Two hot spots that visitors tend to enjoy when they come to Philadelphia are the Art museum and the beautiful Boat House Row. But there is a place perched right between the two that often gets missed, the Fairmount Water Works. The building dates to 1815 when it supplied water for the city of Philadelphia. It was decommissioned in 1909 and was left vacant for most of the 20th century. Through the generosity of the public, the building was restored and reopened in 2003.
The Water Works houses a small museum which highlights its history, but what I like most about the place is its beautiful location on the banks of the Schuylkill. I took my kids there when they were young just to run through the columns and out onto a long platform that at times hosts parties and weddings.
The area also features gardens and walkways along the river and serves as a peaceful contrast to the rest of the city which lies just on the other side of the Art Museum. And when you are there, make sure to take the steps up the hill to the Gazebo, where you can get a 360 view of the river and the city. It is worth the climb!