Enjoy your time at the Charms by exploring the many attractions near Fairmount Park.
Philadelphia was recently ranked the #1 city for arts and cultural tourism by Travel + Leisure magazine. There is an overwhelming amount of historic sites, world-class museums, outdoor festivals, performances and so much more to enjoy here. We have provided just a few suggestions for dining and attractions near the Charms Houses in Fairmount Park – and Philadelphia recommendations to encourage you to spend more time exploring our city.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University: Discover America’s oldest natural history museum and a world leader in biodiversity and environmental research. For 200 years, the Academy has explored the remarkable diversity of our natural world, sharing these discoveries with the public through extraordinary collections, innovative exhibits, educational programming, and publications.
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway | Philadelphia, PA 19103 | (215) 299-1000
The Barnes Foundation: The relocated and renowned collection now makes its home along the Parkway and includes an incredible 181 paintings by Renoir, 69 by Cézanne, 59 by Matisse, 46 by Picasso, 21 by Soutine, 18 by Rousseau, 16 by Modigliani, 11 by Degas, 7 by Van Gogh, and 6 by Seurat. In addition, the collection holds works by numerous other European and American masters, a variety of African artworks; ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art; and American and European furniture, decorative arts and metalwork. The foundation's art collection is hung in "wall ensembles", which intentionally combine works from different time periods, geographic areas, and styles for the purpose of comparison and study.
The Benjamin Franklin Parkway: The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is the scenic boulevard that runs through the cultural heart of Philadelphia, connecting the vast expanse of Fairmount Park to Center City. Named for our perennial favorite Benjamin Franklin and representing the City Beautiful movement, the mile-long Parkway cuts diagonally across the grid plan of the city. The parkway begins at City Hall, curves around Logan Circle, and ends at Eakins Oval at foot of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The wide boulevard also features Love Park, the Sister Cities Park, Cret Café, the Free Library, the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Musuem and other cultural, educational and recreational attractions. Check out this interactive map of the Parkway and Philadelphia's Museum Mile.
Boathouse Row: Stroll, bike, or run along Kelly Drive to see the famous boathouses lining the Schuylkill River just north of the Fairmount Water Works. The boathouses are all at least a century old, some older, each with a unique story, and they still serve as the center for the rowing community in the United States.
One Boathouse Row | Philadelphia, PA 19130 | (215) 685-3936
Eastern State Penitentiary: Tour the historic 19th century prison which set the standard for penal reform and marveled the world with grand architecture and radical philosophy. Once the most expensive building in the United States, it is now a public museum with tours, educational programming and art installations.
2027 Fairmount Ave. | Philadelphia, PA 19130 | (215) 236-3300
The City of Brotherly Love is proud to be the home to the largest
landscaped park (9200 acres) in the United States. Officially founded
in 1855, this incredible park encompasses many sites and attractions all
within a comprehensive public green space that has delighted
Philadelphians for generations. Just a few highlights include the
Wissahickon Ravine, numerous trails and paths, recreational fields,
horseback riding, museums, an outstanding collection of public outdoor
art, the original grounds of the Centennial Exhibition, the Shofuso
Japanese House, and of course, the Charms of Fairmount Park.
And much more! Be sure to check out all the many activities,
attractions and features of the Park, every time you are in
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation | Philadelphia, PA | (215) 683-0200
The Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center: Philadelphia was the first large American city to regard the
delivery of safe water as a municipal responsibility. Designed initially in 1812, the Water Works raised water
into reservoirs high atop a nearby hill, Faire Mount. An aesthetic and technical triumph, and
indicative of Philadelphia’s place in the Industrial revolution, the Water
Works became one of the most profitable and prestigious businesses in the City
as well as an international tourist attraction. The Fairmount Water Works
Interpretive Center tells the story of the Schuylkill River and its human
connections throughout history.
640 Waterworks Dr. | Philadelphia PA 19130 | (215) 685-0723
The Franklin Institute:
In 1824, The Franklin Institute opened in Independence Hall
to honor Benjamin Franklin and his inventiveness. In 1934, with the
construction of the current building and the adjacent Fels Planetarium,
became a hands-on science museum. Today, it’s Pennsylvania’s most
visited museum. In the museum’s
rotunda is the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, with a 20-foot-tall
statue of the scientist and Founding Father. And of course, everyone
loves to visit the walk-through heart at 15,000 times life size; one of
the museum’s first and most popular attractions.
222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 | 215.448.1200
Laurel Hill Cemetery: This is one of a very few cemeteries in the United States to
be designated as a National Historic Landmark. The location has spectacular vistas and thousands of 19th-
and 20th-century funerary monuments on 74 acres terraced above the Schuylkill River.
Laurel Hill’s founding is deeply rooted in the cultural history of
Philadelphia’s urbanization, and in the development of suburban sanctuaries of
nature and retreat just beyond the city’s limits.
3822 Ridge Ave. | Philadelphia, PA 19132 | (215) 228-8200
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts: The Mann Center for the Performing Arts presents diverse,
world-class entertainment in a beautiful park setting. Founded in 1935, the “Robin Hood Dell” concerts provided
the summer venue for the world famous Philadelphia Orchestra. Renamed in 1976,
the Mann now presents to an audience of nearly 13,000 in covered, outdoor, and lawn seating. The Mann still features the Orchestra,
as well as a wide range of rock, pop, world, classical, dance and more.
5201 Parkside Avenue | Fairmount Park | Philadelphia PA 19131 | (215) 878-0400
Museum Without Walls: Learn about Philadelphia’s preeminent collection of public art featured along Kelly Drive and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in this innovative and accessible outdoor sculpture interpretive audio program. This interactive experience is available for free by cell phone, audio download, or on the web and tells the untold histories that are not typically expressed on outdoor permanent signage. Nearly 100 unique voices are featured, including artists, educators, scientists, writers, curators, civic leaders, and historians. Instructions are attached to the signage at 35 stops for 51 sculptures and a map listing all of the artworks in the program is available at local visitor centers and cultural institutions or can be downloaded from the website. (215) 399-09000
The Philadelphia Museum of Art: The Philadelphia Museum of Art stewards two of the Charms
Houses and is a iconic landmark of this city. As one of the largest museums in the United States, the PMA
invites visitors from around the world to explore its renowned collections,
acclaimed special exhibitions, and enriching programs. Collections include world-class
holdings of European and American paintings, prints, drawings and decorative
arts. Other museum sites include
the Rodin Museum
and the Ruth and
Raymond G. Perelman Building, across the street from the Main Building.
The Philadelphia Zoo: Located in West Fairmount Park, this is the first zoo in the United States and it
continues to delight visitors every year. The charter establishing the
Zoological Society of Philadelphia was signed in 1859. Due to the Civil War,
however, it was another 15 years before it was ready to open. Today, the zoo
features a children's zoo, a balloon ride, a paddleboat lake, a rainforest
themed carousel, and many interactive and educational exhibitions. This unique 42-acre
Victorian garden is home to more than 1,300 animals, many of them rare and
endangered, and hosts a variety of educational and social events.
3400 West Girard Ave. | Philadelphia, PA 19104 | (215) 243-1100
Please Touch Museum: Located in historic Memorial Hall – a National Historic
Landmark built in 1876 for the Centennial Exhibition celebrating the country’s
100th birthday – the Please Touch Museum brings together the past, present and
future through interactive exhibits to promote the benefits of play. As one of
the nation’s premier children’s museums, the museum enriches the lives of
children by creating learning opportunities, laying the foundation for a
lifetime of hands-on learning and cultural awareness.
Memorial Hall | Fairmount Park | 4231 Avenue of the Republic (formerly North Concourse Drive)
Philadelphia, PA 19131 | (215) 581-3181
Schuylkill River Trail : The Schuylkill River Trail is a multi-use recreational trail which runs along the Schuylkill River from Center City Philadelphia, curving by the Art Museum and Boathouse Row, to Valley Forge National Historical Park. The 23-mile trail is a favorite for bicycle clubs, families, runners and walkers. You can also continue through to link up with the 19-mile Perkiomen Trail, a multi-use path leading to Green Lane Park.
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden :Shofuso Japanese House and Garden includes a
traditional-style Japanese house and nationally-ranked garden in West Fairmount
Park. The site reflects the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia. Shofuso was built in Japan in 1953 using
traditional techniques and materials and was exhibited in the courtyard at the Museum
of Modern Art. It was moved to Philadelphia in 1958, to the site of several
previous Japanese structures dating to the 1876 Centennial Exposition. Be sure to see the viewing garden with koi
pond and island, tea garden, and the courtyard garden.
West Fairmount Park | Horticultural and Lansdowne Drives | Philadelphia, PA 19131| (215) 878-5097
Smith Playground - “the Kids’ Place in the Park” – is free and includes a beautiful, 24,000 square foot Playhouse with open fields, wooded terrain, and sloped hills – and the famous, century-old giant wooden slide. Smith provides children 10 and under from diverse backgrounds with free and accessible one-of-a-kind play experiences that meet their physical, behavioral, and developmental needs.
West Fairmount Park |
Visit Philly.com : This a great web resource for you to make the
most of your visit to Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley Region. Find guides
to attractions, events, museums, galleries, theaters, sporting events, outdoor
activities, restaurants, hotels and nightlife as well as local visitor's
guides and tourism information for Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester,
Delaware, and Montgomery.
PillyFunGuide.com: This events calendar is the Greater Philadelphia region’s “go-to” web site for accurate and detailed information about cultural events. This extensive and searchable guide presents information for a complete range of leisure-time activities throughout the region – music, dance, sports, fairs, festivals, outdoor activities, tours, parades, dining and more. Phillyfunguide is the result of a collaborative effort, led by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, of regional arts, culture and tourism marketing organizations.
: For a bit on an insider's guide, check out the official tourism blog
of Philadelphia, which is definitely not just for visitors. It’s for
Philadelphians who want to
know more about everything new and exciting happening in the city and
surrounding region. Updated
regularly, this is the source for what’s fresh on the
restaurant, art, retail, music, theater, sports, green and hotel scenes in
Philadelphia. Uwishunu provides the latest on why you should love this
city, whether you’re visiting...or are lucky enough to reside here. Uwishunu is a product of the Greater
Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC).
Philly360.com: A recent initiative by the GPTMC for the African American market spotlights trendsetters—musicians, visual artists, dancers, poets, designers, producers and more—who are in touch with what’s cool, hip and hot in the city and region. These Creative Ambassadors use their social networks to build buzz about Philly as a travel hotspot and encourage a younger, affluent, tech-savvy crowd to visit.