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The exterior of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. There are trees surrounding the building with multicolored autumn leaves. M. Edlow for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

The best places to see fall foliage in Philly

Because you can’t beat fall in Philly

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Note: This map was last published in October 2018 and has been recently updated with the newest information.

The time is nigh: Although the leaves in Philly haven’t yet changed colors, the next few months typically mark the height of fall foliage season, according to last year’s report from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry

For those of us who love fall in Philly, now is the perfect time to start planning excursions to see all the beautiful colors this season has to offer. From idyllic, tree-lined streets, to quiet parks, there are a lot of options to catch the best fall photo or, at least, take in the atmosphere.

And, as always, if you know of another good leaf-peeping spot, let us know in the comments.

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Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

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There are more than 12,000 plants and trees at the Morris Arboretum, so you can count on it being one of the best places to see vibrant fall colors.

Trees with colorful autumn leaves at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Flickr user Stacey Kraus

Pennypack Park

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Pennypack Park in Northeast Philadelphia covers some 1,600 acres of uninterrupted fall foliage goodness. You can hike or bike along the paved and unpaved trails, or take in the many historic structures that are still scattered throughout the park. 

Trees with colorful autumn leaves at Pennypack Park in Philadelphia. Flickr user Tom Ipri

Wissahickon Valley Park

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It’ll be tough to explore this park in one trip, so visit often. But be sure to go beyond the Forbidden Drive, which is often heavily trafficked by runners and cyclists. When the time is right, you’ll probably want to snap a shot at the Thomas Mill Road Covered Bridge. It was built in 1737 and is the only remaining covered bridge in the Wissahickon.

A stone bridge over a body of water surrounded by trees with multicolored autumn leaves in Philadelphia. Flickr user Louis Dallara

Belmont Plateau

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Not only does this offer one of the best views of the city skyline, but it’s a true stunner at sunrise and during the fall season. Bring a blanket—it’s also the perfect picnic spot. 

Trees with colorful autumn leaves at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia. Flickr user Ahd Photography

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

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For many, the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden is synonymous with spring. It does, after all, host the wildly popular Cherry Blossom Festival in April. But it’s also a prime spot to visit in the fall, when the Japanese maples turn a vibrant red hue. Definitely don’t overlook it.

A post shared by Shofuso (@shofuso) on

Cliffs Mansion Meadow

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If you wander behind Sedgley Woods, you’ll find a large meadow at the site of the now deteriorated Cliffs Mansion. Surrounded by trees, it’s one of the Parks and Rec department’s favorite hidden gems and places to see fall foliage and wild life. Bonus: the mansion ruins have the kind of creepy-cool vibe that’s perfect for fall.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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While on your way to the Philadelphia Museum of Art or the Whole Foods, take a stroll along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It’s lined with large, stately trees that make for a peaceful walk even as cars whiz past.

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. There is a walking path surrounded by trees with colorful autumn leaves. Flickr user angela n.

University of Pennsylvania

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If you find yourself on Penn’s campus, take a stroll along Locust Walk. The mile-long pedestrian path is lined with oaks, white ash, London plains, and elms. It’s a quintessential part of Penn during all seasons, but it’s especially beautiful this time of year.

Independence Hall

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Of course one of the most photographed spots in Philly would have some of the best fall foliage. The tall trees buff the periphery of Independence Hall, making it a picture-perfect scene. But be sure to go to the other side of the building, where you can sit and gaze up toward the foliage, too. 

Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The building is surrounded by trees with colorful fall foliage. Photo by Melissa Romero

Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk

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Walk, bike, or jog along the Schuylkill River this fall for some epic fall views. It’s nice all along the trail, but definitely go past the art museum toward Kelly Drive. If you’re really ambitious, make the bike trek all the way up the trail to Valley Forge National Park to really up the fall foliage ante. Sullivan’ Bridge offers an official connection between the trail and the park.)

A post shared by Lauren Leslie (@lsleslie4) on

Bartram's Garden

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The Bartram’s Mile trail is the perfect way to wander through Bartram’s Garden during the fall season. Check out the Ann Bartram Carr Garden, and keep an eye out for the many wild turkeys that roam the grounds.

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

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America’s first urban refuge was established in 1972 to protect Tinicum Marsh, the largest remaining freshwater tidal wetland in Pennsylvania. Flat trails take you through the refuge’s 1,000 acres of woods, marsh, ponds, and meadows that serve as a pit-stop for migratory birds headed south for the winter. During high tide you can explore the refuge via canoe or kayak.

A pond at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia. The pond is lined with many trees that have colorful leaves. Flickr user MissTessmacher

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

Trees with colorful autumn leaves at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Flickr user Stacey Kraus

There are more than 12,000 plants and trees at the Morris Arboretum, so you can count on it being one of the best places to see vibrant fall colors.

Trees with colorful autumn leaves at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Flickr user Stacey Kraus

Pennypack Park

Trees with colorful autumn leaves at Pennypack Park in Philadelphia. Flickr user Tom Ipri

Pennypack Park in Northeast Philadelphia covers some 1,600 acres of uninterrupted fall foliage goodness. You can hike or bike along the paved and unpaved trails, or take in the many historic structures that are still scattered throughout the park. 

Trees with colorful autumn leaves at Pennypack Park in Philadelphia. Flickr user Tom Ipri

Wissahickon Valley Park

A stone bridge over a body of water surrounded by trees with multicolored autumn leaves in Philadelphia. Flickr user Louis Dallara

It’ll be tough to explore this park in one trip, so visit often. But be sure to go beyond the Forbidden Drive, which is often heavily trafficked by runners and cyclists. When the time is right, you’ll probably want to snap a shot at the Thomas Mill Road Covered Bridge. It was built in 1737 and is the only remaining covered bridge in the Wissahickon.

A stone bridge over a body of water surrounded by trees with multicolored autumn leaves in Philadelphia. Flickr user Louis Dallara

Belmont Plateau

Trees with colorful autumn leaves at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia. Flickr user Ahd Photography

Not only does this offer one of the best views of the city skyline, but it’s a true stunner at sunrise and during the fall season. Bring a blanket—it’s also the perfect picnic spot. 

Trees with colorful autumn leaves at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia. Flickr user Ahd Photography

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

For many, the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden is synonymous with spring. It does, after all, host the wildly popular Cherry Blossom Festival in April. But it’s also a prime spot to visit in the fall, when the Japanese maples turn a vibrant red hue. Definitely don’t overlook it.

A post shared by Shofuso (@shofuso) on

Cliffs Mansion Meadow

If you wander behind Sedgley Woods, you’ll find a large meadow at the site of the now deteriorated Cliffs Mansion. Surrounded by trees, it’s one of the Parks and Rec department’s favorite hidden gems and places to see fall foliage and wild life. Bonus: the mansion ruins have the kind of creepy-cool vibe that’s perfect for fall.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. There is a walking path surrounded by trees with colorful autumn leaves. Flickr user angela n.

While on your way to the Philadelphia Museum of Art or the Whole Foods, take a stroll along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It’s lined with large, stately trees that make for a peaceful walk even as cars whiz past.

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. There is a walking path surrounded by trees with colorful autumn leaves. Flickr user angela n.

University of Pennsylvania

If you find yourself on Penn’s campus, take a stroll along Locust Walk. The mile-long pedestrian path is lined with oaks, white ash, London plains, and elms. It’s a quintessential part of Penn during all seasons, but it’s especially beautiful this time of year.

Independence Hall

Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The building is surrounded by trees with colorful fall foliage. Photo by Melissa Romero

Of course one of the most photographed spots in Philly would have some of the best fall foliage. The tall trees buff the periphery of Independence Hall, making it a picture-perfect scene. But be sure to go to the other side of the building, where you can sit and gaze up toward the foliage, too. 

Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The building is surrounded by trees with colorful fall foliage. Photo by Melissa Romero

Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk

Walk, bike, or jog along the Schuylkill River this fall for some epic fall views. It’s nice all along the trail, but definitely go past the art museum toward Kelly Drive. If you’re really ambitious, make the bike trek all the way up the trail to Valley Forge National Park to really up the fall foliage ante. Sullivan’ Bridge offers an official connection between the trail and the park.)

A post shared by Lauren Leslie (@lsleslie4) on

Bartram's Garden

The Bartram’s Mile trail is the perfect way to wander through Bartram’s Garden during the fall season. Check out the Ann Bartram Carr Garden, and keep an eye out for the many wild turkeys that roam the grounds.

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

A pond at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia. The pond is lined with many trees that have colorful leaves. Flickr user MissTessmacher

America’s first urban refuge was established in 1972 to protect Tinicum Marsh, the largest remaining freshwater tidal wetland in Pennsylvania. Flat trails take you through the refuge’s 1,000 acres of woods, marsh, ponds, and meadows that serve as a pit-stop for migratory birds headed south for the winter. During high tide you can explore the refuge via canoe or kayak.

A pond at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia. The pond is lined with many trees that have colorful leaves. Flickr user MissTessmacher