Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway
Length: 12.25 miles / 19.7 km
Time to Allow: Plan for 1 hour with no stops, or 2-3 days to take advantage of all the Byway offers.
While the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway only takes up 12.2 miles in Delaware, it’s an unforgettable route with rolling hills, lush landscapes, and tons of historical sites. Expect to see museums, gorgeous gardens, and incredible homes, making this trip worthy of a few days. The byway makes a Y shape starting at the border of Pennsylvania and ends at the Brandywine Creek that leads into the Delaware River right outside of New Jersey. Those in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York can all get to this short byway with ease.
Starting in Wilmington down by the Delaware River, start in Rodney Square, home of the Caesar Rodney Stature, along with impressive gardens and Hotel Du Pont. The Du Pont Theater is there, too, along with farmer’s markets and massive museums and homes. Next, go hiking down the Wilmington Riverwalk with all kinds of entertainment options. Take a boat tour, play mini-golf, catch a baseball game, or even visit an old ship!
Wilmington also offers tons of environmental trails, public docks, and activities by the river. In town, you can take the kids to the Delaware Children’s Museum or even to a sports museum or a play. Adults can go see an opera and enjoy a glass of wine. The town is filled with so many restaurants you will have a hard time choosing but so close to the river and the coast you will have plenty of options for seafood. Try out some local pubs like Timothy’s or the Iron Hill Brewery for a great night on the town. If you want to stay close to the water, you have three hotels with easy access and tons of amenities.
Camping options include the Brandywine Creek State Park Campground and the Wilmington State Park, all close to the zoo and riverside walk. Find plenty of shops in the area too, or go to a spa like the Sanctuary Spa for a relaxing treat. When done exploring Wilmington continue north to see well-preserved landscape for several wealthy estates. The Winterthur’s Enchanted Woods Fairy-Tale garden is a must for children with tiny hobbit homes and other enchanting decor ready to amaze even the smallest children.
The Longwood Gardens take up a thousand acres of indoor and outdoor gardens with over 11,000 different plants and unique decor. Make sure to visit the Brandywine River Museum for the largest collection of work by several Artis and the Delaware Art Museum for even more works. Check out antique stores along the way. Another interesting sight is the Inn at Montchanin Village. With guest rooms, a spa, and restaurants, this glorious location will become your new haven with historical decor and modern comforts.
Finally, make sure to visit the Nemours Estate with over three hundred acres for the French du Pont family. It was inspired by Versailles from the regal ear with incredible artwork, gardens, a reflecting pool, and a neoclassical temple of the goddess Diana along with so much more. You also need to see the Brandywine Battlefield Historic Site used in 1777 for the Brandywine Battle with George Washington and the revolutionary forces. Stay for several days to fully enjoy the sights and then find a new adventure in New England.
More Delaware Byways
You can check out additional Byways in Delaware by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Delaware Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.