“In West Philadelphia, born and raised…” If you can’t finish that lyric, you have some serious studying up to do on the City of Brotherly Love. West Philly is the hometown of the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith, but is also home to an amazing community with a flourishing food scene. It also sits near such schools as Drexel, Penn, USciences and SJU.
Hop onto the El or trolley line! These are two of the easiest and quickest ways to reach West Philadelphia. You can also take the scenic route and walk over from 30th Street Station.
On a Budget
|Clark Park (free)
43rd St. & Baltimore Ave.
|This is a great place to escape when you need to get outdoors. While you can go and relax with a book, there are usually events going on, like the Clark Park Farmer’s Market, flea markets and music performances. If you’re around for the summer, definitely check out Shakespeare in the Park. Grab your sunglasses and get ready to people-watch!|
|Green Line Café $
4239 Baltimore Ave.
|If the outdoors isn’t your thing, grab a coffee while on the free Wi-Fi at this great café. There are two other locations in the area which can be great during finals. Make sure to have cash on hand for the assortment of drinks and food, which are necessary for any study session.|
|Morris Arboretum $$
100 E. Northwestern Ave.
|Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, you can appreciate the lush gardens and beauty of this West Philly gem. See plants from different continents and the sculptures of the gardens where you can be inspired or at least de-stress from your hectic schedule. Make sure to take your school I.D. for a discounted admission, which includes free parking.|
Arts & Culture
|A Love Letter for You (free)
4800 Market St.
|This heartwarming mural series by artist Steve Powers will make you fall even more in love with Philly as you walk the city. For a more unique way to experience this art, ride the El both eastbound and westbound for the best views.|
|The Philadelphia Zoo $$
3400 W. Girard Ave.
|America’s first zoo houses over 1,300 animals, from polar bears to the American alligator. Explore the wilderness from afar; step into the Channel 6 Zooballoon and check out the zoo from 400 feet away. Or, if you don’t like heights, go camel-back riding through a mock African safari. No matter what you choose to do, the zoo is never short of fun activities.|
100 Horticultural Drive
|This international slice offers an outdoor experience unlike any other in Philadelphia—because the foliage is native to Japan! Offering workshops, tea ceremonies and concerts throughout the year, Shofuso’s tea house, cherry blossoms and soothing ponds will make you feel connected to an entirely different culture. Although special events pricing can be steep, the admission rate for simply admiring the beauty of the landscape is only $3 for students with I.D.|
|Ed’s Buffalo Wings & Pizza $$
3513 Lancaster Ave.