Philadelphia is one of the largest cities in the country, and there are so many parks, restaurants, streets and museums here that are worth exploring. You could live here your whole life and still miss out on plenty of hidden gems in Philadelphia, so we’ve created a list to help you get started discovering Philadelphia’s best kept secrets.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Morris Arboretum
The Morris Arboretum is one of the most stunning places in the country. Enjoy acres of beautiful landscaping, rare plants and trees, and a canopy walk that will make your stomach drop.
Address: 100 E Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia, PA
2. The Rodin Museum
The Rodin Museum is the smallest museum on the parkway, and it is so underrated. It opened in the 1920s and contains the largest collection of Rodin's work outside of Paris!
Address: 2151 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA
3. The Shofuso House
Fairmount Park is full of hidden gems, and the Shofuso House is one of my favorites. This 1950s house was built in Japan, put on display at MoMA in New York City, then moved to Philadelphia to be a permanent tribute to Japanese culture. The gardens here are incredible, and the events that the Shofuso House hosts are truly unique.
Address: Lansdowne Dr. & Horticultural Dr., Philadelphia, PA
4. The Dutch
The Dutch is a little hole-in-the-wall breakfast place that has a reputation for serving the best food in Pennsport. If you haven't made your way down here, you might not even know it exists. Well, now's the time to plan a trip - just plan to wait if you're stopping by for weekend brunch. This is a popular spot!
Address: 1527 S 4th St., Philadelphia, PA
5. Penn Treaty Park
William Penn himself is said to have signed a peace treaty with Native Americans from this very spot. Now, it's a wide open park that shows off some of the best skyline views around.
Address: 1301 N Beach St., Philadelphia, PA.
6. Royal Izakaya
There's no sign pointing to Royal Izakaya - you'll have to look for the red lantern. Once you make it here, you'll be enjoying the best sushi and sake in the city. This is truly a unique experience - from the rowdy crowd in the front of the restaurant to the quiet, reservation-only sushi bar hidden in the back.
Address: 780-782 S 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA
7. Penn Museum
The Penn Museum is home to a 15-ton Egyptian sphinx that's one of the coolest attractions in the city. The Museum has been sponsoring expeditions for more than 125 years, and their collection includes nearly 1 million historic artifacts.
Address: 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
8. John F. Collins Park
Beautiful John F. Collins Park is located on Chestnut Street, but it's easy to miss! It's hidden in an alley, so you've probably walked by it without even noticing. This park is one of the best places to relax on a warm afternoon, surrounded by plants and trees.
Address: 1707 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
9. The Ranstead Room
The Ranstead Room is one of Philadelphia's best cocktail bars, but it's a little tricky to find. It's modeled after a Prohibition-era speakeasy, so you have to be in the know to head here for a drink. Read more about this secret speakeasy
10. Whispering Benches
The benches at the Smith Memorial Arch in Fairmount Park are designed in such a way that you can sit on one end, whisper quietly, and be heard loud and clear on the other end. Check them out - they're located off of Avenue of the Republic.
11. Bartram's Garden
Bartram's Garden is the oldest botanical garden in North America, and it's truly a hidden gem in Philadelphia. Stroll the acres of plants, trees, and gardens, and check out the historic home. Bartram's Garden is the perfect place for an afternoon picnic.
Address: 5400 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA
12. The Pavilion in the Trees
Fairmount Park's Pavilion in the Trees is one of the most beautiful places in Philadelphia. The pavilion is the result of an artistic vision that came to life in 1993, and has since been a favorite spot for spotting the earliest blooms of spring.
Address: Lansdowne Dr., Philadelphia, PA
What’s your favorite Philly secret? Share your thoughts (and photos) in the comments below!