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Philly and the Great Outdoors!

Visiting a city sometimes means sacrificing your opportunity to experience nature -- luckily that just isn’t true of Philadelphia. When William Penn first began designing the layout of Philadelphia, he set out to make sure Philadelphia was a “green country town” by establishing five public squares: Rittenhouse, Franklin, Dilworth, Washington and Logan (each of these is quite unique and worth a visit if you’re close by).

Now all these years later, we’re not only a “green country town,” but we’re also considered “America’s Garden Capital” due to our high concentration of public gardens and arboreta.

Here are six of our favorite outdoor spots that combine a bit of Philly history with the great outdoors.

The Woodlands

The Woodlands is a tranquil spot and National Historic Landmark that most locals don’t even know about. The Woodlands Estate is home to an 18th century “English Pleasure Garden” and mansion, a 19th century cemetery, and a “modern green oasis.”

If you’ve ever read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love (or seen the Julia Roberts movie), you may be interested to know that one of her newer novels, The Signature of All Things, was inspired by her many visits to The Woodlands (here’s a blog she wrote about it for The Woodlands’ website).

Located in West Philadelphia, the Woodlands are easily accessible by trolley, and open to the public from dawn to dusk. Local Tip: While you’re in the neighborhood, consider visiting University City for something to eat and the chance to get the local feel.