7 Must-Dos in West Chester

juicy cold drinks
Shopping, restaurants plenty of outdoor activities make West Chester one of our favorite boroughs.

by Diane Oliva, Style Editor

I’m a Delco native, so when I told my family I was moving to West Chester, I may as well have told them I was moving to Ohio. I heard, “Chester County is farmland. What is there in West Chester?”  Well, let me tell you … everything is in West Chester!

Nestled in the Brandywine Valley while only 45 minutes from Philadelphia, West Chester is the perfect combination of country and cosmopolitan. It has its own vibrant downtown area and is surrounded by Chester County’s best local and county parks, and nearby nature preserves. West Chester is picturesque and historic, with easy access to everything in the Delaware Valley. There is always something to do, see, eat or buy. Here is just a sample of everything it has to offer.

A walkable town, West Chester offers that big city feel matched with small-town charm. It consists of over 100 independently owned unique shops and restaurants. Some of my favorite restaurants and shops of all time are in downtown West Chester.  There are too many to mention, so you will just have to take a trip, walk the lovely cobblestone sidewalks, and see for yourself. 

alcohol alcoholic bar beverage
Photo by Picography

There are also many outdoor events, including live music, movie nights, and the Gay Street Open-Air Market, an outdoor walking mall open until Sept. 5. Looking for great happy hours? West Chester TAPS takes place every Wednesday until August 31. From 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., participating bars and restaurants in the borough offer half-priced appetizers and adult beverages priced from $4-$6. Our friends at Downtown West Chester have the complete list of participating bars.

Inn at Whitewing Farm
The Inn at Whitewing Farm

Inn at Whitewing Farm is a beautiful bed and breakfast hidden away from the world on a country road.  Their 1770s farmhouse consists of 10 romantic rooms and suites, all with breathtaking views of the property. They offer a spring-fed pool and spa, tennis courts, fishing, private dining on their wine cellar patio, picnicking by the pool, smores by the onsite fire pits and so much more. It’s the perfect way to make your trip to West Chester an overnight. 370 Valley Road, West Chester

Image via American Helicopter Museum and Educational Center

American Helicopter Museum and Educational Center is a must for aviation and history buffs. The collection contains over 40 civilian and military aircraft and the museum has an extensive research library. Events include drone workshops, a special speaker series, Girls in Science and Technology camp, Star Trek exhibits and private helicopter rides. It’s perfect for adults and kids. 1220 American Blvd., West Chester

QVC is just a stone’s throw from the Helicopter Museum. QVC? Yes, that  QVC. Get a behind-the-scenes look at this world-famous shopping channel by attending a live audience show and interacting with the on-air hosts and celebrities. It’s a shopper’s dream. Admission is free but reservations are required. Get more information here. 1200 Wilson Drive, West Chester

Image by Natural Land Trust

Stroud Preserve: With 571 acres of working farms, woodlands, and a watershed that provides tens of thousands of people with drinking water, Stroud is home to some of the best natural lands in Chester County. It offers the best hiking and birdwatching in the area with miles of peaceful scenic trails to explore. 454 N. Creek Road, West Chester

Video by Blue Comet Productions

West Chester Railroad: All aboard for a one-of-a-kind train ride! This privately-owned railroad offers 90-minute themed and seasonal train rides. The young and young at heart will delight in the Christmas ride complete with Santa and hot cocoa, and the Halloween ride in spookily decorated cars with an occasional witch or goblin giving out candy. Summer offers outdoor picnics at the Glen Mills train stop. You can even rent a car for a private party. Anyone thinking what I am thinking? An Orient Express party! 230 E. Market St., West Chester

yellow canoe on body of water
Photo by Josh Hild

Northbrook Canoe Company offers canoeing, kayaking and tubing trips along the Brandywine River. Also available: fun canoe-and-dine trips consisting of a canoe ride, catered dinner and campfire. 1810 Beagle Road, West Chester

Want to see what other towns have to offer? Check out Five Things To Do in New Hope and Lambertville and Peddler’s Village: 15 Things To Do.

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