The Best Walks in the 10 Most Walkable U.S. Cities
There’s a lot for a walker to like about the City of Brotherly Love: a large system of parks and riverfront trails, historic Center City and Penn’s Landing, a bustling university population, and eclectic neighborhoods full of boutiques, coffee shops, and restaurants.
Best Walk: Boathouse Row and Fairmount Park
A brisk 3.5-mile stroll along the Schuylkill River will highlight many of Philadelphia’s charms, says Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia. Begin your walk at 25th and Locust streets, and head west toward the Schuylkill River. Turn right onto the Schuylkill River Trail, which runs 26 miles from Philadelphia all the way to Valley Forge. About a mile down the trail, you’ll get a good view of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (home to the famed Rocky Steps). Pass the museum on your right and then the city’s historic waterworks, and continue along the path through Fairmount Park. Next you’ll pass Boathouse Row, a collection of 19th-century boat sheds and social clubs on the river; about a mile later, you’ll come across the whimsical Playing Angels statues. From here, cut to your right across the grass to Fountain Green Drive. Take the path along Fountain Green Drive and turn right down the path toward Smith Playground. Cross Smith Day Nursery Drive and continue east along Reservoir Drive out of Fairmount Park. At the edge of the park (33rd and Oxford streets), catch the No. 32 city bus to Center City. To access the map, click here.
Alternate Walk: Center City, River to River
This 3.9-mile walk through history begins outside the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Start at Sixth Street and Chestnut Avenue, walking east on Chestnut. Turn left on Fifth Street and right on Arch Street. (Toss a penny onto Ben Franklin’s grave!) Turn right on Second Street and walk south toward Market Street. Turn left to walk across the Penn’s Landing Bridge, noting the historic ships and the Great Plaza below. Continue on the bridge until it meets back up with Chestnut Street, and take a right. Make a left on Third Street and then a right on Spruce Street. Walk half a mile and turn right on Broad Street, where you’ll see City Hall a few blocks north. Turn left on Locust Street at the Academy of Music, and walk until you reach Rittenhouse Square. Turn right and walk along 18th Street to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Turn left on the parkway, cut through Logan Square, and pass Sister Cities Park on your right. Continue on the parkway to 20th Street, and turn right into the Barnes Foundation, open late on Friday nights for live music.
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