Get Wild, Get Wet, Get Flown, Get Full!

From American's first Urban Wildlife Refuge, to canoeing down the Brandywine River or letting your imagine soar at the American Helicopter Museum  -- this tour is chock full of adventure and great food at family friendly prices.

1) We’ve included attractions that appeal to all ages - many of them with nominal admission prices, and some are even free.

2) The hotels listed are based on their location to the attractions.

3) Many of the restaurants listed in each area are kid-cool and budget friendly, but there are several notable and popular favorites mentioned as well.

REMEMBER:  There is a direct link to the web site of every attraction, hotel and restaurant on the tour so you can pick the perfect stops for you and your family.

The tour is designed in a loop that can be accessed from any direction, and leads back to your point of entry.  For the sake of ease, we start and end our tour from I95.

Ready – Set – Let's Go!

Day One
Your first stop off I95 has got to be the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge .
Surrounded by more than 5 million people, this place is like a 1000 acre secret garden, enchanted forest and creature sanctuary.  All sitting in the middle of bustling International shipping lanes, huge state-crossing bridges, the Philadelphia Airport and glistening high-rise landscape of Philly.

There are 10 miles of hiking & biking trails, great fishing, canoeing and an award-winning 'green' Visitor Center with hands on educational exhibits and rotating displays.  This is just plain fun, and the bird watching is amazing. 

Head south on I95 to Rt. 476 N (The Blue Route).  Take the Media/Springfield exit and turn left towards Media on Baltimore Pike.  At the Intersection with Rt. 252, go right - then left onto State Street.

Featuring old fashioned trolley service, State Street boasts dozens of restaurants, one-of-a-kind shops, a renowned live theater and historic sites like the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum. You'll also find lots of park benches, a town square, plenty of street parking, and 3 story parking structure on Olive Street.

Media Shops, Events & More
Often referred to as "America's Hometown" because of its charm, buzz and tree lined avenues, it is also the county seat so if you like taking pictures, head up to the Courthouse on Front Street. William Jennings Bryant once spoke from it's steps, and even the local take wedding pics and selfies on the steps of this grandiose 1872 marble structure.  And speaking of the courthouse steps, if you're there at lunchtime, get in line at Augie's 'Doggies' food truck.  We say if it's good enough for lawyers and judges, you KNOW the food is awesome!

Fun places in Media:

(Produces traditional theater shows and children's productions)
Delaware County Courthouse
Media Event Calendar
Margaret Kuos  (Kids love using chop sticks!)
Pinocchio's Restaurant (Every child gets pizza dough to play with while you wait for your meal)
Buddy's Burgers (Gotta try one of their amazing shakes!)
Berry Fresh Café
Iron Hill Brewery

Within minutes:
Hedgerow Theatre (Produces both traditional theater shows and children's productions)
Rose Tree Park (If you come in summer, they do 45 nights of free twilight outdoor concerts from mid-June to mid-August!)

Tyler Arboretum This is one of the oldest arboreta in the northeastern United States, with 650 acres of renowned plant collections, heritage and champion trees, historic buildings and 17 miles of hiking trails through woodlands, wetlands and meadows. The Arboretum is open to the public 362 days a year.

Fresco's Pizza Grill (Delicious burgers, pizza and entrees - with a funky decorated car for delivery orders!)

Nearby Hotels

Take Baltimore Pike (Rt. 1S) towards Springfield (about 10 minutes from Media)
Days Inn Springfield
Courtyard by Marriott Springfield (adjacent to Springfield Country Club and Public Golf Course)
Longfellow House B&B in Swarthmore (same direction on Rt.1S, but only about 5 minutes from Media)

Day Two

Head South on Baltimore Pike, passing through Media.

Stop at Linvilla Orchards - one of the biggest family attractions in the region!  People come from 3 states to regularly enjoy their month-long celebrations of Bunnyland, Pumpkinland and Christmasland, not to mention dozens of fruit and vegetable festivals, car shows, and more!  There are hayrides, indoor mini golf, a bakery to die for, a petting zoo, gifts, a garden center and much more.

Further down Rt.1 S, stop at Ridley Creek State Park and The Colonial Plantation.  The park is famous for its fishing, plus hiking, picnic grounds, snow-shoe and cross country skiing in the Winter and more. The Plantation is an actual working farm, just as it was in the Colonial Era.  It hosts amazing battle re-enactments and festivals showcasing candle making, weaving, farming practices.

Continue taking Rt.1 S into the Brandywine Valley. There are great attractions listed below, but if you turn right on Rt. 202, consider having lunch at Jimmy John's Pipin Hot Sandwichs famous for its hot dogs and trains circling around the ceiling!
Another great place for lunch is Capriotti's Sandwich Shop at the Concord Town Center.  The entire staff at Destination Delco has enjoyed many a 'Bobbi' (Thanksgiving dinner on a roll) and "Cole-Turkeys" (mounds of daily roasted and carved turkey atop home-made, secret recipe coleslaw).  No words can describe the mouthwater-liciousness of these monster sandwiches and hoagies. 

The birth of this landmark sandwich shop is worth a closer look...

Lois Margolet grew up in Wilmington, DE, in a neighborhood known as Little Italy. She dreamed of opening her own sandwich shop, but there were least 7 sandwich shops within a 3 block radius.  In 1976, Lois got brave, quit her full-time job, borrowed money and purchased a boarded-up building on North Union Street in Wilmington, where the original Capriotti's Sandwich Shop still stands.

With the help of her brother, Lois built the business around the idea of roasting whole fresh turkeys overnight -- a concept no other sandwich shop in the area offered. Demand grew to the point where they were cooking 10 to 12 turkeys per night, serving sandwiches made-to-order with fresh roasted pulled turkey, the best quality meats and cheeses, and fresh rolls deliver daily. Several franchises and thousands of fans later, history is still being made at Capriotti's.

Now back to the tour....

Want to visit a place where you can sit down while traveling miles and miles?

It's time to get wet!  Head for Wilderness Canoe Trips or Northbrook Canoe for canoeing and tubing trips down the beautiful Brandywine River: not quite the rapids of Colorado, but a spunky little journey through the Brandywine countryside.

Or...if wet doesn't work for your family, maybe you can aim a little higher.  Take a ride down Rt.202 in the direction of the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center.  This is one of only a handful of museums dedicated to Helicopter flight and it features more than 30 vintage 'whirlybirds'.  There are amazing interactive exhibits and be sure to check their web site for days when they offer actual helicopter rides!

Snack happy members of your family will want to trek a little further to the Nottingham home of the Herr's Snack Factory where you can take free tours, sample treats and have a snacking-good time :)

Nearby Hotels:

Brandywine River Hotel
Holiday Inn Express
Hampton Inn & Suites
Staybridge Suites Glen Mills  (With kitchens for extended stays)
Inn at Grace Winery
Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast

Nearby Restaurants for Dinner:

Brandywine Prime Seafood & Chops (Renovated tavern with a great bar)
P.F. Chang
Ruby's Diner
Texas Road House
TGI Fridays
Pescatore's Italian Restaurant (with hand-painted wall murals throughout)
Outback Steak House

After Dinner:

Explore the Shoppes at Brinton Lake, the Concordville Town Centre or head S. on Rt. 202 to Olde Ridge Village with quaint shops including GiggyBites, a canine gift shop featuring all kinds of fresh made doggy treats. Go a little further south on 202, to Bruster's Ice Cream in Glen Mills - that's where the locals go for the best cones and frozen treats.

Day Three

A perfect place for breakfast would be Hank's Place - then consider visiting one of three famous attractions that together, probably draw almost 2 million visitors a year.  All are exceptional - but the Battlefield has limited hours so be sure to note when tours are being offered.

Brandywine Battlefield(Across the street from the museum below.) 

Brandywine River Museum of Art (featuring the works ad original studios of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth as well as exhibits of other great American Artists)

Longwood Gardens, which is about 15 minutes south of the River Museum area, is world famous, encompassing 20 outdoor gardens and a 4 acre conservatory.  A beautiful Children's Water Garden is also a fun feature. And there is a cafe for casual dining. Plan to spend several hours exploring this amazing place.

If stay near Rt. 1, you can simply take Rt. 202 S back to I95.  If you have lunch on your mind, you'll pass virtually every fast food chain you can think of as well as popular restaurant favorites like Famous Dave's BBQ, Olive Garden , and Applebee's .

If you have the entire day to play before hopping back on I95 heading for home, why not visit Nemours Mansion or Winterthur Museum, Gardens & Library?  These impressive historic places are gorgeous both inside and out - and if you love interior décor or architecture, you may never leave.