I spent a few years working on one of my degrees at Eastern University. I loved the frequent trips to the city of Philadelphia. I learned to love Philly. In spite of being one of the largest cities in the United States, Philly has a very friendly, residential feel to it. Cheryl and I continue to return when we can.
I am frequently asked for travel tips for the city, so I thought I would share my top 10 suggestions. Knowing you will automatically track down the touristy historical spots, I decided to share my picks that may or may not be in on the standard weekend tour, but places that you do not want to miss. Philly is an excellent city in which to walk, so if you are only visiting Philly for a short time, put your walking shoes on and check out:
The museum area – Even if you are not a museum lover, this side of the city is beautiful and a must see.
Schuylkill River Trail is a 130-miles long stretching along the historic Schuylkill River from downtown Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to Valley Forge National Park. This is a runner and biker’s dream, but a must see even if just to walk a mile or so. Be sure to get to the trail early and watch the rowing clubs practice behind boathouse row along the Fairmount Park stretch of the trail.
Sabrina’s Café – Located in the heart of the Italian street markets on Christian Street, just off 9th street has absolutely some of the best meals I have ever had at reasonable prices. Known for breakfast, I think their chef knocks dinner meals out of the park.
Italian markets on 9th Street – The culture here is alive and well. Featuring great Italian restaurants, fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses, even if you are not buying you will enjoy the atmosphere.
Pat and Geno’s – You will no doubt have Philly cheese steaks while in town. I recommend you try several places. I have other “favorites”, but these are the two famous ones and the ones you’ll want to say you tried. Located on 9th Street down from the Italian markets, I have my pick of the two in case you can’t hold but one. Read that post HERE.
South Street – At night or during the day, there is always something happening here. For true people watching, this is where the tourists are walking.
Reading Terminal Market – I never get tired of this place. It’s great for food, people watching, and culture. The Amish shops have incredible food at reasonable prices, but there are also many other award-winning places to eat. One of my favorite places is DiNic’s. Try their cheese steak! I also like the chocolate in the Reading Terminal.
Rittenhouse Square Area – Located on Walnut Street (and other streets), this is a small park, but has lots of character. If the weather is pretty the place will be packed and be a great place to sit and people watch. The area around it has some of the nicest places to live in downtown Philly and great restaurants are nearby.
SEPTA – The regional rail system in Philly makes getting out of the city and discovering historic, quaint villages an easy, fun, and inexpensive day or half-day trip from center city. Try places like Manayunk and Chestnut Hill.
Chinatown – Again, culture and people watching is the best activity here. I’m not a Chinese food fan, but I understand there are some great ones here.
I didn’t mention shopping on Walnut or Chestnut Streets, but if Cheryl is with me, that’s a must do area. Also McGillian’s Pub is one of my favorite places to watch a game and grab some inexpensive grub!
What did I miss?
For a fun family few days, check out the great options available in Philadelphia! Then share your findings with me!