This quick guide to the Philadelphia Marathon will answer all your top questions about the event: when is the marathon, how can you participate, what’s the marathon route, and where should you stay while you’re visiting Philadelphia? And as always, don’t miss our insider tips on the best places to eat, drink, and visit over Philadelphia Marathon weekend!
When: The Philadelphia Marathon weekend takes place on the third weekend of November every year. Keep in mind that there’s more than one race taking place over the weekend—the Half-Marathon is generally held on Saturday, while the full Philadelphia Marathon takes place on Sunday. There are several smaller races, including an 8K and “Munchkin Run,” so check out the official website for all of the race dates and times.
The Route: Both the full and half marathons begin and end in the Art Museum district and offer an amazing mix of urban and scenic views. Along the half-marathon route, you’ll see City Hall, pass beside Independence National Historical Park, enjoy more than a mile stretch alongside the Delaware River, and complete a loop in scenic Fairmount Park. Runners in the full marathon will see LOVE Park, Washington Square, Drexel University and University City, before a lengthy route that crosses both East and West Fairmount Park. You can explore interactive maps for the previous year’s half-marathon and full marathon routes online. Spectators can watch the action from designated “Cheer Zones” along both routes. For a full list of zones, take a look at the official race info for fans.
Where to Stay: Several Hilton hotels are either along the race route or right in the thick of the action! Consider The Logan, an art-centric modern hotel that, at 1 Logan Square, is along the route of both races. The Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing is another option for those looking to be on top of the action—views from their upper floors will let you see the marathon at a grand scale. Numerous other hotels are within a few blocks of the route, including the Home2 Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, and The Inn at Penn, a Hilton Hotel. Explore all of the Hilton hotel options in Philadelphia by checking out our interactive map. Keep in mind that no matter where you stay, walking or public transportation are a must. Many streets are closed for the event, and you do not want to get stuck in traffic this weekend!
Extras: The Philadelphia Marathon is a major event, drawing thousands to the city. In addition to the actual races, the Health & Fitness Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center is open on the Friday and Saturday of race weekend. This FREE event is a hub for health and fitness vendors to show off their products, provide free samples, and offer wellness tips to attendees. In addition, many local businesses run race specials over the weekend, so ask your waitstaff or bartender what’s on offer!