Seniors Enjoy Mushroom Capital

03-water-towerKennett Square (pop.  6,000) is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania that senior travelers will find along Hwy 1. The name comes from “Kennet”, England, and “Square” from the original land grant from William Penn of one square mile.

Known as the Mushroom Capital of the World, mushroom farming in the region produces over a million pounds of mushrooms a week. That would be reason enough for yours truly to spend quality time with my wife, (a “portabello hound”), in Historic Kennett Square learning all about the various kinds of mushrooms. This past New Year’s Eve, they dropped an 800 pound stainless steel mushroom from a crane in lieu of a ball.

Kennett Square hosts an annual Mushroom Festival on the weekend after Labor Day. I learned that over 65% of the mushrooms consumed in the United States are grown on site.  Over 100,000 visitors come from all over the country take part in this “Small Town America” Festival.

Seniors Find A Revitalized Town


Historic Kennett Square is a downtown revitalization model developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980.

Kennett Square’s founder is credited with introducing mushroom growing to the area. He grew carnations, a popular local commodity around 1885, and wanted to make use of the wasted space under the elevated beds. He imported spawn from Europe and started experimenting with mushroom cultivation. It all went uphill from there.

My botanical friends and I would head to Longwood Gardens that consists of over 1,000 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows in Kennett Square. It is one of the premier botanical gardens in the country.


It is open year-round so senior visitors can enjoy exotic plants and horticulture, events and performances, seasonal and themed attractions, as well as take part in educational lectures, courses, and workshops. It is one classy place. I am confident that my botanist brother Steve knew of this famous garden.

 Seniors Visit A Mushroom Farm

TripAdvisor suggests that after the gardens, senior visitors check out Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery on Folley Hill Road. The Anson B. Nixon Park is a another hidden gem nestled just north of town where a free summer concert series is held on Wednesday evenings. On 106 acres, the Park was carved out of the historic woodlands of the late 18th through early 20th century Chambers Estate.


The natural setting includes two ponds, meandering streams, woodlands including a beech grove with specimens dating back over 250 years, and three miles of walking trails. Bring along your hiking boots and toss in your clubs for a round or two at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club.

Hike on over to the Phillips Mushroom Farms, the largest grower of specialty mushrooms in the US. Bring a cooler and pick up several kinds of quality mushrooms. That’s what I call a “practical edible souvenir.”  Senior travelers, enjoy Kennett Square. -jeb

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