Bike tours are a great way to see a wide expanse of Philadelphia in a short period of time. Philadelphia Bike Tours offers both guided, customized tours and bike and moped rentals. You can also organize an independent tour of sorts by renting an Indego bicycle from one of the many kiosks situated throughout the city.
Philadelphia Bike Tours. 215/514–3124; www.philadelphiabiketour.com.
The Spirit of Philadelphia runs lunch and dinner cruises along the Delaware River. This three-deck ship leaves Penn's Landing for lunch, dinner, and a variety of specialty cruises. Dinner cruises include entertainment and music. Between April and October, Patriot Harbor Lines offers cruises that on both the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, including wine-centric events and a ride to Bartram's Garden, a National Historic Landmark in Philly's southwest.
Patriot Harbor Lines. 800/979–3370; www.phillybyboat.com.
Spirit of Philadelphia. 866/455–3866; www.spiritcruises.com/philadelphia.
Bus and Trolley Tours
Philadelphia Trolley Works offers narrated tours in buses designed to resemble Victorian-style open-air trolleys. Trolleys depart frequently from the corner of 5th and Market; The $27 fare is an all-day pass, allowing unlimited stops. There are nearly 30 sites on a route covering the Historic Area, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Avenue of the Arts, Fairmount Park, the Philadelphia Zoo, Eastern State Penitentiary, and Penn's Landing. For a different kind of Philly experience, you can also try the Philadelphia Mural Arts Tour, a trolley ride that visits some of the more than 2,000 public murals the city has to offer; or the Philly By Night Tour, which gives patrons a chance to see the city under the stars in the comfort of a double-decker open-top bus.
Mural Arts Tour. 215/925–3633; www.muralarts.org/tour.
Philadelphia Trolley Works. 215/389–8687; www.phillytour.com.
Philly By Night Tour. 215/389–8687; www.phillytour.com.
Numerous horse-drawn carriages wind their way through the narrow streets of the Historic Area. Tours last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and cost from $40 to $100 for up to four people. Carriages line up on 5th and Chestnut streets near Independence Hall between 10:30 am and 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm and 10:30 pm Monday through Friday, and 10:30 am to 10:30 pm Saturday and Sunday. Carriages operate year-round, weather permitting.
'76 Carriage Company. 215/923–8516; www.phillytour.com.
Wheel Fun Rentals operates tours on motorized Segway scooters that travel throughout the city, allowing patrons to zip around the museum corridor, through historic Old City, and more. The tours, which run from two to three hours depending on destination, include hands-on Segway training, and run anywhere from $70 to $100.
Wheel Fun Rentals. 215/523–5827; philadelphia.segwaytoursbywheelfun.com.
Centipede Tours offers tours of Independence Park led by guides in Colonial dress; other tours, focusing on faith, gardens, and ethnic heritage, among other topics, are available, as well. For food buffs, the Taste of Philadelphia tour of Reading Terminal Market offers a fascinating look behind some of Philly's most well-loved edibles, including soft pretzels and cheesesteaks. That tour is offered at 10 am every Wednesday and Saturday morning ($16.95 adults, $9.95 children). The more gourmet-minded might appreciate the City Food Tours Decadent Gourmet, which leads you through Center City to meet with chefs and owners of multiple establishments, tasting cheeses, Middle Eastern fare, desserts like chocolate and gelato, and more ($35 adults). Founding Father fanatics should take right to a Constitutional Walking Tour or a tour of noted Philly landmarks, with the multifaceted Lights of Liberty experience juggling history and entertainment. Finally, mild scares can be found during the Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour ($19 adult, $12.50 children), which begins at 4th and Chestnut streets and guides its patrons through some of the ancient architecture of Old City, including famous film locations from spooky Philly-based films like The Sixth Sense.
Centipede Tours. 215/735–3123; www.centipedetourspa.com.
City Food Tours Decadent Gourmet. 215/546–1234; www.cityfoodtours.com.
Constitutional Walking Tour. 215/525–1776; www.theconstitutional.com.
Landmark Tours. 215/925–2251; www.philalandmarks.org.
Lights of Liberty. 215/629–4026; historicphiladelphia.org/night/lights-of-liberty.
Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour. 215/525–1776; www.spiritsof76.com.
Taste of Philadelphia: Walking Tour. 215/545–8007; www.readingterminalmarket.org.