Most visitors traveling to Philadelphia for the holidays or on business soon discover how easily the City of Brotherly Love can become the City of Brotherly “Love-handles” with so many fine restaurants, famous eateries and delectable, albeit carb-loaded treats like soft-pretzels, cheesesteaks, hoagies and beer. The city will grow on you, both figuratively and literally, if you are not careful. Fortunately, as long as you know where to go for a great workout during your visit to Philadelphia, you can safely unpack your suitcase and enjoy a memorable visit without worrying about packing on the pounds. No fitness center in your hotel? No worries! Try one of these top spots for staying fit next time you visit.
Brasil’s Restaurant & Nightspot
112 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Combine good food and a great workout. Dance the night away while enjoying a fun night out on the town at Brasil’s Restaurant & Nightspot located in Philadelphia’s Center City. Voted Philly’s hottest Latin nightclub for 15 years and counting, you don’t have to be an experienced dancer to enjoy this dance-floor workout. Latin dance lessons are provided by professional instructors three nights a week, perfect for the novice dancer or anyone who simply wants to hone their skills and learn the latest moves. Every Wednesday and Friday night, lessons are provided by La Luna Dance Studio from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., with a cover charge. Saturday nights it’s Estilo Dance Studio providing dance lessons from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. If you happen to be in town on the first Thursday of the month, head to Brasil’s for a special night of tropical music dance at Salsa of Brasil’s, which features Calle Luna and Estilo dancers, salsa lessons and a special guest DJ.
950 N. Penn St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Rock climbing is a great way to burn calories and have fun while doing it. Test your endurance while toning your muscles at Go Vertical, a climber’s paradise with 250 different climbing routes and a vertical range of 50 feet to challenge even experienced climbers. Never gone rock climbing before? No worries. Even if you are new to the sport, this gym offers beginner courses that will have you climbing – and working up a sweat – from day one. To appeal to the competitive visitor, Go Vertical offers climbing routes that vary by difficulty and are designed to offer challenges for seasoned athletes and would-be athletes alike.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Famous the world over as the iconic stairs from the movie “Rocky,” many visitors and residents alike flock to the Philadelphia Museum of Art each day to run the stairs like Sylvester Stallone’s character did in the movie. The image of Rocky Balboa triumphantly reaching the top of those 72 stairs is the epitome of getting in shape, and a reminder that you don’t necessarily need a gym membership to achieve the results. Whether walking or running up and down the famous steps that overlook the Philly skyline over the Ben Franklin Parkway, you can count on getting a champion’s workout. Afterwards, make sure to check out some of the many masterpieces of art housed at this beloved Philly museum, and don’t forget to get your picture taken with the Rocky statue at the base of the staircase.
Red Hot Dance Fitness
2307 Chestnut St., Suite 30413
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Voted Best Dance-Inspired Workout of 2013 in Philadelphia Magazine, Red Hot Dance Fitness is red hot among the local dance-fitness set and is also rapidly growing in popularity in cities nationwide. The program, which “combines the hottest music with even hotter moves,” was created by Philadelphia-area fitness professional Christine Gallagher, an AFAA and ACE certified group exercise and dance instructor with 22 specialized certifications. Featured on multiple television and radio broadcasts as well as online and in print news, Red Hot Fitness classes are available to Philly-area residents and visitors alike, and with easy-to-follow dance moves set to your favorite songs, this program is for everyone. Classes are available online or live in a nearby studio.
Valley Forge National Historical Park
Mount Joy and Mount Misery Trails
1400 N. Outer Line Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Hiking is the ideal way to strengthen muscles, build endurance and burn calories. You can join the Philadelphia Trail Club for a five- to 10-mile hike in or around Philly, or head out on your own to hike one of the area’s many trails, such as those at Valley Forge National Historical Park. Brimming with history, Valley Forge is a “can’t miss” Philadelphia-area attraction with miles of well-kept trails – many with easy access to parking and restrooms. Philadelphia-area hiking expert Shane “Jester” O’Donnell recommends the Mount Joy and Mount Misery trails at Valley Forge, both of which can be accessed from Washington’s headquarters. Both trails, O’Donnell says, offer moderate to difficult, hilly, wooded climbs with some interesting ruins along the way.
Related: Top Hiking Trails In Philadelphia
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.