Top Romantic Spots and Activities in Philadelphia
There’s lots to adore, including hotel packages, spa treatments & restaurants
Philadelphia, aptly dubbed the City of Brotherly Love, caters to lovers looking to re-energize their relationships at cultural sites, romantic eateries, outdoor attractions and other swoon-worthy spots. Set out and explore the city’s romantic side with our top date ideas and see what Philadelphia is like after dark.
Couples can make it a weekend—or longer—with one of several romantic hotel packages, including our popular Philly Overnight® Hotel Package which includes two nights and free parking.
Here are a few suggestions for embracing the region’s romantic side:
In the winter, starry-eyed skaters glide hand-in-hand outside at the Blue Cross RiverRink on the Delaware River waterfront at Penn’s Landing. When couples need a break from the cold, they can huddle around a cup of cocoa together in the warming pavilion.
Details: Columbus Boulevard at Market Street | (215) 925-RINK
Tucked in a corner brownstone a few blocks off Rittenhouse Square, Friday Saturday Sunday has long been a local favorite of amorous couples craving traditional American cuisine and great reasonably priced wines.
Details: 261 S. 21st Street | (215) 546-4232
After a day in the Chester County countryside, foodies favor the Birchrunville Store Café, a bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot known for its contemporary French-Italian cuisine, located inside a former general store with a lovely front porch. The drive to this tucked-away spot will put anyone in the mood, and the candlelit dining room encourages whispery tête-à-têtes.
Details: 1403 Hollow Road, Birchrunville | (610) 827-9002
Pianists and opera singers serenade sweethearts every Saturday and Sunday night at “Singing Chef” Frank Borda’s High Note Cafe, where sumptuous sounds and passed-down Italian recipes make this South Philly mainstay so special.
Details: 1549 S. 13th Street | (215) 755-8903
What was once an 18th-century granary is now a cozy Italian restaurant, with a sought-after secluded dining spot nestled within its wine cellar. With seating for two, dinner by candlelight and an after-dinner limoncello libation, the private table at Society Hill’s Bistro Romano is as intimate as it gets.
Details: 120 Lombard Street | (215) 925-8880
Built as a private home in 1754, the elegant Dilworthtown Inn in Chester County was nearly destroyed by the British in the 1777 Battle of Brandywine. The residence became an inn in 1780, and proprietors Jim Barnes and Bob Rafetto restored it in 1972. Today, romantics adore it for its well-crafted New American cuisine, 900-bottle wine cellar and Old World setting.
Details: 1390 Old Wilmington Pike, West Chester | (610) 399-1390
Romantic Restaurant Views
In the shadow of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Water Works Restaurant and Lounge is perfect for a riverside cocktail on the patio overlooking Boathouse Row or an intimate contemporary American meal inside. It opened in 2006 following a remodeling of the city’s historic fresh water delivery facility, and Saveur magazine named it one of the “Top 100 Experiences in the World,” and AOL CityGuide named it the “Best Romantic Restaurant” and “Best Restaurant with a View.”
Details: 640 Water Works Drive | (215) 236-9000
For a natural high, love-struck men and women can grab their honeys and take the elevator to the top floor of the Hyatt at The Bellevue Philadelphia to XIX (Nineteen). The elegant atmosphere, delicious food and sparkling wine perfectly complement the sweeping nighttime views of the city.
Details: 200 S. Broad Street, 19th floor | (215) 790-1919
Breathtaking city views that span more than 40 miles add a grand atmosphere to Daniel Stern’s R2L, where couples travel 500 feet above Center City to the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place. The brunch, lunch and dinner menus feature creative American cuisine, served in an ultra modern dining room.
Details: 50 S. 16th Street, 37th floor | (215) 564-5337
For daytime romance, brunch at the Swann Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia is a must. From tables overlooking the iconic Swann Fountain, lovebirds could easily spend hours sipping champagne and indulging in the dozens of choices from the buffet—crepes, quiches, salads, seafood and desserts.
Details: 1 Logan Square | (215) 963-1500
The culinary delights served at Lacroix are rivaled only by the picturesque view of Rittenhouse Square outside the glass windows of this fine dining spot. The Rittenhouse Hotel’s signature restaurant serves French-influenced fusion cuisine with a generous portion of sunset gazing as visual accompaniment.
Details: 210 W. Rittenhouse Square | (215) 546-9000
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Romance
Anna Maria Florio shares her Italian heritage during weekend and weeknight cooking classes that range from topics like handmade pasta and desserts to knife skills and seasonal wines. Held at her La Cucina at the Market inside the historic Reading Terminal Market, the classes combine the culinary know-how of Anna—or one of the many other talented instructors—with colorful discussions and lessons in cooking traditions.
Details: 11th & Arch Streets | (215) 922-1170
For some hands-on action, the monthly Date Night at The Clay Studio is just the place to bring or meet a special someone. To make the clay creations, the staff fires up the kilns and couples share a wheel.
Details: 139 N. 2nd Street | (215) 925-3453
At Tria Fermentation School, cheese, wine and beer make up the syllabus for one-night classes with names like “Fortified Wine: Only the Strong Survive.” Brewers, vintners, cheese makers, importers and authors share their knowledge with gastronomy- and oenology-loving students in a low-pressure environment.
Details: 1601 Walnut Street, Suite 620 | (215) 972-7076
People looking to put a little spring in their step can find it at the Society Hill Dance Academy, where $20 buys entry into a lively, drop-in dance class at the Manayunk or Center City locations. No experience or reservation is necessary to join a 45-minute group introduction to dances like the salsa, cha-cha, foxtrot and rumba. Classes are offered nightly Monday through Friday, and an open house dance party takes place every Friday night, 8:30-10:00 p.m.
Details: 409 S. 2nd Street | (215) 574-3574; 4401 Cresson Street | (215) 482-1611
The Sofitel Philadelphia’s Magnifique Romance package woos with a bottle of champagne, chocolate or fresh flowers, in-room breakfast and late check-out. Plus, specially trained Romance Concierge can help plan a special rendezvous for two.
Details: 120 S. 17th Street | (215) 569-8300
The beautifully renovated Wayne Hotel, nestled in the walkable Main Line town of the same name, offers special packages for lovers, including the Luxury Romance, which comes with a king-sized four-post or sleigh bed, champagne and breakfast for two, and the Premiere Romance, with roses, Godiva chocolates and other goodies in the exquisite Premiere Suite.
Details: 139 E. Lancaster Avenue, Wayne | (800) 962-5850
Couples can enjoy their “one and only love” in the hotel where Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner spent a night of their honeymoon. Enjoy contemporary comforts in the newly renovated Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel located in Philadelphia’s romantic Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.
Details: 220 S. 17th Street | (215) 735-6000
The Honeymoon Package at the distinctive Rittenhouse Hotel isn’t just for newlyweds—it’s for anyone in a romantic mood. It includes a beautifully appointed suite, champagne, breakfast for two at Lacroix restaurant and other treats. The Indulge Weekend features, among other amenities, breakfast and a massage or facial for two at the onsite Adolf Biecker Spa and Salon.
Details: 210 W. Rittenhouse Square | (800) 635-1042
Rescue Rittenhouse Spa Lounge, a chic Center City boutique spa, lets partners customize their massage experiences. The popular “Spoil Me Package” offers separate facials, followed by a couple’s massage.
Details: 255 S. 17th Street, Mezzanine | (215) 772-2766
Pure Bliss Wellness Center & Spa merges traditional Chinese medicine and Eastern medicine with the day spa to create an unforgettable experience. After sipping tea in the lounge, sweethearts can enjoy the “Ultimate Escape,” including a “detox” session, massages, holistic aromatherapy facials and mani/pedis.
Details: 1704 Walnut Street | (215) 732-7873
The Friday night couples’ yoga at Manayunk’s Synergy by Jasmine is sure to strengthen any relationship. Pairs playfully connect while encouraging and supporting each other through positions, meditation and breathing exercises.
Details: B Building, 3901 Main Street, 2nd floor, Manayunk | (610) 352-1177
Among the packages at Jolie Salon and Day Spa in Montgomery County is the “Romance Retreat,” with a Swedish massage and facial for two; a shampoo, blow dry and make-up application for her; and a scalp treatment, haircut and style for him. It’s topped off by a meal at Normandy Farm’s Farmer’s Daughter restaurant, just up the street. Not enough? The “Romance Retreat Deluxe Package” includes overnight hotel accommodations at Historic Normandy Farm Hotel & Conference Center.
Details: The Shoppes at Village Square, 750 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell | (610) 277-2152
Pierre & Carlo European Salon & Spa’s Wyncote location offers a “Couple’s Day,” including Swedish massages, manicures, spa pedicures, haircuts and styles and lunch.
Details: 8460 Limekiln Pike, Wyncote | (215) 572-6300
Loving The Outdoors
Couples can walk hand-in-hand through 1,077 acres of beauty at Longwood Gardens. If the weather’s uncooperative, more than four acres of glass-enclosed conservatories, with tropical gardens and 16 waterfalls, make the perfect indoor paradise.
Details: 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square | (610) 388-1000
A lavish Victorian garden, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania occupies 92 acres in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. Visitors stroll the garden and enjoy quiet moments in romantic settings such as the Springhouse and the Mercury Loggia Grotto.
Details: 100 E. Northwestern Avenue | (215) 247-5777
Perfect for a hike and a picnic lunch, Bucks County’s 134-acre Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve comprises nearly 1,000 species of native plants, a meadow, pond and creek.
Details: 1635 River Road (Route 32), New Hope | (215) 862-2924
Duos leave the stress of daily life behind when they visit Delaware County’s Chanticleer. Filled with innovation and whimsical touches, it’s one of the most exquisite horticultural showplaces on the East Coast.
Details: 786 Church Road, Wayne | (610) 687-4163
Partners can bike, blade or walk along the city’s Schuylkill River on Kelly Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Fairmount Park, taking in the views of Boathouse Row (illuminated at night) or waving at the early-morning scullers. From the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a complete loop via the Falls Bridge is about eight-and-a-half miles.
For some peace and quiet, the outdoorsy types can take a hike—literally—on one of the many trails of the Wissahickon Valley Park, where rugged paths offer some seriously secluded space with picturesque views.
Details: 300 Northwestern Avenue | (215) 247-0417
Twosomes take in the beauty and the beverages of the wineries along the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail and the Bucks County Wine Trail. With tastings, concerts, fairs, wine dinners and many other activities, there are plenty of excuses to spend an afternoon or evening sipping in the sunlight or under the stars.
Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park attracts runners, bikers, frisbee enthusiasts and softball players, but it’s the dramatic view of the Center City skyline and the breathtaking sunsets that make this a romantic hotspot.
Details: Montgomery Drive & Belmont Avenue
It’s not exactly outside, but stargazing is a traditional lovers’ pastime. On the second Thursday of each month, Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts guides visitors through Night Skies in the Observatory at The Franklin Institute, using one of the world’s only examples of a cutting-edge Zeiss refractor.
Details: 222 N. 20th Street | (215) 448-1200
Fall For The Arts
Since 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has counted Impressionist Mary Cassatt, luminous painter/illustrator Maxfield Parrish and romantic realist Daniel Garber, among others, as students. PAFA’s historic Victorian Gothic building, designed by Frank Furness, is ornamental and elegant, yet perfectly sized for a casual, hand-held stroll. Outside, art lovers can grab a seat at Lenfest Plaza, complete with Claes Oldenburg’s 51-foot Paint Torch.
Details: 118 N. Broad Street | (215) 972-7600
The James A. Michener Art Museum in Bucks County houses one of the finest public collections of Pennsylvania Impressionist works, showcases regional artists and hosts nationally touring exhibitions. The outdoor Pfundt Sculpture Garden is a must-see for amorous couples in warm weather, with its welcoming reflecting pools, fountains and paths.
Details: 138 S. Pine Street, Doylestown | (215) 340-9800
Visitors can start the weekend with style and sophistication at Art After 5 every Friday at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This weekly evening series showcases an eclectic mix of world and jazz music, plus extra hours to explore the galleries.
Details: 26th Street & Ben Franklin Parkway | (215) 763-8100
Couples can proclaim their love at Fairmount Park’s Whispering Benches. One sweetheart takes a seat on the stone bench in the curve of the Smith Memorial Arch, while the other sits on the bench across the street. When they whisper into the monument, love carries their tender words.
Details: Avenue of the Republic, near Memorial Hall
Those in search of lovely public art can steal a kiss in front of Philly’s swoon-worthy structures. Robert Indiana’s 1976 Love sculpture has become such an icon that its location, JFK Plaza, is now better known as Love Park. And while the 45-foot-tall steel Clothespin across from City Hall resembles a giant—well, clothespin—artist Claes Oldenburg compared the form to Constantin Brancusi’s The Kiss, which shows two separate bodies joined in an embrace.
Details: Love, 15th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard | Clothespin, 15th & Market Streets
Nothing says love like a ride on the El train—at least since the Mural Arts Program and renowned artist Stephen Powers teamed up to create Love Letter, a series of 50 rooftop murals that read like love notes from a boy to a girl. Passengers on the El—the elevated train that runs along Market Street, called the Market-Frankford Line or the Blue Line—can follow the messages from 45th to 63rd Streets. Each Saturday at 10:00 a.m., a Mural Arts Program guide leads participants on a tour of Love Letter. Reservations required. Tours meet at the welcome center at Love Park. 16th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard, (215) 685-0754, muralarts.org
Adoring foodies savor the moment during City Food Tours’ three-hour Decadent Gourmet Tour. The weekend gourmet tasting adventure features sweet and savory morsels from five of the city’s favorites, including Flying Monkey Bakery and Di Bruno Brothers.
Details: Starts at Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch Streets | (800) 979-3370
Six days a week, chocolate lovers satisfy their craving for sweets by joining the Philadelphia Chocolate Tour, during which tour-goers indulge in some of the most mouthwatering sweets in the city while learning the history and health benefits of the treat. Stops include Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland, Capogiro Gelato Artisans and Famous 4th Street Cookie Company. Calorie counters need not worry—it’s a walking tour. Private tours are available.
Details: Starts at Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch Streets | (215) 833-0044
For romance that steps back in time, couples can relax to the sounds of the clip-clop echoing through the cobblestone streets of Society Hill during a 76 Carriage Company horse-drawn carriage ride.
Details: 5th & Chestnut Streets | (215) 923-8516