Historical Farm-Turned-Hotel in Greater Philadelphia
A red-and-white barn that’s 212 feet long and two stories high is hard to miss. This Philadelphia-area landmark—one of the largest barns on the East Coast—sits on the grounds of the Normandy Farm Hotel & Conference Center. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the farm was started in 1730 and eventually turned into a hotel. In one form or another, it has been a fixture of greater Philadelphia for nearly 300 years.
Inside the lobby, you’ll find shining hardwood floors, a huge fireplace, and soaring ceilings hung with crystal chandeliers. Spacious guest rooms are decorated with solid-wood furniture and crisp red-and-white linens. Divided between the east and west gatehouses, the carriage house, and the manor house, the hotel’s 28 suites boast fireplaces and an open layout. Every Monday through Saturday morning, a deluxe continental breakfast is served buffet style and includes fruit, pastries, and hot dishes. On Sundays, brunch is available for purchase. For dinner, head to the new onsite restaurant, The Farmer’s Daughter, for modern homestyle cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients and served in a rustic dining room accented with reclaimed-wood tables and candlelight. Dishes include diver sea scallops and Berkshire pork loin.
Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Historic Landmarks and Museums
The Normandy Farm Hotel & Conference Center is located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, about 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia. While it’s close to several shopping centers and movie theaters, many visitors make the quick drive into Philadelphia to take in the sights.
The historic Center City neighborhood, also known as downtown Philadelphia, dates back to the city’s founding in 1682. Today, Center City is Philadelphia’s central business district, with several skyscrapers and high-profile museums. The neighborhood is also home to Independence National Historical Park, whose high concentration of notable landmarks make it America’s most historic square mile. While you’re here, visit Independence Hall⎯birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution⎯or head to the Liberty Bell Center to see the approximately 2,000-pound bell that Martha Washington famously rang to let George know when supper was ready. At the north end of the park, the National Constitution Center features a multimedia presentation on the country’s founding displayed on a 360-degree domed ceiling, as well as galleries of artifacts, including a rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The shops of Historic Antique Row are less than a mile from here. The small, locally owned shops stock everything from oriental rugs to vintage clothing. Head about 15 minutes northwest to scale the famous steps outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Rocky Balboa once pumped his fists victoriously. Inside, the massive museum’s holdings range from ancient Chinese art to famous paintings from Claude Monet, Salvador Dalí, and Vincent van Gogh.