Fairmount Park, the city's first public park, dates back to the country’s founding. It occupies land originally owned by Robert Morris, a signer of theDeclaration of Independence. Today, walkers, cyclists, and others looking for fresh air retreat to Fairmount Park. The park is divided by the Schuylkill River and includes the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Zoo, Please Touch Museum, and Boathouse Row. It's also home to historical mansions, woodlands and gardens.
Given its proximity to many top Philadelphia attractions, Fairmount Park figures prominently on many sightseeing tours. It's also accessible via most hop-on hop-off bus tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
Fairmount Park offers numerous trails for walking, cycling, and other activities; off-road-biking and horseback-riding trails require a permit.
East and West Fairmount Park are host to numerous playgrounds, picnic sites, gardens, and other family-friendly destinations.
The park hosts two outdoor music venues: the Mann Center and the Dell Music Center.
Among Fairmount Park's many public artworks, look out for sculptures by Robert Morris, Carl Milles, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and Alexander Milne Calder.
Restaurants and cafes are located in the park, including the Trolley House Cafe and Waterworks Restaurant & Lounge.
The Schuylkill River Trail, whose Fairmount Park section is approximately 10 miles (16 kilometers) in length, is a popular avenue of exploration.
How to Get There
Fairmount Park can be reached via car, taxi, bike, on foot, or via bus. If coming from Center City by car, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway takes you directly to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and into the eastern section of the park.
When to Get There
Fairmount Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and is free for all to visit. The park hosts a busy event calendar throughout the year, which includes guided walks, runs, scavenger hunts, summertime beer gardens, and more. It’s advised to research scheduled park activities before you travel.
Fairmount Park is home to six historic mansions—nicknamed “the Charms”—which now operate as museums and are open throughout the year. The houses (which include Cedar Grove, Laurel Hill, Lemon Hill, Mount Pleasant, Historic Strawberry Mansion, and Woodford) date to the 18th and 19th centuries, and were once frequented by the Founding Fathers.
- Things to do in Pennsylvania
- Things to do in New York City
- Things to do in Brooklyn
- Things to do in Long Island
- Things to do in Washington DC
- Things to do in Williamsburg
- Things to do in Pittsburgh
- Things to do in Boston
- Things to do in Buffalo
- Things to do in Salem
- Things to do in Niagara Falls & Around
- Things to do in Toronto
- Things to do in Montreal
- Things to do in New York
- Things to do in Virginia
- Philadelphia Zoo
- Please Touch Museum
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Rocky Statue
- Eastern State Penitentiary
- Rodin Museum
- Barnes Foundation
- 30th Street Station
- Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania
- The Franklin Institute Science Museum
- Drexel University
- Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
- University of Pennsylvania
- Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
- Mütter Museum