Pedal these four-person recumbent rail bikes on a six-mile woodland journey along a 19th-century rail line that was once used to transport iron ore. The bridges, streams and rock formations along the way provide plenty of Instagram fodder. 64 South Washington Street, Boyertown, PA 19512
See Kelly Drive and Boathouse Row as you’ve never seen them before — from a bicycle built for two. Forty-five bucks gets you a sturdy tandem bike for the entire day … and lots of envious stares. 1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA 19130
When every other music venue shut down, the city’s longest-standing jazz club invested in a state-of-the-art four-camera HD livestreaming package and brought live Philly jazz to audiences around the world, with viewers as far away as Japan. The move provided some much-needed work to otherwise out-of-work musicians, and even though live audiences have returned, the livestreams continue. This month, don’t miss master bassist Ben Williams on August 13th. 1421 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
When Ocean (née Revel) first opened, one of our biggest complaints was that the seaside resort was just too damn vast and unnavigable. But you know what we discovered during the pandemic? Sometimes, lots of space is good! Ocean gives us plenty of that, with mad views to boot. Oh, and the new grown-ups-only cabanas are glorious. Another daiquiri, please! 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Philadelphia mega-developer Bart Blatstein thinks big. Really big. So it’s no surprise his new arcade inside Showboat, the Atlantic City property he bought for pennies on the dollar, is big. More than 65,000 square feet big, in fact. You’ll find all the arcade classics (we spent way too long on Frogger one recent summer day), mini-bowling lanes, Skee-Ball and other Boardwalk-style action, vintage pinball, a gamer’s room for those into Minecraft and Fortnite, the world’s largest Pac-Man, and an absolutely dizzying array of virtual reality games, putting all the other arcades at the Jersey Shore to shame. 801 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Pioneering composer Ellen Reid pushes the definition of public art with this GPS-enabled immersive exhibition. An app sends location-based musical compositions featuring musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra, sound effects and soundscapes into your earbuds as you walk through some of your favorite outdoor spaces in Fairmount Park. The exhibit ends on September 30th.
Yes, the Broadway smash already came here. But that was at the Forrest Theatre. So we can’t wait to see it under the big chandelier when it visits us at the Academy of Music from October 20th through November 28th. 240 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
There was lots of handwringing in the local art community (and the museum and architecture worlds as a whole) over what controversial architect Frank Gehry might do to our beloved world-class art museum — just google “Guggenheim Bilbao” to understand the cause for concern. But when his $233 million renovation was unveiled in May, we were pleasantly surprised — shocked, really — to find pure elegance at every turn. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130
With its five Olympic-size tables, there’s always good competition inside Conshohocken Brewing Company’s gaming annex. 230 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460
Len Davidson has been finding and restoring neon signs since the 1970s, and his massive collection finally has a proper and permanent home. You’ll find original neon from places like Pat’s King of Steaks, the Horn & Hardart’s 30th Street Station shop (talk about a throwback!), McGillin’s Olde Ale House and Levis Hot Dogs. 1800 North American Street unit E, Philadelphia, PA 19122
As its name might suggest, this roving pop-up museum features a collection of tiny art. (Nothing over five inches in any direction is even considered.) Find it on Instagram @Mini_Museum_Philly and in a variety of public spaces, like the exhibit running through December at Philadelphia International Airport.
We see your moonbounce and raise you one mobile ax-throwing experience. 240-4 S West End Boulevard, Quakertown, PA 18951
When Philly’s most innovative dance company could no longer perform for live audiences, it changed everything up and made supremely exquisite dance films, which you can still watch through the BalletX Beyond streaming service. 1923 Washington Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Bring Back to Dilworth Park
Sure, the wintertime ice-skating at Dilworth is great and all, but we simply loved the retro roller rink that debuted this spring. It closed in July, but we’re hoping for an encore this fall. One South 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Whether you find him at Frankford Hall in Fishtown or 118 North on the Main Line, this positively geeky guy (who’s also co-owner of vintage sports clothing company Shibe Vintage Sports as well as host of the Best of Philly-winning podcast The Philly Blunt) simply comes up with the best, most unexpected questions every week. We’re not sure how he does it. But all other local Quizzo hosts pale in comparison.
They say everybody has a story to tell, and realtor-turned-impresario host Christopher Plant pulls them from a wide, wide range of Philadelphians, from Inquirer urbanist Inga Saffron to libido expert Jessica Burch of Sexpot Apothecary to curator and photographer Conrad Benner.
We don’t normally give Best of Philly to the same business or organization twice in the same issue, but, well, when the Ritz at the Bourse closed in January 2020, film lovers shed a collective tear or 12. So we have high hopes now that the film-snobby Philadelphia Film Society has recently taken over the space, bringing the best of independent films back to the block. 400 Ranstead Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Yes, we do love the new Lil Nas X mural that popped up in the Gayborhood just in time for Pride this year, but we have to give this one to the late-2020 mural by artist Ernel Martinez recognizing Philly’s true champ, Smokin’ Joe Frazier. From his wall at 13th and Allegheny in North Philadelphia, the first boxer to beat Muhammad Ali proclaims, “There is no right way to do wrong and no wrong way to do right.” 1302 West Allegheny Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132
Lewes, Delaware — a.k.a. “that town on the other end of the Cape May ferry” — is actually a charming beach resort that boasts the beer-centric Dogfish Inn. From there, you can pedal (on free Dogfish Head loaner bikes) to the Dogfish Head Brewery, where you’ll try exclusive Dogfish Head beers, and to Dogfish Head’s nearby restaurant, Chesapeake & Maine. Be sure to head home with Dogfish Head’s Compelling Gin, which has become an essential bottle in our bar. 105 Savannah Road, Lewes, DE 19958
Because why play shuffleboard on a regular old straight shuffleboard table when you can play it on the one-of-a-kind, custom-made L-shaped shuffleboard table at a weird Kensington bar? 1624 North Front Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122
This charming suburban zoo has a challenging ropes course for anybody four and a half feet tall or taller. For smaller adventurers, there’s this course that’s just five feet off the ground at its highest point but still features more than 15 games and a 100-foot-long zip line. 1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, PA 19401
Who knew trampoline jumping could be even more fun? Here, jumpers wear harnesses attached to bungee cords, so they can do all kinds of flips and acrobatics (or, you know, just have more of a sense of security and confidence) that might be too much for your casual jumper to try. 500 West Germantown Pike suite 150, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Hidden in the trees of Fairmount Park less than half a mile from the horse stables, this rope and zip-line course ranges from gentle and chill to downright treacherous and terrifying — especially from 60 feet in the air. 51 Chamounix Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19131
We can’t even watch the YouTube POV videos from the front seat of this brand-new ride — the tallest, fastest and longest single-rail roller coaster in the world. You’re on your own. One Six Flags Boulevard, Jackson Township, NJ 08527
The next time you’re trying to think of a unique and impressive gift for the non-acrophobic person who “has everything,” may we suggest these thrilling flights around Philly and the Jersey Shore in a restored World War II open-cockpit biplane?