From Vino Tours to Canoe Trips, Here's How to Have the Ultimate Summer in the Main Line

By Marni Prichard Manko | June 20, 2016 | Lifestyle Feature

Summer lasts exactly 93 days—but when hot air balloon rides, outdoor yoga, and winery tours are keeping Main Liners busy in the ’burbs this season, who’s got time to count?

From balloon rides over the bucolic beauty of Chester County to sitting courtside watching some of the world’s best tennis players in action, there’s no reason to head down the shore when some of the summer’s best activities beckon on the Main Line.

Net Gains

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Featuring one of the best lineups in years, World Team Tennis’s Philadelphia Freedoms is sure to please with two former number oneranked athletes set to take the court during the first three weeks of August. Two-time US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki is tapped as a marquee player on August 2 (right before she heads to Rio to play in the Summer Olympics), and former US Open champion Andy Roddick will visit with the New York Empire to challenge the Freedoms on August 10. Lukas Lacko, Daria Kasatkina, Naomi Broady, Fabrice Martin, and Donald Young are also set to play on the team. Bonus: the Freedoms play in Villanova University’s now-famed Pavilion, so you can soak up some Wildcat vibes while you’re there.

Go with the Flow

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The Shore may have the ocean but the suburbs have the Brandywine River. Come summer, the river is flooded with families checking out the sites along the Brandywine Valley by canoe, kayak, or tube. The team at Wilderness Canoe Trips take you to the river and set you up with all the equipment and instructions you need—just make it to the downriver pick-up point by 4 pm and what you do the rest of the day is up to you. Excursions include a six-mile and 12-mile canoe or kayak session, or a two-hour tubing trip.

Up, Up, and Away

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Chester County’s bucolic rolling hills, endless meadows, and massive mansions are some of the most beautiful sights in the region—but most of us are relegated to earthbound gawking. So imagine taking in the sights from 2,000 feet up in the sky. If the weather is just right, Glenmoore’s Air Ventures sets flight every day throughout the summer, with launch times at sunrise and a couple of hours before sunset—perfect for prime selfie-taking opportunities. Just be sure to make reservations in advance.

Horse Play

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Whether you prefer riding English or Western—or have no clue what either of those mean—giddyup across the Delaware Valley on the back of a horse this summer. Chadds Ford’s Cloverleaf Stables is open to the public and offers riding lessons to everyone from beginners to seasoned riders; there are also family-friendly activities like pony rides and hay rides. And for the ultimate trail experience, take the sunset ride so you can, well, ride off into the sunset.

Name That Tune

While there are endless free summer concert series up, down, and all around the Main Line, Chestnut Hills’ annual Pastorius Park Free Summer Concert Series is a perennial crowd favorite—and at 68 years, it’s also the longest-running concert series in the Philadelphia area. What started out as a classical series has morphed into a blend of different cultures and genres from blues to rock. The series runs Wednesday nights through the end of July.

Strike a Pose

On the heels of leading thousands of bendy bodies on the steps of the Art Museum for Living Beyond Breast Cancer each spring, yoga guru Jennifer Schelter takes her practice outdoors to teach yoga basics at Chestnut Hill’s Morris Arboretum. Running Tuesday nights through August 9, work on your tree pose… surrounded by trees. And if you want to take your yoga practice to new heights, head over on August 7 for Yoga Out On a Limb, where class is held 50 feet up atop the Arboretum’s tree canopy.

Grape Expectations

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Life seems positively Napa-esque at Chaddsford Winery, an oenophile favorite that produces over 30,000 cases of wine a year. Housed in a 17th-century dairy barn, the winery gives two free guided tours of the grounds every Saturday and Sunday. Or stop by and indulge in a wine tasting of their award-winning blends that celebrate our Mid-Atlantic Uplands’ microclimate.

Wind and the Willows

Arguably the prettiest park on the Main Line, The Willows sits on a 47-acre estate—with a sprawling three-story mansion, natch—that was privately owned until Radnor Township bought the property in 1973. Since then, the township has turned it into a picturesque haven with a lotus-filled pond, flowing fountains, and families of geese, swans, and other fowl that call the grounds home. You won’t find a better location to set down a picnic basket, uncork a bottle of wine, and sprawl out on a big blanket.

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