Where to Chill Out in Philadelphia

From IV drips to meditation centers, these spots power up the power down.

While Philadelphia bustles with fast-paced energy and cosmopolitan allure, the city and its surrounding areas also offer a range of ways to focus on total relaxation. Here are our top picks for tranquil places to reconnect and recharge.

OUTDOOR OASES

Morris Arboretum

This 92-acre expanse feels anything but citified and offers a variety of spots ripe for quiet contemplation. The Orange Balustrade provides a shaded retreat with picture-perfect views. At the Katsura Tree, visitors find solace under a wide canopy of branches with fragrant leaves.

Longwood Gardens

Exquisitely manicured gardens, tranquil fountains and intricate horticultural displays fill more than 1,000 acres at this haven created by Pierre S. du Pont. Visitors leave the world behind as they meander through areas like Peirce’s Woods, teeming with plants and trees native to the eastern United States.

Race Street Pier

This urban park located above the Delaware River is near Center City, but with cool breezes and sweeping views, the area seems a world away. For an extra dose of Zen, the pier hosts free yoga daily throughout spring, summer and fall.

Morris Arboretum

SPA & BEAUTY

Lush Spa

One of just two locations in the United States with full-service spas, this outpost channels a quaint English cottage with treatments that are as inventive as the store’s bath products. Added bonus? Some services use sounds, scents and even inspirational words.

Mi Cumbia Organica

Colombian culture informs this relaxing salon, where the coconut manicure and pedicure are particularly popular. After exfoliating the skin with shredded coconut, aestheticians lightly brush on warm coconut oil. While there, patrons sip on Colombian coffee and satisfy sweet cravings with imported chocolates. 

Rescue Spa

This Rittenhouse Square spot offers delightfully indulgent pampering. Menu highlights include the Super Natural Massage, where aromatherapy and gentle techniques induce a state of harmony, and the Detox Wrap, which uses sea mud to boost circulation, purify the body and soften the skin. Be sure to build in time to enjoy the infrared saunas in the men’s and women’s locker rooms.

Tools for relaxation

ALTERNATIVE

City Hydration

Customers here receive customized IV infusions that address particular goals like hangover relief, jet lag recovery and immunity. Grab an eye mask or a cup of hot tea, and cozy up under a heated blanket, while licensed medical professionals administer the treatments. 

Flotation Philly

For relaxation that’s truly free from distraction, the harried hit these sensory deprivation tanks, where they float in purified Epsom salt baths as sights, sounds and even gravity melt away. 

MEDITATION

Shambhala 

Informed by the idea that our natural state of mind is calm and clear, instruction at 
this New Age-y spot focuses on mindfulness and awareness, helping practitioners of all experience levels achieve a state of quiet contemplation.

Kadampa Meditation Center

At this center, Buddhist principles guide visitors on a path to enlightenment. Those seeking to balance 
the mind and open the soul can attend one class or sign up for ongoing, deeper courses of study. 

Meditation class

Amy Gordon
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