Probably the most popular place to take a picture in Philadelphia is at the Rocky statue in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. There’s nearly always a line to take a selfie with the larger-than-life statue of Rocky Balboa, the main character in seven Rocky movies. And that photo goes hand-in-hand with a run up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps (a.k.a. the Rocky steps) for a photo with Rocky’s footprint and a breath-taking view down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Top Spots for Philly Photo-Ops
Here are some other good options for only-in-Philadelphia photos.
One Liberty Philadelphia Observation Deck
From One Liberty Philadelphia Observation Deck on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place, visitors have a clear view of Philadelphia, over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge into New Jersey, over the Schuylkill River to West Philadelphia and beyond. Tip: Go right before sunset so you can get photos of the daytime view, the sunset, and the nighttime lights too.
One Liberty Philadelphia Observation Deck is open and operating with limited guest capacity. The attraction is following all recommendations from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia, using EPA/ CDC approved cleaning agents and following sanitizing guidelines. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online, allowing for a touchless procedure. Guests over the age of 2 and staff are required to wear a face-covering over their mouth and nose throughout the duration of their visit and are asked to practice social distancing. Directional arrows, reminder signs and hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the space.
This farmhouse chic home goods store, cafe, nursery, and event space look like a gift from Martha Stewart all wrapped up in string lights. There are photo ops everywhere you look - inside and outside. Shelves of unusually-shaped pots and clusters of succulents and a wall of rustic wreaths make interesting backdrops, and you may just be tempted to take home a souvenir. Outside, there’s lush, flowering greenery seemingly coaxed to maximum freshness with artfully displayed seating for photo ops.
Terrain is open and complying with all state and local laws. The store has increased cleaning routines and installed plexiglass guards to limit contact at the time of purchase. All employees and customers are required to wear masks and practice social distancing. Because of occupancy limits, customers may sometimes have to wait in socially-distant lines to enter the store.
Another popular spot for photos, often of couples, is in front of the Love statue at John F. Kennedy Plaza (a.k.a. Love Park) with the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the background. You’ll likely have a wait, but it’s not uncommon for people nearby to offer to take your photo, which is handy if you’re a twosome and want a photo together. In 2018, the city completed a multimillion-dollar renovation of the park, restoring the sculpture and fountain and adding green spaces. Tip: There’s a second Love statue on Locust Walk on the University of Pennsylvania campus and there’s typically no line there. No need for safety guidelines at this outdoor sight, except for the reminder to stay socially-distant while waiting in line.
Philadephia's Magic Gardens
While a garden would be a wonderful place for a photo, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens isn’t a traditional garden at all. It’s a three-dimensional labyrinth that covers half a city block. Artist Isaiah Zagar decorated the walls, ceiling and floors with a mosaic of handmade tiles, colorful glass bottles, thousands of mirror bits, folk art statues and bicycle parts.
Much of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is open-air, although there are some indoor areas as well. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is open and tickets must be reserved online in advance. No tickets are being sold on-site and capacity is limited. Masks must be worn over the mouth and nose by everyone over the age of 5 in the outside area as well as in the galleries and lobby. Hand sanitizing and hand washing stations are available; guests are asked to social distance. Tip: You can find more of Zagar’s easily recognizable murals on buildings throughout the neighborhood on homes, businesses and in alleyways.
This picturesque square was one of the original five squares planned by Philadelphia founder William Penn. It’s always bustling with fashionably dressed residents, business executives, dog walkers, young families and picnickers. And it’s not unusual to spot a juggler, exercise classes, wedding proposals and bridal parties posing for photos.
Take a photo in front of one of the flower gardens or strike a pose by one of the statues there. One popular spot is next to, or even sitting atop Billy, the goat, a close-to-life-size statue by Philadelphian Albert Laessle. There are also statues of a lion and a frog, which are much larger than life. There’s no need for safety guidelines here because it’s all outside.
There are many only-in-Philadelphia spots that will make you want to grab your phone or camera. Don’t be surprised if you stumble upon the Chinese Friendship Gate, stroll by a reenactor dressed as Ben Franklin, or spy a flower-covered horse and carriage trotting down a cobblestone street.