5 Philly Tourist Sites You Didn't Know About, but Need to See
Updated: Mar 15, 2021
Your family's given you three days notice that they're coming to Philly this weekend. You don't have time to plan anything and, even if you did -- you're at a loss for ideas. The clock is ticking.... what do you do? Sure, you could take them to the usual Philly haunts -- Art Museum, Spruce Street Harbor, Love Park, Independence Mall. But, let's be honest.... do you feel like pushing through the visor clad tour groups and accidentally walking in front of camera lenses all day?
Time to get creative. As a Philly resident, sometimes we forget what a big city we live in -- and how much fun stuff there is to do and see at our disposal. The tried and true spots are great and all, but now is your time to shine! Show your out of town guests a side of Philly they haven't seen before. Beat the crowds and impress your guests by bringing them to these five touristy-y, less traveled spots.
1. Cira Green
Bet your out of town guests have never seen a park like this one before! Cira Green, Philly's first elevated park, has plenty of space to hang out and soak in the sun amid Philly's skyscrapers. Located at 30th & Chestnut, this green space is seriously unique -- and has some of the best views of Philly you can find anywhere. Pack a picnic and bring the fam to this 1+ acre urban oasis in the sky. It's open 7 days a week -- and admission is free.
2. Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site
So, Edgar Allen Poe lived in Philly once. Yep -- he spent six years here, and even said those six years were the happiest years of his life. (Of course they were. Philly is seriously awesome.) He wrote "The Black Cat" while he lived at this home on 7th & Spring Garden -- which you can tour Friday-Sunday. If you have any literary buffs in the family, they'll really appreciate this one.
3. Cherry Street Pier
This one probably won't be less traveled for long. In fact, it was pretty mobbed when it opened in October of last year. But, please don't let that deter you from seeing a revamped pier full of the works of talented local artists! This gorgeous destination located on the river front in Old City, is home to unique artist vendors worth checking out, and maybe buying an art piece from. While you're there, you can watch the artists at work, and walk through the beautiful outdoor garden. The "cherry" on top? There's food, too.
4. SS United States
Unfortunately you can't go on board, but it's still worth looking at. This passenger liner was once the fastest ship in the World. Truly "America's Flagship" the SS United States is the largest luxury cruise liner ever built in the United States. Head on down to Pier 82 in South Philly to check it out. Sure, you've probably driven by hundreds of times. I mean -- it's only been there for 20 years. BUT, the SS United States Conservancy has big plans for restoring this ship to it's original glory, so stay tuned. Maybe the next time your family comes to town, you can all hop on board.
5. Thaddeus Kosciuzko National Memorial
Did you know Philly is home to the smallest National Park in the entire country? Now you do! This is all thanks to Polish freedom fighter, Thaddeus Kosciuzko. He volunteered (yes VOLUNTEERED) to fight in the Revolutionary War and ended up playing a pretty big role, which is totally awesome considering he wasn't even of American descent. Thaddeus was also besties with Thomas Jefferson, and hosted him at this home all the time. You can tour his home at 301 Pine and learn about more of the awesome things he did for America and Poland from April-October, weekends from 12-4.
There's so much to do and see in Philly, you may have overlooked these gems. And with new sites popping up year after year, it can be hard to keep up. Treat your family to a weekend they won't forget! After seeing these five unique Philly tourist spots, they might start coming around more often.
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Nicole Neff, REALTOR® Keller Williams Philadelphia 1619 Walnut Street, 5th FL