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The Daily Pennsylvanian columnists recommend students visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Cira Green, and the Reading Terminal Market, among other locations, before leaving Penn.

Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

Upon first entering Penn, students are greeted with myriad activities and organizations to engage with: It can be dizzying keeping up with them all. Here are a few of The Daily Pennsylvanian’s top recommendations for what to try before you leave Penn, from our Opinion columnists.

Escape the Penn bubble. Whether it’s trying out a new restaurant and exploring a cuisine you maybe haven't tried or getting out and seeing some amazing street art for free, simply taking a stroll into Center City every once in a while can open so many new doors! I recommend taking a day to grab some friends and explore. So much great architecture is all over Philly, as well as award-winning restaurants.

- Mia Vesely, Opinion Columnist

Walk to the PMA. Take the long way by foot (or bike!) to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Catching the sunrise along the Schuylkill River is absolutely gorgeous in the morning, and the area is equally beautiful at night. The museum is open until 8 p.m. on Fridays, and I love going there in the evenings to sit on the famous steps with friends and stargaze.

- Cathy Li, Opinion Columnist and Summer Deputy Opinion Editor

Grab lunch at Reading Terminal Market. Visit the historic Reading Terminal Market for a vast array of potential cuisines at a reasonable price! The market is just a few blocks away from City Hall — perfect for a nice walk into the heart of the city or only a short bus or trolley ride away. While you're there, be sure to check out the fresh produce and seafood, too, and bring the food back with you (and skip the cafeteria) to throw a potluck with friends in one of the common area kitchens across campus.

- Spencer Gibbs, Opinion Columnist

Get rowdy at a Philly sports game. If there’s one thing Philadelphia is known for, it’s the passionate sports fans. Whether you prefer football, hockey, baseball, or basketball, take advantage of your time as a Philly resident and show your support at a live game. The infectious camaraderie and zealous applause will not only put a smile on your face, but also connect you to the entire city. 

- Emily Chang, Deputy Opinion Editor

Run, jog, or walk through the heart of Philly. The Philadelphia Marathon Weekend in November features a variety of races and many a Penn student will test their mettle against the 13.1-mile Half Marathon course before they graduate. Beginning at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you are bid farewell on your journey by the famous Rocky statue and cheered on throughout the cobblestoned streets of historic Old City, the towering skyscrapers of Center City, and the fall foliage of Fairmount Park. Having run the Half every year I’ve been at Penn, I look forward to the electric atmosphere and beautiful course every fall semester.

- Vinay Khosla, Deputy Opinion Editor

Picnic at Cira Green. The rooftop park is accessible during most times of day and is just a few blocks from Hill College House. It has the best view of the Philly skyline located right on the Schuylkill River and is the perfect place to watch a sunrise or sunset over the city. During the spring, summer, and fall, events are hosted at the park and there is a food stand/bar open to the public. It is a great oasis to make you feel “away” from campus while you are right at home.

- Lexi Boccuzzi, Opinion Columnist

Watch a sunset (or sunrise!) from one of the high rise rooftop lounges. Nobody ever pays attention to the high rises, but the view of the city during twilight hours is pretty impressive from that spot. Of course, alternatively you can camp out at Cira Green or in Center City, but sometimes you just need a spot close by. 

- Ace Dahyeon Choi, Opinion Columnist

Explore Philadelphia’s cultural scene. Venture beyond Locust Walk to indulge in the rich art and history the city has to offer. Stop at Old City in Philadelphia’s Historic District and stroll along cobblestone streets on your way to the Liberty Bell. Visit Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the arts hub of Philly, home to notable monuments and a collection of must-see museums. Go explore! It's a great break from campus and really immerses you into the neighboring areas of your home the next four years.

- Riane Lumer, Opinion Columnist and Summer Deputy Opinion Editor

Catch glimpses of Philadelphia's wildlife at the BioPond. Many a biology major has searched the James G. Kaskey Memorial Park for local flora and fauna as a part of lab assignments. Compared to Penn's lively, urban atmosphere, the BioPond is calm and quiet — it's easy to forget that you're in a city at all. I walk through every week to observe how the park's wildlife changes with the seasons, but it's also a great spot to picnic with friends, read a book, or sketch the surrounding scenery.

- Caroline Magdolen, Opinion Editor