Philadelphia Named One Of The 10 Best Cities For Parks In The World By Frommer’s

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]


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  1. there can be no discussion like this that doesn’t put VALLEY GREEN at the fore front. walk from northwestern ave to lincolin drive and then realize that you are within the borders of a top 10 American city. feed the ducks too! everywhere else is a park, VG is a refuage.sorry no spell x.

  2. You may thank Philadelphia’s first black mayor. Milton Street for Fairmont Parks square acreage value.
    To get funding as America’s largest inner city park he had to group all the city’s Parks under the name fairmont park and when that wasn’t enough he threw in the medial strips along the Roosevelt Blvd.
    So please give a hats off to his honor Milton Street

  3. Sorry, Robert. First off, Milton Street was never mayor, John was; second, John Street wasn’t the first black mayor, Wilson Goode was; third, the lumping of all parkland not under the auspices of the old Recreation Department dates to the creation of the Fairmount Park Commission in the 19th century. I think that figure was somewhere near 8000 acres. The current, 9200-acre figure, I believe, dates to the merging of the Fairmount Park Commission with the Recreation Department under current Mayor Michael Nutter.

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