Best of Philly

Best Park

2016 BEST Family Reunion Spot

Masons Mill Park

If you have to go to a family reunion, at least angle to have it hosted it here, among 76 acres of recreational and picnicking awesomeness. When you get bored, you can challenge Aunt Edna to tennis or cast a line with Uncle Ted in the fishing pond.

3500 Masons Mill Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA


2016 BEST New Public Space

Cira Green

80 South 30th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Visit this new park, sandwiched between the two glass high-rises at Cira Centre South, for a thrilling, optimism-stoking panorama of Philadelphia. Eleven stories up, you’ll take in sweeping views of Center City and the Schuylkill while lounging in the lush runways of grass. Fifty bucks to the person who manages to not Instagram it. Read more »

2016 BEST Place to Fly Your Drone

Belmont Plateau

Army Road, Philadelphia, PA

Forget those chintzy things you see at the mall kiosks. On weekends at the scenic hill in West Fairmount Park, enthusiasts fly serious drones — and fast. Wait, you don’t own a drone yet? Here’s where to buy one. Read more »

2015 BEST Urban Space Transformation

Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center

7 Lock Street, Philadelphia, PA

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). Read more »

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 »