If you are a millennial or millennial-adjacent, you know full well the power of social media. It brings us together, it keeps us up to date on our loved ones’ lives, and it allows others to catch a glimpse of our own quotidian experience. One of the most beloved social media apps is Instagram, which allows users to share photos either in a continuous camera roll, or as “stories” that last for only 24 hours. Either way, a sharp-eyed person of youngish age is always on the hunt for the perfect Instagram shot. Whether it be an iconic selfie, #whatIate, or a snap of a photogenic landmark covered in just the right filter, fodder for the ‘gram is a continual hunt. I know I’m biased, but I think Philadelphia is a gorgeous city and full of people, places, and things that are worth immortalizing in digital. Take a look at some of Philly’s most Instagram-worthy spots.
This is number one for a reason. If you don’t do Rocky, did you even Philadelphia? I think not, friend. Queue up “Eye of the Tiger” on Apple Music and have a friend snap you with arms overhead in the classic victory pose commemorated in the statue of Sylvester Stallone’s beloved Philadelphia pugilist. For bonus props, run up the seventy-two steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and snap a selfie of your flushed, triumphant face when you reach the top. And hey, since you’re already at the Art Museum, may as well go in and check out some of the amazing works on collection.
Who knew that a neon-lit alleyway, originally designed to discourage unsavory types from loitering in the darkness, would prove to be such a hot spot? Now the luminous walkway is an iconic spot for photos. The mural, designed by local artists David Guinn and Sarah Anton, is just begging for intrepid phone photographers to try out just the right angles to catch the light. As extra incentive to go, Pat’s and Geno’s are right around the corner, so you can grab one of Philly’s best cheesesteaks (and no, I won’t say which one) to cap the night off.
Here’s another hotspot with quintessentially Philly icon status: the red, green, and purple statue of the word “LOVE” on display in its eponymous park. Philadelphia is, after all, the city of brotherly love (even though apparently nobody told this to the Eagles fans). Ask a kind-looking stranger to take a snap of you smooching your beloved below the statue, or celebrate love in its many forms, whether it be with family or friends. It’s located right in the heart of Philly, so it will be an easy stop on your sightseeing tour.
…duh. It’s been centuries since anybody heard that enormous bell ring, but the cracked behemoth is easily one of Philadelphia’s signature landmarks, and possibly the most prominent one. History buffs will squee over the fact that Independence Hall and the Declaration of Independence are practically next door. A selfie with the bell announces, without any words, that you are in Philadelphia. It can’t be missed.
Is your feed looking a little dull? For a wild pop of both color and abstract coolness, check out the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. You have to pay admission to get in, but it’s well worth it. The scenery borders on psychedelic, and there’s always a cool little niche that nobody seems to have explored before. Expect crowds to be WAY heavy on the weekends, and try coming on a weekday morning if you can help it.
This beautiful blue bridge, which connects Philadelphia to Camden, New Jersey, was once the longest suspension bridge in the world. Nowadays it is the perfect hunting ground for photo-perfect moments, made possible due to the pedestrian footpath running alongside it. At sunset, the views of the waterfront will take your breath away. For a different look at the bridge, head underneath to the Race Street Pier, which is also ridiculously picturesque.
In the midst of Philly’s toniest square is a bronze statue of a goat. No, not Tom Brady – an actual goat. Placed by the 19th Street and Rittenhouse Square entrance to the park in 1919, the goat, affectionately called “Billy,” is now considered a good-luck charm. Give his horns a rub, and fortune is bound to land in your favor. If you have a kid of your own (the human kind), take a quick snap of him or her atop Billy’s back. I won’t tell if you don’t.