Craving some green? Look no further than the Morris Arboretum. On the outer edge of the city’s northwest, this huge public garden is the perfect sylvan escape from Philadelphia’s urban bustle.
Every time we stroll the formal flower gardens or weave our way through the roses, my husband tells me this is his favorite place in all of Philadelphia. I agree. Its 92 acres of green are studded with shady gazebos, fountains, monuments, and sculptures. The swan pond is tranquil all year, and Oak Alley offers cool shade.
The trees are well labeled, so you can learn as much as you care to. Or you can just ease onto one of many well placed benches and relax. Head to the log cabin, where you’ll find adirondack chairs overlooking a creek. The Morris family used to entertain here and elsewhere on their vast property, until they donated it to the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in the early 1930s.
Revolving art exhibits focus on nature themes and materials that fit the natural environment. There is an outdoor train display in the summer and again at the holidays, a favorite for kids. And the historic fernery is a glassed-in paradise on chilly days.
Out on a Limb is my favorite, a grandiose modernist tree house that takes you into the tree canopies, with a giant robin’s nest sculpture, and huge hammocks that visitors can climb down into, a wonderful place to relax. Don’t miss this gem!