1. Shane Confectionery
Looking for a truly old-fashioned candy store experience? Stop by Shane Confectionery in Old City, Philadelphia’s oldest candy shop. This charming mom-and-pop shop has been crafting sweets by hand since 1863 using antique equipment and time-honored techniques. Step back in time amongst copper kettles and cast iron pans as you watch the confectioners whip up batches of candy. Of course, you’ll want to sample their house-made chocolates, caramels, brittles, and taffies. The real showstopper? The bright red storefront that looks like it’s straight out of the 19th century. Shane Confectionery is a historic hidden gem you have to experience.
Address: 110 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 Phone: (215) 922-1048
2. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Tucked away on South Street, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a funky and colorful folk art exhibit you won’t find anywhere else. Local artist Isaiah Zagar spent 14 years turning a row of storefronts into a labyrinthine indoor gallery and outdoor sculpture garden, crafted from handmade mirrors, tiles, bicycle wheels, bottle caps, and other repurposed objects. The whimsical space is a truly unique place to wander for an hour or two. Bring your camera, because the Magic Gardens offer amazing photo ops among the winding mosaics. Just steps from great vintage shops and pizza joints, this is a South Philly destination you shouldn’t miss.
Address: 1020 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 Phone: (215) 733-0390
3. La Peg
Nestled in the historic neighborhood of Fishtown, La Peg is a gastropub gaining buzz for its seriously good food and drink. The modern yet cozy atmosphere is great for gathering with friends over Belgian-inspired dishes like steak frites, moules frites, and crispy Brussels sprouts paired perfectly with Belgian beer. With a fantastic happy hour and brunch offerings, La Peg is a local favorite. Don’t skip the frites three ways: traditional, garlic parmesan, and loaded with braised short rib. This place is a hidden gem for amazing pub fare in a charming setting.
Address: 140 N Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106 Phone: (267) 295-2036
4. Big Gay Ice Cream
With funky flavors like Salty Pimp and Gobbler, Big Gay Ice Cream brings the fun to frozen treats. Started originally as an NYC food truck, this ice cream shop settled into its first brick-and-mortar Philly location in 2016. The cheerful, rainbow-bright interior matches the whimsical experience of trying creative flavors like honey ginger, chocolate peanut butter, and American Globs (vanilla ice cream with pretzel pieces and fudge). Vegan ice cream options are also available. Big Gay Ice Cream is a quirky dessert destination you’ll be delightfully surprised by.
Address: 135 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 Phone: (215) 402-4600
5. Mütter Museum
From skulls to mutant skeletons to Einstein’s brain, the Mütter Museum houses one of America’s most unusual medical collections that will fascinate and creep you out. It showcases everything from Civil War-era surgical tools to tumors removed from President Grover Cleveland. While not for the faint of heart, this National Historic Landmark provides a fascinating look at the history of medicine through its archive of anatomical specimens and oddities. An intriguing place to visit for a dose of the macabre.
Address: 19 S 22nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 Phone: (215) 560-8564
6. Japanese Tea House
For a zen-like oasis in the middle of Philly, head to Japanese Tea House in Fairmount Park. This authentic structure was built in Japan in 1893 for the Chicago World’s Fair, then moved to Philadelphia and restored. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled across the world as you approach the thatched roof structure surrounded by cherry blossom trees, winding paths, lanterns and a tranquil pond. Check their public events calendar to catch a traditional tea ceremony or cultural performance. A serene place to experience Japanese culture.
Address: Centennial Dr & Hagys Ford Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19131 Phone: (215) 765-4300
7. South Kitchen and Jazz Parlor
Head to South Kitchen and Jazz Parlor for a night of drinks, live music, and late-night snacks in Queen Village. Soak up old-school vibes in the intimate downstairs jazz lounge, where you can catch world-class musicians jamming nightly. Head upstairs to their bar and kitchen for shareable bites like apple fritters with salted caramel and Parmesan truffle fries. With great Southern-inspired comfort food and amazing entertainment, this place hits the spot after hours.
Address: 600 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19130 Phone: (215) 600-0220
8. Tattooed Mom
An eclectic South Street staple, Tattooed Mom‘s has been a gathering place for Philadelphians’ alternative scene since 1994. From the quirky decor of Mannequin Mountain to the “Rubber Duckie” bubble bath drink, the vibe here is distinctly quirky and carefree. Enjoy elevated bar food like their famous tater tots along with local brews and a laidback atmosphere. Check their events calendar for everything from open mics to karaoke, burlesque shows, live music, drag bingo and more. Tattooed Mom’s is a legendary spot for good times.
Address: 530 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 Phone: (215) 238-9880
Plan Your Trip With Charter Bus Company Philadelphia
Are you getting excited to explore these amazing hidden gems and more on your upcoming group trip to Philadelphia? As a local charter bus company, we love helping visitors uncover the secret treasures beyond Philly’s iconic sights. Our charter buses and professional drivers make it easy for your group to customize an itinerary and get around town efficiently without the stresses of traffic or parking. Simply tell us where and when you need to be picked up and dropped off and we’ll take care of the rest! Our fleet includes a range of minibuses and full-sized coaches to accommodate any group size from 18 to 56 passengers. All our buses offer amenities like free WiFi, power outlets, reclining seats, climate control, onboard restrooms, luggage storage, and wide panoramic windows for sightseeing. You can even request features like tray tables, DVD players, and wheelchair lifts if needed. Don’t spend your trip worried about transportation logistics. Leave it to the experts at Charter Bus Company Philadelphia! We’ll get your group safely and comfortably to all the best-kept local secrets Philadelphia has to offer. Ready to start planning your custom bus rental? Call 267-479-7355 today for a free, no-obligation quote!