Is it possible to get around the park using public transportation or is a car necessary?
Fairmount Park includes over 10,000 acres of park land. The best areas, in my opinion, are along the Schuylkill River (both sides) and along the Wissahickon Creek (Wissahickon Valley Park). To truly appreciate the park it's best to explore on foot. Both the Japanese Garden and Smith Mansion websites have public transportation directions. You can enjoy Boat House Row and the Azalea Garden by getting to the Phila Art Museum by bus and walking up river and back from there. To get to the Wissahickon Creek you'll need to take a taxi. Lunch at the historic Valley Green Inn, which overlooks the creek, is excellent (make reservations) and from there you can walk along the creek (absolutely gorgeous any time of year) to Lincoln Drive and call for a return taxi back to the city, about a 10-15 minute drive.
Clarifying my question: My son and I will be visiting Philly this summer and taking Amtrak there. We've been to Philly several times but, aside from visiting the zoo and the Please Touch Museum, have never seen Fairmount Park. He's now 8 and is much more amenable to walking than he was when he was younger. I'd like to visit the Japanese garden as well as the Smith mansion/playground.
I'm wondering if I should rent a car for one day in order to explore the park and do these things or whether there are public transportation options.
I hope my question is clearer now. Thanks for the responses!
I suppose you could go from one end of the park to the other using public transport. However, the beauty of the park is walking, running, and/or riding through it.
Get quick answers from Fairmount Park staff and past visitors.