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Washington Square West and Gayborhood

Quaint, historic, filled with lively dining and a vibrant nightlife scene

The pulse of Washington Square West in Philadelphia is always beating. From inviting bars to entrancing performances, there is a lively scene waiting for you. 

What to Do

Explore the charming and historic streets found throughout Washington Square West. Stroll down Quince Street, a narrow north-south pathway lined with towering gingko trees. This popular street runs the length of Washington Square West and is one of the area’s top photo spots.

This neighborhood is also home to historical medical sites. Founded by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond in 1751, Pennsylvania Hospital is the nation’s first hospital and home to the first surgical amphitheater and medical library. Both can be viewed during a tour of the historic Pine Building, one of the finest examples of Colonial and Federal period architecture.

If you are a fan of live performances, there is no place you’d rather be than Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts. Ensemble Arts Philly is a collection of performing arts venues including the Kimmel Center, the Academy of Music and the Miller Theatre. Broadway shows dazzle every year as part of Ensemble Arts Philly’s Broadway Series. The campus is also home to the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of America’s “Big Five” symphony orchestras. Not far from the Avenue of the Arts, you can take in a show at the Walnut Street Theatre, America’s oldest theater. The Walnut Street Theatre presents classic and undiscovered musicals and plays, including a children’s series.


Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Photo courtesy of Ensemble Arts Philly


Where to Dine

If you’re seeking a cozy, intimate, and adventurous culinary experience venture into this neighborhood. Unexpected interpretations of Mexican classics are found on the expansive menu at El Vez. Time is a jazz club, whiskey bar, and restaurant all in one, with nightly big band performances. Home to iconic LGBTQ+ bars, the night is always still young when venturing out in the Gayborhood. At Tabu, catching a drag show is as common as catching the big game at this dynamic sports bar.

Where to Stay

For those looking to stay just steps away from the attractions, experiences, and restaurants in Washington Square West, there are plenty of options.

Stay within steps of the city’s top performing arts venues at the Cambria Hotel & Suites Philadelphia Downtown. With upscale amenities throughout 223 rooms, the hotel also features a rooftop bar, Attico, with picture-perfect views of downtown Philadelphia. Also located near Philadelphia’s performing arts venues is the DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City. With over 480 rooms available, the hotel also features an on-site bistro and bar and indoor swimming pool.

Newer properties include the Canopy by Hilton with over 230 rooms, modern amenities, and a ground-floor American brasserie, The Wayward. Or the Guild House Hotel, once named one of The Best New Hotels in the World by Travel + Leisure. This hotel fills the former home of the New Century Guild – one of the nation’s oldest and most prominent women’s empowerment organizations. The hotel features amenities from local women-owned businesses throughout the Victorian-era rowhouse.


The Guild House

The Guild House

The Morris House Hotel invites guests to stay in one of 17 boutique luxury rooms, each featuring designs that draw upon the history of the building. The hotel occupies the former home of the Morris family — complete with a charming outdoor garden perfect for events. The 119-room Fairfield Inn & Suites and the 168-room Holiday Inn Express are both situated near the restaurants and shops along 13th Street. Both hotels also provide complimentary breakfast and 24-hour fitness center. Another nearby option is the Alexander Inn, a historic building and popular boutique hotel.