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Things to do in Philadelphia

Cycle down Forbidden Drive

Live dangerously and take two wheels down Forbidden Drive. Okay, so it’s just a name but the bike trail, which starts and ends in Manayunk, runs in a loop and has plenty of refreshment stops en route. Fairmont Park is great for cycling; Wheel Fun Rentals (tel: +1 805 650 7770; www.wheelfunrentals.com) will help with hire.

Hit the fairways at one of USA's best golf courses

Greater Philadelphia's first public golf complex, Cobb's Creek Golf Club (tel: +1 215 877 8707; www.cobbscreek.golfphilly.org), opened in 1916 and is home to two 18-hole courses -The Olde Course and The Karakung Course. The Olde Course is the crown jewel amongst Philadelphia's courses, having been nationally ranked as the sixth best municipal course in the USA.

Skate on an Olympic-sized ice rink

Some say it’s always sunny in Philadelphia. Don’t be fooled: it’s not. If you arrive in the winter months, head to RiverR ink Winterfest, Penn Landing. Overlooking the Delaware River, Winterfest is a must with a lodge bar, food stalls, Olympic-sized ice-skating ring and fire pits to warm yourself by.

Tackle the topography with a spot of rock climbing

Outdoor enthusiasts are well catered for at Ralph Stover State Park. Not only does its careering river offer wild water rafting but there are also a number of rock faces up which to clamber. High Rocks is sheer and popular spot, but should only be attempted by experienced climbers.

Take a trot through Fairmont Park

Saddle up and explore Fairmont Park, one of the country’s largest urban green spaces, on horseback. Chamounix Equestrian Centre (tel: +1 215 877 4419; www.worktoride.net) offers a stable of 36 horses and an opportunity to go riding amongst 1,400 acres (566 hectares) of prime Philly countryside. There are even qualified instructors offering lessons for first timers.

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Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center

Situated in the Philadelphia’s tallest tower, the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia offers a unique experience and magnificent views of Philadelphia. Facilities include an infinity pool and fitness centre (on the 57th floor), several restaurants and a spa.

Opens in August 2019

Penn’s View Hotel

Just a short walk from the historic sights of the old city, and with views over the Delaware River, Penn’s View is one of Philly’s most underrated overnight gems. The rooms are designed in a traditional style, with exposed brick walls and warming fireplaces. Stump up a little extra for a whirlpool bath, ideal for winding down before hitting the excellent Il Bar downstairs or the Panorama Wine Bar upstairs.

Thomas Bond House

The charming Thomas Bond House is a cosy alternative to high-rise hotels. This bed and breakfast is set in a converted Georgian style home that dates back to 1769, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 12 guest rooms are handsomely furnished with period antiques, and two of the rooms have fireplaces and Jacuzzis.

The Kimpton Palomar

This luxury boutique property, with 230 rooms right in the middle of the Rittenhouse Square area, is Philadelphia’s first green hotel. Developed from an original 1929 art deco building, it imaginatively combines new with old. Everything about the hotel is based around sustainability, so its eco friendliness has been elevated to an art form. It also has in-room spa program and fully-equipped gym.

Morris House Hotel

Found in a beautiful colonial-era mansion, the Morris House Hotel is regularly held up as Philadelphia’s finest. There are just 15 rooms, each one with a cosy look that gives the whole place a very English feel. There are gorgeous gardens too, perfect for kicking back in on a hot summer’s day, G&T in one hand and book in the other. In winter, decamp to the lounge where you’ll find an open fireplace to warm your bones.

The Ritz-Carlton

Quite simply, one of the best addresses in town. Located beside Philadelphia's City Hall on the Avenue of the Arts, The Ritz-Carlton occupies a grandiose one-time bank - the old domed banking hall is now the reception, while the vault is a cigar and brandy bar (the marble steps on the way down are worn where ladies once descended to retrieve their gems from strong boxes). Guest rooms are huge and the bathrooms luxurious.