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Philadelphia's Fairmount Park Neighborhood

History, pop culture and the arts come together in this tour.
Rating: 3 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2.6 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  An outdoor tour with something for everyone - that's the best way to describe the tour of the Fairmount Park East neighborhood. This... more »

Tips:  All parking on this tour is free. That's a rarity in this city! Park behind the Art Museum (Water Works Drive off of Kelly Drive) to... more »

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Points of Interest

In a city full of statues, this equestrian portrayal of the young French saint in her armor is one of the most eye-catching and memorable. The statue is bronze and gilded a bright gold, catching the eye of most visitors to the Philadelphia Art Museum, which it faces.

The statue, designed by artist Emmanuel Fremiet, was originally commissioned in... More

Rounding the corner and heading toward the front of the Art Museum, the statue of "hometown hero" Rocky Balboa will be on the left. Of course, Balboa was the fictional boxer played by native son Sylvester Stallone in the movie, "Rocky," which won the 1976 Academy Award for Best Picture.

Yes, we know he's a fictional character. Yes, we get the... More

After getting the mandatory fists over head shots at the Rocky statue, head across the street to Eakins Oval. The loop of road that gives the Oval its name sits at the top of the Ben Franklin Parkway and connects Kelly Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The annual end of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, with its finale of stars, tap dancers,... More

Got moves like Rocky? Well, now is the time to show them off. The Philadelphia Art Museum is, of course, a destination in and of itself, but many tourists never even enter the building. Instead, they flock here to take their turn at following in the footsteps of Rocky Balboa by and running up the front steps of the Art Museum.

Helpful locals... More

Philadelphia is known as a city of firsts, but few people realize that Philly was the first large American city to take its water seriously. The Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Education Center celebrates the city's long history of responsibility regarding the delivery of safe water.

That may sound boring, but it's anything but at the... More

Here's the part of the tour when you can choose just how much you'd like to walk. You can see and get pictures of Boathouse Row from the heights of the Water Works, or you can follow the path down and walk the Row to get an up-close view of the boat houses and check out what is going on (something usually is).

Boathouse Row, a National Historic ... More

After visiting (or viewing) Boathouse Row, head back to your car to drive to Lemon Hill. Although this is walkable, it includes crossing many busy roadways, so it's safest to travel by car. Free parking is available at the back of the mansion.

The mansion itself, which is in the heart of East Fairmount Park (just follow the signs), is a lasting ... More

8. Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse

Head back to your cars to drive to the last stop on the tour, the Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse.

Although not as "immediately accessible" as the other Points of Interest on this tour, the Playground is a great last stop as it provides the kids with a way to burn off energy while the grownups discuss the day's highlights. If you're... More