Best of Philly

Best Park

2015 BEST Urban Space Transformation

Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center

What began as a vital water management project on Manayunk’s canal is now also a new performing arts center, amphitheater, green space and play area, with ongoing programming (flea markets, outdoor movie nights, pop-up play spaces).

7 Lock Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-865-3583 | Website

2014 BEST Overlooked Park

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

8601 Lindbergh Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA

The 350-acre freshwater tidal marsh nestled next to, yes, the airport is the only place in the world where you might catch a glimpse of a bald eagle with the Philadelphia skyline in the background. (If you don’t, consider the frogs, deer, muskrats and phenomenal bird-watching consolation prizes.) Read more »

2014 BEST Spot for Lawn Games

Clark Park

43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue

On sunny Saturdays, this nine-acre West Philly park turns into a scene from Game of Thrones if Game of Thrones were peopled with kids and propped with foam weapons. The game a make–believe battle royale on the grass is called LARP (Live Action Role Playing), but that’s hardly the only amusement you’ll find here: There’s… Read more »

2013 BEST Park

Sister Cities

18th Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA

Water geysers! Green space! A cafe! The boat pond! Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron summed up this new park perfectly when she wrote: The transformation of this tiny shard of land amounts to a small miracle. … Every Philadelphia neighborhood should have a park as good as Sister Cities. Read more »