Guide to Museums in the Philadelphia Area

Years ago when my husband and I moved to the Brandywine Valley area from New Orleans, I discovered the problem was not going to be finding something to do but deciding what to do when we had free time. This area is rife with gardens, historic houses, art museums, and other museums all within a 30-45 minute drive. 

One little known museum 30 minutes from Hamanassett Bed and Breakfast is the Wharton Esherick Museum.  If you are a fan of Arts and Crafts you are probably familiar with his work and know that he was known as “The Dean of American Craftsmen”.  Esherick was a sculptor who worked mainly in wood.  The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art both display his work.  Closer to us is the museum dedicated to his work located in Paoli, Pennsylvania.  Here you can  visit his studio and home in a hilltop setting.  The paneling in the dining room of the house came from a large cherry tree that originally shaded the front of the house.  After it died, Esherick used it for the inside of the house.  

The museum is a National Historic Landmark for Architecture.  It holds more than 200 pieces of his work and is open for public guided tours by appointment.  Don’t miss the upcoming exhibit of juried woodworking which will be on display from September 13 until  December 30, 2020.  

Studio of Wharton Esherick in Paoli Pa.

Wharton Esherick studio

Advance reservations are required.  Contact the museum because hours vary depending on the day of the week.  The museum is closed January and February as well as all major holidays.  Click here for museum’s web site or call them at 610-644-5822.

There are dozens of other museums all within a 30 minute drive of Hamanassett, whether you go north, east, south or west including The Mutter Museum (check our blog about this amazing museum dedicated to medical abnormalities), Barnes Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of the American Revolution, and the Franklin Institute to name just a few.  Just six miles south of us in the Brandywine Valley is the Brandywine River Museum which is home to three generations of Wyeths.   You could easily spend two weeks in our area and never visit all of them.  Throw in the dozens of world renowned gardens such as Longwood Gardens, Winterthur, Hagley,  Nemours and Chanticleer, and you really should plan a month long stay or at least come back each season.

Click here to see room availability at Hamanassett Bed and Breakfast.  You can book directly from our web site or call us at 610-459-3000 and we will be happy to assist you.