In 1728, a Pennsylvania Quaker named John Bartram purchased 102 acres near Philadelphia and began assembling one of the most extensive botanical collections in the world. His garden remains the oldest existing botanical garden in the United States, and during Bartram's lifetime, the garden was visited and enjoyed by dignitaries like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.You can spend the day exploring Bartram's Garden, as well!
Visiting the garden on your own is always free, but Yelp reviewers recommend signing up for one of the guided tours, which will explain the garden's layout and design, as well as help you identify the historical significance of certain plants. As an added bonus, you'll get a spectacular view of the Philadelphia skyline from the estate's meadowlands. Don’t forget to stop by the historic buildings that housed Bartram’s family, and be sure to step inside the nursery where you can purchase native Pennsylvania cuttings and seedlings.