Known as the “city of brotherly love,” Philadelphia, or Philly for short, is in fact a short flight away. One can find a lot to do for an extended weekend that includes culture, food and exploration. Here’s a few of the highlights from our visit…
Barnes Foundation Collection: This recommendation from long-time friend of the Burg, Sylvia Rusche, is not to be missed. This massive private collection includes numerous pieces by the likes of Van Gough, Cezanne, Matisse and Renoir among others. Some will be instantly recognizable as iconic pieces featured in movies and television.
Philly is very walkable, and consumable. We covered nearly 10 miles over the course of 3 days which made eating our way through the city a bit more, uhm, justified.
Stroll through Rittenhouse: Rows of streets across much of Philly feature colonial style townhomes. Some built hundreds of years ago, many of these charming structures line narrow brick streets and have since been gutted and remodeled into multi-million dollar homes. We stayed in a charming AirBnB in Rittenhouse which had three stories including a rooftop patio and top floor “man cave” complete with wet bar.
Stroll through Downtown: Philly’s downtown is an eclectic mix of modern glass and vintage art deco style high-rises. While the “king and queen” towers may be most recognizable, popular routes will have you discovering a selection of “they don’t make it like they used to” gems like the old Pennsylvania Railroad building. The city is also home to what has to be one of the most photogenic City Halls in North America.
Stroll on the Waterfront: It’s clear the city has invested a lot in outdoor spaces. Start at Schuylkill River Park, enjoy watching the dogs play at the expansive dog park before crossing the pedestrian bridge to take the approximate 2 mile waterfront walk up to the Philadelphia museum. Feeling adventurous? Continue on to Brewerytown, an up and coming area of Philly that has quite a few, you guessed it, breweries. Crime and Punishment is a great place to start a day drinking tour through the neighborhood’s selection of suds.
Food, Food, FOOD!:
Home to more than just the infamous Philly Cheese Steak, having one is certainly not to be missed. Online guides will have a few of the city’s top recommendations, and we went for Campo’s Family Deli which did not disappoint. While I’ve certainly had one before, never as good as it was there. Something about the soft bread they use just makes it perfect.
Urban Farmer is a small farm to table chain with 5 locations across North America. As one of the top rated restaurants in the city, we stopped by on our way to the Barnes Foundation for their signature The Farm Burger with white cheddar and aioli on a house made english muffin. Seriously, one of the best burgers I’ve ever had and the fries were perfectly crispy outside, soft inside.
Finally, an extremely popular local joint is Rosey’s Taco Bar. These place is a favorite of locals and it’s easy to see why. In addition to a full bar and great selection of beers on tap, their signature dishes are why you must visit. I would highly recommend the Coreanos, Korean-style short ribs, chile paste, kimchi, radish and chipotle mayo…. Delish!
There’s plenty more to see and do in Philadelphia including visiting China town, Reading Terminal Market and going to see the college row houses at Penn State. I can’t stress enough how easy it is to explore and discover in Philly. Start in a direction with a goal in mind, and you may just discover a few highlights. Just as we did when we happened upon the Benjamin Franklin’s final resting place.
At publishing, American Airlines, Frontier, Southwest and Spirit all fly direct to Philadelphia from Tampa. In addition to Uber, Lyft and taxi service, there is a light rail option to get from the airport to the city.
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