Philadelphia’s Delaware River Waterfront
Philadelphia's waterfront comes alive in the summertime. Photo by M. Stanley courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.
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.
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 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.
Head to the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest 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.
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.
Enjoy Philadelphia’s newest, largest open-air market series, running Saturdays now through November 16. The Food Trust’s Market at Cherry Street Pier combines the traditional farmers market with rotating programming that includes food trucks, local retailers, creative sellers and visual artists for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Enjoy a meal while floating on the Moshulu, a Tall Ship tethered to the shore. The largest and oldest square-rigged sailing vessel still afloat, the historic ship is the only restaurant venue of its kind in the world, with a menu of innovative seafood dishes, prime cuts of steak and perfect wine pairings.
Head to Keating’s Rope and Anchor, Bar and Kitchen for unmatched Delaware waterfront views. The signature hotel bar is located in the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing and the outdoor patio is perfect for enjoying a handcrafted cocktail on a sunny day. Specializing in sustainable seafood dishes, Keating’s also oers an ample beer and wine list in a maritime-inspired setting.
Take in spectacular views of the Philadelphia skyline, the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Delaware River with elegant ambience while enjoying the freshest seafood, succulent steaks and excellent service at the Chart House.
SugarHouse Casino is open 24 hours a day with 1,891 slot machines, 103 table games, a 28-table poker room and six dining options including Hugo’s Frog Bar and Chop House, a Chicago-style steakhouse with live music and a waterfront view.
At La Veranda, enjoy the rustic Roman antique interior while dining on fresh fish from the Mediterranean. All meats are cut to order and prepared on a natural wood burning grill and outdoor dining is available on the balcony with views of the Delaware River and the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Sports fan? Find HDTVs at every turn at Dave & Buster’s, with stadium sound, sports viewing parties, game day specials and more, plus arcade and dockside bar in the summer.
La Peg at FringeArts is located across from Race Street Pier and Cherry Street Pier with sweeping views of the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Delaware River. The bar and restaurant serves American favorites, live performances in cooperation with FringeArts, and is open late. La Peg opens for the season on May 5.
Sightseeing and dining and dancing cruises are available on the Spirit of Philadelphia all year long. Options include lunch, dinner, holiday and specialty themed voyages on climate-controlled interior decks with an onboard DJ. Get the perfect panoramic photo op of the Philadelphia skyline on the rooftop deck.
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 through September 29.