There’s a charming elegance to Pennsylvania’s Chester County that is hard to find elsewhere. With its rolling green hills dotted with farms and historic estates, the county boasts the best of rural and urban living.
One of the first counties established by William Penn, Chester County has a rich history. It is home to both the Valley Forge encampment, where George Washington led his troops, as well the Brandywine Battlefield, now a historic site and beautiful park commemorating the largest land battle of the American Revolution.
The history of the colonial period and the Nation’s founding is still found across Chester County today in its architecture and estates. Driving along the winding country roads, passersby will find a cohesive combination of modern mansions and expansive gentleman’s estates, complete with 18th century stone farmhouses set snuggly in the rolling landscape.
More than its beauty, Chester County has an ideal location, giving it the feeling of being quietly removed yet still convenient to the amenities and culture of the great East Coast Megalopolis. “Chester County has a country atmosphere while being close to Philadelphia, Wilmington, and New York,” says Holly Gross of the Holly Gross Group, adding that those who move to the area “love the open and preserved land offering numerous parks and preserves, combined with convenience to the work place, shopping and culture.”
Small towns such as Kennett Square, Phoenixville and West Chester, and villages such as Birchrunville, Chadds Ford, Kimberton, Marshallton and Unionville make idyllic spots for raising a family. Their downtowns and main streets are weekend hubs for strolling with friends, grabbing a cup of coffee or warm meal, or attending seasonal events.
A Chester County enthusiast, Holly spends her free time roaming the towns and woodlands, eating out at one of Chester County’s many great restaurants with her foodie friends, or taking in the countryside, often on horseback. “I love the lush vegetation, flowering trees, shrubs, and flowers, multi-colored birds, and equestrian sports,” she says.
Chester County is a veritable playground for history buffs, nature lovers, equestrians and foodies alike. Families and individuals can revel in the well-maintained area parks, including several state recreation areas, like French Creek State Park. Located in Elverson, the park boasts over 7,500 acres perfect for everything outdoors. Many area land trusts have worked tirelessly to preserve almost 30 percent of the County and have created numerous nature preserves in the process. Visitors to Chester County can hike, mountain bike, horseback ride, canoe and camp, fish and hunt plus there are plenty of benches for picnics – the County is beautiful in all seasons. Stephen Gross grew up outside of Unionville and spent a decade in various countries abroad before the moving back to the area. “The landscape reminds me of Southern England—although the climate is certainly better here! I do ultra marathons and I love that I can run outside pretty much all year.”
Stewart Gross, a professional mountain biker and realtor, loves the open countryside, but appreciates its hills and open spaces for a completely different reason: “The country roads winding through the green rolling hills make for some of the most amazing road biking I have found anywhere,” he says.
Equestrian enthusiasts rave about Chester County and many top horse people call Chester County home. In fact, the horse dominated agricultural in Chester County is one of the County’s biggest businesses. The equine community is robust. Top Olympic riders like, Bruce Davidson, Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin have long called Chester County home. Whether it be fox hunting, paper chases, trail riding, eventing, polo, steeplechasing, flat racing, breeding, dressage, showing – whatever your equestrian passion, Chester County has it.
There’s no shortage of culture, either. There are plenty of museums and cultural sites, including the Wharton Esherick Studio and the Christian C. Sanderson Museum and the Mill at Anselma. Longwood Gardens, one of the world’s finest botanical gardens is a major draw. The Brandywine River Museum of Art, celebrating it’s 50thanniversary in 2017, is well known for its Wyeth collection and for preserving not on the Brandywine School of Art, but the Brandywine Valley landscape that inspired it.
Chester County also happens to be the wealthiest in Pennsylvania, one of the wealthiest in the country, and is ranked as one of the top five counties nationwide for its great quality of life. “Key to these metrics were median income levels, distance to employment centers, quality of the public schools, educational attainment of the population, and access to both cultural and outdoor recreational offerings. Chester County received top marks on every attribute,” explains Stephen Gross.
For nearly 30 years, the West Chester-based Holly Gross group has been helping families realize their dream of living in Chester County. Run by a local family, they know its undulating landscape intimately. Whether it be a historic farmhouse, turn-of-the-20th-century estate or modern home, their expertise can help your family find the perfect spot to call home in Chester County.
For more information, visit hollygrossgroup.com.
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