Weekend getaway – Philadelphia
Philadelphia, the “City of Brotherly Love” and the birthplace of our nation (after all, it’s where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed) is a great city to explore on a weekend trip. Offering something for everyone; sports teams, museums, galleries, a wonderful zoo, restaurants, national parks and more, there is plenty to keep visitors of all ages entertained for a weekend or longer. One of our Travel Experts® recently visited the city and has some suggestions for you. Philadelphia is easily reached by car, plane or train. In fact, taking AMTRAK or SEPTA rather than driving is appealing as traffic can be bad (due to almost continual construction on Interstate 95) and parking can be pricey and scarce. Both AMTRAK and SEPTA (the Philadelphia area’s regional transportation system) have trains that can drop you off at 30th street station and other stops throughout the city. Once you’re there, SEPTA offers a variety of options for travel in the city. Also, the main tourist areas are walkable and taxis, UBER or LYFT are also readily available. Using SEPTA to arrive at Jefferson Station (located adjacent to the Pennsylvania Convention Center) there are a number of hotels within a reasonable walking distance. Some favorites are the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, The Courtyard by Marriott Downtown, Loews Philadelphia and Home2Suites by Hilton. If you prefer hotels that are more unique, try Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco and Hotel Palomar. These boutique hotels offer comfort, convenience and fun, not to mention a complimentary evening wine hour. King room at the Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown For a great brunch, try Garces Trading Company by Iron Chef Jose Garces. For a reasonable $25.00, you’ll enjoy a mimosa, an appetizer, main course, coffee and a basket of delicious freshly baked pastries. The pineapple French toast was excellent as was the starter of pumpkin seed granola with Greek yogurt. Pineapple French Toast, Garces Trading Company Reading Terminal Market is an excellent choice for a quick breakfast or lunch. Along with all of the fresh produce, flower and meat and seafood markets, RTM features several bakeries and restaurants . For a different type of Philly-style sandwich, try DiNic’s for their Italian style Roast Pork. Served on a freshly baked roll with sharp provolone, broccoli rabe or even sweet or hot peppers, this sandwich was named the best in America by the Travel Channel. For dessert, try a cannoli from Termini Brothers bakery, ice cream from Bassett’s, or a cupcake from Flying Monkey bakery – and that’s just for starters! Fresh flowers, Reading Terminal Market Other great dining options include Capofitto for excellent pizzas and Capogiro for gelato; Jones, El Vez, Alma de Cuba, Morimoto and other restaurants from Stephen Starr; and Fork, Vetri, Fond and even Vedge just to name a few. Vedge is a vegan place, and has been named the best vegan restaurant in the country. Philadelphia is a huge foodie town and there really is something for everyone when you’re hungry! Check with your hotel for other suggestions but trust me, if you go hungry in Philly, it won’t be from a lack of choices! In addition to being a town with great food and plenty of history, Philly is a huge sports town. Whether you’re a football, baseball, hockey or basketball fan, not to mention arena football and professional soccer, the sports fans in your family will be in luck! Check out the Philadelphia Phillies at beautiful Citizen’s Bank Park, the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field and the 76ers and Flyers over at the Wells Fargo Center. All the sports arenas are in the same complex easily reached by car or public transportation. Philly fans take their sports seriously so if you are visiting from out of town, it’s probably a good idea to NOT wear your home teams’ colors! Your kids (and kids of all ages) will enjoy the Philadelphia Zoo, Franklin Institute and Please Touch Museum. Also, channel your inner Rocky and run (or walk) up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Visit the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center as well. Those attractions are located very close to each other in the Old City section of town. As you can see, Philadelphia is truly a city with something for everyone and a great place to spend a long weekend. There is so much to do that you’ll probably want to schedule a repeat visit! For additional information, head over to the city’s official visitor and travel site www.visitphilly.com.