UPDATED APR 3, 2020
We like to think Philly has the best of both worlds — beautiful cityscapes and lush greenery. You just have to know where to look. Luckily, we do. Here are the best parks and green spaces in the city.
It might only be a 1.25-acre green space, but trust us when we say these views are unmatched in Philly. Head to the 11th floor of Cira Centre South for access through the parking garage, then marvel at the rooftop view before you kick back on the grass. Extra points if you can spot The Cheesecake Factory. Check the events calendar over the summer, this spot is known to host outdoor yoga classes.
Swing in a hammock, eat ridiculous amounts of ice cream, or sip a cold beverage. Spruce Street Harbor Park in Old City is easily our favorite green space. It’s open in the summer, and you can even bring your dog along to hang. We're here for it.
Better known as the “Biopond” (which sounds more like a 1980s sci-fi film than anything else), this garden and green space on UPenn’s campus is the perfect place to get some headspace. It's peaceful, quiet, and a little bit of a secret. If you're lucky, you can even spot some turtles.
The Rail Park is currently underway, and while the entire project isn't ready yet, a 1/4-mile stretch from 1300 Noble St. to the Viaduct is complete and open to the public. Once it is done, the three-mile urban oasis will be Philly’s own High Line (a famed elevated park in NYC), and a great place for that morning run or afternoon walk.
The best thing about the Independence Gardens is that no one knows about them. Everyone is aware of Independence Hall, but these gardens remain a hidden gem. Grab a coffee to-go at nearby Menagerie Coffee and sip it outside underneath the picturesque gazebo.
You might think you know Fairmount Park, but chances are you only know the half of it. With a pond and waterfalls, this rock garden is the ideal place to enjoy a picnic and some solid outdoor therapy. There are also quite a few Insta-worthy photo ops throughout, so plan accordingly.
Northeast Philly, where you at? Probably running around Benjamin Rush State Park. This 275-acre park features one of the largest community gardens in the area, along with bike paths and hiking trails that meander past sprawling meadows and shady forests. It's the first place with think of when we could use an escape.
When we make our way to Fishtown, we always stop over at Penn Treaty Park (we usually grab a coffee from Milkcrate first, though). It's a great, close-to-home spot where you can get back to nature. There are always adorable dogs playing fetch and, usually, a cool breeze from the Delaware River. Bring a hammock, and stay for awhile.
We couldn't create a list of Philly green spaces without the addition of Fairmount Park as a whole. The 9,200 acres of hills, trails, and secret spots contains everything you need to take in the great outdoors. Whether it’s a free waterfront yoga class, a brisk three-mile run, or an invigorating bike ride, there’s no better place to get active outside.
Fun fact! Bartram’s Garden in West Philly is the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America. We know, pretty cool. Enjoy grassy green spaces, and 45-acres worth of beautiful flowers and riverside meadows. We won’t judge you if you start singing “The Sound of Music” soundtrack — you’re justified here.
This nine-mile stretch of park in Northeast Philly is like a snapshot in history. There’s horseback riding, hiking trails, and even a working farm. Run along Pennypack Creek and you might even see wild owls. No, we don’t mean the Temple University football team.
We know, this isn't necessarily what you'd call a traditional park. But it's exactly what you'd expect from a city green space. The paved pathway along the Schuylkill River is great for running, biking, or a post-work group power walk. And during the warmer months, you can find us hanging out on the grass or unrolling our yoga mats for a sun-soaked savasana.
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