Fall in Philadelphia: Top 5 Spots to See Foliage
It’s always sad to say goodbye to warm weather, but nothing gets you excited for autumn like an afternoon spent checking out the changing leaves. Whether you prefer to ride through the foliage on a bike or watch from a train window, the Philadelphia metro area has plenty of options for enjoying the changing leaves. Grab your sweater, pack a thermos of hot cider, and check out our top 5 spots for incredible leaf-peeping, all within an hour of Philadelphia.
Part of the beauty of Kelly Drive is its proximity to Center City — the paved path begins behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art and runs beside Boathouse Row before reaching Falls Bridge in East Falls. Rather than doubling back, cross the bridge and finish the loop along Martin Luther King Drive. Both sides of the river offer calming views of the water and fall foliage just minutes from the heart of the city.
Located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (about an hour west of Center City), Longwood Gardens are a popular destination in the spring and summer, but visitors to the area shouldn’t overlook this gem in the autumn. The famous fountains run through the end of October and are particularly gorgeous when surrounded by the trees changing colors. Longwood also offers a conservatory filled with chrysanthemums, a children’s area with a pumpkin playground, and a paved path through Peirce’s Woods that is perfect for those looking to get lost in the leaves.
Wissahickon Valley Park
There are more than 1,800 acres of parkland in Wissahickon Valley Park, located in northwest Philadelphia. Hiking and biking are great year-round, but the park is particularly gorgeous in autumn. Forbidden Drive is the main path through the park — closed to cars, it runs beside Wissahickon Creek and offers five miles of scenic fall views. Don’t miss a fall photoshoot beside the red covered bridge, which was originally built in 1737!
Bowman’s Hill Tower
This 125-foot tower is part of Washington Crossing Historic Park in Bucks County, a little less than an hour north of Philadelphia. Sitting atop Bowman’s Hill, the tower offers a 14-mile view of the surrounding landscape and winding Delaware River. Bonus: Venture just a bit farther up Route 32, and you can board the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, which offers excursions through the countryside with more breathtaking views from a beautifully restored vintage train.
Travelpulse.com named Morris Arboretum one of the country’s top 5 gardens to visit in the fall. This gorgeous 92-acre garden is in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of northwest Philadelphia. Home to some of the area’s largest trees, the Arboretum also features species known for their vibrant colors, including red and sugar maples, black gums, and scarlet oaks. While it’s easy to appreciate the beauty from ground level, you won’t want to miss “Out on a Limb,” a 50-foot high canopy walk offering a view of the leaves from a whole new perspective.
Whether you stay in the city or the suburbs this autumn, there’s bound to be beautiful foliage close by. Once you’ve seen all these gorgeous spots, we think you’ll agree — Fall might just be the best time to visit Philadelphia.
Know Before You Go
- Tasting a Philly Cheesesteak is a must! Local rival restaurants Geno’s Steaks and Pat’s King of Steaks are some of the best in the city.
- For art enthusiasts, the Mural Mile Walking Tour covers over 3,600 murals. Other museums offer Free Art Sundays on the first Sunday of each month.
- Immerse yourself in the history of the birth of the United States at Independence Hall.