15 Best Things to Do in West Chester, PA

West Chester, PA
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Smaller towns and communities, such as West Chester, have a certain charm about themselves.

West Chester is a borough in the Pennsylvania state of the United States, and it serves as Chester County's seat.

This scenic and historic village nestled at the center of the Brandywine Valley combines small-town appeal with a cosmopolitan flair.

It got its name after Chester, the former county seat (now located inside Delaware County).

In turn, Chester it took its name after the borough of Cheshire in England.

Whatever your reason for visiting West Chester, whether it's for a day or two or an extended period, you'll immediately fall with the charm of this location.

You may keep coming back because there are so many great activities to enjoy and unique sites to see here!

When you're around Brandywine Valley, the borough is a must-see due to its 83 shops and 59 restaurants, as well as its live music and cultural events, street festivals, walking excursions, train tours, farmers market, and museum exhibitions, among other things.

Here are the 15 best things to do in West Chester, Pennsylvania:

Visit the American Helicopter Museum and Educational Center

American Helicopter Museum and Educational Center
George Sheldon / Shutterstock.com

A homage to the pioneers of rotary-wing aircraft, the museum hopes to inspire future innovators.

A hands-on, climb-aboard experience is available at this one-of-a-kind museum in the United States.

Ongoing campaigns like the Adopt-a-Copter initiative raise money for upgrades. Santa Fest and Father's Day are yearly celebrations.

American Helicopter Museum and Educational Center
BrianPIrwin / Shutterstock.com

They also offer helicopter flights once a month.

The American Helicopter Museum and Educational Center also provide helicopters to transport students and attendees to and from schools and events.

Plush pilot toys and art prints are available for purchase in the museum's gift shop.

Jog Around Sandy Hollow Heritage Park

Sandy Hollow Heritage Park, located along Birmingham Road, is a historically significant region.

It is most known for the Battle of Brandywine between 1775 and 1783 and was crucial in the American Revolutionary War.

This park is a pleasant spot to stroll in the early morning or late evening on its concrete pedestrian path.

If you'll be staying at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites West Chester, this park is just a 3-minute drive or a 30-minute walk from the hotel.

Buy Fresh Ingredients From Pete's Produce Farm

Walking distance from the Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Pete's Vegetable Farm is a produce market where you can buy the freshest ingredients while staying here in West Chester.

Tomatoes, sweet corn, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are just a few of the products you'll find here, along with a variety of other options.

There's also a large variety of peppers, garlic, onions, eggplants, and beans.

Because they harvest fruits and vegetables daily, you can ensure that only the freshest products will be available for purchase.

Tour the William Brinton 1704 House

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, William Brinton designed this two-story stone mansion following the medieval English countryside homes style.

It is a Quaker house and an exceptional example of a home from the early Delaware Valley period.

There are two chimneys at either end of the building to support the steep roof.

Its walls measure 22 inches thick.

Erected in 1704, it became one of 14 homes in the Brandywine Battlefield region during the Battle of Brandywine in 1777.

This property changed hands numerous times until being repurchased by relatives of Brinton in 1947 and given to the West Chester Historical Society.

From May through October, you may take a tour on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Play Sand Volleyball at West Goshen Community Park

Who says you can't play beach volleyball without going to the beach?

Located at 1023 Fern Hill Road, West Goshen Community Park offers a range of recreational opportunities, including sand volleyball pits, tennis courts, and basketball courts.

There are several amenities for kids, such as playground equipment and fitness paths, available.

It's a great area to get some exercise and play with the young ones.

There's ample parking space, restrooms, and well-maintained grounds.

It's also pet-friendly, with plastic bag dispensers set up all over the place for dog owners.

The park is also a great location to unwind and release the stresses of the day.

It also has a pavilion available for hosting a variety of different events.

Grab a Good Read at Baldwin's Book Barn

In a historic 1822 barn, Baldwin's Book Barn is a haven for bibliophiles.

In this one-of-a-kind store, visitors may spend hours perusing among tens of thousands of books, including antiquarians, modern classics, and rare first editions.

There's a literary ambiance everywhere, from the snug corners to the stone walls and wood-burning furnace to the endless shelves of books, prints, and maps.

Baldwin's Book Barn has been a tradition where people have been buying and selling books for decades.

You can have a few memorabilia in your hands if you open up that rare book.

Among the hundreds of bookshelves, you'll find that previously-owned, out-of-print find.

Enjoy the feeling of being in a pioneering American town and spend time as long you want reading over your new find!

Immerse Yourself in Nature at Stroud Preserve

Stroud Preserve
Bo Shen / Shutterstock.com

At the Stroud Preserve, people are encouraged to engage in outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

These 571 acres of open space, farming, and forest serve as a meeting place for residents and visitors.

To conduct water research, Dr. Morris Stroud donated land to the preserve.

The preserve shows how to save natural ecosystems while also safeguarding a watershed that serves as a source of drinking water for tens of thousands of individuals.

Kids running around in Stroud Preserve
Bo Shen / Shutterstock.com

On the rivers, you may ride kayak and canoe and set up hikes along with the route systems.

Nightly music concerts, family splish-splash, and butterfly walks are some of the regular outdoor events here.

All year-round, the preserve is accessible from dawn till dusk.

Stroud Preserve
Eric Dale / Shutterstock.com

Learn Archery at Kodabow

It is possible to take crossbow lessons at Kodabow's archery range if that is what you want to do.

The instruction's goal is to help the learner become completely self-sufficient in their quest to learn archery.

On request, they may highlight a focus on hunting.

For more than a decade, Kodabow's Pennsylvania plant has produced the world's greatest hunting crossbows. Crossbow enthusiasts will always enjoy their time at Kodabow.

Traditional archery and recurve bows are also available for those who like the simplicity and reduced total cost of ownership that they provide.

With proper maintenance, these bows are enjoyable to shoot both recreationally and in search of wildlife, and they may survive for years, if not decades.

These arrows can serve as excellent entrance points for those who want to get into archery or hunting.

Enjoy Horseriding at Durango Farm

Durango Farm provides jumper, hunter, and equitation training for riders of all levels.

The facility has three certified trainers who can teach throughout the week in their vast indoor arena.

On top of all that, they boast of having a great range of well-trained steeds and ponies to choose from for riding lessons on two outdoor grounds with a sound footing in all kinds of weather!

Their knowledgeable instructors work with riders of all skill levels.

While some of the farm's students are interested in horseback riding as a hobby, others are serious about competing and winning awards at local and regional equestrian races on the east coast.

Go Back in Time at WCU Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology

This small museum stands along South Church Street in the Old Library Building of the West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

You can find a wide range of collections — from prehistoric to modern, and those about the Americas, Rwanda, and Europe.

You can get a glimpse of the current exhibits and the featured object of the month if you head over to the WCU Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology's official website.

You may also join guided tours but make sure to book in advance.

Bring Out Your Creativity at Painted Plate

Market St.'s Painted Plate Pottery is a short walk from Nudy's Cafe.

If you only want to paint some pottery, there's no need to book ahead at this studio.

From vases to platters to sports figures, toys for kids, and piggy banks, they have it all.

If you want to make wooden signs or canvas paintings, you'll have to attend a class or host a gathering.

Select a piece of pottery from over a hundred different designs.

Once you've chosen your piece of pottery, the staff will assist you with the rest of the process.

They have several concept books, stencils, and tools to create art that you can bring home.

There are more than 60 glazes, speckled, and dimensional paint colors available here.

You have unlimited access to their glaze colors.

There's no time restriction, so sit back, relax, and take it all in.

Their helpful team will assist you in discovering your inner artist.

Watch Ice Hockey Games at Ice Line

West Chester's Ice Line has four ice rinks approved by NHL-regulation.

Each of them has 500 seats, a concession, and other features.

Many programs use the rink, including West Chester University’s men and women's ice hockey teams.

Before catching a game, you may buy your snacks from The Grille located inside the facility.

Besides running hockey leagues for kids, they also run programs for adults and students in the middle and primary school grades.

Camps and clinics serve as an excellent resource for athletes looking to sharpen their abilities and learn new ones.

To help skaters grow and learn while also instilling values like collaboration and community, they offer a variety of figure skating programs that cater to all skill levels.

Take a Tour Through West Chester Railroad

Railroad near Glen Mill
Bo Shen / Shutterstock.com

This railroad runs through Pennsylvania's picturesque Chester Creek Valley. We are 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia. Throughout the year, we offer 90-minute train rides and unique events.

You will pass along Chester Creek, West Chester's  Market Street, and Delaware County's Glen Mills.  With the breathtaking scenery, y You'll forget you're just 30 minutes away from Philadelphia's city core.

The route is part of the West Chester-Phoenixville section of the old Pennsylvania Railroad.

West Chester Station
Adam Moss, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Historic stations along the way include Westtown, now an art gallery, next to the new Westtown Township Park; Cheyney, a 19th-century village and station near one of the country's oldest African American educational institutions; Locksley, near one of the country's longest-surviving iron slitting mill sites and the Revolutionary War-era Frazier Farmstead; and Glen Mills, a picturesque village and station near one of the country's oldest iron foundries.

The station is said to be the work of renowned Philadelphia architect Frank Furnish.

Upon circling back to West Chester, you may explore the Chester County Historical Society's "History Center" nearby.

Unwind at Reactors Comedy Club

Do you want to have a good time after a day's tour around West Chester?

Catch a show of the Reactors Comedy Club.

They perform in various locations within the city, such as Parkway Shopping Center's Timothy's Sports Bar.

Among the foods available at the bar are pizza, sandwiches, burgers, and other favorites.

We believe this location is ideal for grabbing a bite to eat after work or having a pleasant time with friends and family.

Catch Chester County Art Association's Exhibits

Established in 1931 by Chester County residents, the Chester County Art Association (CCAA) provides art education and inspiration and fosters community connections.

Small non-profits like ours think that art has a beneficial influence on everyone; we assist people in developing their skills, encouraging art appreciation, and promoting a sense of belonging in the arts community.

Their classes and fine arts and crafts seminars introduce students to fundamental principles and more sophisticated skills.

There are many ways to learn and discuss art here, including exhibits, seminars, and artist presentations in public settings.

Oil painting, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, figure drawing, sculpture, pottery, photography, digital art, print, mixed media, fiber arts, and jewelry making are just a few of the mediums they offer for students of all ages.

Final Thoughts

Have you made up your mind about where you want to go next on your bucket list?

Even though West Chester, Pennsylvania, is a small town, it offers many activities to enjoy.

Try the ones on our list; you won't regret it!