Spring and summer are the perfect time to get out and explore the city. What better way than being guided through some of the coolest parts of the city by someone who knows it best? Whether you’re a long-time Philadelphian or just visiting, there are a lot of unique tour experiences in the city. Check out our top picks below, share your experiences with us on Twitter @phillyfunguide.
Take an hour walk into Philadelphia's Magic Gardens' alleyways along South Street to view Isaiah Zagar’s glittering mosaic creations! Led by a trained Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens interpreter, you’ll learn detailed information about Zagar’s technique along with the personal and community stories depicted in his large, shimmering murals. Tour admission also includes general admission to PMG's main site, which includes two galleries, an outdoor sculpture labyrinth, and 3,000 square feet of mosaicked space. Afterward, guests are treated to light refreshments and a sit-down talk with Isaiah Zagar himself!
Museum Without Walls™: Audio is a new kind of interpretive program for Philadelphia’s public art. Each audio program is told by a variety of people from all walks of life who are connected to the sculpture by knowledge, experience or affiliation. Nearly 100 “voices” at 35 stops explore 51 sculptures along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Kelly Drive.
A collaboration with internationally-renowned artist Stephen Powers, Love Letter is a series of over 50 rooftop murals and street-level signs in and around the Market Street corridor in West Philadelphia, spanning from 46th Street through 63rd Street created during the summer of 2009. On this weekly tour, take a ride on the El subway train accompanied by a Mural Arts Program tour guide to learn intimate details about the renowned Love Letter project and other murals along the way. Tour begins at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), Hamilton Building, located at 128 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102. Enter building on Broad Street side at Front Lobby entrance.
Come for an in-depth look at the Kimmel Center's architecture. This walk along the Avenue of the Arts allows you to view the Center in the context of the cityscape. Tour artworks on display throughout the Kimmel Center, including the Moore Galleries and the recently installed Percent for Art collection. This tour is approximately 90 minutes in duration. Call ahead to schedule your tour.
What better way to spend a beautiful afternoon than discovering authentic Philly street art? Philly Mural Arts have many guided and self-guided walking tours of their many murals across the city. It's a good way to learn the city, discover something new, get in touch with some fantastic art, and support a wonderful city staple program all at once!
No doubt you've probably seen one of these double decker bad boys crusing across town at some point, why not get on one?! Philadelphia Trolley Works offers this fun, interactive bus tour seven days a week, all day long. Hop on at any of the 21 stops and see exciting Philly landmarks such as the Rocky statue at the Art Museum, the Philadelphia Zoo (America's first zoo!), or Independence Hall.
Learn about some of Philly's most historic delicacies, while getting to taste them - what could be better than that? Beloved landmark Reading Terminal Market hosts their Taste of Philly Food Tours every Wednesday and Saturday at 10am. Guests can also watch pretzels being made, learn the story behind the Breyers Ice Cream logo, and how Milton Hershey came up with the idea for Hershey's Kisses.
Once the most famous prison in the country, Eastern State Penitentiary is now one of the most famous historical museums. Explore the cellblocks, Al Capone's famous cell, the solitary confinement cells and Death Row while learning the history of the prison and it's prior occupants.
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