Updated: Nov 1, 2019
Victor and I moved into Center City Philadelphia about two years ago, this will be our third summer in the city and we have found a few places that have become our favorite. We thought it would be fun to share some of these places with you!
If you’re coming into the city from Jersey it is super easy to take the PATCO (train) into the city. Parking can be around 15-30 dollars per hour depending on where you’re going, not to mention the horrible traffic. A train ticket round trip is about $5.50. In the summer there are constantly festivals or road work bring done in the city which closes many of the streets. A quick 15 minute drive could take over an hour being re-routed.
One of our favorite places to take people who are new to Philly is Bok Bar. It is in the old Bok school located in South Philly. The school closed its doors in 2013 and in 2014 the new owner submitted a proposal to re-use the infrastructure to create an affordable work space for small businesses. The building is now home to about 150 small businesses ranging from a day care to a glassblower workshop to a tattoo parlor. The secret to this building is the roof top bar that has a sprawling view of the Philadelphia skyline. The sunset from the rooftop to absolutely breathtaking, but you want to get there between 5-6. There is a limit to the number of people permitted on the roof and you may be stuck waiting in line and miss the sunset if you go after 6. There is plenty of delicious bites and drinks to enjoy while you take in the view. We won’t spoil the view with a picture, but here is the outside!
Spruce Street Harbor Park:
This was one of the first places that took my breathe away in Philly. I went with Victor and my sister one night before we lived in the city. The park is full of hammocks and lights that look like colorful icicles hanging from the trees. The park opened in 2014 and has expanded every year since. The park is filled with hammocks, life sized games, shipping containers used as food stands,(including, Chickie and Petes, Hip City Vedge, Garces, and Franklin Fountain to name a few. The park can get very crowded on weekend evenings, but is fabulous and relaxing during the day. Bring a group of friends and check out the “oasis.” An old barge that is home to hammocks that lay over the water.
Screenings Under the Stars:
All throughout the city there are many parks that will set up free outdoor movies. Just bring your chair, blanket, snacks and enjoy!! We enjoyed a few movies at the Penn’s Landing location last summer. The movies are Thursday nights around dusk 8/830. The screenings begin the Thursday after Fourth of July and run through August. Other places the screenings are held: Penn’s Landing, Schuylkill Banks at the Walnut Street Bridge, Schmidt’s Commons.
South Street Beer Garden:
This has become one of our favorite beer gardens because the drinks are always fabulous and the food is tasty. It does not get as crowded as many of the other gardens because it is a little off the tourist path. Many people do not know this one exists unless they live in the city. Last summer it did not even come up on the Philly Beer Garden search!
Located above a parking garage in University City if you can find the entrance you will enjoy a few hours of tranquility with an amazing view of the city. Known as Philadelphia’s next great Urban Park it is home to about an acre of green space where you can have a picnic, read or enjoy the city view. Check the weather before you make the trek because it will close due to inclement weather.
Schuylkill Banks Trail
We love running or biking this trail. The trail ends a few meters past south street and goes for miles! Run or bike along the trail with the water on one side and the city on the other. You will pass major landmarks such as the art museum and boat house row long the way. If you’re driving into the city you can park near boat house row and rent bikes to explore the trail. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the views. The trail gets very crowded on the weekends, we enjoy a Friday evening ride before things get too packed.
There it is! A handful of our favorite places to go in the city! There are always amazing festivals happening and the farmer’s market at Rittenhouse on Saturdays is delightful. Don’t let the city overwhelm you, pick a few things to try out and enjoy your day.
Where are your favorite places in the city?
We would love to hear from you!