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.

Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

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

Fairmount Park:  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.
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, it 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 marble 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

Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

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.
(215) 763-8100

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, Annual Children's New Year "Countdown to Noon" Event, Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC

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 | 

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Visitor Information:

Visit : 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.  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.

Uwishunu :  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 the 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). 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.    

Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC