A view of Philadelphia City Hall from Dilworth Park

Why Early Summer is the Best Time to Visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As Summer kicks off, travel is probably on your mind. You may be thinking to yourself, where should I go for a long weekend or a full week vacation?

How about the city that was voted “Most Walkable City in the U.S.” in the 2023 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest? Philadelphia!

A view of Philadelphia City Hall from Dilworth Park

As a popular major U.S. city, Philadelphia has a huge draw for people to visit, which creates an even larger reason to put on events and provide things to do. When I lived there for two months in 2023, I was constantly checking out Visit Philadelphia's Things to Do in Philadelphia This Week & Weekend List which is updated weekly with all kinds of events you can attend!

For example, I was in Philadelphia as the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival kicked off in Franklin Park, which occurs later in the Summer months but early enough that I was still there.

There is honestly NO shortage of things to do! So...

Here's why I think early Summer is the best time to visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 

There's always a street festival/fair

Most weekends, there is some sort of street festival or street fair happening. I went to countless, mainly because I love them so much, but also because it's so great to get out and support small, local businesses. Usually the weather is nice which helps! And many of them have beer gardens and DJs, so that's usually where you will find me!

Walking around at the 2023 Italian market in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Colorful glassware available for sale at the 2023 Italian market in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Crowds watching the stage at the 2023 Pride Parade in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The weather is warm but mild

The weather in Philly during the timeframe I'm considering early summer is ideal. I'd describe it the same way Miss Rhode Island did in Mean Girls when she was asked to describe her “perfect date” in the interview portion of the faux pageant. "I'd have to say April 25th because it's not too hot, not too cold. All you need is a light jacket."

This rings true in Philly for this time of year. Most of the time it's warm enough to wear shorts and short sleeves, but it can cool off at night so me being me and not liking to be cold, I typically brought a light jacket or sweater when I was out and about.

Wednesday Evenings are for City Center Sips

At the beginning of June and throughout the Summer, many restaurants participate in City Center Sips, where they offer food and drink specials on Wednesdays from 5-7pm. Some of them also have live music and after-party specials. When I went for the first time, I got my dinner and a drink for $18, which for Philly is cheap because a meal alone is usually that much or more.

This definitely is a draw for people in their 20s and 30s, but who doesn't love a good dinner deal at some of Philly's most popular restaurants.

For 2024, they will have a preview party on May 22, and then CCS kicks of June 5th and runs weekly on Wednesday until August 28th.

A Sunny Day is great for walking around the City Center

Whether you're interested in checking out some of the historical sites or memorials, running up the Rocky Steps, going to the Liberty Bell, sitting by the water at Penn's Landing, or taking yourself on a self-guided beer tour, there's so much to do within walking distance.

Standing in front of the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaStanding in front of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Put on a comfortable pair of walking shoes, and the possibilities are endless! Plus if you get tired of walking, there are several other modes of public transportation you can lean on.

Standing in front of the water with a view of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in the background
Or you could opt for going on a Big Bus Tour instead! Those are always fun!

Lots of early Summer Concerts

I'm a concert girlie, so any chance I get to go to a concert, I usually go! Because Philly is so popular, many artists choose to come here to perform. In fact, I went to 3 concerts 3 weekends in a row in 2023—Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran + Khalid, then Shania Twain. There's been plenty of others too. Artists just love coming to Philly!

Taylor Swift at the 2023 Eras Tour in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
An up-close view of Ed Sheeran from the pit at the Mathematics Tour in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  An up-close view of Khalid at Ed Sheeran's Mathematics Tour in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Shania Twain on screen at the Queen of Me Tour in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
If you're planning to head to Philly, make sure to check and see what concerts are coming up. Here are a few: 

It's only an hour from the beach

While I haven't actually taken advantage of this myself, Philadelphia is only about an hour drive from the Jersey Shore. Many locals spend their summer weekends driving down to the shore.

Pro tip: You could split a full-week vacation in two by spending the portion closer to and including the weekend in Philly, and the weekday portion at the beach (when the ocean will be less crowded and so you don't join the weekend traffic headed towards the beach).

 

Philadelphia has been such a great city to explore. To be honest, I haven't experienced it during any other season, but early Summer has been incredible, so I'd highly recommend it. Mild temperatures lead to fun-filled days and nights in the city of brotherly love. Happy exploring!

 

**For reference, early summer to me is considered mid-May to the beginning of Summer, which is June 21.

 

Ready to make the trip to Philly?

Find the perfect place to stay! I recommend staying as close to City Hall, Fishtown, or the waterfront as you can within your budget. Philadelphia is a very walkable city and has great public transportation. If you want to explore many areas, try to find a place near the subway for easy access.

 

Learn more about all that Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has to offer here.

Have you been? Comment with what your favorite thing to do was!

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