Learn about what’s new or coming soon to Philadelphia, including awards and accolades, new hotels, restaurants, museums, attractions, recreation spaces, and more.
Awards and Accolades
Philadelphia regarded as a must-visit and inclusive destination
Philadelphia is the largest city in the U.S. to earn a Certified Welcoming City by Welcoming America, a formal designation given to cities that have policies and programs in place that reflect their values and commitment to immigrant inclusion.
Travel + Leisure named Philadelphia as one of 11 cities for Must-see Pieces of Public Art Around the World, citing iconic sculptures such as LOVE and Rocky, as well as the work done by Mural Arts Philadelphia and the Association for Public Art.
Additional Philadelphia praise comes from travel guide Frommer’s, which includes Independence Hall as one of their top places to visit, remarking on the tales shared by national park rangers that reveal mistakes, goals, and debates of the Framers and their ability to compromise for the sake of the founding of the nation. Fodor’s Travel likens Philadelphia’s history, culture, and food (and the city’s many pubs) to experiences found in London, perfect for U.S. travelers seeking a global experience in 2022 without leaving the country. Travel + Leisure highlighted Philadelphia’s many diverse neighborhoods and cultural experiences they offer. As voted on by USA Today 10Best readers, the Schuylkill River Trail was named one of the top riverwalks in the nation and the historic Reading Terminal Market was named the best public market in the United States.
Philadelphia’s food scene also continues to receive high honors, with Eeva being named one of Eater’s 11 Best New Restaurants in America. Two other restaurants in Philadelphia – Little Nonna’s and Vetri Cucina – made it on Thrillist’s list of 34 Best Italian Restaurants in America. Gran Caffe L’Aquila was awarded as one of the Top Italian Restaurants in the World by Gambero Rosso – Italy’s premier guide for authentic Italian experiences. Chef Cristina Martinez of South Philly Barbacoa won the 2022 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA). Local chef, poet, and historian Omar Tate – known for his pop-up, Honeysuckle – was recognized on Time Magazine’s Time100 Next List for 2021. Condé Nast Traveler has included Laser Wolf — an Israeli grill from the team behind the acclaimed Zahav — on their 2021 Hot List, naming the Fishtown eatery as one of the best new restaurants in the world.
New hotels are open in Philadelphia, with other properties undergoing renovations
Philadelphia welcomed several new hotels over the past couple of years, including Hyatt Centric, Canopy by Hilton, and Guild House Hotel – which was named one of The Best New Hotels in the World by Travel + Leisure for 2022.
Several existing properties also received high honors. The Four Seasons (and its spa program) is regarded as a AAA Five Diamond Hotel Designation and received Forbes’ prestigious five-star ranking for the third year in the row in 2023. The hotel’s fine dining restaurant Jean-Georges Philadelphia was also awarded the prestigious five-star designation. Meanwhile, The Rittenhouse was also awarded a five-star ranking by Forbes Travel Guide in 2023 and named the top hotel in the mid-Atlantic by Condé Nast Traveler.
Other hotels underwent renovations to deliver guests an updated experience, including the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown, Windsor Suites Philadelphia, Courtyard Philadelphia South at Navy Yard, and Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.
Travelers can also enjoy other new hotel options, including the Live! Casino & Hotel in the South Philadelphia Stadium District. In Center City, the new Element Philadelphia and luxurious W Philadelphia, sharing a building and 45,000-square-feet of meeting and event space along Chestnut Street, just steps from popular downtown attractions. For more updates on Philadelphia’s hotel community, click here.
Dell Music Center undergoing $6.9M renovation
The City of Philadelphia officially broke ground on a $6.9 million renovation of the Dell Music Center in March 2023. The Dell Music Center is a city-run outdoor entertainment venue located in East Fairmount Park. Music legends including Aretha Franklin, Teddy Pendergrass, and Patti Labelle have graced the Dell’s iconic stage. Plans for the new stage include improved acoustics, new walls and siding, and a new amphitheater roof. Built in 1929, much of the Dell’s original infrastructure remains. Renovations to the outdoor venue’s stage, roof, green room, backstage, and under-stage offices will be complemented by a new electrical system, improved modern stormwater management infrastructure, and additional waterproofing and drainage. Bathrooms will also be renovated and made to be more accessible. New water fountains and water bottle filling stations will also be installed. Construction is expected to be completed in August 2023.
Craft Hall Live
Craft Hall – a popular beer hall and restaurant in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood – plans to debut Craft Hall Live, a live entertainment venue and live music program in spring 2023. Every Saturday night from late March to early May, Craft Hall Live will host live music concerts. Cover bands will play popular throwbacks from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and beyond during the Tribute Band Series. The new venue Craft Hall Live – which is attached to the beer hall and restaurant Craft Hall – includes a stage and can fit up to 300 people. Guests can enjoy small bites, cocktails, and of course, beer.
New $25M sports and entertainment venue Bankroll debuts in Center City
Now open in the former 1928 art deco-style Boyd Theater, Bankroll is a mobile sports betting and entertainment venue with a restaurant offering menus designed by Starr Restaurant Group. The concept spent nearly two-and-a-half years in development and costed about $25 million dollars. Guests can expect a luxury sports game viewing experience. Located at 1910 Chestnut Street, Bankroll can accommodate up to 400 people in its 13,000 square foot space. The venue will be open seven days a week. There will not be on-site sports betting, but customers can take their chances on mobile betting apps. Read more about Bankroll in Philadelphia Business Journal and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Reading Terminal Market: The Filbert Street Revitalization Project
On June 7, 2022, the iconic Reading Terminal Market – voted the best public market in the nation in 2022 by USA Today 10Best – broke ground for its long-awaited Filbert Street Revitalization Project, which was completed in fall 2022. The $1 million dollar project transformed the 1100 block of Filbert Street. Changes include widening the sidewalk, improving access to public transit, adding outdoor seating, and more. The project created about 15,000 square feet of public space outside of Reading Terminal Market. The market also celebrated 130 years in 2023 with a party themed “Time After Time,” acknowledging the market’s past and present successes. The party on February 25, 2023 doubled as a fundraiser for the market.
An event space from the team behind the acclaimed Zahav
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Restaurateurs Steven Cook and James Beard Award-winner Michael Solomonov, whose CookNSolo restaurant group includes acclaimed Philadelphia restaurants such as Zahav, K’Far and Laser Wolf, have opened a new private event space in the heart of Philadelphia’s popular Fishtown neighborhood. Named Lilah — Hebrew for “Night” — the event space occupies a former industrial warehouse totaling 7,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 250 guests. The venue features on-site catering by CookNSolo, with customizable tasting menus featuring salatim, fresh pita, hummus, skewers and kabobs, Chef Solomonov’s borekas, and other dishes showcasing CookNSolo’s take on Jewish cooking. Lilah includes the fourth location of CookNSolo’s fast-casual restaurant concept Goldie, specializing in falafel sandwiches, salads, and Tehina shakes.
New restaurants make their debut
Philadelphia’s celebrated restaurant scene is poised to welcome several new dining and drinking experiences to its portfolio in 2022, including the return of local favorite Bridget Foy’s to South Street following a fire that forced the temporary closure of the restaurant in 2017. Other appetizing developments include a new Baja Mexican restaurant in Fishtown from restaurateur Stephen Starr, a massive Italian fine dining restaurant and pizzeria in Northern Liberties, and a new home for Rex 1516 inside the historic Royal Theater on South Street. For a list of new restaurants now open in Philadelphia, click here.
STARR Restaurants opens new restaurant KPOD
After taking over the space of the former POD restaurant, KPOD – a new Korean American restaurant concept by STARR Restaurants – is now open in University City. In true STARR Restaurants fashion, the experience at KPOD expands far beyond food and drink. KPOD embodies the surging “K-Wave” global phenomenon with dynamic Korean American food and drink, custom artwork, and Korean inspired design. In celebration of the culture-defining spirit of South Korea, KPOD’s menu features both classic and creative interpretations of Korean dishes. At its full capacity, KPOD can accommodate up to 200 guests.
Liberty Point, Philadelphia’s largest restaurant in modern history, opens on the waterfront
Liberty Point made its debut as the largest restaurant in Philadelphia on the Delaware River waterfront on May 3, 2022. The 28,000 square foot restaurant (25,000 square feet of space outside and 3,000 square feet of space inside) is adjacent to and wrapped around the waterfront side of the Independence Seaport Museum. The giant indoor-outdoor space is able to host up to 1,400 people at a time. The design includes three main levels for food, drinks, and live entertainment, along with smaller sub-levels, a stage for live music, five bars and breathtaking views of the water. Liberty Point is the latest endeavor of FCM Hospitality, who also owns Craft Hall on Columbus Boulevard.
The Cauldron Philadelphia is now open
Now open in the City of Wizardly Love, The Cauldron Philadelphia is welcoming witches and wizards to immerse themselves in a world of magic inspired by the imagined worlds from their childhood. This fantasy-inspired bar and restaurant is open at 1305 Locust Street in Washington Square West. Guests are invited to participate in an interactive Potion Making Experience complete with robes and working magic wands to show off their skills as they concoct their very own cocktails. All food and drinks served at the magical pub have elements that appear to be straight out of a mystical fairytale.
Carbon Copy, Philadelphia’s first combined brewery and winery, now open
Carbon Copy brings the first combined brewery and winery to the City of Brotherly Love, taking over the previous Dock Street Brewery location at 701 S 50th Street in West Philadelphia along Baltimore Avenue. Owners Brendon Boudwin and Kyle Wolak – both experienced beer and wine makers – are striving to create a true “neighborhood bar” feel for local residents. Their goal is to bring “an unpretentious, accessible and unique dining experience” while offering Philadelphia-made beer, wine, and snacks made on-site. The duo says the name “Carbon Copy” serves as a tongue-in-cheek reminder to always follow their own path and not become a carbon copy of the popular brewing trend. They say the name is also symbolic of their commitment to minimize their carbon footprint through mindful waste management, utilizing renewable resources in production, and investing carbon offsets as the company grows.
Museums & Attractions
Philadelphia Museum of Art opens 90,000 square feet of new space
After two decades of planning, design and construction, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has unveiled 90,000 square feet of new and reimagined public and exhibition space as part of the Frank Gehry-led Core Project. Included in the project are a reimagined West Entrance and Lenfest Hall, as well as a new multilevel Forum space which rests in the center of the museum, beneath the iconic Grand Stair Hall. A Vaulted Walkway has also been restored and runs the length of the building, north to south. 20,000 square feet of new gallery space is also now on view, including new early American art and modern and contemporary galleries — marking the largest installation of new exhibition space since the building opened in 1928.
Philadelphia Museum of Art to open Brind Center for African and African Diasporic Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is set to establish the Brind Center for African and African Diasporic Art, endowed by Trustee Ira Brind. The new Center will be dedicated to the study, acquisition, and care of art from continental Africa and the African Diaspora. This will also add two new curators, contributions to the collection, special exhibitions, programs, publications, scholarships, and career training. This transformational investment will help build broader awareness of the global, historical, and contemporary contributions of the art of Africa and the African Diaspora across time.
A world premiere exhibition at The Franklin Institute
A world premiere exhibition is now open at The Franklin Institute celebrating 100 years of The Walt Disney Company. The anniversary exhibit, Disney100: The Exhibition, opened on February 18, 2023. The exhibit celebrates a century of innovation and imagination from the creative empire, while also honoring its founder Walt Disney’s legacy. Ten galleries are set up throughout the 15,000-square-foot exhibit showcasing more than 250 rarely seen original artworks and artifacts, costumes and props, and other memorabilia. The characters and stories that The Walt Disney Company has brought to life from 1923 to 2023 are also incorporated into the exhibit, which invites guests to step into their favorite stories using innovation and immersive technology. Get ready for special behind-the-scenes glimpses into the creation of some of Disney’s most popular characters, films, shows, and attractions.
New space exhibit coming to The Franklin Institute
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The Franklin Institute is preparing to create an entirely new future-focused space exhibit, an upgrade that would cost about $8 million dollars. Thanks to a generous gift of $3 million dollars by Boeing, the funds will enable the museum to transform its existing exhibit into an immersive two-story gallery dedicated to space exploration. The plan is to expand the museum’s current space exhibit to about 7,000 square feet, which is almost three times its current size. The groundbreaking space exhibit is set to open in late 2023 and will help usher in a new age of space science at the museum, just in time for the institution’s 200th anniversary in 2024. To learn more about the museum’s plans for its space exhibit, click here.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Franklin Institute are just two of Philadelphia’s vast collection of museums. There are so many more museums to explore throughout the city. For a list of museums that are now open in Philadelphia, click here and be sure to also check out our top can’t miss exhibits.
A first glimpse of an exclusive collection of work by the Wyeth family at Brandywine Museum of Art
Visitors to the Brandywine Museum of Art will be given a first glimpse of a treasure trove of artwork from the Wyeth family. Nearly 50 paintings and drawings of buildings that inspired Andrew Wyeth during his artistic career are on view during “Andrew Wyeth: Home Places,” which opened on February 4, 2023. The artworks in this exhibition belong to a nearly 7,000-object Andrew and Betsy Wyeth Collection of the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, which is now managed by the Brandywine. Many of the pieces that are on display during this exhibition have never been exhibited before and shed a new light on Andrew and Betsy’s collaborative creative process. The exhibit includes Andrew Wyeth’s depictions of weathered buildings in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Wyeth found layers of emotion and connection with the structures while he witnessed a changing Brandywine Valley. The buildings, described as both venerable and vulnerable, served as a means for Wyeth to explore what lies beneath the surface. “Andrew Wyeth: Home Places” will be on view February 4 – July 13, 2023.
Otherworld immersive art experience coming soon to Northeast Philadelphia
Otherworld Philly is excited to welcome guests into a mixed reality playground packed with large-scale immersive art. Following the massive success at its original location in Columbus, Ohio, Otherworld’s new location in Philadelphia will feature 55 unique installations with enhanced production and interactivity spread throughout a 40,000 square foot space. Otherworld Philly is expected to open this spring.
Immersive Van Gogh art exhibit coming to Center City
Vincent van Gogh’s work is about to come to life in Philadelphia. Impact Museums and Lighthouse Immersive have teamed up to create a digital art show, an immersive experience for art lovers of all ages. As part of a vision to bring the experience to cities across the country, the creators have signed a long-term lease at the Washington – formerly the Penn Mutual towers – a historic building at 6th and Walnut Streets. Shows are expected to begin sometime in 2023.
Penn Museum’s new Eastern Mediterranean Gallery: Crossroads of Cultures
The Penn Museum opened its Eastern Mediterranean Gallery: Crossroads of Cultures in the fall of 2022. The 2,000-square-foot gallery houses 400 artifacts from the Penn Museum’s excavations throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, ranging from the Middle and Late Bronze Age (2,000 to 1,200 BCE) to the 1800s. The new gallery highlights the creativity of the region’s distinctive material culture, one that has been shaped by both conflict and collaboration. Guests are encouraged to explore the gallery’s interactive and multi-sensory elements, along with a near life-sized section of a ship based on a vessel that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea during the 14th century BCE. Guests have the chance to peek inside the ship’s cargo hold containing ivory, glass, pottery and more evidence of international commerce and cultural exchange. Visitors will encounter various themes, including Creativity and Change, Power and Conflict, as well as Coexistence and Connection.
Philadelphia Ballet announces plans for a transformative expansion of its home on North Broad Street
Philadelphia Ballet is set to break ground in late 2022 to expand its home on North Broad Street, the Philadelphia Ballet Center for Dance. The five-story center will feature new rehearsal studios, administrative offices, a black box performance, innovation, and rehearsal space, new spaces for community programs and events, and much more. The transformative renovation and expansion will add 43,000 sq. ft. to the company’s existing footprint. This major building project will provide much needed space to allow for the continued growth of the Company, the School of Philadelphia Ballet, and community and educational programs. The project is set to be completed in spring 2024.
Valley Forge National Historical Park opens renovated visitor center
Visitors are now greeted by a newly renovated visitor center at Valley Forge National Historical Park in King of Prussia. The Valley Forge Visitor Center, located at 1000 North Outer Line Drive, is now open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The brand-new museum exhibition in the visitor center tells the history of the 1777-1778 Winter Encampment of the Continental Army under General George Washington. The $12 million renovation project includes updated restrooms, efficient lighting, improved spaces for park staff and partners, plus upgraded security and fire protection, improved collections storage, an all-new HVAC system, windows, flooring, carpets, signage, and a variety of energy efficiency improvements. On display are Revolutionary War artifacts from the George C. Neumann and John F. Reed Collections, along with new accessible display panels, interactive videos, a toy log hut building activity, and a complete audio walkthrough for visually impaired visitors.
Mario Lanza Institute & Museum honors a South Philadelphia legend
What better place to honor a talented tenor than in the place he called home, South Philadelphia. The Mario Lanza Institute & Museum is keeping the star’s memory alive with rare memorabilia including records, family photos, and other personal items once belonging to Mario Lanza. Now, in his name, the Mario Lanza Institute & Museum is located at 1214 Reed Street Philadelphia, PA 19147 on Mario Lanza Way and just a few blocks from the Mario Lanza Mural. The location is in the heart of South Philadelphia and houses a large collection devoted to the South Philadelphia born tenor who rose to great heights in the 1940’s and 50’s in the movies and on the concert stages of the world. The collection features film memorabilia, photos, paintings, sculptures and personal items associated with Lanza’s life and career. The museum is open most Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and admission is $10 per person. Street parking is available. The Lanza Institute regularly has events at the museum including lectures on various musical personalities and luncheons which feature a complete showing of one of Lanza’s films. The space is also available for rental for corporate and organizational events and meetings as well as birthday parties. For more information, click here.
The Clay Studio opens state-of-the-art facility in South Kensington
The Clay Studio‘s new state-of-the-art, 34,000-square-foot, four-story home at 1425 North American Street in South Kensington is the first-of-its-kind ceramic arts facility built from the ground up in the United States. Established in 1974, The Clay Studio is a non-profit arts institution dedicated to promoting and creating ceramic arts through artistic, educational, and community programs.
New Calder museum set to open in 2024
Philadelphia’s Museum Mile is getting ready to welcome Calder Gardens, a museum dedicated to Alexander “Sandy” Calder. Born in 1898, the artist is a third-generation member of a proud Philadelphia family whose iconic art installations can be found along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Alexander Milne Calder, the family’s patriarch who emigrated from Scotland to the U.S. in 1868 and settled in Philadelphia, is best known for William Penn (c. 1886–94), the monumental statue atop City Hall – the largest in the world atop a public building. His son, Alexander Stirling Calder, was an accomplished sculptor who created Swann Memorial Fountain (1924) in Logan Square. Inside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Alexander “Sandy” Calder’s mobile The Ghost (1964) soars overhead in the main hall. Calder Gardens will be built across the street from the Barnes Foundation on the Parkway. The $70 million dollar museum will be designed as a sanctuary “to elevate personal contemplation and reflection,” according to Alexander Rower, Alexander “Sandy” Calder’s grandson. Plans for the serene space include highlighting a rotating selection of Calder’s mobiles, sculptures, and paintings throughout gardens and galleries filled with natural light. A large landscaped meadow filled with trees will surround the building, inviting guests to relax as they stroll toward the entrance to the museum. Calder Gardens broke ground in fall 2022 and is set to open at the end of 2024.
Schuylkill River Trail to be extended
Plans to extend the Schuylkill River Trail to connect South and Southwest Philadelphia via the Passyunk Avenue Bridge are underway, thanks to a $2.5 million dollar Pennsylvania economic redevelopment grant. As of today, the Schuylkill River Trail stretches four miles along the eastern waterfront in Center City. The expansion will extend the trail farther south on the river’s western bank and connect bicyclists and pedestrians to the west side of the river, including Bartram’s Garden, St. Joseph’s University, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and University City. The new section of the trail is set to run 3,400 feet along the west side of the river. The expansion would also eliminate the dead end at 61st street and create a pedestrian bridge over the river. The project is expected to be completed in 2025.
Recreational updates continue along the Delaware River waterfront
The central section of the Delaware River Trail was completed in Spring 2022 and offers a protected lane for biking, walking, jogging, and running along the eastern side of Columbus Boulevard. Stretching from Spring Garden Street to the north all the way to Washington Avenue to the south, this section of the trail now connects and adds to the accessibility of top waterfront destinations including Race Street Pier, Cherry Street Pier, Spruce Street Harbor Park, and Penn’s Landing. The trail is just one part of a larger project being undertaken by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, which will eventually include a new park spanning interstate 95 at Penn’s Landing as well as the transformation of “Graffiti Pier” in Port Richmond into a recreational park.
Wells Fargo Center recognized for its sustainability efforts
Home of the Philadelphia Flyers, 76ers, and Wings, Wells Fargo Center has been recognized for its sustainability efforts, including successfully using renewable energy to power 100% of the facility’s electricity usage. The Green Sports Alliance named the South Philadelphia arena as its first-ever “Net Zero Energy Champion” at the Play to Zero Awards – given to facilities that lead the industry in sustainability. The awards have three areas of focus: energy, water, and waste. This prestigious award comes amid Wells Fargo Center’s ongoing $350 million dollar Transformation project. “We’re well on our way to making Wells Fargo Center one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable arenas,” said Valerie Camillo, President of Wells Fargo Center, in a statement. “As we completely transform every inch of Wells Fargo Center to ensure it remains a world-class home for basketball, hockey, and concerts for decades to come, we’ve also become a nationally-recognized, industry leader in our commitment to environmental sustainability.” To read more about this accolade, click here.
The nation’s first esports campus is now open in downtown Philadelphia
Philadelphia-founded esports infrastructure company Nerd Street Gamers has opened The Block, a 40,000 square foot esports campus — the nation’s first — along North Broad Street, just a short walk from City Hall, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and other downtown attractions. Housed in the historic, 12-story Terminal Commerce Building, the campus serves as Nerd Street’s headquarters and is home to the company’s broadcast and content creation studios. The Block is also home to Localhost, Nerd Street’s dedicated esports arena, which will be accessible to the public for hourly gameplay and will host local and national, amateur and professional esports events. The facility is available to rent for private events, such as receptions, team outings and other corporate events.
For more new sports facilities in Philadelphia, click here.
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