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Philly’s 11 best places for quiet reflection

From silent spots in the middle of the city, to strolls along the river

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Sometimes summer in the city can feel just a touch overwhelming. There are festivals to attend, parades to go to, plenty of friends to catch up with, and essentially a never-ending list of things to do.

But sometimes all you really want is some peace and quiet. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of the best places to check out for some quiet, solitary, reflection.

Take a break from everything. Bring a book, or just get lost in your own thoughts, and explore some of the quietest (and prettiest) spots Philly has to offer.

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1. Quince Street

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Slip onto Quince Street near Jefferson Hospital, walk a few steps, and you'll find yourself in a picturesque, pedestrian-only enclave of classic Philly rowhomes. The winding street is lined with tall trees and is so picturesque you'll forget you're in the heart of the city.

2. Rodin Museum

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Benjamin Franklin Pkwy & N 22nd St
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 763-8100

Welcome to Rodin Museum, the smallest and most relaxing art museum of the trio that line the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It's pay-what-you-wish, but the beautiful courtyard is open to all. Pull up a chair and grab a book, or just stare into the pool of water in the middle of the courtyard. You’ll be in good company in your reflection: The thinker statue has a permanent home there.

3. Water Works gardens

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2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100
Visit Website

Walk past the long line of tourists waiting to get a photo with the Rocky statue and head to the back of the art museum. There are two gardens there to sit, relax, and think. First, there’s the sculpture garden, which offers benches and a great view of the Schuylkilll River. Then, head down closer to the river and take in the sites from the Philadelphia Water Works and surrounding gardens. There’s plenty of space to meander around in peace.

4. Cira Green

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Cira Green, the city's first public rooftop park, has become a more popular hangout spot since opening back in 2015, but it's still a nice getaway for people willing to escape Center City and spend some time in University City. Get a breath of fresh air and enjoy beautiful views 11 floors above the crowded streets.

5. Bartram's Garden

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54th St. and Lindbergh Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
(215) 729-5281
Visit Website

Hop on a bike or the trolley (the 36 will take you right there) and head over to Bartram's Garden in West Philly. The historic garden is pretty incredible and the garden unveiled a mile-long stretch of trail called “Bartram’s Mile” in 2017. You can also take a stroll within the garden grounds along the Schuylkill River.

6. Washington Avenue Pier

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Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA

This quiet park down in Pennsport is located on an abandoned pier that used to serve as the arrival point for immigrants. Today, it's an ecological escape that offers plenty of shade and access to the water.

7. John F. Collins Park

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Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA

Walk too quickly and you might miss John F. Collins Park, tucked away in an alley at 1707 Chestnut Street. Despite being sandwiched between two big buildings, it's a lush, shaded park with plenty of benches and a small fountain. It’s a real getaway right in the middle of the city.

8. Penn Museum

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3260 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-4000
Visit Website

Warden Garden is a beautiful, public courtyard at the top of the stairs leading to Penn Museum's entrance. There are plenty of benches and tables to take a seat next to the pond after a short stroll across South Street Bridge.

9. Grays Ferry Crescent

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Schuylkill Banks
Philadelphia, PA

It's much more chill at this spot on the Schuylkill River compared to the Schuylkill Banks by South Street Bridge. Also make sure to bring your camera for this one—you get a good look at the city as you wander the banks.

10. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive

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Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Philadelphia, PA

If you want to check out the iconic Boathouse Row, but don't want to deal with the crowds, cross the Schuylkill River via East Falls Bridge and continue walking down Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive instead. It runs along the west bank of the river and offers more quiet, yet just as beautiful, views of Boathouse Row, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Center City skyline.

11. The Rail Park

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Noble Street, N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 440-5500
Visit Website

Last summer, when the Rail Park first opened, it was flooded with people eager to take in the beauty of the industrial aesthetics of the space, and the views of the city. Now, the beauty is still there but it’s not nearly as jam-packed. Take a stroll along the park, stop by a swinging bench, and feel like you’re somehow away from everything, while still smack-dab in the middle of the city.

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1. Quince Street

Pennsylvania

Slip onto Quince Street near Jefferson Hospital, walk a few steps, and you'll find yourself in a picturesque, pedestrian-only enclave of classic Philly rowhomes. The winding street is lined with tall trees and is so picturesque you'll forget you're in the heart of the city.

2. Rodin Museum

Benjamin Franklin Pkwy & N 22nd St, Philadelphia, PA

Welcome to Rodin Museum, the smallest and most relaxing art museum of the trio that line the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It's pay-what-you-wish, but the beautiful courtyard is open to all. Pull up a chair and grab a book, or just stare into the pool of water in the middle of the courtyard. You’ll be in good company in your reflection: The thinker statue has a permanent home there.

Benjamin Franklin Pkwy & N 22nd St
Philadelphia, PA

3. Water Works gardens

2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Walk past the long line of tourists waiting to get a photo with the Rocky statue and head to the back of the art museum. There are two gardens there to sit, relax, and think. First, there’s the sculpture garden, which offers benches and a great view of the Schuylkilll River. Then, head down closer to the river and take in the sites from the Philadelphia Water Works and surrounding gardens. There’s plenty of space to meander around in peace.

2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130

4. Cira Green

Philadelphia, PA

Cira Green, the city's first public rooftop park, has become a more popular hangout spot since opening back in 2015, but it's still a nice getaway for people willing to escape Center City and spend some time in University City. Get a breath of fresh air and enjoy beautiful views 11 floors above the crowded streets.

5. Bartram's Garden

54th St. and Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19143

Hop on a bike or the trolley (the 36 will take you right there) and head over to Bartram's Garden in West Philly. The historic garden is pretty incredible and the garden unveiled a mile-long stretch of trail called “Bartram’s Mile” in 2017. You can also take a stroll within the garden grounds along the Schuylkill River.

54th St. and Lindbergh Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19143

6. Washington Avenue Pier

Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA

This quiet park down in Pennsport is located on an abandoned pier that used to serve as the arrival point for immigrants. Today, it's an ecological escape that offers plenty of shade and access to the water.

Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA

7. John F. Collins Park

Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA

Walk too quickly and you might miss John F. Collins Park, tucked away in an alley at 1707 Chestnut Street. Despite being sandwiched between two big buildings, it's a lush, shaded park with plenty of benches and a small fountain. It’s a real getaway right in the middle of the city.

Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA

8. Penn Museum

3260 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Warden Garden is a beautiful, public courtyard at the top of the stairs leading to Penn Museum's entrance. There are plenty of benches and tables to take a seat next to the pond after a short stroll across South Street Bridge.

3260 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

9. Grays Ferry Crescent

Schuylkill Banks, Philadelphia, PA

It's much more chill at this spot on the Schuylkill River compared to the Schuylkill Banks by South Street Bridge. Also make sure to bring your camera for this one—you get a good look at the city as you wander the banks.

Schuylkill Banks
Philadelphia, PA

10. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive

Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Philadelphia, PA

If you want to check out the iconic Boathouse Row, but don't want to deal with the crowds, cross the Schuylkill River via East Falls Bridge and continue walking down Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive instead. It runs along the west bank of the river and offers more quiet, yet just as beautiful, views of Boathouse Row, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Center City skyline.

Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Philadelphia, PA

11. The Rail Park

Noble Street, N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Last summer, when the Rail Park first opened, it was flooded with people eager to take in the beauty of the industrial aesthetics of the space, and the views of the city. Now, the beauty is still there but it’s not nearly as jam-packed. Take a stroll along the park, stop by a swinging bench, and feel like you’re somehow away from everything, while still smack-dab in the middle of the city.

Noble Street, N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19123