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Philadelphia's Urban Trails and Secret Gardens

Philadelphia's Urban Trails and Secret Gardens

Philadelphia might be one of America's largest cities, but with its five original park squares, hundreds of miles of trails and countless acres of unique gardens, it's far from a concrete jungle. Dust off your running shoes, pack up your picnic basket and even bring your grocery list to some of the most beautiful and iconic green spaces in the country. 

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Shofuso is a piece of 17th century Japan in the heart of America's most historic city. Take a day to meander through the grounds yourself and take in Hiroshi Senju's waterfall murals, the only such installation in the United States, or try something new with one of Shofuso's many workshop, event and class opportunities. From tea ceremony classes to dance lessons to five uniquely-themed children's summer camps, there's something at Shofuso for everyone.

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

A name like Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is a lot to live up to, but this incredible space created by Isaiah Zagar can surpass anyone's expectations. A garden, a museum, an art project, a happy hour site, a labyrinth, a music venue and a learning center, the Magic Gardens are utterly unique and entrancing. Come explore this immersive homage to the South Street Renaissance and you'll know as soon as you step inside that there's nothing else in the world like it.

Schuylkill River Trail 

Stretching from the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk in Philadelphia's Center City through Valley Forge National Historical Park to Phoenixville in Chester County, the Schuylkill River Trail is a national favorite for runners, bikers, walkers and commuters of all ages. Whether for work or pleasure, Philadelphia residents are sure to regularly use this easily accessible, well-maintained trail that's just a small section of the hundreds of miles of bike and pedestrian trails available to the region.

Bartram's Garden

With a known history beginning around 3,000 BCE, Bartram's Garden is an historic wonder even in a city already saturated with them. Today, the site includes 45 acres of public parkland, wildlife habitats, tidal wetlands and a reclaimed meadow. It has become a music and art hub, a favorite kayaking spot, the home of Philadelphia's finest horticulture and a working farm that produces over 12,000 pounds of food each year. Visit for an evening of painting and drinks, take your toddler to storytime or consider Bartram's Garden as the perfect venue for your next dream event.

Morris Arboretum

A distinct feature of Philadelphia's ever-present University of Pennsylvania, the Morris Arboretum is a collection of more than 12,000 labeled plants from around North America, Asia and Europe. Seventeen "champion trees," part of the location's original estate, include a Japanese zelkova, Katsura tree and Tabletop Scotch elm. Of course, as part of Penn, the Morris Arboretum features countless learning opportunities for children and adults. Join a conference, book a field trip or take a culinary class while you discover all that the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennyslvania has to offer.