The semester may be almost over, but the best time to be in Philly is just getting started. With perfect temperatures for walking around, trees in bloom, and al fresco dining in its peak season, the spring and summer months are the best of the year.
Whether you have family in town visiting for graduation, or have posted so many impressive photos of Philly throughout the year that your friends couldn’t stay away, the five spots below will help you show your friends and family around the city you call home. Trust us on this one – they’re going to recognize you as the expert on the must-see, must-experience sites in downtown Philly.
1. Start off the day with a panoramic view of the entire city and the ‘burbs, 57 floors up, with the Philly from the Top tour at One Liberty Observation Deck. Take a selfie with the best view in the city as your backdrop – there’s 360° of Instagram-worthy shots ready for you to snap and share.Guided tours are free after admission during scheduled tour times (11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. & 5 p.m.). Bonus: admission is just $10 per person for groups of 15 or more!
2. After you’ve scoped out your favorite neighborhoods from the top of the city, head down to the street level and grab a bagel at Chestnut Street Bagels, just down the block. Go for the Rainbow Brite specialty sandwich: birthday cake cream cheese on a tie-dye colored bagel. Trust on this one – it’s delicious.
3. Our favorite way to explore a new neighborhood is by walking around, people watching, and visiting local shops and cafes. Rittenhouse Row (from Broad to 21st Streets, between Spruce and Market) is filled with more than 200 dining, retail and cultural establishments, but the best spot to explore is Walnut Street.Sip on a cold brew iced coffee or a fruit smoothie from Saxby’s on the corner of 20th and stroll eastward down Walnut Street to visit high-end stores mixed in with local shops. Sit on a bench in Rittenhouse Square and people watch in the sunshine. Admire the baroque-style architecture of the Academy of Music and snap a photo of the iconic City Hall before crossing Broad Street (also known as the Avenue of the Arts).
4. Philadelphia is the birthplace of America, and the spot where it all went down is just a short walk or ride away. Marvel at the historic significance of Independence Hall, visit the National Constitution Center and check out their educational exhibits, and tour the Betsy Ross House.
5. After a busy day of trekking across the city, relax at one of Old City District’s many restaurants. Ranging in cuisine from Latin to Italian to American to almost anything you can imagine, there’s something for everyone, and most places have outdoor seating for optimal people watching.
Bonus: for one last Instagram-worthy snapshot of your day in Philly, head back to Observation Deck to see a panoramic view of the city against the sunset sky. Observation Deck offers a special“Sun and Stars” admission ticket, and if you plan ahead, you can purchase this in advance for a special deal for two total Observation Deck visits in 48 hours. After all, an experience like Observation Deck deserves an encore.
We want to share in your Philly experience! Post your photos from the Observation Deck, or any of your favorite spots throughout your incredible day in Philly, to Instagram and tag @CampusPhilly. We’ll share your photos throughout the summer!
Want more insider tips on how to make the most of your time in Philly? Subscribe to our Student Newsletter to learn about upcoming events, Campus Philly opportunities, and the best ways to spend your summer in Philly.