Explore Philly

Want to see some of Philadelphia during your down time? Got some hours to spare after the convention winds down? Here are a few suggestions from our local host committee members:

In addition to the renown Philadelphia Museum of Art and famous Rocky steps, did you know that Philadelphia is home to the world’s largest outdoor art gallery? Take a stroll using the Philadelphia Mural Arts audio guides and vicariously paint the town!

Looking for time in nature? Walk on water as you stroll the recently constructed pedestrian water-bridge from South St to Spruce on the Schuykill River Trail. Keep strolling along the meandering path past 30th St Station, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Boathouse Row for beautiful city views.

Short on time? The Reading Terminal Market is a must-visit. Sample baked goods from Amish country, the city’s best sandwiches, and incredible chocolates. `Seeking souvenirs that support upcycling and local artists? Check out the Indoor Antique & Vintage Market at Cherry St Pier or the Art Star Craft Bazaar at Spruce St Harbor Park on Sunday, July 14.

While you cannot go wrong with a visit to any one of the amazing museums or historical sites in this town, we suggest a visit to the African American Museum where, in addition to permanent collections, you can view special exhibits: Fahamu Pecou’s DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance and Sonya Clark’s Self-Evident. Also worth a visit is the Eastern State Penitentiary, where you can see Al Capone’s cell, rotating installations, and the exhibit on Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration.

South Street is a hub of nightlife and live music after dusk; but the excellent vintage and consignment shops, anarchist bookstore, and magic gardens make it a draw any time of day. Check out the Philadelphia Magic Gardens for an awesome and unique tour of muralist Isaiah Zagar’s works and the Wooden Shoe all-volunteer bookstore for radical reads.

Philadelphia is also home to at least three amazing black-owned bookstores: Atomic City Comics is the classic Philly comic-book store known for dollar comics, manga, and back issues. In Fishtown, Arielle Johnson has crafted a unique experience at Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse that is worth the trip! And Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books in Germantown is a hub of community activity and vibrancy.

Germantown is also home of the historic Johnson House. As Philadelphia’s only accessible and intact stop on the Underground Railroad this modern-day museum underscores Philadelphia’s long-time status as a Sanctuary City.


There’s no shortage of great food in Philly, but here are a few spots owned by people of color or with a social justice mission:

Within one mile of the convention center

Bubblefish Bubble tea and sushi; family-owned by a former community organizer

Jamaican Jerk Hut BYO serving up famous Jamaican jerk, curries, and rotis

Chris Jazz Cafe Southern-style cuisine and drinks served with live jazz

Fergie’s Pub Activist-friendly Irish pub

Green Soul Healthful, soulful comfort food

SOUTH Low-country fare, old-fashioned hospitality, and live jazz 6 nights a week

A little further but worth the trip

South Philly Barbacoa Husband-and-wife duo support immigration reform and host many progressive causes out of their Mexican eatery specializing in traditional slow-cooked barbacoa-style tacos

1149 Co-op Shared kitchen and community space led by Jena Harris of Food Everyone Deserves serving creative and delicious meals

Aksum Mediterranean BYO serving up Lebanese lemon chicken and shrimp, vegetable tajines, Turkish eggs, shakshuka, and sweet corn griddlecakes

Dhalak Restaurant Homecooked, served with love Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine with patio space

Franny Lou’s Porch Social activism with your coffee: enjoy smoothies, light bites, and sandwiches with names like “Anti-Capitalist” and “Pro-Community”

Cake Life Bake Shop Amazing pastries by the woman- and trans-owned bakery that made Beyonce’s birthday cake!

Want more options? Check out this list of even more local recommendations (with notations about which are Black-owned, approved by the Restaurant Opportunities Center, accessible, etc.)