Spend five days in the rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley, exploring its historic homes, exceptional gardens and inspired art. Trace the du Pont family’s legacy at Nemours Estate and the Hagley Museum and Library. Wander through Winterthur and Longwood Gardens, whose flowers will be in full bloom during our mid-May tour, and uncover the region’s art at local museums as well as at the exceptional Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Private visits at a number of historic homes and properties make this a great deep dive into the region.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Closer to Home, Group Travel Tour
- Departure Dates
Sep 19, 2021 - Sep 23, 2021
Hotel du Pont
A member of Historic Hotels of America, the Hotel du Pont first opened in 1913 as one of the most lavish hotels of America’s Gilded Age. An extensive restoration returned the lobby to its original grandeur with opulent, old world elegance. The top-rated Green Room offers dining in a setting of rich oak paneling and gold chandeliers.
Cancellation by participant must be made in writing to ISDI and is effective only upon acknowledged receipt by ISDI. There is a non-refundable registration and planning fee of $500 per person regardless of cancellation date. Written cancellation received by ISDI on or before June 10, 2021: full refund minus $500 per person registration and planning fee. Written cancellation received by ISDI between June 11 and August 5, 2021: full refund minus $1,800 per person cancellation fee (includes registration and planning fee). Written cancellation received by ISDI on or after August 6, 2021: no refund. Tour registration is non-transferable. In the case of cancellation, substitutions are not allowed. After the tour has commenced, no refunds will be issued for any reason including, but not limited to, unused portions of tour. If the tour is cancelled by ISDI or National Trust Tours due to low enrollment, active registrants will receive a full refund of all tour payments.
Welcome to the Brandywine Valley
Explore the lush countryside of the historic Brandywine Valley this afternoon beginning with an in depth tour of the stunning Longwood Gardens, with their dramatic fountains and an impressive collection of over 9,000 plant varieties. At the nearby Brandywine River Museum of Art, see an outstanding collection of American works and the Andrew Wyeth Studio, a National Historic Landmark and former schoolhouse built in 1875. Conclude with a brief expert-led tour of the historic Hotel du Pont, our five-star accommodations for the duration of our tour. Learn about the building’s financial and social functions for the Wilmington elite during the early 20th century and admire the architecture, modeled in the Italian Renaissance style, before enjoying an upscale French dinner at the hotel’s elegant and opulent Green Room restaurant. (D)
Historic Homes & Gardens
Step into French-American industrialist E.I. du Pont’s shoes as we explore the family’s historic home and gardens, completed in 1803 and now preserved as the Hagley Museum, a verdant, 200-acre campus running adjacent to the Brandywine River. Take an extensive tour of the former residence, discover the surrounding landscapes, and delve into the history of the family’s industrial productions on site. After a break for lunch, finish the day in historic New Castle, where we’ll step back in time during an exclusive visit to the George Read II House and Gardens. Tour the Federal-style mansion and expansive grounds, learning about the Read family’s role in shaping American history. The 22-room estate is significant for its Philadelphia-style architecture and its title as a National Historic Landmark. (B, L)
Chanticleer & Shofuso Gardens
Today we venture into Philadelphia to uncover a number of historic properties. Begin with a visit to the renowned Chanticleer Gardens for a tour of these gorgeous, historic grounds. The 35 acres house a variety of species within themed garden spaces. Later we proceed to the Barnes Foundation for lunch at the on-site café before visiting the permanent collection, featuring works by Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, van Gogh, and other renowned artists. Finish the day with a touch of Japan at the unique Shofuso property, a 17th-century-styled home built overseas by architect Junzo Yoshimura and transferred to the U.S. in pieces for reassembly. On this exceptional retreat, experience the delightful flowers in bloom and observe the mural collection donated by internationally acclaimed painter Hiroshi Senju. (B, L)
Spend this morning touring the notable Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. Former residence of Henry Francis du Pont, the 175-room mansion serves as a museum where guests can admire not only antiquities, art, and decorative pieces, but also the space in which the du Pont family lived and entertained. Venture into the gardens to discover the meticulously kept grounds with a wide-ranging assortment of plant species. After an independent lunch, proceed to the Mt. C. Center for a leisurely visit of the gardens and grounds, with free time to explore the flora. Return to the hotel this evening before a festive farewell dinner at an upscale Wilmington restaurant. (B, D)
Begin our final morning in the beautiful Brandywine Valley with a lovely brunch at a notable local inn. Our trip culminates with a private tour on the expansive grounds of the historic Nemours Estate, another family home formerly owned by Alfred I. du Pont, characterized by French influences and breathtaking grandiosity including dramatic fountains. This afternoon, we return to the Hotel du Pont to collect our luggage for independent departures. (Brunch)
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