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August 17, 2012

Roundup: Our Top Picks For The Best Places To Watch The Sunset In Philadelphia

The sky isn't the only place that lights up at sunset with this view of Boathouse Row, just one of many spots in and around the city that are perfect for watching the sunset. (Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC)

From alfresco dining to outdoor festivals, summer’s the best season to get outdoors and enjoy the longer days and always fun summer nights.

There’s always something going on, but don’t forget to stop and take in the natural beauty Philadelphia has to offer.

Inspired by a question from a Uwishunu reader (thanks!), we’ve decided to highlight one of our favorite parts of the summer: a beautiful sunset.

Get the best of both worlds at Race Street Pier: the riverfront to the east and the skyline to the west. (Photo by M. Kennedy for GPTMC)

Check out our guide below for the best places to watch the sunset in and around Philadelphia.

Do you have a favorite place to watch the sunset? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

Dinner Backdrops

XIX Nineteen: With its luxurious neutral décor, stunning rotundas and floor-to-ceiling arched picture windows, XIX Nineteen in the Hyatt at the Bellevue offers truly unparalleled views. Feast on sumptuous seafood from a window-side table and take in the sunset.

Even without fireworks in the sky, you can enjoy the sunset view down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. (Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)

Bistro St. Tropez: French-inspired cuisine comes paired with sunset views of the Schuylkill River, Cira Centre and 30th Street Station at Center City’s Bistro St. Tropez located on the fourth floor of the Marketplace Design Center on Market Street.

Moshulu: The fully restored four-masted sailing ship, berthed on Penn’s Landing, offers the perfect summer happy hour spot. Moshulu’s Bongo Bar & Deck combines sunset views with cool Delaware River breezes. Grab a few friends for twilight cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Rouge: The first place in Philadelphia to open outdoor café seating is also one of the best places in Rittenhouse Square to see and be seen and do a little people watching as day folds into night. Longtime regulars at Rouge order fancy martinis and watch the sun set over the park.

Water Works Restaurant and Lounge: Named AOL CityGuide’s “Best Romantic Restaurant” and “Best Restaurant with a View” for 2007, Water Works is an ideal place to watch the romantic sunset over the Schuylkill River and Boathouse Row that will sure to create an evening to remember.

Morgan’s Pier: This summer’s hotspot doesn’t just offer great beer, snacks and entertainment. Morgan’s Pier has unparalleled views of the Delaware River waterfront and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Stop by for the sunset, a cool breeze and a lot of fun.

R2L: Enjoy a meal while overlooking Center City at R2L. Located on the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place, this modern dining room and lounge offers unforgettable food, drinks and service while you can enjoy your company and the unforgettable views. They even feature the evening’s sunset time on their website. Perfect!

Top of the Tower: Head to Center City Sips at Top of the Tower, a special events space that offers one of the highest publicly accessible views in the city.

There's no better way to unwind than with great food and drinks and a breathtaking view of the city, like at R2L (pictured here) located on the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place. (Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)

Sunset on the Green

Penn Park: Less than a year old, Penn Park in University City offers the perfect view of the Philly skyline from the West and tons of green space to enjoy it. Take a stroll around the park during sunset or use the skyline as the backdrop for your next sports game.

Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park: This well-traveled destination in Fairmount Park attracts runners, bikers, frisbee and softball players. To cap off a summer picnic, take in Belmont Plateau’s dramatic view of the Center City skyline and watch the sun set.

French Creek State Park: For something outside of the city, try French Creek State Park in Chester County. It’s a popular destination for boating, sailing, fishing and hiking with nearly 40 miles of trails. Overnight campers will want to set up camp then stroll down to the lake to watch the sunset in the heart of the great outdoors.

Penn Treaty Park: Right on the Delaware River waterfront at the edge of Fishtown, Penn Treaty Park brings greenery right to the waterfront — the perfect combination for admiring the sunset.

Drexel Park: Located near Drexel University’s campus, Drexel Park offers incredible skyline views and a perfect spot to watch the sunset as reflected off of the skyscrapers.

Read on for more picturesque places to watch the sunset.

The sunset is one of the best parts of catching a summertime Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park. (Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)

Scenic Outposts

South Street Bridge: Before spending your evening at South Street’s great restaurants, catching a show at the TLA or perusing the district’s many eclectic shops, walk across the re-opened South Street Bridge for an unforgettable sunset and view of the skyline.

Race Street Pier: Located in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Race Street Pier features two levels for riverside recreation. At high tide the river comes just 4.5 feet from the lower level of the pier, bringing you right up to the water’s edge. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sunset.

Enjoy nature's beauty inside one of Philadelphia's many nearby state parks, like French Creek State Park in Chester County. (Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)

Ben Franklin Bridge Walkway: The 1,750-foot blue bridge connects Philadelphia to Camden, stretching over the Delaware River. You can actually walk, bike or jog across the Ben Franklin Bridge on one of two walkways for pedestrians, which afford one of the best views of the city. It’s even one of William Reed’s (co-owner of Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s) favorite parts of Philly.

Penn’s Landing: 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.

Camden Waterfront: Want to take in the full Philly skyline and not miss one detail? Cross the Delaware over to the Camden Waterfront. Here you’ll find great spots to take in the view: the Adventure Aquarium, Wiggins Park and the Battleship New Jersey.

The Schuylkill River Banks: When the sun sets, take a jog, go for a stroll or bike along the Schuylkill Banks and don’t forget to admire the views on your break. Swing by the Art Museum area of the trail. There you’ll find a beautiful look-out, gazebo included.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway: With the flags waving in the summer breeze, take a look down the Parkway for a great view of the museum district and the regal entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art at dusk.

Philadelphia knows how to glow at sunset with this view from across the Delaware River. (Credit: GPTMC)

Venues With A View

Philadelphia Museum of Art, East and West Entrances: After a day of exploring Philadelphia Museum of Art’s many masterpieces, step out of the East Entrance for an incredible view from one of Philly’s most iconic spots. Watch the sunset reflected in the skyscrapers along Ben Franklin Parkway on the Art Museum steps. For a more direct view, use the West Entrance to watch the sun set over the Schuylkill.

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts: Concert-goers at the Mann in Fairmount Park can pack an elegant picnic to eat on the lawn, head to the concessions at the top of the hill or dine alfresco-style at Crescendo before showtime and take in the view.

Dinner at Water Works Restaurant and a view of the sunset along the Schuylkill is sure to make for the perfect romantic evening. (Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)

Campbell’s Field: Get first base-side seats for the next Camden Riversharks game at Campbell’s Field. Admission includes a bird’s-eye view of the sunset over the Philadelphia skyline.

Citizens Bank Park: What’s better than catching the game and getting a full open-sky view as the sun sets at Citizens Bank Park? It’s the perfect combo for a fun-filled summer night.

Where’s your favorite spot to watch the sunset in Philadelphia? Let us know in the comments.

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Maddy says:

Good list, but as always, highly color-saturated photos.

Claudia Cristofori says:

Really beautiful pictures and great suggestions to enjoy the city! Thank you.

Tim Bates says:

Thanks for this nice list. It’s great to have a short list of ideas for a spontaneous evening in the city!