You’ve whizzed through the prerequisite tourist spots. Now show them what Philly is really about.
The brothers behind The Franklin Fountain ice cream parlor spent more than a year restoring the oldest candy store in the country to its original glory. White-gloved staff wait on you as you browse gumdrops, Turkish delights straight from Istanbul, and childhood classics.
If your pal turns her nose up at the ubiquitous citywide special (a shot of whiskey with a PBR back), impress her with pre-Prohibition cocktails or get her loopy on a bowl of punch.
The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., 112 South 18th Street (267-467-3277 or thefranklinbar.com).
With more than 1,000 acres of green — plus a conservatory, seasonal exhibits, and an indoor children’s garden — it’s worth the drive. We bet Grandma gushes to quilting square friends about the fountain and fireworks show.
Gather around the communal table and wolf down pies made with organic toppings from nearby locations like North Slope Farm. The fontina-shiitake variety is downright addictive. Film screenings at the restaurant solve the dinner-or-a-movie dilemma.
Take friends who can’t bear to miss their Sunday jogs for a run along the riverside path (dogs are welcome). During warm weather, flop on a blanket at outdoor movies or paddle a kayak down the Schuylkill.
Crowd a table with small plates and pizza at Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s ode to Mediterranean cuisine (if the wait is long, bide your time at Verde, the adjacent boutique). After dinner, split a jar of salty-sweet budino (or take it to go if you’re on carb overload).
Barbuzzo, 110 South 13th Street (215-546-9300 or barbuzzo.com).
Wander the prison where Al Capone did time. You can stop by all year round, but visitors flock during annual events like the storming of the Bastille reenactment (Tastykakes rain from the sky) and haunted house.
Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue (215-236-3300 or easternstate.org).
Who doesn’t love Monet and running the Rocky steps? After you hit the Philadelphia Museum of Art, see installations and exhibits by cutting-edge talent.
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, 118 South 36th Street (215-898-7108 or icaphila.org).
Filled with toys, artifacts, and textiles, the newly renovated space highlights the stories of the city. Let Grandpa linger as long as he likes over Phillies memorabilia.
The new campus has earned quite the buzz. Reserve tickets early to peruse Postimpressionist and modern paintings, African sculptures, and Native American textiles. Come late summer, wander the Merion site’s twelve-acre arboretum.
The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway (215-278-7000); 300 North Latch’s Lane, Merion (610-667-0290 or thebarnesfoundation.org).