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25 Awesome Things to Do Along Philadelphia’s Delaware River Waterfront

A tour of everything the Delaware River Waterfront has to offer

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Spruce Street Harbor Park Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia
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From parks and museums and piers to restaurants, there are tons of attractions and events all year long at the Delaware River Waterfront.

Located just a short walk from Old City, Society Hill and Philadelphia’s Historic District, the waterfront has tons to offer, including one of the coolest pop-up parks in the city (Spruce Street Harbor Park), some of the best outdoor venues for concerts, festivals and more (Festival Pier, the Great Plaza) and amazing views of Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the Delaware River.

Read on for our list of must-see and must-do attractions along the Delaware River Waterfront.

01

Penn’s Landing

A hub of family-friendly activity throughout the year

Penn's Landing Philadelphia Waterfront Penn's Landing Philadelphia Waterfront
— Photo by J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia

Penn’s Landing, just a short walk from Old City and the Historic District, hosts family-friendly attractions and events all year long. The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing is one of the city’s premier locations for outdoor concerts and festivals, and the site offers panoramic views of the Philadelphia skyline, the Delaware River and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

Where: Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard

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02

Race Street Pier

Relaxing waterfront respite in the heart of the city

Race Street Pier Race Street Pier
— Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

One of Philadelphia’s many amazing outdoor spaces, Race Street Pier is located in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Its upper terrace, dubbed the grand sky promenade, rises 12 feet toward the bridge and is paved with Trex, a sustainable, synthetic decking material made out of reclaimed plastic and wood. The promenade is connected to the lower terrace by a multi-tiered seating area — perfect for watching the tide roll in.

Where: Race Street Pier, Columbus Boulevard and Race Street

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03

Spruce Street Harbor Park

The hammock-filled haven on the Delaware River

Spruce Street Harbor Park Spruce Street Harbor Park
— Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC

With a hammock garden, boardwalk, urban beach, beer gardens, delicious food and a series of floating barges with lily pad water gardens, Spruce Street Harbor Park has proven to be one of Philadelphia’s most popular destinations and one of the coolest parks the city has ever seen. Open in spring, summer and fall, it’s no surprise the park was named one of the world’s best urban beaches by The Huffington Post.

Where: Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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04

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and Winterfest

Roller skate in the summer and ice skate in the winter

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
— Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC

In winter, this riverside pop-up village features an open-air Olympic-size ice skating rink, cozy lodge with fireplaces, festive landscaping, twinkling lights, fire pits, arcade games and a variety of food and beverages. Come summer, the space transforms into a day-to-night hangout with Center City’s only outdoor roller rink, classic Philadelphia foods and plenty of playful spaces to chill out — including a Midway with carnival games and rides.

Where: Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard

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05

Independence Seaport Museum

An interactive museum exploring Philadelphia’s maritime heritage

Cruiser Olympia at the Independence Seaport Museum Cruiser Olympia at the Independence Seaport Museum
— Photo courtesy Independence Seaport Museum

With historic vessels to board, an underwater ROV to maneuver and a mock cannon to fire, Philadelphia’s maritime museum conveys what the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers have meant to the city over the years. Berthed outside are the Olympia, the nation’s oldest floating steel warship used by Admiral Dewey during his Spanish-American War victory in Manila Bay, and the Becuna, a World War II submarine that fought battles in the South Pacific.

Where: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Boulevard

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06

Morgan’s Pier

Perfect al fresco dining and nightlife on the Delaware River Waterfront

Morgan's Pier Morgan's Pier
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

One of Philadelphia’s most popular hot spots, Morgan’s Pier is an oasis of craft beer, delicious food and incredible live music right on the water. Named after George C. Morgan, the first person to cross the Ben Franklin Bridge, the “backyard beer garden” on Columbus Boulevard is an ideal outdoor location with plenty of al fresco seating, an outdoor bar and glorious waterfront views.

Where: Morgan’s Pier, 221 N. Columbus Boulevard

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07

Yards Brewing Company

The brewery that helped ignite a craft beer revolution in Philadelphia

Yard's Brewing Company interior Yard's Brewing Company interior
— Photo courtesy Yards Brewing Company

Yards Brewing Company churns out eight signature beers, a number of seasonals and the Ales of the Revolution line, based on recipes conceived by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. Visitors to the tasting room can sample beers and nibble light fare from the kitchen.

Where: Yards Brewing Company, 500 Spring Garden Street

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08

Festival Pier

Marquee concerts right on the water

People at a show at Festival Pier People at a show at Festival Pier
— Photo courtesy Festival Pier

Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing offers great talent, warm air and a relaxed vibe to create a distinct musical experience for the crowd and performers. The waterfront venue brings the Jersey Shore to Penn’s Landing with a boardwalk, a sandy beach and beachy plants.

Where: Festival Pier at Penn's Landing, 601 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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09

Penn Treaty Park

Historic spot of peace along the Delaware River

Penn Treaty Park Penn Treaty Park
— Photo by M. Kennedy for GPTMC

According to legend, Pennsylvania founder William Penn signed his peace treaty with the local Lenape tribe under an elm tree just off the Delaware River in 1683. Though the tree fell in a storm in 1810, the city officially opened Penn Treaty Park on the surrounding land in 1894. Today, a statue of William Penn greets local picnickers and dog walkers, and throughout the year, people from all over the city come for special events and festivals.

Where: Penn Treaty Park, 1301 N. Beach Street

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10

FringeArts

Permanent home for progressive performing arts on the Delaware River Waterfront

FringeArts exterior at night FringeArts exterior at night
— Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

A 232-seat theater with retractable seating, FringeArts presents contemporary performance, experimental concerts and other events throughout the year.

Where: FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard

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11

La Peg

A mouthwatering meal in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Diners at this brasserie, located inside the FringeArts building, enjoy contemporary American dishes from chef Peter Woolsey and waterfront views. The industrial-chic design pays homage to the building’s original purpose as a pumping station.

Where: La Peg, 140 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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12

RiverLink Ferry

See the skyline from the Delaware River

Riverlink Ferry Riverlink Ferry
— Photo courtesy DRWC

A 12-minute scenic river tour offers the opportunity to see sensational views of waterfront highlights and the City of Philadelphia’s spectacular skyline — all while floating down the impressive Delaware River.

Where: RiverLink Ferry, 201 S. Columbus Boulevard

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13

Adventure Aquarium

The ocean’s secrets revealed at Camden’s riverfront aquarium

People looking at sharks at Adventure Aquarium People looking at sharks at Adventure Aquarium
— Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

Featuring more than two million gallons of water and 8,500 animals, Adventure Aquarium offers hands-on activities, animals, exhibits and unforgettable moments on the Camden waterfront. Adventurous types can roll up their sleeves to pet and feed stingrays, or touch horseshoe crabs, starfish and sharks.

Where: Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden

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14

Battleship New Jersey

Admiral “Bull” Halsey’s flagship and the nation’s most decorated battleship

Battleship New Jersey Battleship New Jersey
— Photo courtesy Battleship New Jersey

While exploring the Battleship New Jersey museum and memorial, visitors can enjoy exhibitions that display artifacts from the ship’s past. A walk down Broadway, the longest and most impressive passageway on the battleship, is part of the guided tour. America’s most decorated battleship also hosts special events and overnight encampments.

Where: Battleship New Jersey, 100 Clinton Street, Camden

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15

BB&T Pavilion

A major concert venue right across the river

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Just a ferry ride away, the BB&T Pavilion on the Camden, New Jersey waterfront offers a laid-back atmosphere and a picturesque outdoor amphitheater setting that’s perfect for concerts. After dark, the lawn dwellers enjoy a breathtaking view of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

Where: BB&T Pavilion, 1 Harbour Boulevard, Camden

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16

Washington Avenue Pier

Eco-friendly public space along the Delaware River Waterfront

People at Washington Avenue Pier People at Washington Avenue Pier
— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Washington Avenue Pier allows visitors to walk along the water, enjoy panoramic views of the Delaware River and the Philadelphia skyline, and read interpretive signage about the site’s history as the nation’s first Navy Yard. The most striking feature is the “Land Buoy”, a 55-foot public art piece with a spiral staircase to take in spectacular views of the waterfront while honoring the site’s history of immigration.

Where: Washington Avenue Pier, 1301 S. Columbus Boulevard

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17

Delaware River Trail

Cycle along the Delaware

The Delaware River Trail connects riders to Philadelphia’s waterfront, where they can take in views of the Ben Franklin Bridge and New Jersey in the distance.

Where: Delaware River Trail, from Spring Garden Street to Ellen Street along the Delaware River

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18

The Navy Yard

Eco-friendly design, acres of open space and not-to-miss restaurants

From a commitment to encourage green building construction to a focus on building a nationally recognized center of excellence in renewable power and energy research, education and commercialization, The Navy Yard sits at Philadelphia’s leading edge of sustainability. The impressive complex includes more than 20 acres of open park space, a one-mile riverfront jogging and biking path, and a number of restaurants.

Where: The Navy Yard, 4747 S. Broad Street

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19

SugarHouse Casino Philadelphia

Fun and games on the Delaware River

Exterior of SugarHouse Casino Exterior of SugarHouse Casino
— Photo courtesy SugarHouse Casino

Located just off the Delaware River, Philadelphia’s first casino houses an array of tables and slot machines. On-site restaurants, special events and great views of the Delaware River Waterfront and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge attract even non-gamblers.

Where: SugarHouse Casino, 1001 N. Delaware Avenue

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20

Dave & Buster's

Arcade games and more for kids at heart

A gigantic playground for adults, Dave and Buster’s entertains with rows of pool tables, skee-ball and video and carnival games aplenty. A restaurant and multiple bars add to the fun, keeping visitors occupied for hours.

Where: Dave & Buster's, 325 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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21

Moshulu

Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Philadelphia skyline alongside a sumptuous meal

Moshulu Moshulu
Moshulu — Photo courtesy Moshulu

The breathtaking views keep diners coming back for twilight cocktails and delicious fare aboard this fully restored four-masted sailing ship berthed on Penn’s Landing.

Where: Moshulu, 401 S. Columbus Boulevard

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22

Spirit of Philadelphia

Cruise the Delaware River in style

— Photo courtesy Spirit of Philadelphia

For three decades, the Spirit of Philadelphia has provided a unique combination of dining, dancing, entertainment and incredible skyline views on the Delaware River. Operating year-round from Penn’s Landing, the Spirit of Philadelphia offers lunch, dinner, moonlight and special cruises. While aboard, guests enjoy contemporary food stations and a lively soundtrack of Top 40 hits and old school favorites.

Where: Spirit of Philadelphia, 401 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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23

Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church

The oldest church in Pennsylvania is a link to early Swedish settlers

Interior of Old Swedes Church Interior of Old Swedes Church
— Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

In use since 1700, the building that houses Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Episcopal Church holds the designation of the oldest church building in Pennsylvania and the second-oldest in the United States. It also boasts one of the country’s oldest baptismal fonts—a massive Swedish-style font crafted in 1731. Models of the two ships that brought the first Swedish colonists to the region hang from the ceiling.

Where: Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church, Columbus Boulevard and Christian Street

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24

PECO Multicultural Series at Penn's Landing

Lively festivals that celebrate the city’s diversity all summer long

— Photo courtesy Jake Krolik of DRWC

One needn’t go overseas for a taste of the many world cultures that make Philadelphia such a diverse and interesting city. Just head over to Penn’s Landing for the PECO Multicultural Series, a succession of outdoor festivals that celebrate cultural traditions from across the globe. What could be better than enjoying some amazing salsa performances on the banks of the Delaware River? Or how about savoring authentic dishes from the Caribbean, Ireland or Mexico?

Where: Penn's Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard

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25

Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing

The only hotel located at Penn’s Landing in Center City Philadelphia

Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing
— Photo courtesy Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing

The Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing is a great place to stay when visiting Philadelphia. It’s the only hotel located directly on the Delaware River Waterfront, providing guests with easy access to the Historic District’s excellent sightseeing, tours, museums, shopping, dining and nightlife.

Where: Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing, 201 S. Columbus Boulevard

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Penn’s Landing
Race Street Pier
Spruce Street Harbor Park
Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and Winterfest
Independence Seaport Museum
Morgan’s Pier
Yards Brewing Company
Festival Pier
Penn Treaty Park
FringeArts
La Peg
RiverLink Ferry
Adventure Aquarium
Battleship New Jersey
BB&T Pavilion
Washington Avenue Pier
Delaware River Trail
The Navy Yard
SugarHouse Casino Philadelphia
Dave & Buster's
Moshulu
Spirit of Philadelphia
Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church
PECO Multicultural Series at Penn's Landing
Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing
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