On the to-do list this week: Make a final summer hit list — what are the must-do things you haven’t done this summer? Go out for ice cream? Go for a swim at the Shore? Eat some barbecue? Make a plan to make the most of the final summer weeks, and see below for our favorite things to do stories from the summer.
We’ve collected our best Philly tips all in one place here. Stay healthy, stay safe, and get vaccinated.
Summer bucket list
The best ice cream in Philly by Regan Stephens
The best banana splits in Philly by Kae Lani Palmisano
The best water ice in Philly by Jillian Wilson
The best breweries at the Jersey Shore by Tommy Rowan
The best ice cream at the Shore by Regan Stephens
Where to swim for free at the Jersey Shore by Tommy Rowan
» Ask us a question through Curious Philly: Inquirer.com/askus
Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:
The Lion King at Dilworth Park 🎬 (Movies / in-person / kid-friendly / outdoors / free) Dilworth Park’s Pictures in the Park series concludes with Beyoncé and friends voicing Nala et al. in the live-action adaptation of the Disney favorite. Bring beach chairs and/or blankets. Come early to take part in trivia. Ages 7+. (Free, Sept. 2, trivia: 8:15 p.m., film: 8:30 p.m., 15th & Market Sts., centercityphila.org)
Make the most of summer
Summer always goes by too fast, but something about this summer made it feel even faster. There are a few more weeks to check things off your summer bucket list, or even make an end-of-summer to-do list. Looking for some things to do? We have suggestions:
Get some ice cream🍦 It’s truly ice cream season, and you should be eating as much of it as you can before it gets cold outside. We have guides to the best ice cream in Philly and the best ice cream at the Shore, so you can find the frozen treat no matter where you’re spending your last few summer weeks. Or, if you’re more into water ice, we have a guide to the city’s best.
Go to a pick-your-own farm 🍑 Get some fresh air and some fresh produce by visiting a local farm during peak pick-your-own produce season. Stock up on end-of-summer produce and even be among the first to go apple picking at area farms.
Go for a swim in the Poconos 🏊🏾 The swimming spots at the Poconos may not be as well known as the Shore, but there are many lakes throughout the mountainous region where free swimming (or boating) can happen. Beltzville State Park has a 949-acre lake with boats for rent and designated swimming areas, and Milford Beach at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area is a great place to swim thanks to its grassy beach, pavilion, and picnic areas.
Lean into summer with barbecue or a burger 🍔 Who said you have to own a grill to enjoy a perfect-for-a-hot day burger or barbecue meal? Both options are great for a summer picnic and even go well paired with a cold beer. For burgers, our favorites include Charlie’s Hamburgers in Folsom, River Twice’s off-the-menu burger, and the Umami burger at SpOt Gourmet Burgers in Brewerytown. As for barbecue, check out Henri’s Hotts in Hammonton, NJ (particularly the ribs and chicken), Zig Zag BBQ in Kensington, or Mike’s BBQ in South Philly — at Mike’s, try the brisket cheesesteak.
Visit one of these beachfront restaurants along the Jersey Shore
Few things say summer more than dinner with a waterfront view. We have a guide to 11 Jersey Shore restaurants and bars that offer prime views of the bay or ocean, along with full menus of food and drinks.
Two Mile Landing: At Two Mile Landing, you’ll find over 500 feet of waterfront dining at two restaurants — Two Mile Restaurant and The Crab House — that both have large outdoor decks filled with tables right on the bay in Wildwood Crest. Two Mile Restaurant is the spot for more refined seafood entrees like double crab risotto and seared scallop gnocchi; the Crab House is the spot if you’re looking to put in some work and pick at Maryland-style blue crabs at a paper-covered picnic table. The latter’s all-you-can-eat blue claws special features locally caught medium-sized blue claws steamed in the house crab spice, plus fries and an ear of corn.📍 1 Fish Dock Rd., Wildwood Crest, 📞 609-522-1341, 🌐 twomilelanding.com, 📷 @two_mile_landing
The Point: This lively bar on the bay in Somers Point is such a hit, they decided to open a second location this year in the footprint of the former Springfield Inn and its outdoor Carousel Bar, an iconic Sea Isle landmark, and beloved post-beach pit stop for “no shower happy hour.” While it has big shoes to fill, The Point in Sea Isle seems poised to attract a similar fresh-off-the-beach crowd for happy hour with its open-air sand bar and rum-based frozen drinks. In Somers Point, you’ll find a similar setup — festooned with faux palm trees — but with a sublime view of the bay. Come here for live music, ranging from classic rock to soca jams, and drinks, like one of the simple-yet-satisfying crushers — a chilly cocktail made with fresh fruit juice (orange or strawberry), vodka of the same flavor, and a splash of club soda.📍998 Bay Ave., Somers Point and Pleasure Ave, and 43rd St., Sea Isle City, 🌐 dothepoint.com
Sunset Pier: Aptly named, this BYOB is one of the best waterfront restaurants to admire a shore sunset. It’s on the much (much) quieter end of this busy beach town — far away from the crowds in their early 20s bouncing from one crowded, sticky bar to the next — and has a relaxing, laid-back ambiance. Sunset Pier has an extensive menu of kid-friendly American classics, including chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, and grilled cheese, in addition to fresh seafood, and the popular clam chowder or crab cakes. Grab a table on the dock, and don’t forget to bring a bottle of wine.📍 86th St. and the Bay, Sea Isle City, 📞 609-263-5200, 🌐 sunsetpiersic.com, 📷 @sunsetpiersic
Hit up a rooftop bar
If a rooftop happy hour isn’t already on your end-of-summer bucket list, add it now.
There are 13 rooftop bars we recommend in the Philadelphia region, including a Mexican-inspired rooftop restaurant with a retractable roof, a rooftop bar on top of a parking garage in University City, and a rooftop that overlooks the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Note that many of the rooftops on our list don’t require reservations, so you can make last-minute plans for sky-high dinner and drinks.
Here’s something that caught our eye from a Philly-area Instagram account that I think is worth sharing:
While this Instagram post isn’t exactly uplifting, it’s sure to be entertaining.
Remember the mess that was Philly Fighting COVID? Well, WHYY just released a podcast about the disastrous COVID-19 vaccine distribution program at the Convention Center before FEMA came in to help. They dive into the program, which was helmed by a 22-year-old, and discuss how the city got involved.