Bring your sketchpad to one of several town parks along the waterfront.  These small patches of green along the banks of the Delaware sit next to towering oil refineries, old ship building plants and new manufacturing companies. These parks include Governor Printz Park in Essington and the Market Square Memorial Park in Marcus Hook - Marcus Hook Borough

As mentioned earlier, the Commodore Barry Bridge is an example of a cantilever style bridge - a style that is echoed in the design of PPL Park - Home of the Philadelphia Union Soccer Team

In fact, all along the river you'll find interesting 'hybrid' towns, blending their manufacturing past with a new urban energy.

Those interested in historic sites, events and people dressed in authentic garb should come during one of our region's many battlefield or Colonial lifestyle re-enactments. Most of these take place from early spring into the fall..so be sure to visit the Seasonal Calendar listing on our home page to plan your trip.

Many of the larger re-enactments take place at the famous Brandywine Battlefield and the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation at Ridley Creek State Park.

These events eerily capture both the heroism and tragedy of war as smoke from cannon fire rises in the air - and the pop! pop! pop! of the rifles reminds us of the courage that lives on every battlefield, no matter what the year may be.


When you visit the Colonial Plantation, you can also share something in common with renowned artist, Jamie Wyeth.

Jamie painted about 70 or so memorable paintings inspired by his life on the Wyeth family farms. Among those many masterpieces, is his life-size "Portrait of Pig." (pictured below)

So why not try your hand at capturing life on a farm?  At the Colonial Plantation you'll find lots of 'swine' inspiration, not mention a few goats, horses, roosters, and chickens :)

Artists who find inspiration in people can set up in almost any neighborhood in the county and find people doing something different,
quirky, colorful or amazing:

Have questions about this tour?  Don't hesitate to call us at 610-565-3679.  Ask for Barbara.  Or email her at blehman@destinationdelco.com