Look no further than Philadelphia for an abundance of romantic experiences, including strolls and selfies in iconic LOVE Park and love-themed excursions to see dreamy murals in West Philadelphia. Journey into the clouds to sip well-crafted cocktails followed by a late-night couples massage, or treat your significant other to intimate dining experiences throughout the city.
Take in a romantic sunrise
Begin your love-filled journey through the City of Brotherly Love by watching the sun rise from one of Philadelphia’s top vantage points. For scenic views of the Delaware River, Race Street Pier is an intimate spot for picnics and watching the sun rise, just under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Along Philadelphia’s other river, the Schuylkill, watch the sun ascend above the Center City skyscrapers from a picturesque perch on the South Street Bridge. Or, start the day with a breakfast picnic high atop Belmont Plateau in West Fairmount Park, which presents stunning views of the surrounding park space as the sun rises over the downtown skyline in the distance.
A selfie and stroll around LOVE Park
No visit to Philadelphia is complete without a stop at the famous LOVE Park, located in the heart of the city and just steps away from City Hall. Formally known as John F. Kennedy Plaza, the half-acre park is now affectionately referred to as LOVE Park thanks to Robert Indiana’s LOVE statue. The quintessential public art piece, which was placed in the park as part of the nation’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976, is one of the most photographed spots in the city. After snapping a selfie with your loved one at the LOVE statue, take a stroll along the scenic Benjamin Franklin Parkway — passing yet another of Indiana’s romantic sculptures along the way — to eventually arrive at the green beginnings of Fairmount Park.
Admire love letters painted on buildings throughout West Philadelphia
Originally launched as an anti-graffiti program in 1984, Mural Arts Philadelphia has transformed some of Philadelphia’s most unassuming locations and now boasts over 4,000 works of community-based public art. The nation’s largest public art program, Mural Arts Philadelphia offers the opportunity to see some of these murals on guided and self-guided tours, including the two-hour Love Letter Train Tour, which takes visitors through A Love Letter for You by renowned street artist Steve ESPO Powers. In 2010, Powers collaborated with the West Philadelphia community to create a series of 50 murals that collectively form an open-ended love letter, perceived either as messages from a lover to their partner, or as odes to the city itself.
TIP: Look for special Valentine’s Day tours of the Love Letter murals offered by Mural Arts Philadelphia in early February each year.
Treat your sweetheart to chocolate from a historic candy store
Found along Market Street in Old City, Shane Confectionery is the nation’s oldest continuously operating candy store, specializing in sweet treats made using traditional recipes and equipment. Owned by the same brothers behind neighboring Franklin Fountain and Franklin Ice Cream Bar, Shane Confectionery follows in the footsteps of its sister shops by presenting its storefront and products in an authentic, turn-of-the-century fashion, with vintage cash registers, display cases, signage, and other antique elements throughout the space. The treats themselves also call back to the early days of Philadelphia and include options such as clear toy candies (a Pennsylvania Dutch hard candy made by pouring molten sugar into playful molds), bean-to-bar chocolates, and seasonal confections available for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas.
Walk through a dreamy garden in Philadelphia’s Countryside
Relax and explore lush courtyards of tropicals, perennials and containers, a colorful cut-flower and vegetable garden, an exotic woodlands ruin garden and ponds and a water garden at the 35-acre Chanticleer Garden, recipient of the North American Garden Tourism Award for best garden and located just 30 minutes west of Philadelphia. Chanticleer is just one of 37 public gardens, arboreta and historic landscapes within 30 miles of downtown Philadelphia that establish the region as America’s Garden Capital. Other romantic garden destinations include the 1,000+ acre Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, home to the most significant fountain collection in North America, and Andalusia Historic House, Gardens and Arborteum along the Delaware River in Bucks County, which features over 800 trees throughout the property as well as a historic mansion that is considered one of the finest and earliest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the nation.
Whisper sweet nothings in West Philadelphia
Take a seat at one end of the Smith Memorial Arch in West Fairmount Park while your special someone sits on the opposite end. Whisper into the monument and the bench will carry your voice from one partner to the other. Rent a bike from a nearby Indego station and explore more of the public art on view throughout Fairmount Park with the help of the Museum Without Walls Audio Tour offered by the Association for Public Art, the country’s first private entity dedicated to public art.
Relish in an evening of live music outdoors at the Mann Center
Enjoy a romantic concert under the stars at the Mann Center, a 22-acre outdoor venue in Fairmount Park. The spacious hilltop venue offers plenty of lawn space perfect for picnics set to live music while also presenting one of the most impressive views of the Philadelphia skyline in the distance. Upgrade to VIP Club with private and early entry, dedicated in-seat wait service, and private box seats with more legroom.
Enjoy cocktails and a couples massage in the clouds
Located on the 60th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center — Philadelphia’s first-and-only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel — JG SkyHigh specializes in cocktail-hour experiences with unmatchable city views. Created by French-American chef Jean-Georges, the premier cocktail bar offers a range of wines, beers and cocktails by the glass, including Rittenhouse Rye Manhattans, Ginger Margaritas and Spiced Pear Daiquiris. The sleek and minimalist-designed hotel occupies the top floors of the impressive new 60-story Comcast Technology Center, Philadelphia’s tallest tower offering unobstructed 360° views of the city. For more signature hotel bars in Philadelphia, click here.
After cocktails, head to the Four Seasons’ 57th floor Spa — which also achieved the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star rating — and settle in for a luxurious couples massage on the deck of the hotel’s infinity pool as part of the premier property’s new Night Spa experience. Beginning at 10:30 p.m., the infinity pool space becomes all yours for an hour-long massage followed by champagne and private pool access until 1 a.m., To learn more about Night Spa, and for more Four Seasons couples experiences, click here.
Channel your love into a custom clay creation at The Clay Studio
Book a fun date night at The Clay Studio as instructors guide you through an evening of pottery-making by candlelight, complete with light food and champagne. After you’re finished, explore the rotating exhibitions of ceramic works in the Studio’s galleries and browse the gift shop to find an assortment handmade items including mugs, artwork, gifts and more.
Dine at one of Philadelphia’s intimate restaurants
Just steps away from charming Rittenhouse Square, The Love — rated one of the most romantic restaurants in America by Forbes — is an intimate restaurant that serves enticing cuisine across a main dining and bar area, plus outdoor seating along 18th Street and a cozy upper-level loft. Created by Aimee Olexy and Stephen Starr, the restaurant offers modern American cuisine with indulgent meals including the “Lovebird” seasonal buttermilk fried chicken, a “Labor of Love” American artisan cheese board and a “Rapture Blondie Sundae.” For couples looking to rekindle their romance over a drink, The Love’s one-of-a-kind beverage program is inspired by personal travels to vineyards and breweries in the region.
Other romantic dining destinations include Starr Restaurant concepts such as Barclay Prime, Butcher & Singer, Parc, and Talula’s Garden. Not to be missed are the cozy settings found at Schulson Collective’s Harp & Crown and Double Knot restaurants, with the latter serving a full range of Japanese cuisine including sushi, robatayaki meats, mochi and more in an underground, candlelit izakaya (or outdoors along the boutique-lined 13th Street).