Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia: Within Walking Distance

Set out on foot to discover innovative art, high-end shopping and the best cheese steak in this historic American city.

Oct 23, 2012
  • The Barnes Foundation gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Colonnade at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Boyds Philadelphia on Chestnut Street
  • Space technology exhibit at The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Cheesecave at the Chestnut Street Di Bruno Bros., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Art display detail at the Fountain Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel and Resort Philadelphia
  • Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Opened in May 2012, The Barnes Foundation—a gleaming architectural gem in its own right—can be viewed from the windows of many guest rooms at the Hotel. The museum contains a large collection of European and American masters; Impressionist, post-Impressionist and early modern paintings, along with furniture, metalwork, ceramics and African sculptures. There are works by Gauguin, Degas, van Gogh, El Greco, Manet, Monet, Picasso and Renoir, and, most notably, vast collections of Matisse and Cézanne.
Photography courtesy The Barnes Foundation
Five blocks from the Hotel is the city’s beating heart, Rittenhouse Square. One of five original squares laid out by founder William Penn in the 17th century, it is filled with public art, most famously the dramatic 1832 Lion Crushing a Serpent by French sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye. A popular collection of shopping, dining and nightlife options can be found here, with eateries Rouge, Devon Seafood Grill, Parc and Barclay Prime lining the 18th Street side of the square.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the best and largest art museums in the U.S., with a permanent collection of almost a quarter of a million objects spanning 2,000 years. The collection is focused on world-class holdings of European and American paintings, prints, drawings and decorative arts. Here you can wander through more than 200 galleries and view famous works including Bosch’s Epiphany, Toulouse-Lautrec’s At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance and van Gogh’s Vase With Twelve Sunflowers. The museum was built in 1876 for the centennial of the Declaration of Independence, and there is also a separate building housing its Rodin Museum a short walk away.
Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
The best shopping in the city is nearby on parallel Chestnut and Walnut streets. Highlights include Boyds Philadelphia, featuring fine clothing and shoes for men and women along with an extensive collection of handbags, and Joan Shepp, a large and upscale women’s boutique.
Photography courtesy Boyds Philadelphia
Just two blocks from the Hotel, The Franklin Institute is devoted to science rather than art, and named for the legendary inventor Benjamin Franklin. It also houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. Major permanent exhibits showcase the history of electricity, space technology and exploration, the human heart, early aviation, sports science, and physics. There is also a large astronomical observatory with five high-powered telescopes.
Photography R. Kennedy for GPTMC
Foodies must visit Di Bruno Bros. This store off Rittenhouse Square has been thriving for nearly 80 years, specialising in the finest cheeses, meats and its own private label products such as aged balsamic vinegars. A feast for the senses, Di Bruno’s is the perfect place to pick up picnic supplies, gifts or a quick snack. The shop also houses a very popular gourmet sandwich shop that many believe makes the best Italian roast pork hoagie in the city, a Philadelphia specialty that is even more specifically local than the city’s famed cheese steak.
Photography R. Kennedy for GPTMC
You do not even have to leave the Hotel lobby to reach the Fountain Restaurant, long considered Philadelphia’s best and the only establishment in the city to be awarded the coveted Forbes five-star rating. Named for the Swann Memorial Fountain outside, it offers classic French haute cuisine, often prepared with produce grown in the Hotel’s rooftop garden. The dining room is filled with an ever-changing display of local art. If you’re looking for something simpler, salute Philadelphia’s rich microbrewery culture with a pint in the Philly Beer Loft. Every Monday through Thursday from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, the Hotel converts its upper lobby into this beer loft, where you can try a variety of locally brewed beers along with complimentary snacks.
Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Reading Terminal Market, an enclosed market in a former train station, is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in the city, but it is also loved by locals. It houses more than 80 stalls, mostly devoted to food, in the tradition of the grand European central markets. Here you’ll find specialties from area Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch farmers, whoopie pies, cheese steaks, and Italian roast pork. The market is also home to a unique and charming oyster bar, the nation’s oldest ice cream stand, every imaginable ethnic cuisine, and butchers and purveyors of produce and charcuterie. It is a must-see, but be sure to get there hungry.
Photography J. Smith for GPTMC

The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia is famous for many things, from its status as the cradle of the American Revolution and home to the Liberty Bell to cheese steak sandwiches and everyone’s favourite fictional underdog, Rocky Balboa. But increasingly Philadelphia is known for art, with the most notable new museum in the U.S., The Barnes Foundation, opening just across the street from Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. In fact, for art lovers the Hotel’s location, surrounded by museums, cannot be beat. The largest collection of Impressionist art outside of Paris lies within an easy stroll. Inside the Hotel is the city’s only Forbes five-star restaurant and its best spa.


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