Visiting Spruce Street Harbor Park: Philadelphia’s Fun Waterfront Park

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With great views, lots of places to lounge, and plenty of good food and drinks, Spruce Street Harbor Park (SSHP) is one of the best places to go in Philadelphia on a nice day. This seasonal waterfront oasis on the Delaware River is a fun outdoor destination for visitors and locals.

Chairs, tables, and people on colorful floating platforms at Spruce Street Harbor Park.
The park’s floating barges

Since debuting in 2014, SSHP has been named one of the best urban beaches in the US. While you won’t find sand here, there is a boardwalk and ample room for playing and enjoying the waterfront views. It’s an extremely popular place to relax in Old City and one of our favorite places to visit in the city.

There are food vendors distributed throughout the park, games, and frequent special events for the whole family.

At night, this already vibrant park becomes even more unique. Thousands of colorful LED light strands hanging from the trees are turned on, making it feel a bit like an enchanted forest.

Colorful lights hanging from trees in a park at night.
Colorful lights when the sun goes down

The park is generally open from mid-May through the end of September. In 2024, it is open May 25 through September 30. Hours are 11 am-10 pm Monday through Thursday and 11 am-11 pm on Friday and Saturday, though hours of some vendors may vary. SSHP closes in cases of inclement weather, so checking social media is a good idea before you go if you’re unsure.

These are a few of our favorite things to do on visit to the park.

Try a Philly favorite

The park has numerous concessions options ranging from oysters and fish sandwiches to tacos and cheesesteaks. You definitely won’t go hungry here. For something substantial, the fluke wrap at Little Fish is enough to fill up up without being heavy on a hot day, and we always love French toast bites with fresh strawberries for a snack at the appropriately named French Toast Bites stand.

There are also several classic Philadelphia foods among the kiosks. Don’t miss the crabfries at Chickie’s and Pete’s—a Philadelphia staple—and join the line at Somerset Splits on a hot day to try one of their delicious scoops and sundaes.

Hang out over the water

People lying in nets floating over Delaware River.
Nets over the Delaware

One of the park’s unique features is one of our favorites—its Caribbean-inspired net lounge. Hanging above the Delaware River and feeling the breeze off the water is one of the best ways to cool off in the city in the summer. Don’t worry—there’s a liner to catch any wallets or phones before they meet the water.

Challenge a friend to a game

You’ll have lots of opportunities for a little friendly competition. Check out the bocce courts, ping pong, shuffleboard, and Connect-4 to make your visit to the park a little more active. Sundays are Family Fun days at SSHP, so expect lots of games and crafts during those events, in particular.

Attend a special event

Movie playing on an outdoor screen during the day.
The stage and projection screen at Lazy Hammock bar

There are regular festivals and special events in season. You’ll find pop-up markets, live music performances, festivals, and movie screenings. Many Thursday nights, there is an all-ages concert series on the stage at the Lazy Hammock bar, and Saturdays bring the Liberty Flea market while Sundays are for the local artists’ market.

Check out the calendar to see what’s on this summer.

See the gardens

People sitting on floating platform overlooking floating gardens in a river.
Floating gardens in the river

The floating gardens add a lovely and environmentally friendly touch. Among the floating barges, the clusters of plants are more than just pretty to look at—they help clean the water in the marina.

Lounge in the hammocks

There are nearly 100 hammocks spread out across the park. Pick a colorful spot to lounge under the trees or, if you’re feeling really fancy or want to host a party, hammock lounges are available for rent so you can sway a little closer to the water.

Grab a drink

There are two bars at this lovely waterfront oasis—the Blue Anchor Bar on the barges and the Lazy Hammock Bar (new in 2024). Buy a margarita, a local craft beer, or another adult beverage of choice and let your mind wander as you watch the boats go up and down the river. Overall, the park is one of the best beer gardens in Philly.

Boats and paddle boatere in the Delaware River.
A beautiful day on the river

Getting to the Park

Spruce Street Harbor Park is easy to reach by multiple types of transportation.

By foot: The park is located at Columbus Boulevard and Spruce Street by the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

By SEPTA: Take the Market-Frankford Line to 2nd Street or hop on one of the buses that stops nearby. Route 12 stops directly at the park, routes 21 and 42 stop at Penn’s Landing, and other routes stop nearby.

By car: There are several parking lots located at Lombard Circle, Walnut Street, and Market Street at Columbus Boulevard. We often opt for 500-550 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd Parking.

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