A weekend in Philly

12 Aug

Where’s your favorite get-out-of-the-city weekend spot?
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Sure, Boston and D.C. get a lot of NYC weekender love, but Philly was by far my favorite of the three, highly underrated if you ask me. Here’s where I ate, stayed and hung out. Copy/paste this list in an e-mail to yourself, and bring it when you go!

Travel: Bolt Bus. I’ve written about it before, but the trip is seamless and the bus has free wi-fi and bathrooms. Book your tickets early, as they charge on a sliding scale, but you can easily get there and back for about $30. If you’re traveling with a companion, get in line early — people often aren’t so keen on moving to an aisle seat in the back row so you can sit by your honey.

Sleep: Lodging is typically the most expensive part of weekend bus trips, so remember that credit card points programs often pair with hotels to offer vouchers — check yours to see where you might stay and save. Bearing this in mind, I hit up the Historic Best Western Independence Park Hotel (235 Chestnut St.), right in the center of the action.

The Signer

Eat: A little hard to get to on foot, but Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) is a fun ’50s diner vibe. Check out Campo’s (214 Market St.) and split an obligatory cheesesteak, and carve out an hour or two (and some room in your tummy) to sample the goods at the lively Reading Terminal Market (51 N. 12th St.).

Reading Terminal Market

Snack: Wine and cheese bar Tria (123 S. 18th St.) is a romantic place to sit outside and enjoy the finer things, while Shane’s Candies‘ (110 Market St.) arcane check-out system is worth suffering — for the chocolate, of course.

Gawk: Make sure your camera has plenty of battery before heading over to the Philadelphia Magic Gardens (1020 South St.). But speaking to friends after we returned, somehow no one I talked to who knew Philadelphia had ever been. What the what!

Classics: Even if you’re not a history person, Independence Hall (520 Chestnut St.), Betsey Ross House (239 Arch St.) and a stop at the Liberty Bell are musts. Take the tours (very affordable), soak up the history, Google the ticket details.

Drink: Nodding Head Pub (1516 Sansom St.) is a locals’ bar with plenty of space and seating. There are way worse things than ending up here for a few drinks after a long walk around the central city. Not a bad plan at all.


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