Best Places To Picnic In Philadelphia

By Allen Foster

The City of Brotherly Love is not your typical big city. When you think about Philadelphia, there’s a good chance you’re not picturing the hustle and bustle of urban life, you’re thinking about history. This is where the Liberty Bell and the Declaration of Independence live. Names like George Washington and Ben Franklin are synonymous with the region. Instead of skyscrapers, there is Old City. And yes, there is traffic and congestion, but Philadelphia is a rarity because you never have to travel very far to find a verdant sanctuary. There’s a plethora of resplendent oases located within and around the city. Each, a picnicker’s paradise. Here are just a handful of the best places to nosh with nature in Philadelphia.

Penn Treaty Park
1301 N. Beach St.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 634-5300
www.penntreatypark.org

Located just a short walk from the Sugar House Casino on the Delaware River in Fishtown, one of Philadelphia’s most thriving neighborhoods, is a scenic retreat called Penn Treaty Park. According to local legend, Native Americans and William Penn exchanged pleasantries and land under an elm tree at the park in the late 1600s. Whether or not the “Great Treaty” was “fake news” is still open to debate, but it symbolized the desire for peace between the Leni Lenape and William Penn. The tiny park is so steeped in lore that breaking bread with friends at a picnic there is akin to kissing the Blarney Stone. You just gotta do it!

Franklin Square
200 N. Sixth St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 629-4026
www.historicphiladelphia.org

This prime patch of green is located on Race Street between 6th and 7th Streets. It is one of the five original open spaces in Philadelphia that was planned by William Penn, himself! The historic locale offers visitors a little more than a commune with nature. You can take a stroll around the Franklin Square Fountain (built in 1838), marvel at the Living Flame Memorial, and even go for a romp on the playground or take a ride on the Liberty Carousel. And, if you get tired of sitting in the grass eating your Square Burger, you can play a round of Philadelphia-themed miniature golf.

Race Street Pier
Race St and N. Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 922-2386
www.delawareriverwaterfront.com

This little strip of paradise sits next to (and nearly beneath) the Ben Franklin Bridge and juts out into the Delaware River. Any place you choose to park yourself on the Race Street Pier offers you a breathtaking view. You can relax on the terraced promenade and people watch or gaze out over the water and meditate to the boats drifting past while the wildlife splashes about. Once you visit this spacious, dog-friendly environment, chances are, it will become your favorite urban getaway!

Related: Top Burgers In Philadelphia

Spruce Street Harbor Park
301 S Christopher Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 922-2386
www.delawareriverwaterfront.com

Spruce Street Harbor Park is an urban beach that offers much more of an adventure than a leisurely picnicking experience. You can dig your toes in the sand or snag a cozy spot in a net suspended just above the Delaware River. You can stroll along the boardwalk or swing in one of the countless hammocks strung throughout the park. You can play a game of giant chess, take a ride in a paddle boat, partake of a number of games (Bocce, Shuffleboard, Skee Ball), go skating, or visit a beer garden. There is a vibrant magic infused in this park, which will turn your picnic into a day-cation!

Fairmount Park
1 Boathouse Row
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 683-0200
www.myphillypark.org

Not only is Fairmount Park the largest municipal park in the city, but it is touted as one of the largest city park systems in the world. The verdurous utopia contains walking trails, sports fields, gardens, public art, a reservoir, and more. With over 9,000 acres of nature residing on both sides of the Schuylkill River, Fairmount Park offers visitors endless options to explore until they discover the perfect picnicking location.

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