Located northeast of Philadelphia, Bucks County’s picturesque hillsides, vineyards and small towns make it a popular escape from the city. The region, bordered by the Delaware River to the south, is also a destination for gorgeous waterfront gardens and historic estates. To fully experience the beauty of the landscape, plan to stay in Bucks County for at least a night or two – you’ll find a charming selection of cottages and bed & breakfasts along the Delaware River and throughout the region.
Stop 1: Andalusia Historic House & Gardens
1237 State Road, Andalusia, Pennsylvania
Plan your visit at Andalusiapa.org and reserve your tour in advance.
➔ Nestled on the banks of the Delaware River, Andalusia Historic House & Gardens features native woodlands, centuries-old formal gardens and a stunning columned mansion that serves as one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the country. As you wander in the fragrant Rose Garden, Peony Walk and Walled Garden – and through the Woodland Walk – you will find a stunning array of flowers, shrubs and trees. The Green Walk, newly reconceived by renowned English landscape designer Lady Arabella Lennox-Boyd, showcases a striking pattern of blooms in pink, purple and white that revolves throughout the growing season.
➔ While at Andalusia, you must tour the historic Big House, placed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks in 1966. This stunning residence offers a look into the nation’s past by providing a glimpse into the lives of a family who helped to shape its future. Gardening history was made inside the detached Billiard Room on Andalusia’s grounds, where members of the Garden Club of America gathered in 1913 to write their by-laws just days after founding the organization.
➔ There is no garden café at Andalusia, however guests can pack a picnic to enjoy on the grounds following garden tours. If you prefer a casual sit-down lunch at a restaurant before heading to the next garden, drive 10 minutes northeast to Bella Maria Tomato Pies, a family-owned favorite voted Best Pizza Shop of 2017 in the Bucks County Courier Times.
Stop 2: Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve
1635 River Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania
Hours are seasonal. Visit bhwp.org for hours of operation.
➔ More than 700 of Pennsylvania’s 2,000 native plant species grow naturally on Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve’s 134 acres. The Preserve has many diverse habitats—mature hardwood forests, a meadow, steep hillsides, a creek, ponds and other wetlands—and three distinct geological zones that influence their overlying soils. As the nation’s one-and-only living museum specifically devoted to native plants, the Preserve has something to offer everyone, including almost 4.5 miles of trails.
➔ Don’t miss the Native Plant Nursery, where you can see and buy more than 200 species of plants native to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the Delaware Valley – including perennial wildflowers. Most perennial species for sale are propagated in the Nursery from the Preserve’s plant collections, making them the perfect souvenir.
➔ Make sure to check out the Preserve’s packed calendar of events, including guided wildflower walks, birding lessons and gardening workshops. Get details inside the Visitor’s Center on site, and while you’re there stop in the Bird Observatory room overlooking the forest canopy and Bowman’s Hill. If spending the day at the Preserve, rest and fuel up in the designated picnic area near the entrance, or have a bite at Bowman’s Tavern Restaurant, located less than a mile away.
Stop 3: The Gardens at Mill Fleurs
27 Cafferty Road, Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania
Visit thegardensatmillfleurs.com to plan your visit. Guided tours are required.
➔ Located next to the Tohickon Creek, The Gardens at Mill Fleurs grow on the historic site of two old mills, once powered by the creek’s rushing waters. It took 25 years to develop the lush gardens on this property, which include a wide variety of trees and shade plants such as hostas, rhododendron and epimedium. These breathtaking shade gardens make for a perfect escape on a summer’s day.
➔ Eye-catching plants abound in The Gardens at Mill Fleurs. On site you’ll find woodlanders aplenty, both native and Asian. Flowering plants including astilbe and tricyrtis add color, while variegated shrubs and trees with unique bark showcase a variety of patterns and textures.
➔ All scheduled tours include homemade refreshments! After exploring the gardens, save time to stop in Tiffany Perennials, the rare plant nursery on site, which offers unusual selections from The Gardens at Mill Fleurs and beyond. Here you can find natives, tropicals, ground cover and much more for your home landscape.
Additional Recommendations Nearby
➔ If you’re spending multiple nights in Bucks County, experience more of the region’s breathtaking landscape at Hortulus Farm in Wrightstown, Pennsylvania. In addition to historic barns, this 18th-century homestead features 24 separate gardens. Learn more: hortulusfarm.com.
➔ Stroll and shop among the award-winning gardens in Peddler’s Village, a charming, colonial-style village featuring more than 65 different stores.
➔ Wine lovers will love the Bucks County Wine Trail, including stops at eight familyowned wineries located just minutes apart.
➔ Round out your riverside garden tour with a scenic outdoor dining experience at one of these top recommended restaurants: https://www.visitbuckscounty.com/restaurants/planning-ideas/al-fresco-dining/