Philadelphia February 10, 2018
This Is The Most Hippie Town Near Philadelphia And You Need To Visit
When most of us head out to the suburbs, we go shopping in Doylestown or stroll the streets of New Hope or West Chester. It’s rare for us to travel farther outside of our Philly area bubble for a day trip, but there’s one town in Delaware that you may not know is totally worth the drive down 95. The little village of Arden, not far from Wilmington, is a utopian town that might be the most hippie town you can find near Philadelphia. Channel your inner flower child and spend a day in this unique village.
Arden was founded in 1900, by the famous architect Will Price and renowned sculptor Frank Stephens. Price and Stephens wanted to create a Georgist Utopian community.
Most of the homes were built in 1909-1910, and they've kept their peaceful names. See if you can find Friendly Gables, The Lodge, Rest Cottage, Green Gate, The Second Homestead, and The Fels House.
The town is centered around its "Gilds," or specialty clubs.
And yes, that's spelled "gild." As part of the simple life Stephens and Price envisioned, they simplified spelling throughout the town. The Gilds include a Dinner Gild, a Shakespeare Gild, a Gardening Gild, and a Concert Gild. The Library, Poets, Georgian Devotees, Folk Dancers, and Singers have Gilds of their own, as well. The centerpiece of town is the Arden Club, which is the event hall for many of these community groups.
Authors, poets, and other notable figures have called Arden home.
Upton Sinclair, Harry Kemp and even Joe Biden have lived in this close knit community. The town still runs on Utopian principles - land is considered leased, never owned, and there's green space everywhere you look.
The Arden Fair is the community's gathering held each September.
Each Gild, along with plenty of local artisans, gathers to show off the peaceful Arden lifestyle. There are performers, vendors, food trucks, and live entertainment.
Speaking of live entertainment, the Concert Gild is one of the most popular town groups.
Both local and nationally-touring acts perform in Arden's quaint, homey concert hall. If you can catch a show here, you'll feel like you're truly part of the performance thanks to the intimate atmosphere.
In the spring, summer and fall, the Stephens Theater hosts outdoor performances from the Shakespeare Gild.
These plays are perfected by the dedicated actors that work so hard to put on an unforgettable performance. The Bard himself would be proud!
This welcoming town includes a Dinner Gild, where members of the town and outsiders meet to enjoy a delicious community meal.
Dinner is served on Saturdays at 6:00 PM sharp. The Dinner Gild takes the summer off, so you'll have to catch them sometime from October through May. You can find the weekly menu on the Arden Club website,
. Be sure to make a reservation by the Thursday prior to your desired dinner. Call (302) 792-7139 to save your spot. If you're not a member of the Arden Club, your dinner will cost you $13, and if you're over 21, you can even bring your own wine!
Plan a day trip to Arden if you want to get in touch with your peaceful, community-loving, hippie self. For more information about the village and to keep up with current events, check out the Arden Club website
here. You won’t find a more welcoming village anywhere else!
If you can’t get enough of small towns near Philadelphia, take a look at these
8 Small Rural Towns Near Philadelphia That Are Downright Delightful