Views From The Top: 5 Best Scenic Overlooks in Philadelphia

Explore the best vistas and elevated entertainment at Philly's five best scenic overlooks, with a spotlight on One Liberty Observation Deck.

The Philadelphia skyline is breathtaking, iconic and quite something to behold. Visitors become a part of the vista at these five observation points, some with fine dining and entertainment, and all with spectacular views.

One Liberty Observation Deck

Philadelphia’s newest blockbuster attraction debuts 883 feet in the air. One Liberty Observation Deck now welcomes visitors to see Philadelphia from 57 floors up.

The breathtaking site offers 360-degree vistas of the entire city and beyond, and is open to the public from 10 am to 10 pm every day of the year. When the sky is clear, guests can see all the way to New Jersey and Delaware to the east, past University City to the west, down to Philly’s stadiums to the south, and up to the neighboring suburbs to the north. At night, the Philadelphia skyline, complete with its stunning bridges, statues and skyscrapers, sparkles.
“This is an exciting and significant time for Philadelphia, and the launch of One Liberty Observation Deck is a key addition to the visitor experience,” says Meryl Levitz, President & CEO of Visit Philadelphia.
 One Liberty Observation Deck offers high-tech touch-screen technology, allowing visitors to zoom in on what they’re seeing. Points of interest like the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, City Hall and Battleship New Jersey, all visible through the site’s expansive windows, are just a few of the attractions that guests can learn about while looking at them from above.
Along with unforgettable views, the new attraction includes a selection of art installations that capture the spirit of Philadelphia’s past, present and future. Evan Evans, General Manager of One Liberty Observation Deck, comments, “Philly has amazing stories to tell to locals and visitors alike. Sharing it from 883 feet above the city is simply spectacular!”

1650 Market St., 215.561.3325, phillyfromthetop.com

City Hall

Located at the intersection of Market and Broad streets, City Hall has been Philadelphia’s municipal headquarters for more than 100 years. In fact, this stunning architectural marvel still holds the record of being the largest of its kind in the country. For a special view of the city, visitors can head to the observation deck, which sits just below the 37-foot bronze statue of William Penn atop the building’s clock tower. Two-hour public tours highlight the art, architecture and history of the building.

Broad & Market streets, 215.686.2840, phila.gov/virtualch

R2L

Head to R2L for one of the city’s most elegant dining experiences. After riding the elevator up to the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place, guests walk past the open kitchen into a chic bar and lounge, complete with plush seating and modern lighting. The dining room is surrounded with floor-to-ceiling windows that look upon Center City to the south and to the east. On a clear day, guests can see for over 40 miles, turning a memorable meal into an unparalleled experience. Chef Daniel Stern, who studied under the likes of Rocco DiSpirito, Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, crafts cuisine to match, including grilled truffle flatbread, homemade salmon gravlax, grilled rabbit and Valrhona chocolate soufflé.

50 S. 16th St., 215.564.5337, r2lrestaurant.com

Top of the Tower

Incredible scenery, delicious cuisine and a stellar location make Top of the Tower a coveted spot for weddings and other private social events, and for the public’s purpose, weekend brunch. This scenic venue occupies the 50th and 51st floors of Three Logan Center, the one-time Philly headquarters of Bell Atlantic. Looking out floor-to-ceiling windows or from the open-air patios, visitors get a bird’s eye view of such Philadelphia monuments as the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul—where Pope Francis led Mass during his visit to Philadelphia in September—Logan Square, Eakins Oval and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Open-air patios on the east and west sides of the 51st floor offer the opportunity to experience the highest outdoor vistas in the city.

1717 Arch St., 215.567.8787, topofthetower.com

XIX

The Bellevue on Broad Street is home to an array of shopping and dining options, as well as the elegant Hyatt at the Bellevue hotel. At the summit of this luxurious property, the restaurant XIX, which is—you guessed it—on the 19th floor, serves fare like smoked pork belly, lobster risotto and steak frites under the building’s majestic domes. Surrounding the dining tables, panoramic windows showcase the beauty of Philadelphia, from outdoor murals and statues to skyscrapers and city streets.

200 S. Broad St., 215.893.1234, philadelphia.bellevue.hyatt.com  

Loews Philadelphia Hotel

Just steps from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Loews Hotel boasts 581 stylish guest rooms and suites, as well as mesmerizing views of the city. This building was actually the first skyscraper ever constructed in the United States, and the hotel's art deco décor and historic photos pay homage to the structure's rich past. On the 33rd floor of the hotel, guests can view modern-day Philadelphia from a high-up vantage point. Peering out the windows that look to the northwest, visitors find themselves almost at eye-level with the famed William Penn statue atop City Hall. Plus, if it's not being used as part of a private function, an 1,100-square-foot terrace enables guests to breathe in the air high above the hustle and bustle of the city streets.

1200 Market St., 215.627.1200, loewshotels.com/philadelphia-hotel

Amy Gordon
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