Explore Philadelphia

Philadelphia for Relaxation Seekers

Traveling doesn't always have to be about the hustle. Make your visit something to remember by indulging in some R&R. And with so many spots to relax and unwind in Philly, finding places to just chill is easier than ever.

Treat Yourself

Take care of your body with spa treatments that help you forget you're in a busy city or uncover a new book that will transport you far away from everyday stresses.

If your hunger gets the best of you, head to a spot where the chefs choose the menu (no stresses about what to get make dining much more enjoyable) or cozy up with a cup of brew and slice of cake overlooking a secret garden. Plus, as the garden capital of the United States, there are many acres in and around the city to lounge and people watch. For fitness lovers, sweat it out at a yoga class (the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art even hosts classes on their steps). 

When the day of relaxation has come to an end, take a seat and settle down for a glass of wine or cup of tea—the ultimate way to unwind. Namaste.


Three of the world’s great pleasures (wine, beer and cheese) converge at this innovative bar and small-plate restaurant. L, D (daily).

Bartram's Garden

The oldest botanical garden in the United States and the former homestead of famed botanist John Bartram now serves as an outdoor classroom and living laboratory. The Common Flower Garden offers an unforgettable view of the city skyline. Gardens: free. Daily, dawn to dusk. Tours (in season): $10-$12.

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Created by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, this mesmerizing, maze-like “garden” is actually an outdoor installation complemented by indoor gallery space that was built from glass and ceramic fragments, discarded wheels, bottles and other ephemera. $5-$10. W-M 11 am-6 pm.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia

Founded in 1814, the Athenaeum is a hidden gem for anyone interested in architecture, design or history from 1800 to 1945. Find more than a million books, photographs, sketches and manuscripts from more than 1,000 American architects. Free. Open M-F.

Free Library of Philadelphia: Central Library

Holdings here run the gamut from 4,000-year-old clay tablets to a collection of orchestral music that numbers more than 13,000 compositions and, of course, lots of books. Author events are frequent, as notable writers often make this a stop on national book tours. M-Th 9 am-9 pm, F till 6 pm, Sa till 5 pm, Su 1-5 pm.

Joseph Fox Books

This charming spot in Center City offers an array of selections from architecture and non-fiction to literature and poetry. Open M-Sa 9:30 am-6 pm, W 9:30 am-7 pm.

Duross & Langel

Proprietors Steve Duross and James Langel combine old family recipes and modern science to create a signature line of natural soaps, salts, lotions and potions in their colorful, modern apothecary shop. Also ask about classes and workshops. Open M-Sa 11 am-7 pm, Su noon-5 pm.

Paper on Pine

This bright, airy shop features stationery brands from classic and chic (Crane & Co., Kate Spade) to eco-friendly and irreverent (Knock Knock). Open M-Sa 11 am-7 pm, Su noon-5 pm.

Reading Terminal Market

Founded in 1893, Reading Terminal Market has evolved into one of Philadelphia’s major dining destinations, a food mecca where you can taste international and local specialties, including cheesesteaks and Pennsylvania Dutch treats.

Longwood Gardens

This horticultural paradise has 1,050 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows and 20 indoor gardens, plus an extraordinary “Nature's Castles” tree house exhibit. Frequent live musical performances. $12-$23. Daily 9 am-5 pm.

Rescue Spa

This upscale European-style, contemporary space specializes in massage therapy, detoxification and microdermabrasion. M-F 9 am-8 pm, Sa 9 am-7 pm, select Su 10-5 pm.