Philadelphia, PA - When Creed II is released, it will reintroduce a few of the franchise’s most much-loved Philadelphia attractions. Starring Michael B. Jordan as boxer Adonis Creed; Sylvester Stallone, as much older, more prudent Rocky; Tessa Thompson as Bianca, a Philadelphia native, songstress as well as Creed’s love interest.
Even though Philly shares the limelight this time with Loss Angels, as the film’s backdrop, only Philly can claim all these iconic Rocky and Creed sites to explore:
The Rocky Steps – seventy-two steps lead Rocky enthusiasts to the Main Entrance of Philadelphia Museum of Art. Balboa fans love to sprint their way to the very top, replicating Rocky’s famous run up the Museums staircase, then turning around, raising their fists in the air, and on occasion, shout out “Gonna Fly Now.” Movie fact: The single Rocky film minus the Rocky Steps was Rocky IV. Location 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
The Rocky statue was primarily commissioned as a prop in Rocky III and made a cameo in Creed II. The sculpture was created by Thomas Schomberg and represents a larger-than-life version of the victorious boxer. Located north of the Rocky Steps, visitors from all over the world line up to take photos with the original Rock. Found at: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, rockystatue.com
The Rocky Run – Thousands of athletes, participate each year in this 5K, 10-miler, or 13.1-mile Italian Stallion Challenge each fall. The course starts around the Philadelphia Museum of Art and runs along the Schuylkill River alongside Kelly and Martin Luther King Jr. drives, just like Rocky did. This event took place next year on November 9, 2019. rockyrun.com
Wawa, Welcome, America! Rocky Screening – Wawa Welcome America! is Philly’s multi-day 4th of July festival, which offers a free, outdoor screening of the original Rocky movie, with seating available right on Rocky Steps. Date TBA. welcomeamerica.com
The Yo, Philly! Rocky Film Tour – In a city full of Rocky impersonators, Mike Kunda may be the most devoted and loved. His well-known, three-hour excursion will take Rockey fans around the town to every essential stop, from the original Rocky movie to Creed II. theyorockyfilmtour.net
Favorite Hangouts of Rocky & Adonis:
9th Street Italian Market – during the course of the infamous training scenes in Rocky and Rocky II, a young Rocky Balboa happily jogs past merchants in South Philly’s iconic open-air market. These days, butcher shops, cheese purveyors, produce stands, taquerias, and bistros look much the same as they did in 1976. Located at: Market: 9th Street in 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 the live concert location in Fishtown, not that far from the popular taproom and indie rock bar Johnny Brenda’s, the place she performed in Creed. The 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 a National Historic Landmark and the location where Rocky visits Adrian’s grave in the last three movies. A few of Philadelphia's most celebrated citizens have been laid to rest here overlooking the Schuylkill River. Self-guided tours are offered year-round. Located at: 3822 Ridge Avenue, (215) 228-8200, thelaurelhillcemetery.org
Max’s Cheesesteaks – In both the Creed movies, Adonis and Bianca go on a date night at this North Philly joint and cheesesteak hotspot, which also offers a full bar. Max’s building contains a mural of native son Kevin Hart. Located at: 3653 Germantown Avenue, (215) 229-9048
Penn’s Landing – Diehard Philadelphians observed decades ago that the iconic training runs in the first two Rocky films follow a less-than-sequential path. Alternatively, the routes had taken him from riverfront to riverfront, spanning Center City the Italian Market (above) and along the Delaware River waterfront at Penn’s Landing (below). Nowadays, the site is no longer a manufacturing tract but is home to an ice rink (and roller-skating rink in summer), outdoor concerts, refurbished public piers as well as a warm-weather boardwalk. Columbus Boulevard in between Market & Lombard Streets, (215) 922-2386, delawareriverwaterfront.com
Philadelphia Zoo – America’s first zoo is the stage for Rocky and Adrian’s engagement as part of Rocky II. Rocky proposed in a snow-filled scene in front of the tiger exhibit. Nowadays, the tigers, along with various other big cats, move around freely on an expense mesh pathway, part of the world’s very first system of explorable animal paths in a zoo. 3400 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org
Victor Café – This South Philly restaurant is the backdrop for Adrian’s Restaurant, the dining establishment owned and managed by Rocky in Rocky Balboa all the way through Creed II. In actuality, known as a fine-dining Italian establishment and a waitstaff that performs operatic arias during the course of dinner service. Located at: 1303 Dickinson Street, (215) 468-3040, victorcafe.com.