Welcome, NFL draft-goers! Your focus might be on draft picks and the hub of activities on the Ben Franklin Parkway. But there's plenty to do here in Philadelphia that has nothing to do with football. Below are some other suggestions for your time in the City of Brotherly Love: There's history, great museums, architecture, all the stuff we're famous for. But we also recommend runs, bike rides, tchotchke shops, history, selfies, movie sites, and much more. Our staff has tips for day-trippers and even locals for how to spend your time away from the NFL action.
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Philadelphia smiles for the camera! Here are some of the most recognizable Philly locales in big-name movies. A fun tour for movie-lovers.
30th Street Station. In Witness, an Amish boy witnesses a murder in the station's men's room, but the majestic classical/modern edifice has been the site of less harrowing events in any number of films, from Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie (Tippi Hedren has a copy of the Philadelphia Inquirer tucked under one arm) to Brian De Palma's Blow Out. Films like Trading Places and M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable and The Visit also drop into the station to take a train, or detrain, in style.
Eastern State Penitentiary. The Brad Pitt/Bruce Willis dystopian time travel thriller 12 Monkeys was shot in distressed corners of town, but some of the most dramatic backdrops come courtesy of this historic 19th-century prison, now a popular tourist destination.
Famous 4th Street Deli. Queen Village's old-school delicatessen has long been a mainstay for hungry locals - and it's also been the site of serious sandwich eating in movies, including the Oscar-winning Philadelphia and Toni Colette/Cameron Diaz's In Her Shoes.
Jewelers Row. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper's final romantic clinch in Silver Linings Playbook takes place in the middle of Sansom Street between Seventh and Eighth Streets - the brick-surfaced block famous for its diamond exchanges, watch brokers, and gem and gold merchants.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. Nobody needs to be reminded that a prizefighter by the name of Rocky Balboa ran up the 72 stone steps in front of Philly's famous museum. The statue of Sylvester Stallone in his boxing trunks and gloves is at the foot of the steps. Last year, the Rocky sequel/spin-off Creed found Stallone back at the top of the steps with his pugilist protégé, played by Michael B. Jordan, admiring the skyline in front of them.
Schuylkill Banks Park. Part of Jordan's training regimen in Creed includes a run - and some serious pull-ups - along the boardwalk that juts out over the Schuylkill in one of the city's busiest new parks.
- Steven Rea, movie critic
You're no soon-to-be-pro football player, but you still want to keep in shape – so here are two routes sure to please a range of runners.
Benjamin Franklin Bridge to Camden and back. This takes you across the majestic "Ben" spanning the Delaware River from Philadelphia to Camden and back is about 3 miles. You can access the pedestrian path from Fifth Street just north of Race Street. Getting over the bridge can be quite a hill workout, peaking at 440 feet above the river, but as you turn round and head back toward Philadelphia, you'll be treated to one of the best views of the city skyline. This route is an especially good choice at sunrise or sunset. Distance: about three miles round trip.
Woodlands Cemetery. This route takes you through Philadelphia's ripening University City section to a historic cemetery in West Philadelphia. From Center City, head over the Market, Chestnut or Walnut or Street Bridges west to 40th Street, then head south to Woodlands Cemetery at 40th Street and Woodland Avenue. Take a quick tour through the gravesite on the roughly one-mile dirt loop, then head back east on Walnut, Chestnut or Market Streets. Along the way, you'll pass through a neighborhood that's rapidly developing thanks to the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. Distance: About five to seven miles, depending on where you start (it's a six-mile round-trip from City Hall).
- Emily Babay
More and more, Philly is a biking town. Here are two recommended routes. Philadelphia boasts a booming bike share program, Indego, with stations across Center City and in contiguous neighborhoods. Information: www.rideindego.com/
Philadelphia Art Museum to Falls Bridge loop. Begin at the museum (there's an Indego bike station at the foot of the steps). Take the Martin Luther King Drive, Jr., bike path through Fairmount Park (on Saturdays and Sundays you can ride in the street, closed to automobiles), across the 121-year-old Falls Bridge in the East Falls neighborhood, and then toward Center City back along the Kelly Drive path, with the Schuylkill to your right. Near the end of the ride, you'll pass the stately sculling houses of Boathouse Row. Distance: just under 10 miles.
Society Hill to Fitler Square and back again. Start at Second and Spruce Streets, just north of Head House Square, and take the dedicated bike lane all the way to 22nd Street, where you merge with auto traffic for two additional westbound blocks. Then take a left turn and stop for a rest on one of the benches in beautiful Fitler Square. (Good coffee and refreshments in several nearby cafes.) Then pedal over to Pine Street and head back east on the Pine Street bike lane, across Broad Street, along what is still called Antique Row (even though most of the shop fronts now house boutiques, art galleries, salons, and spice and pet shops), and past the historic Old Pine Street and St. Peter's Churches in Society Hill. Distance: about 4.5 miles, round-trip.
- Steven Rea
We have that "vision thing" down! Philly is a town of great views and prospects. Here's a few suggestions to help you see forever.
City Hall Tower Observation Deck (1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.). Just underneath Billy Penn and 500 feet above the city, this gives some of the greatest 360-degree views in town. Timed tickets $6 at the Tour Information Center in the East Portal of City Hall, Room 121. Public hours: noon to 4:15 p.m. Information: 215-686-2840.
One Liberty Observation Deck (One Liberty Place, 1625 Chestnut Street). High, high, high on the 57th floor of Liberty One Place, this as high as Philly's public attractions get. Talk about 360s! Open daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m. General admission: $19; youth $14. One Liberty Observation Deck welcomes DNC media and delegates with free admission. Present your credentials and the coupon in your DNC gift bags. One free admission per coupon. Expires July 31. Information: 215-561-3325, www.phillyfromthetop.com
Five free skyline views. Of course, the view from the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps (2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway) is world-famous, thanks to Rocky and Creed. But there's so much more. You can get a great view of the city skyline from three bridges. The Ben Franklin Bridge (enter the walkway at 5th and Race Streets) arches over the Delaware and at its height gives a lovely view looking west. The South Street Bridge and the Spring Garden Street Bridge cross the Schuylkill and give sweet vantage points looking east. We give the edge to the South Street. At Belmont Plateau (2000 Belmont Mansion Drive), you can take the long view! Get the best view of the city skyline as a whole, lovely to behold. In the midst of vast Fairmount Park, on a hill with the 1745 William Peters Mansion.
- John Timpane
What better way to refresh than to get out on the streets of Philadelphia? I've selected five works of architecture that speak to the biggest issues of the day - race, education, income inequality, immigration, banking reform, and infrastructure. And you don't even need to download a Pokémon Go app to see them all.
City Hall (1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.). The biggest, and arguably the most beautiful, city hall in America. Although the marble-clad building, designed in 1871 by John McArthur Jr. and Thomas U. Walter, took three decades to complete and went massively over budget, the investment was worth it. There are fabulous interior spaces, but you can get a sense of its awesome grandeur without going inside. For a quick tour, start at the north portal and admire the sculptures by Alexander Milne Calder depicting the races of the world. Then poke your head into the northeast entrance just to look up at the breathtaking octagonal staircase. As you leave, wave to Billy Penn, who crowns the 548-foot tower.
Bok (1901 S. Ninth St.). Another block-size behemoth, the former Edward W. Bok Technical High School was built during the Depression to teach high-paying trade skills to working-class Philadelphians. Since being sold off by the School District in 2014, the art deco extravaganza has been refashioned as a hive for start-up businesses, including custom hatmakers and woodworkers. Be sure to grab a drink at the Bok Bar on the eighth-floor outdoor terrace. All of Philadelphia will be laid out before you.
Singh Center for Nanotechnology (3205 Walnut St). University research now drives our urban economies, and this glass outcrop for molecular work at 33rd and Walnut Streets on the University of Pennsylvania campus does so in stunning style. Its crystalline switchbacks, designed by Weiss/Manfredi in 2013, are as impressive as the innovations by the scientists inside. Ask an accommodating student for a tour of the dramatic second-floor terrace, which cantilevers out over the rushing flow of pedestrians on Walnut Street.
Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk (129 S. 30th St.). Made possible by a federal transportation grant, this floating extension of Center City's riverfront trail makes you feel like you're walking on water. Or grab an Indego bikeshare and go for a ride. At the South Street Bridge, you'll be rewarded with one of the best views of the Center City skyline.
PSFS Building (1200 Market St.). No architectural tour of Philadelphia is complete without a stop at this 1932 skyscraper by George Howe and William Lescaze. As the first international style tower in the United States, it demonstrates our ability to fuse a European innovation into something distinctly American. Now the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, its soaring banking hall and boardroom are both publicly accessible. The red neon initials of the savings and loan society, which built the tower during the Depression and collapsed in the banking crisis of the early '90s, are still a Philadelphia landmark.
- Inga Saffron
To rephrase Clausewitz, art is the continuation of politics by other means. Philadelphia was the first city in the country to introduce a One Percent for Art program, and today its public spaces serve as an outdoor art gallery. Here's a selection of beautiful pieces that reflect some of the same themes being discussed in the convention hall.
All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors (Logan Square, 20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway). This allegorical monument is a rare public tribute to the sacrifices made by African Americans to preserve the freedom of all Americans. Designed by German-born sculptor J. Otto Schweizer in 1934, it was commissioned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as "a lasting record" of the soldiers' "unselfish devotion to duty." It is located on a beautifully landscaped fragment of Logan Square.
Pennsylvania Railroad War Memorial (30th Street Station, 2955 Market St.). To my eye, there is no more poignant work of public art in the city than this soaring memorial to the railroad workers who died in World War II. Installed in 1950, when transit ridership was at its peak, the sculpture by Walker Hancock depicts the Archangel Michael gently lifting a fallen soldier heavenward. The drama is enhanced by the statue's location in the monumental waiting room of 30th Street Station, one of the great surviving masterpieces of America's locomotive age.
Land Buoy (Washington Avenue Green, Columbus Boulevard and Washington Avenue). This 55-foot-tall sculpture by Jody Pinto is an interactive tribute to the waves of immigrants who made Philadelphia their home. The green is at the site of the Washington Avenue Pier, the city's Ellis Island. Pinto's sculpture is a brilliant marker, simultaneously conjuring a ship's crow's nest, a lighthouse, and the spiral stairs of an immigrant rowhouse - approach, arrival, settlement, all rolled into one powerful form.
Skyspace (20 E. Mermaid Lane). Although located off the beaten track in the leafy Chestnut Hill neighborhood, this wordless narrative of light and color by internationally renowned artist James Turrell incorporates transcendent views of the sky. Think of Skyspace as a descendant of the great religious art that decorates the ceilings of Renaissance churches to medieval mosques. It is Turrell's only East Coast work open year-round. Housed in the Society of Friends' new Chestnut Hill meeting house, it offers hour-long shows at sunset and sunrise. Check chestnuthillskyspace.org for times.
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens (1020 South St.). Created by the artist Isaiah Zagar, this maze of pathways at 10th and South Streets is constructed from thousands of pieces of broken ceramics, glass, and found objects, and is Philadelphia's answer to Los Angeles' Watts Tower. Zagar obtained the large site for the multilevel construction at a time when the city was planning to raze the South Street corridor for a crosstown highway. As the Magic Garden grew, the highway was abandoned and the blighted stretch of the city became as vibrant as Zagar's creation.
- Inga Saffron
It's not real unless you take a selfie with it. So, in a town full of selfhood, here're a few of the best places to pose, smile, and create a nice, big, color document of your profound narcissism:
The Liberty Bell (Sixth and Market Streets). Because freedom rings and so should you.
The Rocky statue (Philadelphia Art Museum steps, Eakins Oval, top of Benjamin Franklin Memorial Parkway). Because everybody.
Top of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps (see above). Because everybody runs up the steps, and once they do, they're . . . at the top. Take one with the city behind you, then do a 180 and take one with the glorious front of the museum behind you.
The Race Street Pier and Benjamin Franklin Bridge Walkway (Race Street & N. Columbus Blvd). Stand on the walkway under the Ben Franklin Bridge for a sweeping cross-Delaware panorama, with bikers, runners, and everything.
The LOVE sculpture at JFK Plaza (N. 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Blvd). Because all you need is the LOVE statue. There's also a nice version on the Penn campus (Blanche Levy Park on 36th Street and Locust Walk), with foliage background.
The Fairmount Water Works (640 Waterworks Drive, between the Art Museum and the Schuylkill). An early 19th-century masterpiece, with cool balustrades and fresh views of the mighty Schuylkill. Excellent at sunset.
The XOXO sculpture at Independence Visitor Center (Independence Mall). Lie across the X and O, with a clear shot of Independence Hall in the distance! Show those pearlies, sunshine!
- John Timpane
Suppose you had just 20 minutes in this city of great museums - and you're in front of a museum! You dash in, but what should you see?
Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway)
Since the draft is in the house, the museum invites you to hold your own draft of beer and try your hand at sketching in the galleries. Drunk-sketchers, welcome!
The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins, 1875. Bloody portrait of the great surgeon Samuel Gross, scandalous when it appeared at the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition, now widely seen as one of the greatest American paintings.
The Crucifixion, With the Virgin and St. John the Evangelist Mourning by Rogier van der Weyden, c. 1460. A large diptych that starkly portrays the Crucifixion in bold colors.
The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) by Marcel Duchamp, 1915-23. The wonderfully enigmatic masterpiece that the artist termed "definitively unfinished."
Portrait of Yarrow Mamout by Charles Willson Peale, 1819. A rare early portrait of an African Muslim, formerly enslaved, painted by Peale in Washington.
Ceremonial Teahouse: Sunkaraku (Evanescent Joys), designed by Ogi Rodo, c. 1917. A unique house and garden offering respite from the complexities of the world outside.
Barnes Foundation (2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway)
The Card Players by Paul Cézanne, 1890–92. The most complex version of the artist's series of French countrymen focused on their game.
The Music Lesson by Henri Matisse, 1917. An intricate rendering of the piano lesson; color and line replicate sound and note. A favorite theme of the artist.
Dr. Albert C. Barnes by Giorgio de Chirico, 1926. The irascible collector watches over all who pass into the foundation's gallery.
Scouts Attacked by a Tiger by Henri Rousseau, 1904. A classic of Rousseau's dreamy, vaguely sinister jungle imaginings.
The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin) by Vincent van Gogh, 1889. Beards don't get any better than this.
Rosenbach Museum & Library (2008 Delancey Place)
Manuscript of Ulysses by James Joyce. Different pages of the manuscript are always on view.
The Number of the Beast is 666 by William Blake. A watercolor illustrating the Book of Job, one of three surviving by Blake.
Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (19 S. 22nd St.)
"The Soap Lady." Exhumed in 1875, the lady is unique because her remains are encased by a fatty substance, adipocere.
Albert Einstein's brain. The real thing, sliced.
Joseph Hyrtl Skull Collection. Hyrtl sought to prove that cranial anatomy varied widely in European Caucasians. The museum acquired the collection in 1874.
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (3260 South St.)
Sphinx of Ramesses II, circa 1293-1185 B.C.E. This is the largest ancient Egyptian sphinx on view in the Western Hemisphere - 15 tons of red granite.
Stone Reliefs, Zhaoling, China, 649. Two of six large reliefs ordered carved by the Taizong Emperor, grandly displayed in the Chinese Gallery.
Ram in the Thicket, Ur, about 2600 B.C.E. Excavated at the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq. Exquisite and haunting.
Queen Puabi's headdress. An ancient (circa 2600 B.C.E.) Sumerian queen's finery.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (118-128 N. Broad St. - right across from the Convention Center):
Fox Hunt by Winslow Homer, 1893. One of Homer's finest and most ominous paintings.
Artist in His Museum by Charles Willson Peale, 1822. Peale parts the curtain to his museum.
Plane Weave by Alyson Schotz, 2016. Punched aluminum and steel ring sculpture, beautiful in different lights and times of day.
Walt Whitman by Thomas Eakins, 1887-88. Eakins paints Whitman; enough said. (PAFA co-owns The Gross Clinic, now at the Art Museum.)
- Stephan Salisbury
Looking to take home some of what makes Philly the City of Brotherly Love? Want to raid a tchotchke shop on your way out? These shops are here to help.
Xeno's Gifts (231 Chestnut St.). Philly's quintessential souvenir shop. American flag scarves, Ben Franklin drinking glasses! Hillary Clinton bobbleheads! Just five minutes away is Christ Church Burial Ground, where you can see Franklin's actual grave (and those of other historic greats). Make a toast to Ben's memory with your new Xeno's-bought drinking glass.
The Phillies' Majestic Clubhouse (1 Citizens Bank Way). Want to be like the Phillie Phanatic? Throw on a flair-hair visor from the clubhouse and rock bright green locks for a day. If you're looking for something a little more demure, try a jersey or a custom-embroidered cap. While there, you might as well catch a game: The Phillies go up against the Pirates, Marlins, and Braves during convention week.
The Betsy Ross House Museum Store (239 Arch St.). From Uncle Sam dolls to spicy hot chocolate in the 18th-century style, the Betsy Ross House's gift store is filled with patriotic collectibles that represent Philadelphia's place in colonial history. But before you go shopping, take a tour of the house. Try to get there by 10 a.m. so you can watch with Betsy as the 13-star American flag is raised high above the home where it was created.
SEPTA Shop (1234 Market St.). SEPTA is our public transportation authority. If you're riding the rails all week, head to SEPTA's headquarters for a souvenir. On the lobby level, public transit has set up a shop, with model trains and beanies galore.
Independence Visitor Center Store (1 N. Sixth St., Independence Mall West). Impress other delegates with a "We the People" tie, or grab a LOVE pencil sharpener for someone back home. Take a tour through Independence National Historical Park. Or, if 18th-century architecture and portraiture aren't your thing, ask about other Philly fun, like carriage rides around town or a visit to the aquarium.
City Tavern Store (138 S. Second St.). Like all respectable 18th-century restaurants where the founders dined, City Tavern has a gift shop. You, too, can learn to bake like Abigail Adams, thanks to colonial cookbooks, or pick out tableware not unlike Martha Washington's. But first get a reservation with chef Walter Staib. You might not master those new recipes for a while, and in the meantime, better not go hungry.
- Alexandra Villarreal
Twenty-five songs that define the Sound of Philadelphia? It doesn't seem like nearly enough. But with apologies to MFSB - whose 1974 hit, "TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)" - as well as Robert Hazard, Amos Lee, Lee Morgan and many others - here's a history-spanning soundtrack to our city. Listen on Spotify here.
1. "Expressway To Your Heart," Soul Survivors. 1967 Kenny Gamble- and Leon Huff-penned and produced R&B hit inspired by I-76, the highway that bifurcates the City of Brotherly Love. It's much too crowded!
2. "Backstabbers," The O'Jays. What they do? Soul and funk wisdom from the prime Philadelphia International hit makers of the 1970s.
3. "Me & Mrs. Jones," Billy Paul. Greatest cheating song of all time, also written by Gamble and Huff, released in 1972 by the soul crooner, who died earlier this year.
4. "She's Gone," Hall & Oates. Classic heartbreak song from the Philly-sound-schooled soul-pop duo's 1974 album Abandoned Luncheonette.
5. "The Twist," Chubby Checker. The Hank Ballard song that became a massive dance craze hit in 1960, the biggest success story from the American Bandstand teen idol age of Philly pop that also produced Fabian, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell.
6. "Oh Dem Golden Slippers," James A. Bland. 1879 composition by African-American songwriter known as "The World's Greatest Minstrel Man." Perennial fave at the New Year's Day Mummer's Parade.
7. "How I Got Over," Clara Ward & the Ward Sisters. Gospel classic and civil rights anthem by sung by Mahalia Jackson at the March on Washington in 1963 and repurposed on the title track of Philadelphia hip-hop band The Roots' 2010 album.
8. "Honky Tonk," Bill Doggett. Huge 1956 instrumental pop and R &B hit, part of the great Philadelphia organ jazz tradition that includes Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Trudy Pitts, Shirley Scott and Papa John & Joey DeFrancesco.
9. "Space Is The Place," Interplanetary avant-jazz from the Saturn-born bandleader who lived in Philadelphia during the last years of his life and whose Arkestra sill makes its home here.
10. "All You Zombies," The Hooters. Local radio smash from the biggest Philadelphia band, featured at Live Aid, 31 years ago this month.
11. "Summertime," DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. Jeff Townes and Will Smith's 1991 hit, celebrating it 25th anniversary. "Back in Philly we be out in the park / There's a place called the plateau where everybody goes." That's Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park.
12. "P.S.K. What Does It Mean?" Schoolly D. Speaking of Fairmount Park, the initials of this timeless 1985 track by the Philadelphian who invented gangsta rap stand for the West Philly street gang Park Side Killers.
13. "Dreams And Nightmares," Meek Mill. Title track to the 2012 debut album by the Drake-feuding, Nicki-Minaj-dating, current king of Philly street rap.
14. "You Got Me," The Roots. The signature song of the Tonight Show Band, with a vocal hook written by Jill Scott (sung by Erykah Badu, with a verse rapped by Eve).
15. "He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)," Jill Scott. A tour de force vocal performance by Jilly from Philly, actress and R&B/soul songstress.
16. "Betcha By Golly Wow," The Stylistics. This 1975 hit highlights the contribution to the Philly Sound by the great arranger Thom Bell, who wrote this one, covered by Prince and many others, with the late Linda Creed.
17. "Streets of Philadelphia," Bruce Springsteen. Ghostly lament from Jonathan Demme's 1993 Tom Hanks/Denzel Washington AIDS drama, an Oscar winner for Springsteen about the city that has been a Bruce stronghold for four decades.
18. "Christian Street," Marah. An early turn-of-the-millennium tour down the now rapidly gentrifying South Philly artery from the scrappy Springsteeny rockers' 2000 album Kids in Philly.
19. "Hello It's Me," Todd Rundgren. 1972 smash hit from the Upper Darby-raised wizard and true star, the one-time leader of The Nazz who's had a creatively restless career for decades.
20. "Pretty Pimpin'," Kurt Vile. Genius mellow-rock vibes from hirsute Fishtown songwriter's 2015 b'lieve I'm goin' down.
21. "La Loose," Waxahatchee. Standout pop tune from Ivy Tripp by Katie Crutchfield, the stellar songwriter who, like many stars in millennial Philladelphia's thriving music scene, moved here from elsewhere, in her case Alabama and Brooklyn.
22. "Red Eyes," The War On Drugs. First among equals among the trancey tacks on 2014's breakrtough album Lost In The Dream.
23. "Philadelphia Freedom," Elton John. 1975 hit written to celebrate the coming bicentennial and as a tribute to friend Billie Jean King's Philadelphia Freedoms tennis franchise.
24. "Ain't No Stoppin Us Now," McFadden & Whitehead. Adrenaline-pumping 1979 anthem by Philly soul songwriting team, well-suited to work as a sports team's - or a political campaign's - theme song.
25. "Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)," Bill Conti. The music that will be playing in everyone's head as they run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art this week.
- Dan DeLuca
Philadelphia was designed as a city of parks, squares, and public spaces. If you like shared urban relaxation in enjoyable surroundings, you're going to love:
Independence National Historic Park (Independence Mall). Do all the history stuff, the Visitor Center, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, or visit all the memorials, monuments, and museums. Or lie down on Independence Mall and nap. Or why not visit the lovely and underused 18th Century Garden, Magnolia Garden, Bishop White Garden, or Rose Garden? It's a treasury of our history and repays dawdling and walking around. Information: 215-965-2305 or www.nps.gov/index
Rittenhouse Square (18th and Walnut Streets). One of the city's five original squares, this is prime lounging, lunching, and lazing territory, with all sorts of Philadelphia on display, magnificent sycamores, and a robust neighborhood of shops, cafés, and eateries.
Spruce Street Harbor Park (301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.). It's an urban beach, and thanks to Summerfest, it offers roller-skating, hammock lounges (you can even rent private ones overlooking the Delaware), mini-golf, bocce, shuffleboard, giant chess, beer gardens, eats, and ... well, go there and see.
Reading Terminal Market (51 S. 12th St.). A stone's throw from the convention, this indoor farmers market is a loud, delicious sensory bath, with more than 80 vendors, offering everything Philly (cheesesteaks, pretzels, Pennsylvania Dutch) and everything else. Even if you don't eat a bite, go soak up the ambience. Open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Information: 215-922-2317, readingterminalmarket.org.
Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk (East bank of the Schuylkill; enter at Locust Street). One of Philadelphia's newest, coolest spaces, this cleverly designed 2,000-foot two-way pedestrian space is actually suspended from six to 12 feet over the Schuylkill, about 50 feet from shore. Enter its south entrance at Locust Street and walk all the way north, stopping to enjoy the widened lookouts and sweet views of West Philly and Center City. And if you want to keep on walking, it connects at the northern end to the ever-expanding Schuylkill River Trail.
- John Timpane