54th St. and Lindbergh Blvd., 215/729-5281,
HOURS: Garden: daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Museum Shop and House
Tours: daily except Mon. noon–4 p.m. Mar.–mid-Dec.
COST: Gardens free, tours of house and gardens $5 adult,
$4 senior and student, free child under 12
Bartram’s Garden, the nation’s earliest botanical garden, is alive and well in southwest Philadelphia . Founded in 1728 by John Bartram, a devout Quaker, the gardens and the adjacent Bartram family home are both National Historic Landmarks.
The 44-acre area straddling the Schuylkill River features native plants and flower gardens, ancient trees, a water garden and a river trail. The oldest gingko tree in the country and the Franklinia alatamaha, a tree named for John Bartram’s friend Benjamin Franklin, are just two of the notable flora found here.
Explore Bartram’s Garden for free on your own or pay for a 45-minute guided tour of the home and garden. History, science, and nature programs are also often offered.
The Schuylkill Banks River Tours  offer scenic guided boat tours from the Schuylkill River Bike Path to Bartram’s Garden.