Philly offers many options when it comes to taking in the sites, and catching a glimpse of its skyline and iconic landmarks bathed in the soft light at day’s end can be one of the most breathtaking. Whether you prefer to float, dine, sail or just sit and dream your way into the sunset, Philadelphia doesn’t disappoint.
Water Works Restaurant & Lounge
640 Water Works Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19130
While it may not offer panoramic views of the city from atop a skyscraper, Water Works Restaurant & Lounge offers a sunset experience that is uniquely Philadelphia. Catch the light show as the sun’s rays dance and sparkle, bouncing off the waters of the Schuylkill and the nearby skyscrapers that make up Philly’s skyline. Add to it the twinkling lights of the iconic boathouses along Philadelphia’s historic Boathouse Row, and you’ve got a romantic sunset experience that is like no other. Whether you are topping off your day of touring the city and museums with a drink on the veranda or attending a wedding or special event, Water Works Restaurant and Lounge is an ideal – and historic – spot to take in a Philly sunset.
50 S. 16th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
This swanky hotspot takes all the guesswork out of planning a romantic sunset dinner — you need only check the restaurant’s website on any given day for the exact time the sun will begin to set and make your reservation accordingly. With modern, sleek décor, stunning views of the city and an award-winning menu, R2L is known for its vibrant social scene and ambiance. Check the website for the sunset schedule, dress code, hours and reservation information.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
What better way to end a day of exploring the many masterpieces of art housed at this beloved Philly museum than to take in the ultimate work of art, a sunset over the City of Brotherly Love? To catch this must-see exhibit, head for the museum’s west entrance just before the sun begins its descent into the horizon. Or, for an equally breathtaking and uniquely Philadelphia view, claim a spot on those iconic steps facing the Ben Franklin Parkway and catch the stunning views reflected in the skyscrapers that make up Philadelphia’s Center City skyline. Either way, you’ll be witness to a masterpiece of nature.
3400 W. Girard Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
The perfect ending to any day at the Philadelphia Zoo is a ride in the Zoo Balloon. You and your entire family can enjoy a bird’s eye view of Fairmount Park and the Philadelphia skyline from the comfort of this 30-passenger attraction that is conveniently located near the Garden’s entrance. Soar to heights of 400 feet to enjoy panoramic views of the City of Brotherly Love. The adventure lasts for 10 to 15 minutes and provides the lucky end-of-day riders with spectacular sunset views during the late autumn and winter, thanks to the shorter daylight hours during the colder months. The balloon takes off during regular operating hours and is open year round, weather permitting. A value for the price, tickets begin at $50 for a family of four. Rides are free with a Family Deluxe Membership.
Patriot Harbor Lines
211 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
See the sun set over the city of Philadelphia from a sunset cruise along the Delaware River. Patriot Harbor Lines provides packages that combine your river-cruising experience with a visit to the Independence Seaport Museum and a variety of tour options ranging from one-hour to three-hour experiences. You’ll sail past the Camden Waterfront, Ben Franklin Bridge and Battleship New Jersey. Soak up the history and beauty of the Philadelphia skyline and the local landmarks that are bathed in shadows and fading lights as the sun sinks in the horizon.
Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.