Summer is 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.
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.
Let the moon guide you on a tour of the Schuylkill River. Professionally guided tours of the Schuylkill River between Walnut Street Dock and Fairmount Water Works, including 1/2 hour of instruction and 1 hour on the water. Moderate exertion level. Participants must be at least 8 years of age; 8-12 year old participants must be accompanied by an adult and paddle in a tandem kayak with that adult. Parental consent required for 18 and under. You can also do a kayak tour in the daylight!
Explore the famous Italian Market in the heart of South Philadelphia. Treat your tastebuds to the delicacies of Italian meats, cheeses, spices, chocolates, and pastries are you work your way down one of the most famous streets in the city. At the end of this culinary tour, you can enjoy a cheesesteak from two of the most prevalent names in the business, Pat’s and Geno’s.
If you’re looking for a fun thing to do outdoors in Philly, a Segway tour is the most fun you can have on two wheels. Your group can meet the guides at the Independence Visitor Center to experience more than 30 of Philadelphia’s most popular attractions on the Full City Tour, or drink in some American history and retrace the steps of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington on the Old City Historic Tour.
Explore the Barnes Arboretum-with its 31 state champion trees and rose, lilac, peony, and fern collections-as a remarkable example of early 20th-century landscape design, and an insight into the personalities and collecting philosophies of its founders. Tour is held on the campus in Merion.
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