Staying Cool in Philly: Summer in the City

Things are starting to heat up in Philly, but that’s summer in the city for you! Luckily, there are tons of ways to keep your cool here, even when the temperatures soar. Indoors and out, enjoying Philadelphia, even on the warmest days, is a breeze!

Staying cool in Philly was not always easy, especially back in the pre-air conditioning days. But now, there are a million ways to “keep your cool” and enjoy this amazing city even on the sultriest days and nights. Philadelphia is perfectly located right on the waterfront, with both the Delaware and Schulykill Rivers bookending Center City. If you are an athlete, sculling on the Schuylkill is both fun and refreshing — but even if your style is more to observe, there are many scenic spots along the river to catch a breeze and enjoy the rowers. And in the cool of the evening, how about a stroll along Boathouse Row with its magical twinkling lights?

Cool Arts & Entertainment

But there are times when staying cool means staying in, and here’s where Philly excels! This is a town of incredible museums, and they offer a very classy refuge from the summer heat. The Barnes Foundation, a longtime Philadelphia tradition recently relocated to the Ben Franklin Parkway, has a stunning permanent collection of masterpieces from the world’s greatest artists, and super special exhibits as well. Not to be outdone, the Philadelphia Museum of Art sits atop a hill overlooking the city, providing phenomenal views both outside and in (check out their world-famous collection of Medieval Art). Friday evenings, the museum opens its doors for some of the “coolest” jazz concerts around with Art After 5.

Chill with Food & Drinks

Other very chill options for Philly folks include shopping in the fabulously funky boutiques of Manayunk and South Street. Visit the gorgeous Chestnut Hill neighborhood for one-of-a-kind shops that include Windfall Gallery and the Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop. All this shopping builds up an appetite, so once you’ve selected your Brie and baguettes, how about a picnic and a concert in Pastorius Park? Or, if you’re in Center City, you can dine al fresco in the crown jewel of small Philadelphia parks, Rittenhouse Square. If it’s just too darned hot to eat outdoors, you have your choice of delightful dining spots everywhere in town. Staying cool is a snap when you’re sipping a margarita or icy local beer (Victory and Yards are top regional breweries) in an Old City cafe or a trendy eatery in up-and-coming Northern Liberties.

No discussion of ways Philadelphians are staying cool in the summer is complete without ice cream. Ice cream love in this town goes back to Colonial days, after all. Bassetts Ice Cream has been around for 150 years, while Italiano’s in South Philly is THE spot for authentic water ice. There’s no pleasure quite like strolling down the street eating a cone or dish of homemade lusciousness!

So don’t let rising temps keep you from savoring Philadelphia, truly a city for all seasons. Come visit, and it’s a safe bet that you’ll become a Philly fan — and maybe even a local yourself!


Elise Seyfried is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the author of two books of humorous spiritual essays, and a playwright (co-author of 15 plays for children). Her work regularly appears in the Chestnut Hill (PA) Local and The Word in Season (devotional). She has also written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lutheran Digest, Guideposts magazine, Metropolis and The Wittenburg Door. Elise was the lyricist for the Stanley Drama Award-winning musical Flight, based on the life of Howard Hughes. Elise has served as publicist for the Lewes (DE) Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, ME.She is the mother of five children, and her family life is prominently featured in her writing. Elise's topics to date have included children/parenting issues, humor and spirituality. An avid cook, Elise also enjoys writing about food and dining. Since 2002, Elise has been Director of Spiritual Formation at Christ's Lutheran Church in Oreland, PA; previously, she worked for years as an actress. She blogs at

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1 Comment

  1. Philadelphia Concrete Contractors
    January 27, 2017

    Italiano’s is awesome!!


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