New York Times Journeys: Classic & Creative Philly
With exclusive access and hands-on experiences curated by Urban Adventures and The New York Times, join us and explore several distinct Philly neighborhoods and see the city through the eyes of a local guide. We'll try some of the city's best foods (hello cheesesteak!), visit the waterfront and enjoy a few drinks together too.
New York Times Journeys: Classic & Creative Philly Tour Highlights
- Discover Philadelphia’s creative uses for old spaces, including a public park on a formerly abandoned pier, a fringe arts center in a former water pumping station and a seasonal park made from shipping containers
- Walk through several neighborhoods, from old to modern to revitalized, and discover their history, architecture and vibrant communities
- Explore a seasonal park on the Delaware River waterfront, either on a floating barge beer garden in the summer or cozied up next to a fire pit in the winter
New York Times Exclusives:
- Behind-the-Scenes Access: Visit DiBruno Brothers House of Cheese, a south Philly institution and learn about the history of the shop while you indulge yourself with a private cheese-tasting alongside one of their expert cheesemongers
- Hands-on Element: Learn the art of making a Philly cheesesteak in the kitchen (and refrigerator!) with the owner of one of the most popular cheesesteak shops in the city, then get behind the grill and cook up your own to eat
- Local Interactions: Take a tour of the FringeArts production space (with a cocktail in hand) and chat with an actor or member of the team
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, subway ticket, cheese tasting, cheesesteak tasting, one cocktail or alternative beverage of your choice.
Exclusions: Items of personal nature, additional food or drink, tips/gratuities for your guide.
- Duration: 4 hours
- Meeting point: Corner of 9th and South Streets – outside Rittenhouse Square (next to the gazebo in the center of the square). 210 W Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Starting time: 3.00 PM
Begin your tour in the heart of modern Philadelphia. Surrounded by the largest concentration of food, drink and entertainment options in the city, this beautiful green space is the perfect people-watching location. At DiBruno Bros, a famed local purveyor of meats and cheeses, the old world meets the modern. We will stop at the newer outpost of this Philly institution, which dates back to 1939. Here we will taste some cheeses with an expert DiBruno cheesemonger, exploring products that were produced both locally and around the world. There will be time afterwards to browse and shop for your favorites.
Next, we will head toward one of the most creative and dynamic new spaces in Philly, Dilworth Park, which opened in 2014 as a replacement for the rather mundane Dilworth Plaza. With City Hall as a dramatic backdrop, Dilworth Park is always lively. After a look around, we’ll hop on the subway to venture to our next neighborhood, Old City, for a taste of Philly’s most famous dish, the cheesesteak. We’re heading to Campo’s, a classic, family-owned joint, where the friendly team will take you through, step-by-step, the process of creating this famous sandwich. You will even have a chance to get behind the grill to cook and assemble your own cheesesteak, no pressure! Tour the shop, taste your sandwich and chat with the team to round out your cheesesteak experience.
A walk through Old City toward Philly’s emerging Delaware River waterfront is next. For most of its existence, this was been an industrial waterfront which hasn’t held much appeal to your average Philadelphian. This is all changing now with new parks and innovative spaces springing up along the waterfront. Start with the Race Street Pier: this former garbage pier now provides one of the best views of the river and Philly’s famous Ben Franklin Bridge.
Across the street sits a formerly abandoned water pumping station which is now home to a performing arts center, restaurant and beer garden; Fringe Arts has taken creativity to the next level. Spend a happy hour in this amazing space and chat with the production or technical staff. If there’s time we’ll take a short tour of the building as well. We’ll enjoy a cocktail (or something else you fancy) and soak up the atmosphere. Occasionally, Fringe Arts is closed to the public for private events and performances. If this happens don’t worry! We will visit the Arden Theatre Company instead, one of the city’s best, located in a historic former post office building. Here we’ll chat to the actors or production crew, depending on their availability and get a behind-the-scenes tour of this creative venue.
Philadelphians look forward to both winter and summer along the waterfront and for good reason. Winterfest brings what was effectively an empty parking lot alive with fire pits to roast s’mores, a cozy lodge serving warm festive beverages or cold beer and an ice-skating rink. In the summer, Spruce Street Harbor Park is a spectacle of floating gardens, hammocks between the trees, multiple beer gardens, food served out of old shipping containers and floating barges on which to relax. Your tour ends here. Eat, drink and relax for a while, or follow your guide’s recommendations for more places to visit in Philly.