FX Excursions

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Philadelphia’s Fairmount Boasts Impressive Collections and a Friendly Vibe

by Kimberly Krol Inlander

Sep 16, 2021


September 2021

As a native of the Philadelphia region, I’m quite familiar with the drive in and out of the City of Brotherly Love. Even as the city’s skyline continually transforms, my favorite views of Philadelphia have always been along Boathouse Row, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art rising in the background, before looping around the museum to the flag-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Home to many of Philadelphia’s incredible and world-renowned museums, the Fairmount neighborhood is fittingly aesthetically pleasing and practically synonymous with fine art.



Perhaps the most well-known of the area’s institutions is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the experience begins outdoors at its iconic staircase. Don’t miss posing with the Rocky statue before you head up the stairs made famous by Sylvester Stallone. In May 2021 the museum debuted the first results of a multiyear, multimillion-dollar, Frank Gehry- designed master redesign. Among the changes: 20,000 square feet of new gallery space, a soaring forum, a renovated Lenfest Hall and an outdoor portico overlooking the Schuylkill River (that’s pronounced “skoo-kl” for non-Philadelphians).

Art lovers will also delight at the Rodin Museum. Encompassing one of the world’s best collections of works by Auguste Rodin, considered the father of modern sculpture, it’s the only museum dedicated solely to him outside of Paris. Just steps away lies another superlative display at the Barnes Foundation, boasting one of the world’s best collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and modern art displayed in a striking manner that literally covers the walls.

Adults and children big and small will find fun at Fairmount’s other highlights. Science and technology are cool at the Franklin Institute, and taking a walk through “The Giant Heart” is a rite of passage. My journalistic aspirations were cultivated during childhood visits to the Please Touch Museum, featuring various play areas mimicking fairy tales, occupations, lifestyle pursuits and real-life institutions.

America’s first zoo, Philadelphia Zoo boasts a first- in-the-world animal travel trail system, Zoo 360. Look up to see monkeys, tigers and more traversing the in-air walkways. The zoo is encompassed within Fairmount Park, which covers more than 2,000 acres of green space. Don’t miss an open-air performance at The Mann Center, also within the park’s boundaries.

Once home to notorious prisoners like “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone, today Eastern State Penitentiary offers daytime and night tours as well as thought-provoking exhibits on modern incarceration in America. At Halloween expect to hear screams — all in good fun — from its halls when the prison transforms for the seasonal Terror Behind the Walls.

All of this comes alongside a thriving culinary and beverage scene and a welcoming, friendly vibe. The best way to experience Fairmount is to explore it for yourself.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


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