Did you know that the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the third largest art museum in the United States? It's considered one of the best things to do in Philadelphia, right next to the Philadelphia Zoo.
When you travel down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, you can't miss this majestic museum at the end. Resembling the great Parthenon, both the exterior and interior of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is endlessly inspiring. Before you visit, here's a few ways to plan accordingly for your trip.
Get Ready To Be Inspired At The Philadelphia Museum of Art
1. Pick which buildings you'd like to explore before you visit
The Philadelphia Museum of Art includes 5 buildings: the Main building, the Perelman Building, the Rodin Museum, and the Historic Houses, Cedar Grove and Mount Pleasant.
The Main building houses modern and contemporary art on its ground floor. On its first floor, you'll find American, European art from 1100-1500 and 1850-1900, and also prints, drawings, and photographs. Its second floor has arms and armor, Asian art, and more European and American art.
If you love prints, drawings, and photographs, head across the street to the Perelman Building to see its collection of over 150,000 objects! This building also has 30,000 costume and textile pieces and more than 1,000 modern and contemporary items.
The Rodin Museum, not far from the main building, is primarily focused on the artist and his interesting way of working. You'll get a glimpse into his unique studio practice, utilizing live studio models, and see some of his most famous examples of portraiture. Another important thing to see at the Rodin Museum is its bountiful garden.
The museum's historic colonial houses, Cedar Grove and Mount Pleasant, are both located in Fairmont Park.
2. Plan to park easily at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Luckily, it's not hard to find Philadelphia Museum of Art parking if you end up staying outside of the city. You can access the parking lot on Anne d'Harnoncourt Drive at the museum's west entrance. Parking is first-come-first-serve so plan to arrive early if you're visiting on a popular day or arrive anytime if it's not peak season.
You can also park in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's parking garage across the street from the West entrance.
3. Also, check out the times for Philadelphia Museum of Art free admission
If you're an active duty military personnel, you and your family can visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art for free anytime between Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Or you can pay what you wish for admission every first Sunday of the month from 10 am - 5 pm and every Wednesday from 5 - 8:45 pm. The Philadelphia Museum of Art asks admission start at a penny but you're welcome to pay whatever you'd like.
4. Scout out the best artwork at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
With over 220,000 pieces of artwork, you could spend weeks exploring the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Since your time is limited, we've highlighted some of the best artwork you need to see at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
If you love American history, you must see the museum's rare collection of Presidential China. The collection includes pieces owned by George Washington and the Roosevelts.
Another interesting exhibit to see is the Drawing Room from a New York Townhouse. This is a rare example of what life was like during the luxurious Gilded Age. It features a prominent collection of French furniture, porcelain, and textures dating back to the 1700s.
You can also look at some of the museum's artwork online before you go. Currently, there are 114,000 objects posted online on the Philadelphia Museum of Art's website.
Where To Stay When You Visit The Philadelphia Museum of Art
There are several Select Registry bed and breakfasts and inns located near the Philadephia Museum of Art. If you don't want to stay in the city, there are plenty of unique options within an hour or more from the museum.
Below we've listed everything from historic houses to grand country estates. Every Select Registry property is quality assured so you know you can always expect an exceptional lodging experience.
Less than an hour west of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Southern hospitality meets historic elegance and fine dining at the Hamanassett Bed and Breakfast in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. This historic English Country house has 9 rooms for you to choose from and 7 acres for you to explore during your stay. If you love to cook, take one of its cooking classes during your visit!
- Another lodging option near the Philadelphia Museum is the enchanting Inn at Montchanin Village and Spa. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, this hotel has 28 rooms perfect for a romantic getaway or a family vacation.
- Set in the heart of Brandywine Valley is the elegant Fairville Inn Bed and Breakfast in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. With 12 rooms, this bed and breakfast is near prominent attractions like the Longwood Gardens, Brandywine River Museum, and Winterthur for the days when you aren't in Philadephia.
Less than an hour north of Philadelphia
- Just outside of Pennsylvania is the luxurious Lambertville House in Lambertville, New Jersey. Previously a stagecoach shop many years ago, this hotel still provides a relaxing stop for travelers. Its 26 rooms are just steps from the town's vibrant shops, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment.
- If you're seeking a stay in another world, consider the expansive Golden Plough Inn in New Hope, Pennsylvania. The inn has 67 rooms and is part of the 42-acre Peddler's Village. When you stay here, you're treated to a delicious, complimentary breakfast each morning.
- Another option that takes you away from the world is the lovely Woolverton Inn in Stockton, New Jersey. With 300 acres of rolling farmland and several sheep, this inn is the epitome of a grand country estate. It offers you 13 rooms to choose from.
Just over an hour west of Philadelphia
- Located in Amish Country, the Inn at Twin Linden is a lovely country estate in Narvon, Pennsylvania. Dating back to the 1800s, this estate features 2-acres of vibrant gardens, impressive trees, and 8 guest rooms with luxurious canopy beds and fireplaces; some of the rooms also have whirlpool tubs.
- Also set in Amish Country is the historic Inn and Spa at Intercourse Village. With 9 rooms, this bed and breakfast is the perfect place to getaway for a romantic weekend. Each morning, it serves a gourmet breakfast in an intimate, candlelit setting.
- Love history? Stay in a former tavern and stage coach stop in Ephrata, Pennsylvania! Built in 1763, the Historic Smithton Inn is now a luxurious hotel alternative for leisure and business travelers. It offers 7 spacious guest rooms and a delicious breakfast each morning.
- Another lodging option to consider is the charming King's Cottage Bed and Breakfast in Lancaster. Dating back to 1913, this historic inn is a Mission style mansion with 8 guest rooms. Its close proximity to historic downtown and the Amish countryside make it a natural choice for lodging in Lancaster.
- If you're looking for the perfect place to kick back and relax, book a stay at the Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast in Lititz. Nestled along Lancaster's backroad, this B&B is full of peace, quiet, and natural scenery. Come stay in one of its 7 rooms and see why guests have flocked to the Swiss Woods for over 28 years!
- And don't forget about the lovely Hollinger House in Lancaster, Pennsylvania! This 5 room bed and breakfast has charming gardens, convenient onsite parking at no charge, and a charging station for Teslas and electric vehicles. It's also central to all of the historic attractions in Lancaster for the days when you're not venturing into Philadelphia.
Photo credits: Philadelphia Museum of Art