Located in the heart of Center City, Rittenhouse Square is known for its green spaces, upscale shopping, charming brownstones and alfresco dining.
SEE: For panoramic views of the city, venture up to One Liberty Observation Deck on the 57th floor of the skyscraper. In addition to camera-worthy sights, you can enjoy interactive exhibits detailing noteworthy moments in Philadelphia history. The Rosenbach Museum & Garden holds the private collection of the Rosenbach brothers, noted rare book dealers. Among the treasures inside: the only surviving copy of Benjamin Franklin’s first Poor Richard’s Almanack, Bram Stoker’s notes for Dracula, the manuscript of James Joyce’s Ulysses and more than 100 personal letters of George Washington.
DO: The Rittenhouse Square Farmer’s Market, held Saturdays year-round from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, features goods from farmers throughout the Philadelphia region. The market vendors set up on Walnut Street between 18th and 19th Streets. Indulge in retail therapy—clothes and shoes are tax-free in Pennsylvania — along Rittenhouse Row, where you’ll find chic boutiques and national retailers. Stroll down the AVENUE OF THE ARTS (avenueofthearts.org), the section of South Broad Street from City Hall to Lombard Street, where you’ll find many of the city’s top theaters, including The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Academy of Music and Wilma Theater.
See the country’s finest collection of medical artifacts housed at The Mütter Museum, featuring anatomical specimens, models and medical instruments displayed in a Victorian “cabinet museum” setting. Discover the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia, which holds the private collection of the Rosenbach brothers, noted rare book dealers. Among the treasures inside: the only surviving copy of Benjamin Franklin’s ﬁrst Poor Richard’s Almanack, the manuscript of James Joyce’s Ulysses, the papers of poet Marianne Moore, Bram Stoker’s notes for Dracula, and more than one hundred personal letters of George Washington.
Take an architectural walk through the neighborhood to see many extraordinary structures including the Church of the Holy Trinity, dating to 1857 and known for its stained glass, including five windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel is housed in a magnificent, historic Gothic stone building that dates back to the 1890s. The First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia was built in 1872 and offers self-guided tours of the Victorian Gothic building, praised for its Tiffany stained-glass windows and stone carvings by Alexander Milne Calder.
DINE: Find farm-to-table fare at Pumpkin, a charming BYOB with a seasonal menu. Italian-born Chef Gianluca Demontis serves authentic Italian dishes and made-from-scratch pastas at Melograno, his airy BYOB eatery. Get the flavor of a trendy Parisian brasserie right here in Center City at Parc Restaurant. Complete with alfresco seating right on Rittenhouse Square, Parc offers a charming and comfortable dining experience any time of the day for any occasion and was declared one of the 100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America for 2018 by OpenTable.
Stay: The many hotel options in the neighborhood include the sophisticated AKA Rittenhouse Square, offering short- and long-term accommodations, the Rittenhouse, a premier luxury hotel located on the Square, or the elegant Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse, on the National Registry of Historic Places.