West Chester, PA is home to unique attractions that are just flying below people’s radar. These must-visit destinations highlight why this charming Chester County community is hailed as one of the most perfect small towns in the world.
Antique Ice Tool Museum
825 Sconnelltown Road, West Chester, PA
Discover the forgotten “natural” ice industry at the Antique Ice Tool Museum, one of Pennsylvania’s hidden gems. Founded by Peter Stack in 2009, the museum tells the fascinating story of this former billion-dollar business that made ice the second largest export of the United States in the early 1800s.
The Antique Ice Tool Museum traces the history of the natural ice trade, from its rise to its eventual decline, and how common household appliances evolved over the years. The museum is housed in a three-story barn that was renovated and restored before it was opened to the public.
You’ll find one of the largest collections of antique ice tools and memorabilia from the 1820s to the 1940s. Visitors are provided with hand-held audio guides that takes them through the exhibits on each floor. From the unique tools (no two tools are alike!) to the antique ice boxes, the museum’s amazing offerings will make you want to spend long hours here.
The Antique Ice Tool Museum is maintained by the Stack Family to this day.
Baldwin’s Book Barn
865 Lenape Road, West Chester, PA
Built in 1822, Baldwin’s Book Barn is a bookstore that is just waiting to be discovered. This five-story building in the heart of Brandywine Valley has a diverse collection of over 300,000 books, from used volumes to rare finds. The bookstore’s fascinating layout will delight bibliophiles and casual readers alike. The winding staircases, hidden nooks, and endless shelves of books are what makes the place so unique.
Baldwin’s Book Barn is not just for finding great reads. The bookstore’s laid-back vibe and cozy atmosphere makes it the perfect place to relax or have a chat with other patrons.
1491 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA
Learn more about the largest engagement of the Revolutionary War at the Brandywine Battlefield Historic Site. This landmark commemorates the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, considered the largest land encounter between the American Continental Army and the British Forces.
Visitors can check out the different uniforms, weapons, and artifacts used during the battle, such as muskets, bayonets, and broadswords. A tour of George Washington and Lafayette’s headquarters (the Benjamin Ring House and Gideon Gilpin’s Farm House, respectively) is also provided.
Brinton 1704 House
21 Oakland Road, West Chester, PA
A National Historic Landmark, the Brinton 1704 House is a restored Quaker home in the middle of the Brandywine Battlefield. Built by William Brinton the Younger, this structure is one of the oldest and best preserved historic homes in the United States.
It’s hard not to be amazed and intrigued by the home’s interiors. You’ll find period furniture, an indoor bake oven, the Brinton family Bible box, and other objects that were used as common household items during the 18th and 19th centuries.
If you plan on visiting the Brinton 1704 House, take note that it is only open to the public from May to October. Those who want to tour the house outside of the visitation schedule may do so through a special appointment.
222 East King Street, Malvern, PA
Located in the neighboring town of Malvern, this hidden gem is one of the best places to see amazing art from emerging local artists. The building, which was once a town grocer, now houses two galleries and four artist studios.
Gallery222 hosts a number of events throughout the year. From Seaside Garden Shows to floral arranging and painting workshops, the gallery offers plenty of opportunities to learn more about art and enhance your artistic skills.
American Helicopter Museum and Educational Center
1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, PA
Explore the fascinating world of aviation and helicopters at the American Helicopter Museum and Educational Center. The museum displays more than 35 helicopters inside and outside the building, including V-22 Ospreys, Gyrocopters, Jet Rangers, and many more. Visitors may climb aboard some of the helicopters and enjoy a thrilling interactive experience.
The American Helicopter Museum also has a variety of exhibits about the history of rotary wing development, pioneers of the helicopter industry, and the legacy of female helicopter pilots.
Explore more of what West Chester has to offer with RE/MAX Direct. As local West Chester experts, the team knows the area inside and out, including the top amenities, attractions, and other fun things to do in West Chester, PA. Get in touch with a RE/MAX Direct professional today at 610.430.8100 or send us an email at remaxdirectwc(at)gmail(dotted)com.