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Philadelphia: Fairmount Park

Douglas Merriam
A neighborhood full of scenic trails, good eats, and live music

You can imitate Rocky Balboa's training run up the long steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway; 215-763-8100, to start your heart pumping. On Fridays, you can swap the sweats for finer duds and venture inside for Art After Five, a cool evening scene of live music, gallery tours, and light fare.

The museum is the gateway to Fairmount Park, which contains more than 215 miles of recreation trails. The 10.5-mile paved Philadelphia portion of the Schuylkill River Trail scoots alongside the water. Hop a bike, and see if you can keep pace with the graceful racing boats skimming the waterway. Take a break at gentrified Manayunk, a former mill village. Chef/owner Bruce Cooper at Jake's (4365 Main St., Manayunk; 215-483-0444, revels in the Amish-grown regional produce he finds at the farmers' market. Enjoy Cooper's crisp spring rolls and meaty crab cakes at the bar or an outdoor table before biking back. Later, spread a blanket for a starlit concert at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts (5201 Parkside Ave.; 215-893-1999, ).