One of the things that makes Philadelphia such a pawsome place for dogs and their people are the wide range of dog-friendly historic sites you can visit in the city, including Bartram's Garden, the oldest surviving botanic garden in America. Leashed dogs are welcome everywhere in the 46-acre arboretum except the historic eight-acre core of the garden marked by the wooden fence line. This leaves just shy of 40 acres for you and your dog to explore in this unique urban oasis.
Bartram's Garden is the former home of American botanist, natural historian, and plant collector John Bartram. By the mid-1700s, Bartram had established a robust plant trade and amassed the largest collection of North American plants in the world. He traveled the country recording his observations and brought many specimens back home to Philadelphia. That diversity of plant life is still on display today not just in the core garden, but in the landscapes you can visit throughout the park with your dog.
Outside of the core garden, the grounds of Bartram's Garden include forests, tidal wetlands, and a reclaimed meadow. Benches and picnic tables are available throughout the park and there's an ample parking lot for people and puppers who arrive by car. If you're wanting a nice, long walk, you can enjoy one at Bartram's Garden. In addition to a boardwalk, a portion of the Schuylkill River Trail called Bartram's Mile passes through the northern portion of the park. You can see the Philadelphia skyline from the river trails and the meadow.
On Eastwick Hill, you'll find an ample lawn and large gazebo. Beyond, you'll find a charming community farm and routes that connect to the tidal wetlands in the northeast corner of the park. Native plant species you might see in this wild riverine habitat include spatterdock, beach plums, bulrushes, persimmons, pawpaws, iris, hibiscus, and marsh rose. The woods to the west host many local and migrating birds throughout the year.
You don't have to be curious about natural and human history to enjoy Bartram's Garden, but you'll enjoy it all the more if you are. This is a wonderful place for humans to come to learn and for pups to enjoy a wide range of unfamiliar scents. After a day here, you'll head home enriched with a stronger bond with your dog and a deeper appreciation of nature.