Make a Day of it!

These itineraries are designed to spark your interest and provide ideas for a great day with the Charms -- and enjoy attractions close to the Charms houses.  These suggestions include interests from art to biking to kids' activities and more!  Explore and adapt these itineraries to suit your personal interests during your visit.

Enjoy a stroll in Fairmount Park along the banks of the Schuykill (Image courtesy of GPTMC)

Enjoy a stroll in Fairmount Park along the banks of the Schuykill (Image courtesy of GPTMC)


The Charms

East Fairmount Park Charms Tour (1/2 day, driving):

  • Fortify yourself before the adventure at a local dining establishment and then gaze upon the Schuylkill River from the deck of Fairmount Water Works Restaurant or start your park adventure at Granite Hill at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • Begin at Lemon Hill, the first property acquired by Fairmount Park (1844).
  • Return to Kelly Drive for a close-up of Boathouse Row and another view of the signature Schuylkill River.Make a right at Fountain Green Drive and proceed up the hill to Mount Pleasant to see some of the best craftsmanship of colonial Philadelphia.
  • Visit its neighbor, Laurel Hill and learn the fascinating story of Rebecca Rawle during the American Revolution; she had to buy her house back from the British - find out why,
  • Drive two minutes down the road to Woodford and see its extraordinary collection of decorative art... try to decide which piece you'd most like to add to your antique collection.
  • Wander back to the Fairmount neighborhood of the city for a cool lemonade or a cocktail.  May we  suggest Lemon Hill - yes, it's true, there is a restaurant whose namesake you toured just a few hours earlier - located just a few blocks away at 747 N. 25th St - the perfect ending to a charming day.

West Fairmount Park Charms Tour (1/2 day, driving):

Shofuso Japanese House & Garden; Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

  • Start your day with a lovely breakfast at the Centennial Cafe at the Ohio House, built for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition.
  • Drive a few minutes to Cedar Grove and learn about the five generations of the Coates, Paschall and Morris families of Philadelphia.
  • Drive to the neighboring Sweetbriar to hear about the prominent Breck family.
  • End your day in West Fairmount Park with a visit to the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.

Art and Architecture

Art and Architecture Tour I (1/2 day, driving and cell phone walking tour)

  • Drive to the parking area located along Kelly Drive, just below the Girard Avenue Bridge.
  • Grab your cell phone and proceed to your left down the Schuylkill River Trail where you will encounter three terraces of public art known as the Ellen Phillips Samuels Memorial
  • Proceed south towards Boathouse Row and listen to the intriguing sculpture stories behind the James Garfield Monument, Stone Age in America and what Thorfinn Kalsefni was known for.
  • Return to your car and drive up Kelly Drive to Fountain Green Drive and Mount Pleasant.
  • Take an architectural tour of Mount Pleasant.

Art and Architecture Tour II (full day, driving and cell phone walking tour)

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

  • Proceed south towards Boathouse Row and listen to the intriguing sculpture stories behind the James Garfield MonumentStone Age in America and find out what Thorfinn Kalsefni was known for.
  • Return to your car and drive up Kelly Drive to Fountain Green Drive and Mount Pleasant.
  • Take an architectural tour of Mount Pleasant.

Families

Tours for Tots I (1 day, driving)

  • Drive to Laurel Hill for a tour and be sure to show the kids the view of the river from the back porch.
  • Drive or walk to the neighboring Woodford, and talk about the objects in the house with the kids.
  • Drive a few minutes to Smith Playground, the amazing free play mecca for kids.  Be sure they go down the giant wooden slide!
  • End the day with some ice cream  -- drive to the Trolley Car Cafe at the Bathey House in the East Falls area.

Tours for Tots II

  • Begin at the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art and ask for the interactive audio guides for children (ages 6-10) and pick up one of the free family guides.  Themes for kids include: Arms & Armor, Discover Design and Look at Landscapes as you explore the collection.
  • Walk or drive a few blocks to Sabrina's Cafe and Spencer's Too to refuel. 


Biking

The BLT --- Bike, Lunch and Tour (2 hours, biking)

  • Rent bikes at Wheel Fun located at Love Park at 16th Street and JFK Blvd.
  • Ride the Benjamin Franklin Parkway towards the Philadelphia Museum of Art, then proceed to Boathouse Row.
  • Lunch at Cosmic Cafe, overlooking the river.
  • Tour Lemon Hill, located just above Boathouse Row.
  • Return to Center City to return your bikes, then grab a cold drink at Cafe Cret across the street from Love Park

Boxers, Buidings and Bikes Tour (4 hours, biking - not for rookies!)

  • Rent bikes at Wheel Fun located at Love Park at 16th Street and JFK Blvd.
  • Ride the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Schuylkill River Trail to Fountain Green Drive.  Cross at Stop Light.
  • Tour Mount Pleasant at the top of the hill.
  • Continue on Boxers' Trail (through the woods) from Mount Pleasant to Laurel Hill.
  • Tour both Laurel Hill and Woodford.
  • Follow Boxers' Trail to Strawberry Mansion Bridge.
  • From the bridge, continue to MLK Drive Bike Path.
  • Return to Center City.


The Schuylkill River Trail, at the base of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC