Whether your idea of adventure is getting a bird’s-eye view of the bucolic Chester County landscape from 1,500 feet up, meandering down a lazy river by boat or taking in a refined tour of a nearby vineyard, the Main Line has something for everyone looking to soak up the summer in style.
Producing over 30,000 cases of wine a year, Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610.388.6221, chaddsford.com) has become a local fave for Main Line oenophiles. Housed in a 17th-century dairy barn, the winery gives guided tours of its reserves (tickets $20) three times a day on select weekends throughout the summer. But for the ultimate summer escape, the winery’s throwing Camp Chaddsford, an adults-only summer camp July 20 and 27, where wine imbibers can expect a slew of outdoor activities ranging from old-school cornhole and a Wiffle ball home run derby to more upscale offerings like a specially curated wine tasting featuring its Artisan Series wines and a progressive beer tasting by Malvern’s Locust Lane Craft Brewery.
In addition to producing some of the best wine, Chester County’s gorgeous expanse of rolling hills also holds some of the most beautiful sights in the region. While most of us are relegated to earthbound gawking, with Glenmoore’s Air Ventures Balloon Flight Inc. hot air ballooning (Signature Souvenir Flight $329, 2904 Conestoga Road, 800.826.6361, air-ventures.com), you can check out the sites from 500 to 2,500 feet in the sky. Balloon flights take off every day of the summer, with launch times at sunrise and a couple of hours before sunset. Just be sure to make reservations in advance.
Whether you’re a fan of English or Western, there’s nothing more perfect than taking a lazy trail ride through the Delaware Valley. With trails along French Creek, Spring City’s Sheeder Mill Farm (tickets $360, 12 Sheeder Mill Road, 610.469.9382, smfhorses.com) is open to the public and offers lessons to all levels—from beginners to seasoned riders—as well as family-friendly activities like picnics and pony rides. For the ultimate experience, be sure to take in a private four-hour summer sunset trail ride.
If you like your relaxation with a side of exercise, nothing says summer like a trip down the meandering Brandywine River. With Wilderness Canoe Trips (tickets from $57,2111 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE, 302.654.2227, wildernesscanoetrips.com), you can check out the sites by canoe, kayak or tube, and all trips are low-key and allow you to go at your own pace. Excursions include a 6-and 12-mile canoe or kayak trip, or a 1 1⁄2-mile tubing trip. The Wilderness team will set you up with all the equipment and instructions you need—just make it down to the river by a preset time and what you do the rest of the day is up to you. In other words, whatever floats your boat.
Photography by: PHOTO BY IAN DOOLEY/UNSPLASH
FROM TOP, PHOTOS: BY MIHAJLO CKOVRIC/STOCKSY; BY JAIME WADE/COURTESY OF SHEEDER MILL FARM