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Discover Philadelphia

Philadelphia skyline illuminated blue and yellow

Drexel's City-Wide Tribute to Forever Dragons

On June 11, 2020, Drexel University honored the resilient Class of 2020 by turning the lights in Philadelphia blue and gold, including Drexel's Main Building, the iconic Mario statue, Philly's Boathouse Row, and other beloved landmarks.

Awarded "Best in Travel" for 2024 by Lonely Planet, there are plenty of unique opportunities to take part in, and both Visit Philadelphia and Campus Philly are great resources for you to learn more about it all.

Students at Drexel can access the many artistic, historical, and cultural attractions the city has to offer through region-specific academic courses, civic engagement opportunities, and easy access by public transportation. We refer to the city as our extended campus, and invite you to explore, learn about, and take advantage of all the city has to offer.

Spring in Philly graphic

Spring in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a beautiful place to experience the spring season with so many options and activities to choose from. Check out this Admissions blog post with a few recommendations for enjoying the city as the temperature warms up.

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In Search of: Philadelphia's Best Hoagie

Join this Drexel student and California native on her quest to find the best hoagie in Philly in the latest edition of the Design & Merchandising Magazine.

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Take a Tour Around John Heinz

As America's first urban wildlife refuge, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is home to many rare and endangered animals.

Explore for Yourself

Found in Philadelphia

Supported by Drexel University's MAD Dragon Community Recording Studios, this podcast explores Philadelphia, its history, and why the past matters today.

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Legends of Philadelphia

This podcast tackles unique aspects of Philadelphia's history, brought to you by the owners of South Fellini.

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Explore Our Part of the City

Philadelphia skyline

A City of Brotherly Love: Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love and the home of Drexel University, Philadelphia is known for its cultural diversity, rich history, and passionate residents. At the heart of Philly is a sense of humanity and the idea that there is always room for change, innovation, and expanding the boundaries of what we can achieve.

Drexel University students

Dragons Talk Drexel: Philadelphia

With so many restaurants, public green spaces, and cultural opportunities to enjoy, Philadelphia — the City of Neighborhoods — has something for everyone.

Heard in Philly

Listen to current Drexel students and staff members through our Heard in Philly video series and find out which words and phrases truly matter in the eyes of Philadelphians!

Celebrating Black Leaders from Philadelphia

Drexel University is proud to promote diversity and cherishes the thought leaders of communities here in Philadelphia and around the globe. Our Dragons are resilient, exceptional, and ready to change the world. In a part of the U.S. with so much rich history, we aspire to carry on the tradition of Philadelphian ingenuity; and we are inspired by the stories of Black heroes from our great city.

W.E.B Du Bois (1868-1963)⁠

Cofounder of the NAACP, W.E.B Du Bois is perhaps best known for his writing of "The Souls of Black Folk.⁠"

William Sidney Pittman (1875-1958)

William Sidney Pittman was a high-profile American architect, the first African American Drexel graduate, and the son-in-law of Booker T. Washington.

Billie Holiday (1915-1959)

Ushering in a wave of innovation in both jazz, swing, and pop — Billie Holiday was a legendary musician that changed the very fabric of her craft.

Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937)⁠

The first Black American painter to gain international acclaim, Henry Ossawa Tanner was a renowned artist of the early 20th century who grew up in Philadelphia.

Moogega Cooper (1985-)

The Lead Planetary Protection Engineer for Mars 2020, Moogega Cooper is an American astronomer and MS and PhD graduate of Drexel University.

Some of the Best Pizza Spots in Town

With so many pizza options to choose from in Philly, you could get overwhelmed. And that is why Drexel staff members have pulled together some of their favorites, which will hopefully get your pizza journey off to a yummy start!

V Vegan options available   GF Gluten-free options available

Drexel Writers Room

Get In the Know: Explore Philly's Literary Scene

All around the city of Philadelphia, there exists an abundance of opportunities to find your next favorite book, get plugged into a literary community, and gain insight into the lives of great writers. This list just touches the surface on the many ways that you can get involved with Philly's literary scene... or perhaps just find the right book!

Local Libraries

W.W. Hagerty Library – Drexel’s W. W. Hagerty Library is a great resource for all Drexel Dragons and includes access to over two million items with dynamic online databases, over 40,000 eJournals, and over 300,000 eBooks for Dragons to take advantage of.

The Academy Library and Archives – Free to students with a Drexel ID, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University holds more than 250,000 titles from 1520 to the present and includes rare and historic books, journals, art, artifacts, manuscripts, and photographs in addition to the 2,000 archival collections containing over a million items, including manuscripts, field notebooks, correspondence, films, journals, and photographs from 1692 to present.

Free Library of Philadelphia – With locations all across the city, the Free Library of Philadelphia is a network of local libraries where everyone who lives, works, or studies in the city can take advantage of its many resources and check out books. Be on the lookout for their readings and other special events!

American Philosophical Society (APS) Library – Dating back to the 18th century, this historical library has over thirteen million manuscripts and a significant amount of pieces from Benjamin Franklin’s (founder of the Society) personal library.

Literary Communities

Writers Room – The College of Arts and Sciences' Writers Room brings together members of the Philadelphia and Drexel communities to explore writing as a tool for learning and a mode of creative expression, with a rich calendar of literary arts programming that focuses on creative placemaking and art for social justice. If you’re a writer, this is a great way to get plugged into student life here at Drexel.

Drexel Publishing Group – Housed in Drexel's Department of English and Philosophy, the Drexel Publishing Group offers undergraduate students firsthand experience in writing, editing, and publishing alongside faculty mentorship, along with promotion of contests and awards open to all undergraduate Drexel students.

Philadelphia Stories – With the mission of cultivating a community of writers, artists, and readers in the Greater Philadelphia Area, this nonprofit offers numerous opportunities for local writers to get published and find relevant professional development. Their conferences are particularly great chances to get plugged into Philadelphia’s literary scene.

Literary Philly – With a public calendar dedicated to showcasing all of Philly’s literary events, as the name states, Literary Philly provides numerous resources that lets writers in the area know about everything they can take advantage of. This is a great website to follow if you want to find local readings or open mics to enjoy or participate in!

Cultural Opportunities

Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site – As the former home of one of the most well-known American writers, Edgar Allen Poe, this National Historic Site offers the opportunity for you to explore where Poe wrote some of his greatest works of literature. Before heading over, make sure to check the hours of operation on their website.

Black Writers Museum (BWM) – Located in the historic Vernon House in Germantown, BWM is proud to be the only American museum of its kind showcasing exhibits of classic and contemporary Black literature and housing collections of first edition and autographed books as well as rare newspapers, photographs, and more. Throughout the year, the BWM also holds community events such as poetry readings, book signings, and community-based events.

Walt Whitman House – Open for tours if you call ahead, this Camden, NJ location — maintained by the Walt Whitman Association — aims to preserve the legacy of this great local poet. If you are passionate about the Whitman’s poetry, this is a great spot to check out.

Philadelphia Recreation

In addition to the famed Fairmount Park, one of the largest urban park systems in the country, Philadelphia is home to countless public green spaces, neighborhood rec centers, and free recreational activities. This list includes just a handful of the many fun outdoor options available to you within city limits!

If you’re looking to explore outside of the cityValley Forge National Historical Park, the Pocono Mountains, New Jersey Beaches, and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area all provide unique backdrops for your next nature adventure.

1) Drexel Park

Take in the skyline view without going very far at Drexel Park — Right on Drexel’s campus, Drexel Park provides a peaceful place to unwind and serves as a pleasant recreational park with a view for the Powelton Village community.

2) Schuylkill Banks

Enjoy a run along the Schuylkill Banks — Part of the 30+ miles of the Schuylkill River Trail, Schuylkill Banks offers wide paved trails along the edge of University City and the Schuylkill River for a great walk, jog, or biking adventure.

3) Cira Green

Grab a bite to eat 95 feet above the city streets at Cira Green – Located right in University City, this elevated park with breathtaking views hosts seasonal events and remains open year-round, so you can enjoy this “park in the sky” anytime.

4) Clark Park

Come for the farmer’s market and stay for a show at Clark Park —  Steps away from campus in West Philly, Clark Park hosts a thriving farmer’s market each Saturday and maintains an active natural amphitheater that often holds LARPing events as well as the very popular Shakespeare in Clark Park series.

5) The Woodlands

Attend the West Craft Fest or other seasonal events at The Woodlands — This hidden gem just a short walk away from Drexel’s University City Campus originally existed as a pleasure garden in the 18th century and in 1840 was transformed into a Victorian rural cemetery with an arboretum of over 1,000 trees. Complete with a Federal-style mansion, matching carriage house and stable, and 54-acre garden landscape — it’s no wonder that this National Historic Landmark District is a popular spot to host city-wide events.

Quick Tip: You won’t want to miss their Nature Nights, held throughout the year!

6) Bartram’s Garden

Take in the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America at Bartram’s Garden – This public park and National Historic Landmark located in Southwest Philly features a lush botanic garden and the estate of the original owner, Quaker farmer and botanist John Bartram (1699–1777), along with a reclaimed meadow, urban farm, tidal wetlands, and a public dock for fishing and boating.

7) FDR Park

Skateboard or roller skate around the beautiful FDR Park – Home to one of the best DIY skateparks in the nation, FDR park also includes countless recreation fields, trails, a lagoon, creek, lakes, and the meadow — an open-exploration area on the site of a former golf course.

8) John Heinz Wildlife Refuge

Spend some time fishing at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge — With the largest freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania, over 80 nesting bird species, and numerous native wildlife and plants, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is a top fishing spot located on the southwestern edge of the city.

Quick Tip: Fishing rods are available to borrow for free at the Visitor Center, but bait is not provided.

9) Philly Pumptrack

Take a spin around the Philly Pumptrack – Built and operated by volunteers at the Parkside Evans Recreation Center, this facility includes two dirt pump tracks (one for beginners) and has free loaner bikes and helmets available for guests.

Quick Tip: Before heading over, make sure to check out Philly Pumptrack’s social media since their hours sometimes vary and they close when the weather’s not cooperating.

10) Wissahickon Valley Park

Explore the natural environment of the Wissahickon Valley Park — Located northwest from University City near Drexel’s Queen Lane Campus, the Wissahickon Valley Park’s thousands of lush acres and over 55 miles of trails are great for hiking, biking, and just general exploring — you can even rock climb or horseback your way through the park!

Quick Tip: While here, you’ll want to check out the Thomas Mill Covered Bridge, Philadelphia’s last existing covered bridge.

Contact Us


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Drexel University
P.O. Box 8215
Philadelphia, PA 19101-9684

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