America’s Garden Capital: Philadelphia

$3,500 per person, double occupancy, land only $1,000 single supplement.
Sunday, May 7 – Thursday, May 11, 2023
Five Days – Four Nights

With a tradition of horticulture going back 300 years, Philadelphia offers more than 30 public gardens, arboreta and historic landscapes. A visit to the public gardens is an opportunity to stroll through the history of American horticulture when William Penn first arrived to lay claim to the hardwood forests of what he named Pennsylvania, or Penn’s Woods. Along this garden tour, visitors will enter several of the best-known gardens and some of less-known hidden treasures. Hands-on experiences, unique dining venues and a bit of historic Philadelphia are accompaniments certain to please any garden enthusiast.  Come along and explore America’s Garden Capital. . . .”wouldn’t it be loverly!”

Day One, Sunday, May 7:

Arrive at the Philadelphia International Airport early afternoon. Board your private motor coach and travel into historic downtown Philadelphia.

Upon arrival get ready to stretch your legs and head out on a Constitutional Walking Tour, led by Benjamin Franklin himself! You will witness historic landmarks such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, and walk through the Independence Hall National Historic Park. Along the tour, there will be time to stop for a refreshing beverage or a late afternoon snack.

After the tour, arrive at your full-service hotel for a 4-night stay. The luxurious Sofitel Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square offers the perfect blends of French elegance and American style. This unique property offers design details drawn from local culture and tradition and celebrates the French art de vivre.

Once you have had a chance to relax and refresh, gather in the hotel’s lovely Chez Colette room for a welcome reception. Share a toast to your traveling companions and snack on savory treats.

Then, be seated for an included dinner. Wine is included with dinner. All other beverages are on own.

After dinner get ready to be entertained by your special guest, John Bartram!  Portrayed by speaker  and historical re-enactor for the horticultural industry, Kirk Brown takes on the persona of Bartram and will entertain you with a mesmerizing performance of the life and times of America’s first botanist.  You will hear of Bartram’s plant collection adventures in the new American colonies and his belief in the importance of understanding the interrelation of all species and the need to protect our world. Kirk Brown, a well-respected garden designer, keynote speaker, horticulturist, business lecturer and design class presenter, is certain to plant seeds of whit and wisdom in your next garden project.  His performance is described as “electrifying!”

Day Two, Monday, May 8:

Start your day with an included breakfast served at the hotel. Board the coach and head out for a full day submersed in gardens, grandeur, art and tradition.

Your first stop is at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. It houses one of the most important collections of Americana in the United States and it was the former home of Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969), a renowned antiques collector and horticulturist.

Winterthur is situated on 979 acres with 64 acres of naturalistic gardens. The museum has 175 period-room displays and approximately 85,000 objects.  Your visit includes a narrated tram ride where you will see the highlights of the garden and learn about the history of Winterthur. Stops include Azalea Woods, Magnolia Bend and Enchanted Woods.

Next, embark on a self-guided tour into the premier entertaining rooms enjoyed by Henry Francis du Pont’s friends in the 1930s and ’40s. Walk in their footsteps among the exquisite objects that make up Winterthur’s premier collection of American decorative arts and elegant rooms accented with abundant flowers taken fresh from the Winterthur cutting garden and greenhouses.  Before you depart, make certain to visit the amazing new gift shop.

Board the coach and travel just a short distance to the renowned Longwood Gardens. This botanical garden consists of over 1,077 acres and is one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the United States. In 1906, 36-year-old Pierre S. du Pont purchased the once farm property primarily to preserve the trees. He was not planning to create Longwood Gardens, but within a few years, his desire to make it a place where he could entertain his friends transformed a simple country farm into one of the country’s leading horticultural display gardens. Today, Longwood Gardens consists of varied outdoor gardens, ranging from formal to naturalistic in their landscape design, and 20 indoor gardens within a 4.5-acre group of heated greenhouses. Longwood’s Conservatory contains 4,600 different types of plants and trees, as well as fountains.

Your visit includes a one-hour guided tour where you will explore the seasonal highlights of Longwood’s diverse gardens and learn about their heritage and horticultural excellence.  After the tour there will be time to have lunch on your own at one of the on-site eateries, followed by time to explore on your own and to visit the gift shop.

Depart Longwood Gardens late afternoon and return to the hotel. After a busy day, you’ll welcome the opportunity sit back and relax.

“Back in the day,” the purpose of gardening was to provide food. Tonight, dig into your roots and head out to discover your new favorite restaurant for dinner on your own.  Within a minute’s walk from the hotel, you’ll find an array of eateries certain to please any appetite. If you’ve never tried a renowned Philly Steak Sandwich, here’s your chance!

Day Three, Tuesday, May 9:

Board the coach after breakfast in the hotel and travel to the Northview Gardens in Ambler. Created by Jenny Rose Carey to appeal to all five senses and with interest every season of the year, Northview Gardens has been designed to educate visitors about different plants, planting techniques and garden features. The Garden boasts thirty-one distinct areas, each with its own theme. Northview’s 4½-acre site was originally part of Wilmer and Anna Atkinson’s, 1887 100-acre Victorian Model Farm. Some of the trees planted by Mr. Atkinson (the Founder and Editor of the Farm Journal) remain, including a beautiful 150-year-old Japanese maple.  The current property includes the original 1887 farmhouse and carriage house.

Your visit includes a guided tour led by Jenny Rose Carey, renowned gardener, educator, historian and author. Jenny Rose and her gardens have been featured on the PBS series The Victory Garden, in the Wall Street Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Green Scene Magazine and the Pennsylvania Gardener. She will lead you through the Shade Garden, the Italian Garden, the Sunset Garden, water inspired gardens and to the whimsical Stumpery and Stonehenge-like Castle Garden. After your tour, there will be time to explore on your own. Your visit ends when you receive an autographed copy of Jenny Rose Carey’s book, “Glorious Shade.”

Say goodbye to Jenny Rose, board the coach and travel to the Reading Terminal Market for lunch on your own.  This enclosed public market features over 100 merchants that offer fresh produce, meats, fish, artisan cheese, ice cream, flowers, grilled cheese, baked goods, crafts, books, clothing, specialty and ethic foods, food carts and delis.

Your next stop is The Barnes Foundation, an art collection and educational institution promoting the appreciation of art and horticulture. The foundation owns more than 4,000 objects, including over 900 paintings, estimated to be worth about $25 billion dollars. These are primarily works by Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Modernist masters, but the collection also includes many other paintings by leading European and American artists, as well as African art, antiquities from China, Egypt and Greece, and Native American art. Your visit includes a docent led tour with a focus on floral and landscape art.  After the tour, you are welcome to explore on your own.

Depart the Barnes Foundation and return to the hotel for time to relax and refresh.  This evening, you’re in for a real treat and unique experience when you gather for an included dinner at Fogo de Chao. Located in the historic Caldwell’s Jewelry Building, the interior features French-cut chandeliers and 20-foot ceilings.  This elegant Brazilian dining experience is certain to impress and entertain every guest. The menu features fire-roasted meats that are presented on skewers and carved tableside. And the Market Table Salad bar is abundant with seasonal salads, exotic vegetables, imported cheeses, smoked salmon and Brazilian specialties. The ambience and the presentation offer a setting for group dining at its best. Wine is included with dinner. All other beverages are on own.

Day Four, Wednesday, May 10:

Following breakfast in the hotel, board the coach for another “loverly” day. Your first stop is at Bartram’s Gardens, a 45-acre National Historic Landmark. Founded in 1728 by botanist John Bartram, it is the oldest surviving botanical garden in North America.

American botanist, John Bartram, founded the garden on his farm and he built its stone house between 1728 and 1731. The house still stands, as does his original garden (circa 1728) and greenhouse (1760). Three generations of the Bartram family continued the garden as the premier collection of North American plant species in the world.

The current collection contains a wide variety of native and exotic species of herbaceous and woody plants. Most were listed in the Bartram’s’ 1783 broadside Catalogue of American Trees, Shrubs and Herbacious Plants and subsequent editions.

Upon arrival, join a guide and follow along a 90-minute tour of the house and gardens. Along the way, you will witness Franklinia, the Garden’s signature tree, named in honor of Bartram’s close friend, Benjamin Franklin. At the end of your tour, make certain to stop in the Welcome Center that sells souvenirs, plants and Bartram books.

Depart Bartram’s Gardens and head back into downtown Philadelphia where you will have lunch on your own at a local eatery.  Your next stop is at one of the most unusual “gardens” you have ever seen. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is an immersive mixed media art environment that is completely covered with mosaics. The creator, Isaiah Zagar, used handmade tiles, bottles, bicycle wheels, mirrors and international folk art to chronicle his life and influences. The space is made up of two indoor galleries and a bi-level outdoor sculpture garden.

Zagar has devoted himself to beautifying the South Street neighborhood since the late 1960s, when he moved to the area with his wife, Julia. The couple helped spur the revitalization of the area by renovating derelict buildings and adding colorful mosaics on both private and public walls. The Zagars, teamed with other artists and activists, transformed the neighborhood into a prosperous artistic haven.

Upon arrival, join a local guide and follow along into alleyways around the Magic Gardens. You will view Zagar’s glittering creations and hear personal and community stories depicted in his large murals.

Board the coach and get ready for a most memorable visit when you arrive at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden. Shofuso is a 1.2-acre Japanese garden recognized as the third best Japanese garden in North America by Sukiya Living, and named the “Best Hidden Tourist Attraction” by Philadelphia Magazine.

This traditional, 17th century-style Japanese house and garden is on the site of the Centennial Exposition of 1876.  Shofuso was built in 1953 as a gift from Japan to American citizens, to symbolize post-war peace and friendship between the two countries. It was originally exhibited in the courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and was relocated to Philadelphia and reconstructed in 1958.  This historic site and museum includes a hill and pond garden with a tiered waterfall, island and koi fish, a tea garden featuring a traditional teahouse and a courtyard garden leading to a bathhouse.

During your visit you will have a one-hour tour through each room of the house that explains the purpose and significance of all the main features of the site. You will also witness 20 contemporary murals that were donated by international artist, Hiroshi Senju. After the tour, you may self-explore the gardens.

Return to the hotel for some time to relax and recharge.  Board the coach and travel just a few short blocks to Philadelphia’s Best Italian Restaurant.  Savor the flavors of an old world inspired menu served in an elegant setting. Wine is included with dinner. All other beverages are on own.

Day Five, Thursday, May 11:

After a farewell breakfast at the hotel, pack your luggage, check out of your rooms and board the coach.  Before you leave the Philadelphia area, there is one more visit that you simply must make!

This morning you will visit one of America’s most inspiring gardens. Chanticleer Garden is a forty-eight-acre botanical garden and one of the great gardens of the region. Once the Rosengarten estate, today’s Chanticleer is a colorful, contemporary garden within an historic setting.

The Chanticleer estate dates from the early 20th-century, when land along the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad was developed for summer homes to escape the heat of Philadelphia. Adolph Rosengarten, Sr. and his wife Christine chose the Wayne-St. Davids area to build their country retreat. The family’s pharmaceutical firm would become part of Merck & Company in the 1920s. Mr. Rosengarten’s humor is evident in naming his home after the estate “Chanticlere” in Thackeray’s 1855 novel, The Newcomes. The fictional Chanticlere was “mortgaged up to the very castle windows” but “still the show of the county.” Playing on the word, which is synonymous with “rooster,” the Rosen gardens used rooster motifs throughout the estate.

Chanticleer consists of a collection of open lawns and large trees. Different sections of the botanical gardens that you may visit include Asian Woods, the Pond Garden, Teacup Garden, Minder Woods, Tennis Court Garden, Cutting Garden and the Gravel Garden. Your visit includes a self-guided tour of the house and gardens.

Depart Chanticleer about 12:00 pm and travel to the Philadelphia International Airport for your mid-afternoon flight home. Along the way share, memories of your “loverly” time in America’s Garden Capital. Plan to have lunch at the airport.

Your Package Includes:

  • 4 Nights accommodation
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • 1 Welcome Reception
  • 3 Dinners
  • Included group dinners include wine with dinner
  • Constitutional Tour led by Benjamin Franklin
  • Evening entertainment presented by John Bartram himself!
  • Visit to the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library with Garden Tram Tour
  • Visit to Longwood Gardens with guided tour
  • Guided tour of the Jenny Rose Carey Garden, Northview
  • Signed copy of Jenny Rose Carey’s book, “Glorious Shade”
  • Time to browse and explore the Reading Terminal Market
  • Admission to the Barnes Foundation with docent-led tour
  • House and Garden Tour at Bartram’s Gardens
  • Guided tour at the Magic Garden
  • Guided tour of the Shofuso Japanese House
  • Admission to the House and Garden Chanticleer
  • Services of a full-time tour manager
  • Baggage service for one piece of luggage per traveler
  • Private motor coach transportation throughout the tour
  • Accommodations, group meals and admissions for the coach driver
  • Offsite parking for the coach
  • Taxes and gratuities (Note: Gratuities are not included for the coach driver, tour manager and local guides and are at your discretion based on service.)

Pricing Information:

18 Travelers invited

  • Per person double occupancy: $3500
  • Per person single occupancy: $4500

Email: to get on our information list.

Email: to get on our information list.

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