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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Mixing up your day in the city

The One Liberty Observation Deck offers unique views of the Philadelphia skyline (Photo by Emily Graham ’20).

Places to visit that aren’t overdone.

The beginning of the school year doesn’t just mean returning to Hawk Hill. It also means returning to the city of Philadelphia. While upperclassmen may have their go-to places to spend time in the city, new students or those unfamiliar with the area may not know where to begin in their exploration.

Philadelphia is full of famous attractions – the Liberty Bell, Love Park, Reading Terminal Market – but there’s much more to enjoy aside from the typical tourist locations. Here are a few ideas to check out on your next city outing.

1. One Liberty Observation Deck

The One Liberty Observation Deck may be old news to some, but for anyone new to the city, it is a great spot to introduce yourself to Philadelphia. The observation deck takes you to the 57th floor of One Liberty Place to experience 360 degree views of the city. You can walk around the entire floor and use digital interactive maps to locate specific places in and around Philadelphia. There are also tables, seating and board games set out to play while enjoying the view. General Admission tickets sell for $14.50 and you are able to stay as long as you like. The observation deck is accessible inside One Liberty Place, located at 1650 Market St.

2. Franklin Square

While Franklin Square is one of Philadelphia’s major parks, it doesn’t always receive as much foot traffic as places like Rittenhouse Square or Logan Square. Aside from the occasional festival or event, Franklin Square has a few features that other parks do not offer. A carousel and Philadelphia-themed mini golf course serve as fun, alternative activities to mix up your day in the city. You can also eat lunch  from SquareBurger while enjoying the fountain and greenery in the park. Franklin Square is accessible from Sixth and Race St. and it is a short walking distance from Chinatown and Independence National Historical Park. The square is free to enter, but a game of mini golf costs $9 and a ride on the carousel costs $3.

3. John F. Collins Park

John F. Collins Park may sound like another historical site, but it is actually a hidden gem within Center City. The small block between buildings features fountains and plant life, bringing a glimpse of nature to an otherwise dull, concrete space. The park is tucked away, making the quaint, intimate space difficult to stumble across. The tables and benches make it a peaceful location to eat lunch or admire the interesting views of the surrounding skyscrapers and provides a nice break from the bustle of the city. John F. Collins Park is located at 1707 Chestnut St., not far from Rittenhouse Square. The park is easy to walk past, so keep an eye out for the small, but beautiful location.

4. Elfreth’s Alley

Philadelphia is known for its history, so exploring some of its past is unavoidable. However, there is so much more than the obvious places like Independence Hall and the Betsy Ross House. Elfreth’s Alley is an interesting alternative to the standard educational attractions. It has been habited since 1702, making it known as the country’s oldest residential neighborhood. Whether you’re touring the Museum House or simply passing through, you can learn about what it was like to live during Philadelphia’s earliest days. Guided tours are $8 for adults, while walk-through tours are $3. Elfreth’s Alley is located in Old City, with a variety of restaurants and shops within walking distance.

While classic attractions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art are still must-sees, these suggestions work for first-timers and regulars alike.

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