West Philadelphia is a diverse and vibrant neighborhood known for its rich history and cultural diversity. It is home to several prestigious educational institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, which contribute to its lively and intellectual atmosphere. The neighborhood is characterized by its tree-lined streets, beautiful Victorian-era houses, and a thriving arts and music scene, making it a unique and dynamic place to explore.
Not to mention one of the most famous Philadelphians, Will Smith, is from West Philly!
If you’re new to Philadelphia and want to explore this enriching neighborhood, here are 10 exciting things to do to explore West Philly.
1. Visit the Philadelphia Zoo
Located in West Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the Philadelphia Zoo is the oldest zoo in the United States. Explore the various exhibits and see a wide range of animals from around the world.
2. Explore the Please Touch Museum
This interactive children’s museum is a great place to take the family. The Please Touch Museum offers hands-on exhibits and activities that encourage learning through play.
3. Stroll through West Philadelphia’s Clark Park
This beautiful park offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Enjoy a picnic, take a walk, or simply relax and people-watch. The park also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year.
4. Discover the University of Pennsylvania
Take a walk through the University of Pennsylvania’s campus and admire its stunning architecture. You can also visit the Penn Museum, which houses an impressive collection of artifacts from around the world.
5. Indulge in Authentic African Cuisine
West Philadelphia is known for its vibrant African community, and you can find numerous restaurants and eateries that serve delicious East and West African cuisine. Try dishes like jollof rice, suya, or fufu to experience the flavors of the region.
Dahlak Paradise is a local restaurant in West Philly that serves exotic Ethiopian & Eritrean specialties in a family-style setting. It’s a great place to catch a vibe on weekends with hookah, and themed-party nights.
6. Explore the West Philadelphia Woodlands
The Woodlands is a historic cemetery and green space that offers a serene and picturesque setting. Take a walk through the beautiful grounds, visit the gravesites of notable figures, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
7. Visit the Paul Robeson House In West Philadelphia
Located in West Philadelphia, the Paul Robeson House is a museum dedicated to the life and legacy of Paul Robeson, a prominent African-American actor, singer, and civil rights activist. Enjoy an informative afternoon by learning about his contributions to the arts and social justice movements.
8. Check out the Powelton Village neighborhood
Powelton Village is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood in West Philadelphia. Take a stroll through its tree-lined streets and admire the beautiful Victorian-era houses. You’ll also find charming cafes, local shops, and community gardens to explore.
9. Attend a concert or event at the Mann Center for the Performing Art
The Mann Center is an outdoor amphitheater located in West Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. It hosts a variety of concerts and events, ranging from classical music performances to popular music acts. Be sure to check their schedule to see if there are any shows happening during your visit.
10. Explore West Philadelphia Bartram’s Garden
Bartram’s Garden is a historic botanical garden located along the Schuylkill River in West Philadelphia. It is the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America and offers beautiful landscapes, walking trails, and a chance to learn about the region’s flora and fauna. Take a guided tour or simply enjoy a peaceful stroll through the gardens.