Cycle Philadelphia, Road Ride, Spring Garden to the Italian Market
You’ll probably end up in places you never expected along this bike ride, which, in just four right turns, brings you from Spring Garden to Columbus Boulevard to Christian Street, drops you smack in the middle of the Italian Market, and then lures you up 22nd to meet Spring Garden again. Take this ride on an empty belly!
This ride is flatter than flat! There is a mix of bicycle lanes and on-road riding as you wander about the city.
Spring Garden and 22nd Street have a steady stream of traffic, but you will be nestled in bike lanes on these roads (of course, their well worn lines do have a tendency to give encore-worthy disappearing acts from time to time). Columbus Boulevard has high traffic. It isn’t perfect, but it is a relatively fast road for north – south bicycle travel.
Buses 7, 43, and 48 will get you close to 22nd and Spring Garden, which is near the Art Museum. There is also ample street parking in the Fairmount neighborhood.
Food and Drink
Oh have your pick! There are loads of eateries on Second and Third Street north of Spring Garden, the best Pho in the city south of Christian on 11th and Washington, and a number of lovely cafés along 22nd Street. Plus, you’ll be riding through the Italian market!
The Mummers Museum, dedicated to the Philly-specific celebration of the New Year, is in stiff competition for the quirkiest spot in the city. The wild and colorful collection of memorabilia and costumes is housed on Second and Washington, just south of Christian.
The best thing about this loop is the variety of neighborhoods you’ll visit along the way. Allow plenty of time for all the stops you’ll want to make – the route edges by Fairmount, Northern Liberties, South Street, Queen Village, Italian Market, Graduate Hospital, and Fitler Square. You’ll pass a few museums as well – the Independence Seaport Museum (maritime history), the Mummers Museum (name says it all), and the Mutter Museum (believe it or not anomalies).
Traffic depends on what time of day you pedal. As always in the city, be on the lookout for potholes, disappearing bike lanes, and scattered glass. Starting out on the Spring Garden bike lanes, you’ll see a couple of works by the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (there are over 2,800 in the city!). One of particular interest is the Pedal Thru mural on Second and Spring Garden, a 300 foot slice depicting a bicycle rolling through Philadelphia. Northern Liberties is just north of this mural and can be accessed via Third Street. The turn on Columbus Boulevard may seem intimidating, but the bike lanes will offer some extra space for you to ride (and traffic on Columbus, which runs along the Delaware River, can be surprisingly light midday).
You’ll pass boats, bridges, piers and the Independence Seaport Museum. There is also a pedestrian entrance to South Street from Columbus if you’d like to meander through Bella Vista. Shortly after the right on Christian you’ll come across the Italian Market, the oldest and largest working outdoor market in the country. The market runs along Ninth Street and, due to its specific blend of cultures, vendors and products, it provides visitors with a uniquely Philadelphian experience. It is most definitely worth a stroll.
As you make the final right turn on 22nd Street, you will pick up another set of bike lanes. Keep a heads up - there are a couple of nasty potholes on this street. Follow 22nd through Graduate Hospital and Fitler Square before crossing JFK and meeting Spring Garden. The slight hill after JFK will keep your legs pumping all the way to the end of the ride.
11.784 km / 7.322 mi
88 m / 289 ft
87 m / 284 ft
24 m / 78 ft