Essential Philly Sites Rocky And Creed Fans Must Visit
When Creed II is released nationwide on November 21, the film will reintroduce some of the franchise’s most beloved Philadelphia sites. Michael B. Jordan stars as boxer Adonis Creed; Sylvester Stallone, as older, wiser Rocky; Tessa Thompson as Bianca, a Philadelphia native, songstress and Creed’s love interest. Although Philly shares the spotlight with L.A. as the film’s backdrops, only Philly can claim these iconic Rocky and Creed sites and experiences:
- The Rocky Steps – Seventy-two treads lead Rocky buffs to the East Entrance of the esteemed Philadelphia Museum of Art. Balboa wannabes dash to the top, stand in Rocky’s footprints, turn around, raise fists in the air and, on occasion, belt out “Gonna Fly Now.” Fun fact: The only Rocky film without the Rocky Steps is Rocky IV. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
- The Rocky statue – Originally commissioned for Rocky III—and making a cameo in Creed II—sculptor A Thomas Schomberg’s larger-than-life interpretation of the triumphant boxer stands north of the Rocky Today, visitors pose for photos alongside the original Rock.
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, rockystatue.com
- Rocky Run – Thousands of runners participate in this 5K, 10-miler or 13.1-mile Italian Stallion Challenge (a combo of the 5K and 10-miler) each fall. The course begins at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and follows the Schuylkill River along Kelly and Martin Luther King Jr. drives, just like Rocky did. November 9, 2019. rockyrun.com
- Wawa Welcome America! Rocky Screening – A popular event of Wawa Welcome America!, Philly’s multi-day Fourth of July celebration, is a free, open-air screening of the original Rocky, with seating on the Rocky Steps. Date TBA.welcomeamerica.com
- The Yo, Philly! Rocky Film Tour – In a town of Rocky impersonators, Mike Kunda may be the most dedicated and beloved. His popular, customizable three-hour tour takes fans through the city to every important stop, from Rocky to Creed II. therockyfilmtour.net
Favorite Hangouts of Rocky & Adonis:
- 9th Street Italian Market – During the famous training scenes in Rocky and Rocky II, a sweatsuit-clad Balboa jubilantly jogs past vendors in South Philly’s gritty outdoor market. Today, butcher shops, cheese purveyors, produce stands, taquerias and bistros make the stretch look almost exactly the same as it did in 1976. Market: 9th Street between Christian & Wharton Streets; Italian Market Visitor Center: 919 S. 9th Street, (215) 278-2903, italianmarketphilly.org
- The Fillmore – In Creed II, Bianca performs at this newer concert venue in the Fishtown neighborhood, not too far from popular taproom and indie rock hangout Johnny Brenda’s, where she performed in Creed. Fillmore: 29 E. Allen Street, (215) 309-0150, thefillmorephilly.com; Johnny Brenda’s: 201 N. Frankford Avenue, (215) 739-9684, johnnybrendas.com
- Laurel Hill Cemetery – East Falls’ 78-acre cemetery is both a National Historic Landmark and the site where Rocky visits Adrian’s grave in the series’ three most recent films. Some the most celebrated Philadelphians have been, and continue to be, lain to eternal rest in the bucolic site overlooking the Schuylkill River. Self-guided tours are available year-round. 3822 Ridge Avenue, (215) 228-8200, thelaurelhillcemetery.org
- Max’s Cheesesteaks – In both Creed films, Adonis and Bianca have date nights at this North Philly cheesesteak landmark—and rare cheesesteak spot with a full bar. Max’s building bears the mural of native son Kevin Hart. 3653 Germantown Avenue, (215) 229-9048
- Penn’s Landing – Diehard Philadelphians noticed decades ago that the iconic training runs in the first two Rocky films follow a less-than-consecutive path. Instead, the routes took him from riverfront to riverfront, spanning Center City the Italian Market (above) and along the Delaware River waterfront at Penn’s Landing (below). Today, the site is no longer an industrial tract but is home to an ice rink (and roller-skating rink in summer), outdoor concerts, renovated public piers and a warm-weather boardwalk. Columbus Boulevard between Market & Lombard Streets, (215) 922-2386, delawareriverwaterfront.com
- Philadelphia Zoo – America’s first zoo is the scene of Rocky and Adrian’s engagement in Rocky II. Rocky memorably proposed in a snow-blanketed scene in front of the tiger exhibit. Today, the tigers and other big cats roam freely on an overhead mesh pathway, part of the world’s first system of explorable animal trails in a zoo. 3400 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org
- Victor Café – This circa 1933 South Philly spot stood in as Adrian’s, the restaurant owned and operated by Rocky in Rocky Balboa through Creed II. In reality, the trattoria is known for fine Italian dining and a waitstaff who performs operatic arias during dinner service.
1303 Dickinson Street, (215) 468-3040, victorcafe.com
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