Orchids Reign at Longwood Gardens #GoBeyond

Ever since I visited Longwood Gardens last December and heard about their Orchid Extravaganza, I was dying to get back there and check it out. In typical Jo-Lynne form, I waited till the last minute. The exhibit is only open until March 24th, so knowing my days were numbered, yesterday I grabbed a friend and took a little day trip to check out the orchid exhibit and finish up my #Sony215 Unedited project. Too birds, one stone, booyah!!

While I wish the day had been a bit warmer, the sun was bright and beautiful, and we powered up with a delicious lunch before braving the March winds.

The fancy “1906”—the dining room named in honor of the year Mr. du Pont purchased Longwood—isn’t open during the winter season, but the Café offers a wide variety of delicious options. The sandwiches looked amazing, and there were smallish gourmet pizzas too. They offered several different kinds of soup, with both vegetarian and gluten-free options. Plus there were several choices for a heartier meal if you are in the mood. I ordered the chicken breast with tapanade and a side of barley pilaf and roasted veggies, as pictured above. It hit the spot on this blustery day!

I couldn’t resist chasing my lunch with a flourless chocolate cake, which was nice and light (unlike many flourless chocolate cakes that are so rich it’s hard to swallow more than a couple bites). It’s always a treat to find a gluten-free dessert that isn’t a fruit cup or a bowl of ice cream!!

There’s also a kid’s menu with chicken nuggets and mac and cheese — the homemade kind — and plenty of fruit and organic milk. Also, The Terrace (comprised by both the Café and 1906) is now a Certified Green Restaurant . . . which means you might need a masters’ degree to figure out how to dispose of your garbage, but it’s also nice to know that restaurants are doing their best to reduce energy and waste.

After lunch, we walked over to the conservatory — the best place to enjoy Longwood in the wintertime. It’s always nice and warm in there! Finally, we braved the cold to walk up to the Chimes Tower. Wouldn’t you know, as we approached the bells began to chime. (Later I learned that they chime every 15 minutes… and here I thought I was special!) It was still lovely, and I enjoyed the view of Longwood from behind the tower. I’ve been to Longwood Gardens more times than I can count, and I love that I’m still discovering its gems.

I put together a little slideshow gallery of the photos I took yesterday.

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If you’re local, there is one more OrKID Day tomorrow, March 16 from 12-3PM, should you be looking for something to do with your family. It includes a family-friendly concert and kids’ orchid activities in the Conservatory. And you’re welcome to Go Beyond the Garden Gates on March 23 between 11am-3pm to meet our gardeners, go behind-the-scenes to their Orchid Houses, explore their Library and Potting Shed, and attend orchid talks and demonstrations throughout the Conservatory. This opportunity is free with admission.

As part of the Longwood Blogger team, and I received a free family membership for 2013 in exchange for blog posts about my visits.


  1. Dawn says

    Wow. Beautiful photos and so much history. Never been to PA, but I’m planning a trip in September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families where they say the Pope may be, too! In the meantime, I’ll be using your blog for great things to see, do, and eat!

  2. says

    I’ve never been to Longwood but I’ve only ever seen stunning pictures of what it holds. I can’t wait so see what it looks like in a month or so.

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