Explore the vibrant riverfront activities that Philadelphia has to offer! From leisurely walks along gorgeous waterfront parks to exciting kayak tours on the Delaware River, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Immerse yourself in the captivating scenery as you stroll along the Schuylkill River Trail or experience the thrill of jet skiing on the sparkling blue waters. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an exhilarating adventure, Philadelphia’s riverfront has it all. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey and discover the endless possibilities that await you! If you’re looking for fun and exciting ways to enjoy the beautiful riverfront in Philadelphia, you’re in luck! There are plenty of water sports and recreational activities available that are sure to keep you entertained. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking to relax, there’s something for everyone.
Kayaking and Canoeing
One of the most popular riverfront activities is kayaking and canoeing. You can rent a kayak or canoe at various locations along the river and explore the scenic waters at your own pace. Take in the stunning views of the city skyline as you paddle along the river, or venture further and explore some of the smaller waterways that branch off from the main river.
Another great way to enjoy the river is through paddleboarding. Stand on a paddleboard and use a paddle to maneuver through the water, providing a unique and fun way to get around. It’s not only a great workout for your core and balance, but also a peaceful way to take in the sights and sounds of the river.
For those who enjoy fishing, the riverfront in Philadelphia offers plenty of opportunities to cast your line and reel in some fish. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, there are guided fishing tours available that can help you navigate the waters and increase your chances of catching something.
Boat Tours and Cruises
If you prefer a more leisurely approach to exploring the riverfront, consider taking a boat tour or cruise. Sit back and relax as you glide along the river, taking in the sights and learning about the history and landmarks of Philadelphia. There are several companies that offer guided tours, some even with live entertainment or dining options on board.
For the thrill-seekers out there, jet skiing is a popular option on the riverfront. Rent a jet ski and feel the rush as you zip across the water, enjoying the adrenaline and the stunning views of the city. This is a great activity for those looking to add a little excitement to their day on the river.
If you have a love for sailing or want to try something new, consider taking a sailing excursion on the river. Experience the thrill of sailing with the wind in your sails as you navigate the river’s currents. There are sailing lessons available for beginners, as well as opportunities to join a guided sailing tour.
For those hot summer days, cool off by taking a dip in the river. While swimming in the river is allowed, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Be aware of any posted signs or advisories, and only swim in designated areas. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to swim with a buddy and be mindful of any currents or water conditions.
Beyond water sports and recreation, there are also plenty of parks and trails along the riverfront that offer a different kind of outdoor experience.
Schuylkill River Trail
The Schuylkill River Trail is a popular destination for walkers, runners, and cyclists. Spanning over 30 miles, this trail provides a scenic route along the river, connecting various neighborhoods and attractions. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an intense bike ride, the Schuylkill River Trail has something for everyone.
Race Street Pier
Located on the Delaware River, Race Street Pier offers stunning views of the city skyline and the river. Take a leisurely walk along the pier or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The pier is also a popular spot for yoga classes, outdoor movies, and other special events.
Penn’s Landing is a waterfront area located along the Delaware River, offering a wide range of activities and attractions. Take a stroll along the scenic promenade, enjoy a picnic in one of the parks, or catch a concert or outdoor movie at the Great Plaza. There are also several restaurants and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat while enjoying the waterfront views.
Spruce Street Harbor Park
Spruce Street Harbor Park is a vibrant and lively destination along the riverfront, known for its hammocks, floating gardens, and colorful LED lights. This park offers a unique and interactive experience, with arcade games, food vendors, and even a floating beer garden. It’s the perfect place to relax and soak up the lively atmosphere of Philadelphia.
Glen Foerd on the Delaware
Glen Foerd on the Delaware is a historic estate and park located along the river, offering beautiful gardens and stunning views of the water. Take a guided tour of the mansion, explore the picturesque grounds, or simply relax and enjoy a picnic on the lawn. This hidden gem provides a tranquil and scenic escape from the bustling city.
Penn Treaty Park
Penn Treaty Park is a historic waterfront park that celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Pittsburgh in 1682. This peaceful park offers plenty of green space, picnic areas, and a playground for the kids. It’s a great spot to relax, take in the river views, and learn about the history of Philadelphia.
When it comes to enjoying a picnic or having a barbecue, there are several designated areas along the riverfront that offer the perfect spot.
Bartram’s Garden is a historic garden and arboretum located along the Schuylkill River, offering a peaceful and beautiful setting for a picnic. Explore the gardens, take a guided tour, or simply find a cozy spot to enjoy your lunch. This hidden gem is a great place to escape the city and enjoy nature.
Port Richmond Trailhead and Greenway
Located on the Delaware River, the Port Richmond Trailhead and Greenway is a great spot for a picnic or barbecue. There are picnic tables and grills available for use, making it the perfect place to gather with friends and family. Enjoy the river views and take advantage of the recreational activities available, such as biking or jogging along the trail.
Pleasant Hill Park
Pleasant Hill Park is a small but charming riverside park located along the Schuylkill River. With picnic tables, grills, and a playground, it’s a great spot for a family picnic or a casual barbecue with friends. Take in the peaceful river views and enjoy the serenity of this hidden gem.
Spruce Street Harbor Park
In addition to its water sports and recreational activities, Spruce Street Harbor Park is also a great spot for a picnic or barbecue. With its hammocks, lounge chairs, and colorful LED lights, it provides a unique and lively atmosphere. Grab some food from the nearby vendors or bring your own picnic and enjoy a meal with a view.
Penn Treaty Park
Penn Treaty Park is not only a great spot for sightseeing, but also for picnicking and barbecuing. This historic park offers plenty of green space, picnic tables, and grills for public use. Gather your friends and family, bring some food, and enjoy a relaxing day by the river.
Throughout the year, there are also several outdoor concerts and events that take place along the riverfront, providing entertainment for all ages.
Spruce Street Harbor Park
Spruce Street Harbor Park comes alive in the evenings, with live entertainment and performances. Enjoy live music from local bands, dance to the beats of a DJ, or sit back and relax as you watch a movie under the stars. The park hosts a variety of events throughout the year, so be sure to check the schedule for upcoming concerts and performances.
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
Located at Penn’s Landing, the Great Plaza is a popular venue for outdoor concerts and events. From free summer concerts to festivals and cultural celebrations, there’s always something happening at the Great Plaza. Grab a blanket or a lawn chair and enjoy live music, dance performances, or a fireworks show.
Mann Center for the Performing Arts
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts is an open-air amphitheater located in Fairmount Park, just a short distance from the riverfront. This venue hosts a variety of concerts and performances, featuring world-renowned artists and musicians. Enjoy a night of live music in a unique and beautiful setting.
The BB&T Pavilion is located on the Camden Waterfront, just across the river from Philadelphia. This outdoor amphitheater hosts a wide range of concerts and events, featuring both national and international artists. Sit back and enjoy the show while taking in the breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline.
Philadelphia is known for its rich history and iconic landmarks, and the riverfront is no exception. There are several sightseeing opportunities that showcase the city’s historical and cultural attractions.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Located near the riverfront, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the United States. Explore its vast collection of art and artifacts, ranging from ancient to contemporary works. Don’t forget to run up the famous “Rocky Steps” and enjoy the panoramic views of the city from the museum’s iconic steps.
Independence National Historical Park
As the birthplace of America, Independence National Historical Park is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. This park is home to several significant landmarks, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the National Constitution Center. Take a guided tour or explore on your own to learn about the rich history of Philadelphia and the United States.
Boathouse Row is a historic and picturesque row of boathouses located along the Schuylkill River. This iconic landmark is known for its beautiful architecture and its significance in the sport of rowing. Take a stroll along the river’s edge and admire the stunning rowing clubs that line the riverbank.
Benjamin Franklin Bridge
The Benjamin Franklin Bridge is not only a vital transportation link between Philadelphia and New Jersey but also a stunning architectural feat. Take a walk or bike ride across the bridge to enjoy panoramic views of the city and the river. It’s a great way to appreciate the beauty of the riverfront from a different perspective.
Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary is a historic prison that offers a unique and eerie glimpse into the past. Take a guided tour of this former prison and learn about its history and notorious inmates. Explore the crumbling cellblocks and hear fascinating stories about life inside the walls of this historic institution.
When it’s time to grab a bite to eat or relax with a cup of coffee, the riverfront in Philadelphia offers plenty of options.
Water Works Restaurant and Lounge
Located in Fairmount Park, the Water Works Restaurant and Lounge offers breathtaking views of the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline. Enjoy a delicious meal or a refreshing cocktail on their outdoor terrace, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the river. It’s the perfect spot for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.
Moshulu is a unique restaurant located on a historic four-masted sailing ship that is permanently docked on the Delaware River. Enjoy fine dining in a one-of-a-kind setting, with stunning views of the river through the ship’s large windows. It’s a great place to celebrate a special occasion or simply enjoy a memorable meal.
If you’re feeling lucky, head to SugarHouse Casino located along the Delaware River. This waterfront casino offers a wide range of gaming options, as well as several dining options. From upscale restaurants to casual eateries, there’s something to satisfy every craving. After enjoying a meal, try your luck at the gaming tables or slot machines.
La Peg Brasserie
La Peg Brasserie is a French-inspired restaurant located at FringeArts, a contemporary arts venue along the Delaware River. This trendy eatery offers a modern twist on classic French cuisine, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy a delicious meal in their stylish dining room or on their spacious outdoor patio.
Chart House is a waterfront restaurant located on the Delaware River, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline from their dining room and outdoor patio. Known for their seafood and steaks, Chart House provides a fine dining experience with a focus on fresh and delicious dishes. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a romantic dinner or celebrate a special occasion.
Throughout the year, there are several events and light shows that take place along the riverfront, providing a beautiful spectacle for visitors.
SugarHouse Casino Fireworks
SugarHouse Casino hosts a fireworks show throughout the year, lighting up the night sky along the riverfront. Grab a spot along the river or watch from a nearby park as the fireworks fill the sky with color and excitement. It’s a great way to end a day of exploring the riverfront.
During the winter months, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation transforms the area into a winter wonderland with RiverRink Winterfest. This seasonal attraction features an outdoor ice skating rink, festive decorations, and a cozy lodge where you can warm up with hot chocolate and snacks. Be sure to check the schedule for special events and themed nights.
Waterfront Winterfest is another winter attraction along the riverfront, featuring an enchanting light show and holiday-themed decorations. Walk along the river promenade and admire the festive lights, or cozy up in one of the many heated tents and enjoy live music or other entertainment. It’s a magical experience for visitors of all ages.
Spruce Street Harbor Park
In addition to its other offerings, Spruce Street Harbor Park also hosts dazzling light shows throughout the year. Watch as the park becomes illuminated with colorful LED lights, creating a captivating visual display. Take a leisurely stroll through the park and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.
Philadelphia is a city known for its vibrant festivals and fairs, and the riverfront is no exception.
Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest is a seasonal attraction that offers fun for the whole family. This waterfront park features roller skating, carnival rides, games, and food vendors. Spend a day exploring the various activities and attractions, or simply relax and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Philadelphia Flower Show
The Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, attracting visitors from around the world. This annual event showcases stunning floral displays, elaborate gardens, and unique floral arrangements. Take a stroll through the exhibits and be inspired by the beauty and creativity on display.
XPoNential Music Festival
The XPoNential Music Festival is a popular annual music festival that takes place along the riverfront. This three-day event features performances by a wide range of artists and bands, representing various genres and styles. Enjoy live music, discover new talent, and soak up the lively atmosphere of this beloved festival.
Paddle Penn’s Landing
Paddle Penn’s Landing is an annual event that celebrates all things paddling. This festival offers kayaking, rowing, and paddleboarding activities for all skill levels. Take a guided tour, participate in a race, or simply enjoy a day on the water. It’s a great way to experience the riverfront from a different perspective.
Philadelphia is a city rich in history and culture, and the riverfront provides several opportunities to explore and learn.
Independence Seaport Museum
The Independence Seaport Museum is dedicated to preserving Philadelphia’s maritime history and showcasing the city’s relationship with the Delaware River. Explore the museum’s exhibits and artifacts, step aboard historic ships, or take a boat ride along the river for a unique perspective. It’s a great place to learn about Philadelphia’s maritime heritage.
National Museum of American Jewish History
The National Museum of American Jewish History offers a comprehensive look at the Jewish experience in America. Explore the museum’s exhibits and collections, which highlight the contributions and stories of American Jews throughout history. Gain a deeper understanding of the diverse cultural fabric of Philadelphia and the United States.
Museum of the American Revolution
Located just steps from the riverfront, the Museum of the American Revolution tells the story of America’s fight for independence. Discover the struggles and triumphs of the Revolutionary era through interactive exhibits, immersive galleries, and artifact displays. Gain a deeper appreciation for the history and significance of Philadelphia in the birth of our nation.
Franklin Square is a historic park located near the riverfront, offering a range of family-friendly activities and attractions. Take a ride on the carousel, play a round of miniature golf, or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. This park also hosts events and festivals throughout the year, providing entertainment for visitors of all ages.
Glen Foerd Mansion
Glen Foerd Mansion is a historic house museum located along the Delaware River, offering a glimpse into Philadelphia’s past. Take a guided tour of the mansion and learn about its architecture, history, and the lives of its former residents. Explore the beautiful grounds and gardens, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of this hidden gem.
For those who prefer a leisurely stroll along the riverfront, there are several scenic walks that offer peace and serenity.
Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk
The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk is a scenic walkway that stretches along the river, providing breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline. Take a leisurely stroll, go for a jog, or simply sit on one of the benches and enjoy the tranquility of the river. This elevated walkway offers a unique perspective of the riverfront.
Delaware River Trail
The Delaware River Trail is a multi-use trail that runs along the Delaware River, offering a peaceful and scenic route for walkers, runners, and cyclists. Escape from the city and immerse yourself in nature as you explore this beautiful trail. The trail spans several miles and provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy the riverfront.
Race Street Pier
Race Street Pier is not only a great spot for picnicking and fishing, but also for a relaxing waterfront walk. Stroll along the river’s edge, take in the views of the river and the city skyline, or simply sit on one of the benches and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. This hidden gem provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Walnut Street Dock
Walnut Street Dock is a small park and dock along the Delaware River, offering a peaceful and picturesque place for a leisurely walk. Enjoy the river views, watch the boats go by, or simply relax on one of the benches and take in the natural beauty of the riverfront.
Bank Street Pier
Located in the historic neighborhood of Society Hill, Bank Street Pier offers a tranquil spot for a relaxing waterfront walk. Take a leisurely stroll along the pier or sit on one of the benches and enjoy the river views. This hidden oasis provides a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
With so many options for riverfront activities in Philadelphia, you can enjoy the beauty and serenity of the river while exploring the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. Whether you’re interested in water sports, outdoor concerts, or simply relaxing by the water, there’s something for everyone on the Philadelphia riverfront. So grab your kayak, lace up your walking shoes, or pack a picnic and head to the riverfront for a day of fun and adventure. The river is waiting for you!