If you’re exploring Fairmount, you can’t miss Eastern State--literally. The decommissioned penitentiary takes up a full city block, and now opens its gates to tourists in the mood to learn some unconventional history, or just snap some beautifully spooky photos. Insider's tip: Don’t skip the audio tour--it’s narrated by Steve Buscemi! And the penitentiary’s staff and special exhibits are excellent sources of knowledge on prison reform and social justice issues related to mass incarceration.
For us, no day is complete without a jolt of caffeine, and when we're in Fairmount Mugshots is our first stop. Its name may allude to the neighborhood's criminal history, but you won't find any fingerprinting stations or dirty prison cells here; just great coffee, cozy seating and a variety of light snack and sandwich options.
Philly's local music scene has never been better, thanks to indie venue mainstays like North Star Bar. This must-play room for up-and-coming bands is your best bet for great live music in Fairmount.
Need a creative fix? Since 2004, Philly Art Center: Fairmount has offerred classes for all ages as a community hub of creativity. Sign up the kids for art and music, or unleash your own inner artist with more advanced adult classes in painting, sculpture and screenprinting.