Best Local Parks to Visit in Philadelphia

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Did you know that the city of Philadelphia was voted a top 10 city in the world for parks by Frommer’s?

In honor of the start of Spring, below are some of our top park picks in all of Philadelphia.

Fairmount Park – We can’t talk about parks in Philadelphia without mentioning Fairmount. At over 10,000 acres, Fairmount Park (run by the Fairmount Park Conservancy, who works in partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation) is the largest municipal park in Philadelphia and is comprised of 62 parks located throughout the city, including:

  • Franklin Square – For a playful getaway with the kids in Center City, head over to the historic Franklin Square. The park is centered around a historic 1838 fountain, with mini golf, a carousel, a playground and SquareBurger. You can also visit the Living Flame Memorial dedicated to fallen police officers and firefighters.
  • Washington Square – Less than a mile away from Franklin Square and past the Liberty Bell in Center City, is Washington Square. If you are looking to take a stroll or simply relax on a bench or picnic, Washington Square is an oasis in the middle of Center City. You can also visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution there.
  • PennyPack Park – Located in Northeast Philadelphia, this park extends from the Delaware River to the border of Montgomery County. There is lots to do here from walking, jogging, and rollerblading. The park also has ample scenery and places to picnic.
  • Tacony Creek Park – Tacony Creek Park is a 302-acre park near the edge of Northeast Philadelphia, and is made up of the Juniata Golf Course, Ferko Playground, Recreation Center, and more. It also has 2.5 miles of creek-side trails.
  • Wissahickon Valley Park – At 7 miles in length and covering 1,400 acres, in the Northwest section of Philadelphia, this park is perhaps one of the most famous parks in all of Philadelphia. Head for brunch, lunch, or dinner at the Valley Green Inn, hike, climb, or check out the Wissahickon Environmental Center.
  • East & West Fairmount Park – These expansive parks extend along the Schuylkill River and feature a host of different historic houses, landscapes, activities, and paths for biking, walking, or jogging. On the east side, you’ll find the Philadelphia Museum of Art (and famous Rocky Steps), Boathouse Row, and “Charms of Fairmount Park” (historic villas throughout Fairmount Park dating back to the American Revolution time). On the west side is the Philadelphia Zoo, Horticulture Center, Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Memorial Hall, and Japanese House and Garden. Yes, you might need a few days to see all the major attractions of East & West Fairmount Park.
  • FDR Park – Located in South Philly, also known as “The Lakes,” FDR park offers athletic fields, golf course, tennis courts, playground, trails and a famous skate park.

Learn more about Fairmount Park System and get maps on this guide (note: per Fairmount Park Conservancy, this guide has outdated contact information). Here is an online interactive map that Fairmount Park System says is under construction.

  • Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania – In Chestnut Hill in Northwest Philly, near Wissahickon Valley Park, this 92-acre Victorian style grounds has a rose garden, majestic trees and over 12,000 labeled plants from around the world.
  • Dilworth Park – In 2014, Dilworth Park underwent a $55 million transformation. Thanks to Center City District Parks (CCD) and other great supporters, it now has a café, foundation, benches and hosts cultural events throughout the year.
  • Longwood Gardens – Although not a park and not in Philadelphia, this 1,000+ acre attraction is worth mentioning. Located about 35 miles outside center city, Longwood features an open-air theatre, Italian water garden, cascade garden, hillside garden and lots more. Although largely outdoors, they do have an indoor section as well.

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