Watching the sunset is one of the closest things I’d wager to being a universal experience. Who isn’t awed and humbled by the spectacular vision of the sun disappearing below the horizon line in all its majesty, as it paints the sky in rich shades of gold and vivid red? People who are blind or heartless, that’s who. Philadelphia may not have the advantage of being on the seashore like some obvious contenders for best sunsets, but the sunset over the City of Brotherly Love still puts on a magnificent show for those who want to woo a certain someone on a romantic date, or even to appreciate the spectacle by themselves. Here are some of the top spots for watching the sunset in Philly.
Taking in the view of the setting sun from either the west entrance or the iconic “Rocky steps” will treat you to a masterpiece fit to rival any of those paintings lodged in the museum’s ample collection. It’s the perfect topper for a long day spent exploring the Museum of Art, which is totally dateworthy in and of itself. If you sit on the steps, you will have the unique position of watching the sun dip down below the famous skyscrapers of Center City. Wednesday nights are “pay as you wish,” so this can be a nice, inexpensive evening.
Another day trip that you can turn into a sunset rendezvous is one to the Philadelphia Zoo. You and as many people as you wish (within reason) can catch a bird’s eye view of Fairmount Park and the Philadelphia skyline from the unique comfort of this 30-passenger attraction that is conveniently located near the Garden’s entrance. During autumn and winter, this is the place to be, as during other times of the year, the Zoo closes before dark. The ride lasts for 10-15 minutes, so you’ll have to time your ascent to coordinate with the sun starting to set. Tickets are a bit spendy, but it’s an indulgence that’s totally worth it.
One of Philadelphia’s famed tall ships, the Moshulu has been fully restored to its former glory. Adjoining the boat is the Bongo Bar & Deck, which combines sunset views with cool Delaware River breezes. It’s the perfect hotspot for twilight cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with friends or loved ones. This is definitely a summer sunset spot, as the breezes from the river can be downright chilly if the weather isn’t balmy.
Would it surprise you to know that some of Philly’s best sunsets can be seen during a baseball game? Well, it’s true. If you catch a late-afternoon or early evening game at the home of the Phillies, you will be treated to an open-sky view of the Philadelphia sunset in its multicolored glory. The west-facing back of the park leaves your view of the horizon wide open. This is another fantastic combination of a date / family night outing with a sunset as the proverbial cherry on top.
“After a meal at any of Old City’s incredible restaurants and bars, make your way to Penn’s Landing for an incredible view of the Delaware River and the boats. Take a stroll down the boardwalk as the sun sets to make it a perfect summer night. Don’t miss out on the great evening programs being offered here, too.” This is also a great place for a run, making Penn’s Landing a unique place to work up a sweat and then treat yourself to a glorious visual show when you are done.
These places are also great to catch the sunset, proving that Philadelphia is far more scenic than many people think.
1. Boathouse Row
2. Race Street Pier
3. XIX Nineteen Restaurant (Hyatt at the Bellevue)
4. Benjamin Franklin Parkway
5. Bistro St. Tropez (4th Floor of Marketplace Design Center on Market Street)
7. Race Street Pier
8. Water Works Restaurant and Lounge
9. Morgan’s Pier
10. R2L (37th floor of Two Liberty Place)
11. Top of the Tower (51st Floor at Three Logan Square)
12. Penn Park
13. Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park
14. Penn Treaty Park
15. Drexel Park