After an afternoon spent exploring your favorite museums and attractions, relaxing with a cold drink sounds pretty ideal. Fortunately, plenty of Philly-area spots make that easy to do, with beer gardens located just outside. And many offer not only local brews, but enticing views, too.
“I honestly feel like it’s the best-kept secret of the best view of Philadelphia,” says communications manager Jenna Eckel of the Adventure Aquarium’s Flying Fish Beer Garden.
Here, you can sip on beers like Button and Genny’s Watermelon Splash — a homage to the Aquarium’s hippos who love snacking on watermelon — while taking in skyline views from across the Delaware River. Elsewhere around the city, you’ll find beer gardens that overlook the Schuylkill, Independence Mall, and beyond, all within a few steps of cultural and learning experiences you can enjoy first. Here’s where to find them.
When you’re done taking a peek at the clown fish, sea turtles, and other aquatic animals at the Aquarium, head out to its waterfront patio turned beer garden where you can relax with the whole family. Along with Philly skyline views, you’ll find a menu of beer from Flying Fish Brewing Co., like the Some Fin Special, an IPA featuring the Aquarium’s hammerhead shark, Anchor, on its label, and the Salt and Sea, a session sour with strawberry and lime. The beer garden opens Memorial Day weekend and also offers casual fare like hot dogs, nachos, and pretzels. Aquarium admission is required.
After checking out the two dozen life-size dinosaurs taking over the zoo this summer, make your way to Bedrock Brews, serving up a selection of draft and canned beer, canned wine, and other beverages near the zoo’s entrance. Scattered with picnic tables, the garden welcomes those of all ages, with a dinosaur backdrop that includes a 30-foot-tall Quetzalcoatlus, one of the largest flying animals of all time. Starting Memorial Day weekend, look out for Friday night burger and beer specials. The Bedrock Brewery is teaming up with the zoo’s Dino Bites to pair local beer with eats like the BBQ Double Brontosaurus Burger.
Pizza, barbecue, and Victory Brewing Co. beers come together at Longwood Gardens’ spacious beer garden, filled with picnic tables and string lights. There’s live music, too, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Check out the calendar to view the monthly lineup. Garden admission is required; music is included.
Headed to see the Liberty Bell or take a tour of Independence Hall? Just next door, this pop-up beer garden lets you take in views of Independence Mall from the second-story terrace of the Independence Visitor Center. Open select Thursdays and Fridays, the beer garden features brews from Wissahickon Brewing Co.. There’s a menu of cocktails and wine, too, along with casual fare, including nachos and Wiz Wit Hot Dogs. Seating fills up fast; reservations are strongly encouraged.
Lay in a hammock and ponder your Philadelphia Museum of Art experience at this waterfront beer garden from Parks on Tap, a two-minute walk from the museum’s newly renovated west entrance. On tap, you’ll find an array of brews from local Mainstay Independent Brewing Co., plus eats like warm Lost Bread pretzels and brisket milk bun sandwiches with horseradish pub cheese. Evening visits bring an opportunity to catch the sunset along the Schuylkill. The beer garden is family-friendly, and museum admission is not required.
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