Philadelphia continues to live up to William Penn's original dream of a 'greene countrie towne' with an abundance of impressive parks including the new 24-acre Penn Park bridging Center City and University City. (Photo courtesy University of Pennsylvania)
Frommer’s travel experts just released their ranking of The World’s 10 Best Cities for Parks and Philadelphia is deservedly on the list.
The piece calls out our vast Fairmount Park, one of the world’s largest city park systems, made of 63 individual parks over 9,200 acres, which is actually “about 10% of Philadelphia” in terms of geographic area. Pretty cool.
Frommer’s writes, “The parks are home to more than 200 historic buildings, America’s oldest zoo, six golf courses, cycling trails, performance venues, and an array of landscaped gardens and wooded areas.”
Other parks highlighted include the Wissahickon Valley Park with 50 miles of terrain for mountain bikers and hikers plus fishing in Wissahickon creek; Pennypack Park along the Delaware River; the Azalea Garden; Boathouse Row; Bartram’s Garden; Shofuso Japanese House and Garden; Franklin D. Roosevelt Park (“The Lakes”); and East and West Parks.
That’s not to mention the brand new Race Street Pier, tricked-out Penn Park, FDR Park in South Philly, Liberty Lands Park in Northern Liberties, and plans for even more parks coming to Philly: the Reading Viaduct park project, Shoemaker Green at Penn and Mayor Nutter’s resolve to transform 500 acres of unused public land into green space, part of his Green 2015 plan.
You can reference Visit Philly’s Parks & Gardens listings for a comprehensive guide to public park space in Philadelphia.
A little history: William Penn was so inspired by the eastern hardwood forest that greeted him when he arrived here that he named his colony Penn’s Woods, or Pennsylvania. His desire to establish a “greene countrie towne” was fundamental to his vision of the colony; and today, the Philadelphia region is blooming with parks and gardens.
Case in point: our ranking as one of the entire world’s top 10 cities for parks. Get out there!
The World’s 10 Best Cities for Parks [Frommer’s]