Monticello is a gem of a historical site that we too often take for granted - at least I did, having lived in Virginia and the Maryland all my life and letting 40 years go by without a visit.  But as I reported here last September, I finally made a return visit and was awestruck by the buildings, the gardens, what I learned from the tour guides, both indoors and out, and from the modern native plantings at the visitors center.

So I highly recommend a first or return visit by anyone who possibly can, and this weekend would be a great time to do it because they're holding their annual Heritage Harvest Festival on Saturday and Sunday, in conjunction with the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

Just a glance at the info-packed program proves that the festival isn't just about fun, but offers lots of learning opportunities - about such diverse topics as veg-growing, chicken, bee and pig-raising, cider and cheese-making.

More Favorite Day Trips


One of Chanticleer's famous container collections, in September.


Chanticleer Garden just west of Philadelphia.  It's my all-time favorite public garden, so I've raved about it here before, and shown off photos from a mid-May visit.  But I've also visited in the fall and it's equally gorgeous - right down to the container plantings like the one shown above.  Chanticleer is open until November 4th.


Blooming this week at Longwood Gardens.


And Longwood Gardens, of course!  It's only America's premier botanical garden, and it's only two hours away (roughly), in the Wilmington area.  It's open all year, with plenty to see every single day.   Shown above are just a few of the beauties blooming this week at Longwood.

More day-trip suggestions coming soon.

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