Photo credit: @woodlandsphila
This year’s Guide to Philly features neighborhood guides written by students and recent grads. In this mini-guide to West Philly/University City, we cover things to do, places to eat and everything YOU need to know to enjoy the neighborhood!
As told by Taylor Sheppard, Drexel University 2024
Hi, I’m Taylor Sheppard! I’m a sophomore Interior Design major at Drexel University. I’m very passionate about the visual and performing arts, and I enjoy writing and gardening in my free time. I’m originally from Maryland, so I’m having a lot of fun discovering Philadelphia and trying new things. I really love walking around and marveling at the art in this city—from the murals, to the statues, to the buildings, it’s just a fun place to be… especially in West Philly!
West Philly is a perfect place for college students and city lovers to have a good time. There’s something for everyone here, and it’s really easy to get around. If you like to walk outside, you can spend time walking along the Schuylkill River-Trail, or stroll through the vibrant greenery of Cira Green, Drexel Park, or Clark Park. (While you’re outside, you should attend one of the events at The Porch at 30th Street Station, too!) If you’d prefer not to travel by foot, there are tons of SEPTA bus stops, subways, and rentable bikes that can take you anywhere you want to go.
Photo credit: @schuylkillbanks
Looking for somewhere to eat? West Philly’s got you covered! The Board and Brew is a board-game restaurant which merges casual dining with the fun of tabletop games! Bring a few friends and enjoy their delicious chicken sandwich over a game of Candyland! For milk tea fans, there’s Boba King and Kung Fu Tea, which offer delicious Asian snacks and drinks for your enjoyment.
There are also a few regular Farmers’ Markets, like the University Square Farmers’ Market every Wednesday, or the Clark Park Market on Thursdays and Saturdays. These events offer fresh, organic (and delicious!) foods from a community of vendors. Be sure to check them out!
If you’re looking for indoor activities, you can find lots of cool museums to visit with friends. Personally, I’m a design student who’s a big fan of the arts, so I love to take advantage of the wonderful art and culture in this region. For newcomers, I recommend that you visit the Institute of Contemporary Art for free, or head to the Penn Museum for a journey through historical objects. Both museums offer guests a unique and engaging experience, perfect for all ages.
For all the future actors and musicians, you can also attend one of World Cafe Live’s incredible concerts, or visit the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts on University of Pennsylvania’s campus. The Annenberg Center even has discounted rush tickets for students!