Science Meets Adventure on these Great Nature Excursions
Science class might have been boring in school, but these excursions that put visitors up close and personal with wildlife and nature are anything but dull. If you're looking to add an educational element to your next family trip, learn more about the places you're visiting, or just enjoy any excuse to plan an outdoor adventure, be sure to check out the great excursions below.
Join an educational sailing trip off the coast of Florida
Science and biology meet sailing in the newest offering from St. Augustine Sailing. Sail Science Adventures offers guests a chance to set sail with resident professor Dr. Dale Edgar and learn about various topics, including local wildlife, geology, and history. Each excursion is two hours long, and guests will set sail on one of St. Augustine Sailing's luxury sailing yachts. Private and shared excursions are available as well. Sails depart daily from the Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor marina, at the base of the Vilano Bridge. Currently, tours are available that focus on birds, manatees, turtles, and dolphins.
Kayak to bat caves in Tennessee
Enjoy a 3-mile guided kayak tour, soak in scenic views and potentially spot otter, osprey, bald eagles and bats leaving a cave at dusk during the Nickajack Bat Cave Sunset Kayak Tour. Biologically, Nickajack Cave is one of the most important caves in the Tennessee Valley, serving as a maternity roost for the gray bat. Pregnant females arrive in spring to give birth to a single pup. Pockets in the cave ceiling trap warm air, which provides just the right temperature for developing baby bats. Gray bats feed on insects over the reservoirs, consuming thousands of emerging adult aquatic insects, moths, and beetles each night. In one year, this colony may consume 274,000 pounds of insects. Cliff swallows feed on the same insects during the day. They build jug-like mud nests in the twilight zone on the ceiling of Nickajack Cave. The bats and birds share the same habitat and food source, but on different schedules. However, the cave is gated to protect the bats within the cave and no caving or climbing is permitted.
If kayaking isn't your thing, the bats can also be seen from a viewing platform each evening between late April and early September (in the fall, they migrate to cooler caves to hibernate). To access the viewing platform, park at the Maple View Recreation Area and walk along the board walk and trail to the viewing platform.
Go birding in Alabama
One of America's most biologically diverse states, Alabama is a bird-watching paradise for tourists and natives alike. The Yellowhammer State is home to no less than 430 species of colorful birds, from bald eagles to wild turkeys. For 2023, Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Tourism Department launched the “Year of Alabama Birding.” The Year of Alabama Birding will showcase Alabama's abundant and unique wildlife, unspoiled natural beauty and hidden outdoor attractions that are sure to interest birders and other lovers of nature. Visitors can find great places to view different species of birds here as well as in the 2023 Alabama Vacation Guide, which includes top birding trails and events.
“Growing up on a farm in rural southwest Alabama, I have always been fascinated with the wide variety of beautiful native and migratory birds gracing our skies,” said Governor Ivey. “Birding is a wonderful pastime and Alabama offers so much to the outdoor lover. The Year of Alabama Birding is dedicated to introducing both tourists and residents to many of Alabama's 'unsung' feathered friends, and to encourage the personal discovery of Alabama's wildlife and natural wonders.”
While he is committed to making birding one of the department's popular “Year of” campaigns, Alabama Tourism Department Director Lee Sentell said the title may not give the campaign its full due.
“We aren't ending it after one year,” Sentell said. “We will be launching components of the birding campaign during the next two years, and the impact will carry on far beyond that.”
Visit the newly-renovated Audubon Aquarium
Care to explore nature, but away from the summer humidity, sun, and bugs? There's a destination for that, too. The Audubon Nature Institute recently completed its renovation of the Audubon Aquarium of Americas and Insectarium this summer. This project is the biggest renovation of the Aquarium since it opened on Canal Street in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1990. The new renovation includes approximately 17,000 square feet of new exhibit space constructed inside the existing walls of the Aquarium as well as 2,500 square feet of the existing Aquarium breezeway space that will be enclosed to create a shared public lobby. Tickets to visit the renovated Audubon Aquarium are on sale here.
Cruise Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River
The 120-foot dining and entertainment ship, Lady Caroline, started service this year in mid-June in Cleveland, Ohio with sightseeing cruises on Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. Lady Caroline is equipped with four decks, three climate-controlled and one open-air, all featuring scenic views of the city skyline and waterfront. Lady Caroline departs from the Flats West Bank with a variety of cruise options, including lunch, brunch, dinner and private charter cruises.
Trek through Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
Lodging by Field Station in Moab, Utah is conveniently located just outside of both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Field Station isn't your typical overnight accommodations, but is a brand focused on the outdoor community and exploration. They offer bookable experiences, community offerings, and gear rentals to make exploring the parks and region around Moab easy. rom a mountain biking tour of Moab or testing teamwork with white-water rafting down the Colorado River, Field Station's guided tour partners help guests get safely in and out of their comfort zones.
Field Station also hosts guest speakers and regular workshops and classes, and their rental program offers everything needed for a hike in Arches or Canyonlands and other local adventures, including trekking poles, backpacking gear, kid carriers, and more. "Van Life Posts" also offer guests access to all communal areas, WiFi, hookups, bathrooms, showers, and the outdoor pool starting at just $29 per night.
“Our vision is to integrate beautiful design with welcoming hospitality in the outdoors and make it easier for people to experience nature is coming true in Moab today,” said Neil Dipaola, CEO and founder of AutoCamp Hospitality Group. “Moab, Utah is our inaugural Field Station hotel bringing lodging, retail, rental gear, outdoor education, and experiences all under one roof to offer the active outdoor community a welcoming place to engage and begin their next adventure.”
5 Sustainable Ways to Experience San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo County, also known as "SLO CAL," is located along the coast of California, roughly equidistant from San Francisco and Los Angeles. Not only does this location make for easy access from major cities and a great option for weekend or day trips, but it is a perfect year-round destination that averages 315 days of sunshine annually. Between the gorgeous beaches, rolling countryside, and small-town charm, SLO CAL has something for everyone. Here are five ways to explore the area sustainably. Sip sustainably-made beer The top beer producer in SLO CAL is “brewing for the future.” Firestone-Walker has been a leader in clean craft brewing since it opened back in 1996. For the 500,000+ barrels of beer it brews annually, Firestone-Walker uses renewable energy via a 10-acre solar array that moves with the sun. This alone offsets 3,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually. They order nearly all of their grains in bulk to eliminate packaging waste, and repurpose or recover 10,000 tons of spent grains each year, primarily by feeding local livestock. And while it's true that brewing beer requires a lot of water, Firestone-Walker does so as sustainably and responsibly as possible. The company invests in local reservoir sourcing, recycles water through a custom water reuse system, and treats water onsite to return to the local aquifer — conserving more than 40 million gallons each year. Visitors to the Firestone-Walker campus in Paso Robles can taste a wide array of the company's pioneering brews in the Taproom, along with a satisfying menu of elevated pub grub. Book a tour to see the inner workings of the operation, including plenty of behind-the-scenes areas that highlight Firestone-Walker's commitment to sustainability. Enjoy fine dining at its greenest Rolling hills in San Luis Obispo by Jason Moyer - Unsplash While MICHELIN awarded The Restaurant at JUSTIN Winery a coveted star in 2022, it also awarded a MICHELIN Green Star, which honors restaurants that meet the highest standards of sustainability. That makes JUSTIN the only winery in the United States to receive both stars — and a bucket-list experience for anyone interested in dining well and dining responsibly. Chef Rachel Haggstrom and her team source an overwhelming 95 percent of ingredients for the restaurant from their own property and from local purveyors. They pull from a 26-acre estate garden that includes 150 fruit trees, edible flower fields, vegetables, herbs, and an apiary. Doing so keeps the challenge fresh for Haggstrom, who crafts her multi-course menu based almost solely on what's available. Each dish can be paired with JUSTIN's legendary Bordeaux-style wines, made from grapes grown exclusively in SLO CAL. See a carbon-neutral film at the Palm Theatre The Palm Theatre - courtesy of SLO Film Fest and SLO CAL Sit back and enjoy the finest in solar-powered entertainment. The three-screen Palm Theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo has been a beacon of arthouse and alternative cinema in SLO CAL since the 1970s, in addition to film festivals and special events. In 2004, owners Jim and Patty Dee harnessed the sun's energy by installing 98 solar panels on the roof of the theater, making it the first cinema in the United States to operate fully on solar power. In the projection room, the Palm has converted fully to digital media to minimize wasting energy and other resources. Audiophiles love that the Palm has 5.1 Dolby sound in all three screens. (Earth-lovers also appreciate that they partner with Dolby, a company that intends to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.) The Dees have also added white roofing to minimize energy consumption, which passively stabilizes its temperature and keeps the theater cool and comfortable, even on hot days. Don't forget the popcorn! The Palm offers the best deal on popcorn anywhere in SLO CAL. It tastes even better knowing it's made with free energy. Savor wine from the eco-friendliest producers Of the 250 wineries that make up SLO CAL wine country, 50 properties are certified sustainable. Whether the winery has a Regenerative Organic certification, Biodynamic certification, is certified organic or LEED-certified, these 50 businesses prioritize their commitment to sustainability. Consider choosing your wine-tasting destinations based on eco-friendliness. Good spots to hit include Tablas Creek Vineyard & Winery in Paso Robles, a pioneer in the regenerative farming movement who employ goats to graze down their cover crops, chickens to fertilize, and biodynamic solutions for keeping the vineyard healthy. In the SLO Coast Wine region, Chamisal Winery in San Luis Obispo has made huge strides to reduce its carbon footprint and play to the strengths of its natural resources. In 2020, the winery planted a rapid-growth Miyawaki forest to sequester carbon emissions; Chamisal also maintains a healthy population of predatory birds to manage unwanted pests, and has completely ended its use of herbicides in favor of using cover crops and biodynamic measures. And at Laetitia Vineyard & Winery in Arroyo Grande, a strong ecosystem includes water reclamation, compost re-use, and providing owl boxes for natural predators of pests. The company also ensures that all employees receive comprehensive benefits packages (which are, sadly, not the norm for many agricultural workers) to steward their human resources as well as their natural ones. Buy from eco-conscious artisans SLO CAL Crafted Maven Leather - courtesy of Acacia Productions and SLO CAL If you really want to support green-minded leaders in SLO CAL, shop small. Every dollar you spend in the community of SLO CAL Crafted businesses goes right back into the local economy. Chances are, those artisans care about protecting natural resources, too! Check out Life Elements in Atascadero, a bath and body shop whose products are wrapped in mushroom-based packaging. At Maven Leather in Cayucos, founder Emma Thieme fashions handbags, wallets, belts, guitar straps and journals from scraps called “rescued hides,” which would otherwise go unused. WildHouse Paper based in San Luis Obispo sources paper that meets a variety of high sustainability standards, and plants a tree for every order made. And at Morro Bay Oyster Company, fighting climate change is a necessity for the future of the business; the company combats both haste and waste by harvesting only after 12 months, and by hand sorting every oyster before it reaches the customer.
With summer travel in full swing and families traveling to enjoy Broadway experiences this season, Hilton New York Times Square has unveiled an Aladdin's Times Square Palace suite complementing the hotel's close proximity to Disney's Aladdin the Musical on Broadway. Perfect for families enjoying a staycation or traveling in for their first Broadway adventure, the immersive suite draws inspiration from the timeless musical ballads and venturous storylines from the hit Broadway musical and has been masterfully transformed to welcome guests into “A Whole New World” within the tale's Arabian desert kingdom known as Agrabah. Located just feet away from the New Amsterdam Theatre, Hilton New York Times Square guests will feel seamlessly transported to Aladdin's city of mystery with only a one-minute walk between the production's intricate Cave of Wonders set and the elaborately designed Aladdin's Times Square Palace suite. Genie lamp decor - courtesy of Hilton New York Times Square “Our location in Times Square offers an exceptional homebase for travelers and families visiting New York City for Broadway, with the hit show Aladdin the Musical at the New Amsterdam Theatre just steps away from our doors,” said Thomas Caska, general manager, Hilton New York Times Square. “We're thrilled to partner with this incredible musical to transport our guests to the fictional world of Agrabah where guests can embrace the magic of the show, creating an exclusive, memorable stay at our property in the heart of the Big Apple.” Aladdin's Times Square Palace Suite View of the Aladdin palace suite - courtesy of Hilton New York Times Square Designed by Broadway's top dressing room designer for its most legendary stars, Devin Sparkles Design, the spacious one-king bedroom studio corner suite complete with a pullout couch allows for “High Adventure” in the magical world of Agrabah while taking in wall-to-wall views overlooking Manhattan. As guests step into their desert oasis, they'll encounter a selection of show prints adorning the wall along with costume and scenic design sketches. Agrabah-inspired furnishings include bedding, Moroccan wall sconces, a selection of magic carpet Moroccan rugs, Jasmine-inspired silks throughout, a magic genie lamp light, lago-inspired bird light, and bright curtains that truly transform the suite into Agrabah. The “Cave of Wonders”-style washroom features gold mirror and bath accents including vases and gems. The Aladdin's Times Square Palace suite experience includes two “Genie-tini” cocktails and two Magic Mocktails, a lively wake-up call from the Broadway musical's Genie himself, Michael James Scott, Aladdin coloring materials for kids, complimentary breakfast for up to four guests and complimentary parking. Guests that book the enchanted suite will also receive up to four complimentary Premium Orchestra tickets to see Broadway's Aladdin the Musical and show merchandise upon arrival to the theater. 'Aladdin the Musical' Hotel Experiences Try a Genie-ini at Pinnacle Bar & Lounge - courtesy of Hilton New York Times Square Available through October 31, 2023, guests can visit the hotel's website or call (212) 913-9488 to reserve the suite. Rates for the Aladdin's Times Square Palace suite and tickets start from $599 per night and must be booked 72 hours in advance. If the price of a night in Agrabah seems a little too much, there's good news: any Hilton New York Times Square guest can enjoy magical experiences including a genie lamp photo opportunity, “Genie-tini” cocktails and Magic Mocktails served at Pinnacle Bar & Lounge, a Genie wake-up call upon request, and Aladdin coloring activities. For more information about Hilton Hotels & Resorts, visit Stories.Hilton.com.
Low-Key Summer Festivals with Great Live Music
Music festivals are a great excuse to plan a vacation and take advantage of the great summer weather with outdoor performances. While events like Bonnaroo and Burning Man typically draw the most crowds and attention, there are plenty of other great gatherings across the country with less-pricey tickets, smaller crowds, great food, and amazing artists. If you're looking for a more low-key experience to round out your late summer plans, check out some of the events below. AVL Fest (Asheville, North Carolina) Asheville shines as a music destination for being the home of luminaries – like Nina Simone, Bill Monroe and Robert Moog – a trove of storied venues, and an abundance of music and record shops. This summer is poised to go down in Asheville music history, as the inaugural AVL Fest kicks off on August 3rd and goes through August 6th. The three-day music festival features local and national acts, performing at more than 20 venues across town. Make a whole trip out of it and go hiking in the mountains, plan a bike ride, tour the Biltmore, and catch great food and drinks in town. Farmstead Roots Creek Dinner Series (Leiper's Fork, Tennessee) Going on this summer until October 7th, the Farmstead Roots Creek Dinner Series at Wines in the Fork are multi-course meals prepared by local chefs paired with wine under the stars, cocktails and cigar-rolling. While the star of this festival is local cuisine, dinners are accompanied by live music and local artisan demonstrations. The location also makes for an excellent addition to any country music lovers trip, as Leiper's Fork is just a short drive outside of Nashville. Add in plans to see a bigger concert in town, tour the historic Ryman Auditorium, and take a stroll through the Country Music Hall of Fame to round out this low-key getaway to Music City. The Colonial Oak Music Park Concert Series (St. Augustine, Florida) Sailboats at sunset in St. Augustine, Florida by Kristin Wilson - Unsplash The Concert Series at The Colonial Oak Music Park in St. Augustine, Florida continues through the summer and into the fall. These free concerts feature local musicians and improv actors at an exceptional music venue. Music acts range from country, rock, pop, and dance. Improv shows rely heavily on audience participation, so come ready with some ideas. Tucked away on St. George Street, The Colonial Oak Music Park features towering oaks and plenty of space to dance or relax. Food and beverage from the adjacent St. Augustine Seafood Company is available during all events. Concerts are free and offered weekly, from Thursday through Sunday. Glenville Festival's Commemoration of Hip Hop's 50th Anniversary (Cleveland, Ohio) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland - courtesy of Destination Cleveland Beyond being known as a rock 'n' roll city, Cleveland has a deep history with hip hop. The trailblazing Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Kid Cudi and Machine Gun Kelly hail from The Land. MC Chill became Cleveland's first hip hop star in the 1980s, and, today, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors hip hop artists and their contributions to the artform. This summer, Cleveland offers multiple experiences to explore various genres and attend signature music events. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's new exhibit commemorates 50 years of hip hop with never-before-seen and “new school” artifacts from artists like DJ Kool Herc, Roxanne Shante, The Sugarhill Gang, Salt-N-Pepa and Jay-Z. An annual neighborhood event, Glenville Festival, takes on a hip hop theme this year on August 12th with a lineup of local hip hop artists and a DJ battle. The neighborhood is where Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and other Cleveland hip hop artists started out, and the event is known for live music and surprise headlining artists. Blossom Concert Series (Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio) The renowned Cleveland Orchestra returns July 1 - September 9 for a summer lineup at Blossom Music Center inside Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The 2023 Blossom Concert Series features a diverse array of musical performances and special guests, including Beethoven's Ode to Joy, music from Final Fantasy, Jurassic Park and Lord of the Rings, as well as Sibelius' First Symphony and an evening with six-time Tony award-winning artist Audra McDonald. For the Culture KS Fest (Topeka, Kansas) A new first-of-its-kind festival celebrating African American culture and heritage is coming to Kansas’ capital city this summer. “For the Culture KS Fest” (FTC KS Fest) will run July 28-30, 2023, in Topeka, Kansas and include musical performances and vendors, as well as networking and panel sessions focused on professional and personal growth for Black individuals. The three-day event will feature several musical performances from local artists: Kansas-native Justin Aarons, a Top 8 contestant on The Voice; saxophonist JahVelle, who recently performed at the NFL Draft; Topeka-native rapper Brandon “Bizzy” Evans, and more. Discussion panels, hosted by a diverse group of experts, will range from business development to personal wellness. Additional activities include a choir hour with participation from five different churches; a two-hour African American history bus tour led by local Topeka historians Sherri Camp and Donna Rae Pearson; an art exhibit at the historic Jayhawk Theater; and scholarship giveaways of $1,000 to three local high school students. “We wanted to create a sustainable art and cultural initiative for the state of Kansas that celebrates the positive influences in our local communities,” said co-founder Rodney Harmon, a Department of Justice - Bureau of Prisons retiree living in Topeka who has since dedicated his time to community volunteering and mentoring. “We’ve never seen Black culture represented on this scale before, and we wanted it to be more than a music festival. This is why we sought to include activities focusing on more than just performances, bringing together the intersection of art, business, health, and history of the African American community.” Sunflower Blues & Gospel Festival (Clarksdale, Mississippi) Close-up of a microphone by Israel Palacio - Unsplash Taking place August 11-13, the Sunflower Blues & Gospel Festival is one of the oldest festivals celebrating authentic blues music since 1988. This event is free to the public and located inClarksdale, in Coahoma County, often referred to as the “Birthplace of the Blues.” Visitors will want to be sure to add a visit to the Delta Blues Museum and historical sites that were significant to the history of blues music such as The Crossroads, W.C. Handy’s home, Muddy Water’s home, WROX Radio Station, the Riverside Hotel, and the Blues Alley Railroad Depot. Hop Country Music Festival (Yakima, Washington) Hop Country Music Festival returns on September 15 and 16 this year, and features multi-Platinum sensation Neal Mccoy joined by stars Chris Janson and Easton Corbin. Chinook Fest has partnered with SOZO Sports of Central Washington to bring the thrilling festival back to the playing fields. Hop Country Music Festival is a new event for Central Washington with all proceeds going toward putting more youth on the field. For one weekend in September, country music stars will be at the complex for a festival filled with music, food, and fun! Find the full 2023 lineup here.
Get the Best Views of Philadelphia from these Rooftop Bars
The temps are rising — and your happy hour game should be, too. It is rooftop bar season, after all. There's nothing quite like taking in the stunning views atop the Philadelphia region's best drinking and dining establishments with a bite to eat and a drink in hand. Philadelphia's skyward hospitality reaches impressive heights with the bird's-eye views at places like Victory Brewing Company's taproom on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Bok Bar in South Philadelphia and El Techo in Rittenhouse Square. Below are some great spots to catch a few rays over bites and brews during what is arguably the best time for alfresco eating and drinking. Just don't forget your sunglasses and sunscreen. Assembly Rooftop Lounge Alfresco drinks and small plates nine floors up. Where: 1840 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Modern luxury is what it's all about at Assembly Rooftop Lounge at The Logan, Philadelphia's Hotel. Far beyond your average hotel bar, Assembly is situated nine floors above street level, is open year-round, and offers plenty of seating nests and firepits. As if picturesque views of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway aren't enough, craft cocktails (frozé, anyone?), charcuterie, fondue and more add to the appeal. South Broad Street in Downtown Philly by Heartbreak G - UnsplashAttico Rooftop Lounge A stylish rooftop bar with prime balcony seating. Where: 219 S. Broad Street Perched on the 16th floor above the Cambria Hotel on Broad Street, Attico offers Center City views from dozens of feet over the street. The stylish year-round outdoor balcony is the perfect spot for epic parties, including brunch parties (arguably the best kind of party), as well as happy-hour selections like $2 oysters, $3 shrimp cocktail, and $6 baked ham and cheese, or eggplant toasts.Bok Bar A bustling rooftop beer garden in South Philly. Where: 800 Mifflin Street Each spring, summer and fall, the rooftop of South Philadelphia's former Bok High School turns into a spacious beer garden with stellar skyline views. The seasonal watering hole serves a variety of drinks (including a mostly local can list) alongside bites from monthly chefs in residence. Even better? No reservations are required, so drop in whenever you'd like to feel the wind in your hair and a cold drink in your hand. Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia by Ethan Hoover - UnsplashThe Continental Mid-town Retro rooftop vibes in Rittenhouse Square. Where: 1800 Chestnut Street Just off Rittenhouse Square, Stephen Starr's classic eclectic restaurant features a retro rooftop lounge — the spot's pièce de résistance. With its 1960s vibe (think comfy sofas and firepits), the rooftop is partially enclosed so that it's serviceable year-round. The lush deck area is uber popular during warmer months, particularly with the Saturday and Sunday brunch crowd. El Techo Rooftop tacos and tequila in Center City. Where: 1826 Ludlow Street Queso fundido, tacos, frozen cocktails, oh my! Add in the smattering of downtown skyscrapers peering overhead and you've got yourself the whole package at El Techo. Condesa's taqueria spans the 11th floor and offers rooftop dining all year long thanks to a retractable glass roof. Reservations aren't mandatory, but it's smart to have one — especially for brunch. Irwin's Sicilian tastes and vino with a view. Where: 800 Mifflin Street Bok Bar's more formal counterpart, chef Michael Vincent Ferreri's Irwin's — named one of the best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appétit — serves Sicilian cuisine paired with natural wines — that are best enjoyed on its eighth-floor rooftop terrace. The outside space — open May through September — isn't available to walk-ins, so be sure to make a reservation. The Schuylkill River and Philadelphia Art Museum by Chris Murray - UnsplashLark Rooftop romance in Bala Cynwyd. Where: 611 Righters Ferry Road, Bala Cynwyd The rooftop terrace at this restaurant offers stunning views of the Schuylkill River. On the menu: seafood-forward cuisine such as striped bass ceviche or squid ink chitarra decked out with mussels, black truffle, preserved tomato and chili. Liberty Point Wind down on the waterfront. Where: 211 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard Billed as the city's largest restaurant, Liberty Point has enough space to seat 1,400 people across three indoor-outdoor levels. The Delaware River waterfront-located establishment boasts multiple elevated outdoor deck areas for dining, dancing and live entertainment — perfect for views of the river while vibing and sipping. Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti Elevated Italian eats. Where: 212 Walnut Street Positano Coast's Italian eats taste even better from the elevated seating on the spot's second floor. While taking in great views of Old City — and admiring the restaurant's stylish new renovations — diners can enjoy tasty snacks such as seafood boards and burrata paired with fine wines or signature cocktails from the bar. Christ Church in Philadelphia by Dan Mall - UnsplashRevolution House For comfort food and creative cocktails overlooking the Historic District. Where: 200 Market Street On warmer nights, patrons of Old City's Revolution House take advantage of the spot's roof deck, offering a prime view of Christ Church's steeple. (Christ Church is where Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross and many other colonial notables worshiped.) The restaurant's full menu of comfort food and creative cocktails are all available from the higher perch. Stratus Rooftop Lounge A posh spot atop the Hotel Monaco. Where: 433 Chestnut Street The trendy Stratus Rooftop Lounge sits on the 11th story of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia. A curated cocktail menu pairs perfectly with light bites and shareable snacks. Adding to the ambiance: leather seating, low lighting and a “green wall” that serves as an Instagram-friendly backdrop. Sunset Social A high-altitude hangout in West Philly. Where: 129 S. 30th Street High atop West Philly's Cira Center, Sunset Social offers drama and relaxation in equal measure. The fast-casual menu includes a selection of bowls, burgers and fries, plus beer, wine, and frozen and bottled cocktails that patrons can enjoy along with the epic view. Vango Lounge and Skybar Rendezvous with a view all year long. Where: 116 S. 18th Street Drinks, hookah and rooftop views: There's little else you need at Center City's Vango Lounge and Skybar. The restaurant and hookah bar keeps its third-story deck open all year round for eats, drinks and high style. Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Catherine Kerr - UnsplashVictory Brewing Company What's better than craft brews with a view? Where: 1776 Benjamin Franklin Parkway As if its 14,000-square-foot interior wasn't enough, Victory Brewing Company taproom on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway boasts a rooftop patio with panoramic views of the Parkway. In addition to all the Victory beers you could ever imagine, guests can fill up on brisket meatballs, kebab naan, smoked chicken pot pie and more. XIX (Nineteen) French Renaissance rooftop vibes. Where: 200 S. Broad Street High above the city streets, this spot on the 19th floor (hence the name) of The Bellevue Hotel features a balcony overlooking Broad Street. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks at XIX (Nineteen) with a view, or get gussied up and grab a few friends for a picture-perfect happy hour.