Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway – DE
- DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2005)
- Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
- LocationDE, PA
- Length12 of 37.3 total miles
Journey through the rolling hills of the genteel Brandywine Valley landscape and discover the lasting influence of the du Pont family dynasty. The byway leads to an unparalleled concentration of historic sites, magnificent estates, glorious gardens, and mesmerizing museums.
Story of the Byway
This area is often referred to as Chateau Country due to the unparalleled concentration of historic sites, magnificent estates, glorious gardens, and mesmerizing museums. The area’s significance is attributed to its role in three centuries of American Industrial history.
The water-powered mills and proximity to the Port of Wilmington created thriving industrial and commercial markets and spawned the development of Wilmington. Later the Wilmington-Kennett Turnpike (now Route 52) left a legacy of buildings, parks, and cultural institutions created by eighteenth-and-nineteenth-century industrialists. Hotel du Pont, the Wilmington Institute Free Library, the Federal Courthouse, and the U.S. Post Office (now Wilmington Trust) are all found at Rodney Square.
Leaving the city, the picturesque, preserved landscapes contain numerous American country estates. Landscaped gardens are a vital component of these historic landscapes within the estates. It takes about an hour to drive the byway but allow 2-3 days to experience it all.
This is a “Y”-shaped Byway and begins just off I95, at Rodney Square in Wilmington, DE. Heading northwest, the route splits and the Highway 100 (Montchanin Road) section travels almost due north through Montchanin, Winterhur, and past the Brandywine State Park before ending at the Pennsylvania border. The other route heads northwesterly on Highway 52 (Kennett Pike) and travels through Greenville and Centreville before it also ends at the Pennsylvania border. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and their Byway program picks up the management of the byway at the border.
Points of Interest
Delaware History Museum
Renovated in 2016 a two-story glass connector links to the 18th Century Old Town Hall building.
In downtown Wilmington, the center of commerce and culture
Nemours Mansion and Gardens
The “Sunken Garden” was designed by Alfred Victor du Pont on the 300-acre country estate.
Goodstay House and Gardens
Historic property and gardens in Wilmington
An American Country Estate with a seven-story former home of Henry Frances du Pont. Visit the Enchanted Woods Fairy Ring for storytelling, the Tulip Tree for children to play in, and the Fairy Flower Labyrinth.
Brandywine Creek State Park
933-acre preserve divided by 19th-century stone walls, with tulip poplar forest and nature center
Delaware Museum of Natural History
Dinosaurs and other kid-friendly exhibits
Elegant rooms and dining.
Gibraltar Mansion and Gardens
Also known as the Hugh Rodney Sharp Mansion.
Delaware Art Museum Galleries
Featuring pre-Raphaelite art, Brandywine school illustrators, and 9-acre sculpture garden.
Inn at Montchanin Village
A historic hotel of America.
Hagley Museum and Library
River front site featuring regional industrial history, including gunpowder mills and the du Pont home
Unincorporated community known for being the location of the du Pont family estates as well as other wealthy business families.
Experience the Brandywine Valley
Starting in the City of Wilmington and heading northeast along SR-52, your journey along the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway has officially begun! There are plenty of attractions located along the Byway in Wilmington, including Rodney Square and the du Pont Theatre. As you start your journey on the road, you can stop by one of the many parks that are located along the Delaware River and take in the beautiful scenery. After a short while in the road, the Byway splits into two different routes: one continuing along SR-52, and the other along SR-100. Each path has plenty to offer, and you can easily travel both within the same day.
If you continue along SR-52, you will pass by some beautiful locations that are easily accessible. This includes the Delaware Museum of Natural History and the Edgar M Hoopes Reservoir. If you are looking to drive even further, you can change paths onto the Red Clay Valley Scenic Byway, which is accessible from multiple points along the road!
If you travel on the other path along SR-100 there are just as many ways to enjoy the journey. You can first stop at the Historic Inn at Monchanin Village to take in the history and culture of the area. The main attraction of both this section of the road and the entire Byway is the wonderful Winterthur Estate. This area is a true gem in the State of Delaware and serves as a museum, a garden, and even a library. You can spend the entire day exploring this beautiful location and it is the perfect way to end your journey along the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway.
Update this byway information today!