We recently rode along with Philadelphia Sightseeing Tours, learning loads about the city that we love so much and having the chance to see things from a new perspective atop their big double decker buses. It was super convenient and a ton of fun! We really enjoyed ourselves and would do it all again any day. Later, when we putting together our follow up piece on our experience, we were excited to discover that Philadelphia Sightseeing Tours also offers a Twilight Night Tour. Same route except during the evening as the summer sun sets. We immediately moved some things around on our schedule and headed out again to the see the sights!
The Twilight Tour leaves from outside Reading Terminal Market on 12th and Market, putting you within an easy walking distance of some of the city's best restaurants and eateries to grab a bite or linger over a meal before the tour leaves at 8pm. Guests can choose to sit inside the bus or up on top, with the most popular choice being to climb the stairs and sit on the open deck and really get a good view of everything. We suggest bringing a sweater or jacket - even on a hot day, the continuous breeze can get chilly as the sun goes down.
The tour itself was well-timed with the fading daylight including a look at Fairmount and the Museum's District explored right when there is still enough sun to see the details of the monuments and farther away buildings. The Twilight Tour doesn't have the hop-on-hop-off stops offered during the day, but they did give us a few minutes at dusk in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to climb the famous Rocky Steps and gaze down the Parkway.
As the sun faded completely, it was the perfect time to drive past the well-lit skyscrapers of Center City, see the huge lobby of the Comcast Building, and admire the spotlights pointed at William Penn up on City Hall. We turned down Broad Street and made our way through the Avenue of the Arts getting the full effect of the Wilma Theater's neon lights and the gas lamps of the Merriam Theater. We braved the low branches in the quiet streets of Old City before slowing down to get a good look at the beautiful lights on the Independence Seaport Museum ships and hanging from the trees at Spruce Street Harbor Park.
The whole tour is about an hour and a half, and we have a to give major props to our guide for keeping a running commentary of fascinating Philly facts going the entire time (as well at the driver for safely passing through tiny streets without hitting anything!). Having experienced both the daytime and nighttime version of the tour, we would have a tough time picking which is our favorite. While the daytime offers the opportunity to get off and on at different points of interest, we really enjoyed the relaxing, post-dinner Twilight Tour around town as well.
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