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Philadelphia’s Delaware River Waterfront

November 6, 2019

Photo courtesy of the Independence Seaport Museum.

Tour an actual World War II submarine and a ship that saw action during the Spanish-American War. The Becuna patrolled the Pacific Ocean during World War II and sunk four enemy ships. The submarine then went on to sail the Mediterranean and Atlantic Oceans during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Launched in 1892, the USS Olympia is the only surviving member of the naval fleet used in the Spanish-American War and the ship’s last mission was in 1921, carrying the body of the unknown soldier from France to the U.S. Both the submarine USS Becuna and the warship USS Olympia are managed by the nearby Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia’s maritime museum. Boat rentals are available in season.

Race Street Pier photo by M. Stanley for Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

Stroll Race Street Pier, a picnic-friendly, multi-tiered park with breathtaking Instagram-worthy views of the sunrise. Cross the Benjamin Franklin Bridge that connects Philadelphia to the city of Camden, New Jersey. Pedestrian walkways on both sides of the bridge provide great views of the city and a perfect location to capture a photo of the Philadelphia skyline. Enter at 5th and Race Streets.

Spruce Street Harbor Park photo by M. Stanley for Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

Spruce Street Harbor Park is a one-of-a-kind urban beach and pop-up park located at Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River waterfront. This seasonal, family-friendly pop-up offers countless ways to unwind, from its popular hammock lounge to games like shuffleboard, beanbag toss and lifesized chess. Grab a bite to eat at one of the food vendors on the boardwalk or stop by the floating beer garden for craft brews. In the evening, the park has a magical vibe thanks to hundreds of multicolor LED lights strung above.

Summerfest photo by M. Stanley for Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

Head to the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest in summer for roller skating, mini-golf, carnival rides, a Ferris wheel and more at Penn’s Landing. This annual event kicks off weekends in May and daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest photo by M. Stanley for DRWC.

In the winter season, the space turns into Winterfest, a winter wonderland of twinkling lights, fire pits and Lodge, through March 8, 2020.

Cherry Street Pier photo courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

Built into the shell of a century-old municipal pier, Cherry Street Pier has been redeveloped into a sprawling mixed-use public space. Much of the original structure has been preserved, including the original stone headhouses and exposed ceiling beams, creating a cool, industrial vibe. The pier serves as a collaborative creative space for artists and entrepreneurs and has an open-air garden, performance and event space, food vendors, pop-up shops and more for visitors, open year-round.

Pier 68 photo by M. Stanley for Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

Grab a fishing pole and try your luck at Pier 68, for sun bathing and recreational fishing. Washington Avenue Pier, also called Pier 53, features an elevated walkway and the Land Buoy, a 55-foot tall, spiral staircase that is open to visitors to enjoy a great view. The pier is also meant to honor the thousands of immigrants who passed through what was once called “Philadelphia’s Ellis Island.”

RiverLink Ferry photo by M. Stanley for DRWC.

Take the RiverLink Ferry across the Delaware River to visit the Adventure Aquarium or the Battleship New Jersey. The Camden Waterfront has numerous vantage points for incredible Philadelphia skyline photos! Ferry service is available in spring through the end of September.

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