Parks and Recreation: Five Spots in Philly’s Urban Outdoors for Canoodling

A view of the Delaware River from Race Street Pier.

Philadelphia is a city with around 10,000 acres of parks and plazas open to the public where the environments are conducive to romance and well, making out.

Water Works

There are lush gardens surrounding fountains in this historic landmark and gathering place on Kelly Drive adjacent to the Art Museum. Along with being a park adorned with benches, it is also a popular place for weddings and receptions because of the romantic settings of fountains, lush shady gardens and a gazebo perched on a hill with a view to the north of Boat House Row and beyond to the tree-lined Schuylkill River.

Cira Green

Opened in late 2015, Cira Green is one of the newer parks in Philadelphia. It is located on top of a 12-story parking garage on the east end of University City. It has sloped green spaces made for lounging that will leave you feeling more like you’re sitting atop of a high hill with a great view of the city. This park invites you to take in the scenery snuggled with your sweetie.

Forbidden Drive

Forbidden Drive sits along the Wissahickon Creek allowing easy access to miles of trails.The trails are open to walkers, runners, bikers and people riding on horseback. Smaller trails lead off of the main path into little nooks in the woods and up the hills on each side of the creek.

Atop the gorge on the sides of the Wissahickon Creek, it is easy to survey wildlife attracted to the waterway and enjoy while you rest with a hiking partner. Another option is the main trail, which offers benches along the creek and a tavern that sells ice cream to help cool off.

Race Street Pier

Opened in 2011, the multi-tiered walkway has benches and dramatic lighting. Take in the view of the Ben Franklin Bridge and watch the boats passing under it. The sounds of the PATCO train passing over will remind the love-struck that despite the trees and greenery, they are still within the city.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Famous for more than just the works of art inside, the gardens surrounding the museum are also abundant with sculptures. The Museum grounds feature many terraces with benches. The well-manicured sculpture garden also offers wide views of the Center City skyline and the Schuylkill River that are great for intermittent looks during breaks from other action.

Follow this map and take your sweetie to some dope canoodling spots throughout the city.

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-Text, images and map by Chip Frenette and Tracy Yatsko.

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