640 Waterworks Dr., 215/685-0723
HOURS: Tues.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 1–5 p.m.
Stroll above the scenic Fairmount Dam and learn about Philadelphia’s  200-year relationship with the Schuylkill River at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center. You will be in good company; out-of-town admirers have included Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, who praised the water works for its technical ingenuity and natural and architectural beauty.
The nation’s first municipal water-delivery system is just behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art  within the original water works complex, now a National Historic Landmark. Classical architecture and unique, thoughtful landscaping make the site popular for wedding pictures and picnics.
Completed in 1822, the water works used steam engines and later waterwheels to pump water uphill from the Schuylkill River into a reservoir on the hill where the art museum now stands. Exhibits in the interpretive center explain the importance of waterways to urban centers and illustrate the storied history of this once cutting-edge facility.
Self-guided tours are available anytime, and regular guided tours are available on weekends. During the week, reservations must be made in advance for a guided tour. The water works site is now also home to the upscale, appropriately named Water Works Restaurant .