Explore the Unexpected in Mayfair, Philadelphia
Venture northeast of the regular tourist attractions to visit Mayfair, Philadelphia - an interesting, diverse neighborhood, home to generations of native Philadelphians. Once predominantly a home for Irish-Americans, Mayfair is now home to people with backgrounds from all over the world. Whether you want to be surrounded by butterflies or learn archery, Mayfair has something for you.
What to Do in Mayfair, PA
Mayfair remains a quieter neighborhood, but it has a lot to offer for both tourists and locals who want to explore something new. Read on for some suggestions.
B&A Archery, Inc.
Tucked in next to an auto repair shop, B&A Archery Inc. can be hard to find, but the experience is well worth it once you’ve arrived. Many of the instructors at the facility have been involved in archery for 30+ years, and their enthusiasm for the sport is obvious. They offer lessons for newcomers, and it’s a great opportunity to both blow off some steam and learn something new and exciting.
Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion
Speaking of new and exciting, the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion is a short drive away. Upon first sight, the building looks pretty nondescript. But when you go inside, it’s anything but.
One room (warning: it can be hot!) houses hundreds of butterflies, which may or may not land on you upon entrance. As you explore the museum further, you’ll see tarantulas, scorpions, and other animals you definitely don’t want in your home. And if you’re daring enough, you can even let some of these creatures crawl on you (don’t worry - staff is supervising at all times).
Where & What to Eat in Mayfair, PA
Thanks to Mayfair’s diversity, there’s a wide variety of different cuisine to enjoy in the neighborhood. But if you just want a classic Philly cheesesteak, Mayfair’s got you covered on that as well.
If you’re looking for cheap eats, nothing beats El Provocon, a tiny but delicious Dominican food joint that has, wait for it, a $3.99 lunch special. This spot started as a food truck in the DR and made its way to Philly 20 years ago, and they’ve been serving up delicious Dominican food ever since.
![An interior photo of Sweet Lucy's smokehouse in Mayfair, PA](https://scrapcars-content.s3.amazonaws.com/forestry/Sweet Lucy's Smokehouse Philadelphia.PNG "Sweet Lucy's Smokehouse")
Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse
On the other side of Mayfair, you’ll find Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse. Come in for hickory smoked wings, collard greens, mac & cheese, and garlic mashed potatoes. Leave stuffed and satisfied.
Steve’s Prince of Steaks
And if you’re just looking for your classic Philly cheesesteak (because you’ve gotta try it at least once), Mayfair’s got you covered. Steve’s Prince of Steaks has been around for years, and locals (who know the Philly cheesesteak game the best, of course) can’t get enough of it.
There are so many diverse, delicious options for eating out in Mayfair that it’s hard to pick just a couple. But since the prices in the neighborhood tend to be quite reasonable, you’ll be able to sample food from several places.
![A section of Pennypack Park in Mayfair, PA](https://scrapcars-content.s3.amazonaws.com/forestry/Penny Park.PNG "Pennypack Park PA")
Don’t Forget the Park!
No visit to Mayfair would be complete without a jaunt in Pennypack Park. When the area was established in the 17th century, it was primarily a farming community. Fittingly, a 1600 acre park on the north side of Mayfair pays homage to that history.
If you’re up for a longer walk or bike ride, don’t miss the 5.4-mile Pennypack trail, which was actually constructed on a former railroad line. In the 1980s, the railroad went completely out of service, and the area became overgrown with trees. Fortunately, in 2009, the area was restored and converted into a pedestrian path. Now, it serves as a natural oasis in an urban environment.
The park surrounds the Pennypack creek on all sides, which means you’ll get to spend time around water. It also means there are several beautiful bridges in the park - check out the Pennypack footbridge on the east side of the park. Since it’s a footbridge, it’s only wide enough for one person across, but underneath are beautiful views of rushing whitewater.
Everyone thinks of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall when they think of Philadelphia. But if you tread a little further, you’ll find that the Northeastern neighborhoods of Philly offer a lot to discover.
After all, who would have thought you could get a huge lunch for less than $4, learn archery, and pet a scorpion all in a 20 block radius?