Spruces Wild

July 10, 2014 4:55 PM

Spruce Street Harbor Park
Credit: Douglas Bovitt

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Credit: Douglas Bovitt

Credit: Douglas Bovitt

Spruce Street Harbor Park
401 South Columbus
Penn’s Landing Marina
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 629-3200

As evidenced by everyone and their mother’s Instagram feeds and early Leo DiCaprio films, the beach is pretty great…as long as you manage to steer clear of “herbal” farmers and Tilda Swinton.

And while this fact is unlikely to change at any age, we can think of one thing that would make it even better: not having to make the long, sunburned trek to-and-from the actual beach. Enter Spruce Street Harbor Park, a pop-up park featuring an urban beach, water garden, hammock orchard and floating barges that just opened at Penn’s Landing Marina.

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Epitomizing the feel of summer, this waterside hangout has completely transformed the riverfront space with gorgeously landscaped floating barges, a lily-pad-filled water garden, and an urban beach with a full wooden boardwalk, featuring old-school concessions and games in old shipping containers.

Without venturing past the city’s borders, you can have your own beach day, relaxing in one of the 50 colorful hammocks or Amish-made Adirondack chairs, avoiding the sun under the canopy of oversized umbrellas, or exploring the Caribbean-inspired cantilevered net lounge, a unique concept that leaves you suspended a few feet over the water. And when the sun goes down, you can stay warm near the fire pits by the Columbus Monument or under the canopy of 800 feet of stringed lights.

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Even the dining is of the floating variety, with James Beard Award-winner and Iron Chef Jose Garces’ The Blue Anchor restaurant and bar making its home in two repurposed shipping containers on one of the floating barge —fully completing the ultimate beach-but-not-a-beach experience. The casual menu features truffle-mushroom-topped burgers, old-school root beer floats, and “Shorty Fries” (fries topped with braised short ribs and Sly Fox cheddar sauce), all of which you can pair with rotating local brews (like Victory Summer Love, Yards Brawler and PBC Walt Wit), pitchers of sangria, and seasonal cocktails like the Root & Rye, a blend of Bulleit Rye, Art in the Age Root, orange bitters and fresh orange.

And the beauty of being able to indulge in it all – you don’t even have to wear a bathing suit.

By Arielle Sachar

Arielle Sachar writes and edits E.S.P. Eat. See. Play. lifestyle content for CBS Philadelphia.

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