West Chester, a borough situated in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley, is home to over 20,000 residents. It’s an urban community packaged as a thriving university town. Downtown West Chester alone is impressive – with over 80 shops and 59 restaurants plus street fairs, cultural events, farmers markets, museums, excursion trains, and other attractions, you’ll never run out of things to do in West Chester, PA. Here are some of the local favorites.
Note: According to Pennsylvania’s public health and safety guidelines, local businesses must follow the state orders to mitigate risks. Before going through our list of fun things to do in West Chester, PA, check out the social media accounts and official websites of these spots to stay updated on their pandemic rules and regulations. Remember to practice social distancing and wear your face masks when outside.
Sandy Hollow Heritage Park
1313 Birmingham Road, West Chester, PA
One of the most historically significant parks in West Chester, PA, the 42-acre Sandy Hollow Heritage Park was the site of the 1777 Battle of Brandywine. If you need me-time, this is the perfect place to relax. Its open spaces are intended for introspection, historical education, and passive recreation.
Don’t forget to visit the Peace Garden, located right behind the Birmingham Friends Meetinghouse. It has a marker that pays tribute to fallen British and American soldiers. The monument of Marquis de Lafayette, a French general that helped Americans win the Revolutionary War, can also be viewed at the Lafayette Cemetery, which is located nearby.
Pete’s Produce Farm
1225 East Street Road, West Chester, PA
Pete Flynn, a former dairy farmer, began growing sweet corn in 1988. It’s been more than three decades since he started, and now he leads the local produce industry. Besides growing over 10 different corn varieties, Pete also harvests strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, eggplants, and garlic, among many others.
A member of the Chester County Food Bank, Pete has designated over five acres to serve the less fortunate in his community. When you buy local produce, you generate twice as much income for the local economy. The farm is open to visitors and now has curbside and contactless pick-up. You can check their website and Facebook page for their latest offerings.
High Street Caffe
322 South High Street, West Chester, PA
In the mood for something fun and out of the ordinary? Head to High Street Caffe. It was established in 1996 by a rock musician, Donny Syracuse, and a sauté chef, Jay Wenner. Their menu helped establish West Chester as a foodie destination.
The restaurant, which has been around for 27 years, is known for its delectable Cajun and Creole cuisine. Local folk, rock stars, and curious newbies flock to the place for its nightly specials of wild boar, kangaroo, ostrich, and alligator. With more than 20 appetizers and 30 entrees to choose from, High Street Caffe is a place you’ll surely keep coming back to.
454 North Creek Road, West Chester, PA
Got a serious case of cabin fever after being cooped up all winter? This spring, enjoy the open air at the Stroud Preserve. With over 570 acres of woodlands, grasslands, and farmlands, it’s an impressive site to visit for education, scientific research, and outdoor recreation.
Part of the preserve was donated by Dr. Morris Stroud, who bequeathed the area as long as it remained a site for water research. The place also features nine miles of hiking trails as well as opportunities to go kayaking and canoeing.
The American Helicopter Museum & Education Center
1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, PA
Visited by more than 35,000 visitors yearly, the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center is the only museum of its kind in the US. It pays homage to the pioneering figures of rotary-wing aviation and hopes to inspire aviation buffs into taking up flying in the future.
This family-friendly museum offers everyone a chance to hop on a real helicopter and try out its controls. A flight simulator also helps visitors appreciate rotorcraft even more.
116 E. Gay Street, West Chester, PA
Bar AV is your neighborhood stop for delicious cocktails and libations. Established in 2000, the bar offers a carefully curated Italian-Spanish menu in a bistro-style setting. As an initiative to help frontline workers and boost their morale, Bar AV gives its patrons a chance to donate dinners to local nurses.
Want to know more about West Chester, PA?
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