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Penn's Landing and Delaware River Waterfront

Philly's ever-evolving waterfront features loads to do in all seasons...

Spruce Street Harbor Park Photo by M. Stanley for the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

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Once a series of dilapidated piers and underutilized public spaces, Philadelphia’s Delaware River waterfront has undergone a number of thrilling developments in the 21st century on its way to becoming one of the most exciting spots in the city for residents and visitors.

Encompassing parts of Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Old City, Society Hill, Queen Village and Pennsport, the waterfront boasts some of the coolest parks in the city (Spruce Street Harbor Park, Race Street Pier), great outdoor venues for concerts, festivals and more (Great Plaza), big-name attractions (Rivers Casino, Independence Seaport Museum) and, of course, stellar views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

The epicenter of it all is Penn’s Landing . This reclaimed space — which runs the length of Center City along the waterfront — always has something fun going on, including festivals, concerts, free movies, beer gardens, yoga, roller-skating and ice-skating.


Essential Info

From serving as a center of commerce in 18th and 19th centuries to being effectively cut off from the rest of the city by the construction of I-95 in the 20th century, the Delaware River waterfront has served different purposes and undergone a number of major changes since William Penn landed here all the way back in 1682.

People drinking and hanging out at Morgan's PIer People drinking and hanging out at Morgan's PIer

Just below the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, leafy trees, food offerings that change each year and a beer garden unite at Morgan's Pier, a seasonal dining destination. — Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

Today, thanks to new development and renewed interest, the waterfront has become a go-to spot and a must-visit destination in the city for residents and visitors alike.

In the Neighborhood

A summer evening on the waterfront might start with drinks and bites at Morgan’s Pier before strolling out onto the Delaware River underneath the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on Race Street Pier . After catching a progressive performing arts show at FringeArts , a short walk leads to two of the city’s most exciting, seasonal parks: Spruce Street Harbor Park (with its glowing lights, colorful hammocks, and floating barge with food and drinks) or Blue Cross RiverRink (home of a roller skating or ice skating rink, depending on the season, as well as a charming lodge).

The waterfront has become a go-to spot and a must-visit destination for residents and visitors alike.

Even better, the waterfront runs the length of some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. That means, for example, that a visit to Penn Treaty Park is just one stop on a packed Fishtown itinerary, or that Spruce Street Harbor Park makes for a fun stop after strolling the charming colonial alleys in Society Hill .

Getting Here

The Delaware River waterfront is easily accessible via multiple modes of transportation, including SEPTA bus, car and Indego Bike Share . The Philadelphia PHLASH Downtown Loop also stops at Penn’s Landing. The RiverLink Ferry — connecting Philadelphia with Camden, N.J. across the Delaware River — runs during the summer months.

People having an excellent time at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest in Philadelphia People having an excellent time at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest in Philadelphia

Blue Cross RiverRink's riverside pop-up village alternates between a winter wonderland (with an ice-skating rink) during the colder months and day-to-night oasis (with Center City’s only roller rink) during the warmer months. — Photo courtesy Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest


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