If you’re planning a visit to Philadelphia, you may not realize how much there is to do in this great city. Dubbed “The City of Brotherly Love”, Philly is home to some great cultural spots and fantastic eateries. Here are some tips to help you plan your visit to Philadelphia:
Places to Stay: Philadelphia has many luxury hotel accommodations, including The Hotel Windsor, the Sheraton Rittenhouse Square Hotel and the ever-so-luxurious Four Seasons Hotel. For less pricy accommodations, check out Philly’s Holiday Inn Express or The Comfort Inn in downtown Philly.
Places to Eat: There are tons of upscale places to eat in Philadelphia, including the world renowned Le Bec-Fin, Zanzibar Blue or the award winning Striped Bass. Looking for some delicious ethnic dining? Alma de Cuba’s authentic Cuban dishes are out of this world. Warmdaddy’s, a fave haven for such celebs as Alicia Keys, is known for its delicious southern cuisine, served alongside some great blues music. When dining along Penn’s Landing, Philly’s waterfront district, be sure to check out Dave and Busters, a popular entertainment complex that features great bistro style food, the famous Charthouse Restaurant or the trendy Moshulu restaurant. Philly’s South Street features lots of cool dining spots, including Copacabana and Marrakesh. And if you want to sample one of Philadelphia’s world famous cheesesteaks, there are plenty of places to get this local delicacy (my personal favorite is Pat’s King of Steaks at 9th and Passyunk Avenue).
Historical Places to See: In center city, make sure to visit Independence Hall, the historic building where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. The Betsy Ross House on Arch Street is another popular visitor spot as is the historic Liberty Bell Center, where a certain bell is on display.
Museums: The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the United States, chock full of European art as well as the art of Philly native Thomas Eakins. If you have kids in tow, check out The Please Touch Museum, which is a kid-friendly museum that showcases children’s storybook illustrations, cool inventions and a kid-size grocery store. In the Old City district of Philly, look for even more trendy museums and galleries.
Sporting Events: The Citizens Bank Park is Philly’s newest ballpark (and home of the Philadelphia Phillies). If you want to see the Philadelphia Eagles in action check out Lincoln Financial Field. If hockey or basketball is your thing, stop by The Wachovia Center to see the Flyers or Allen Iversen and the Philadelphia 76ers in action. Philly is home to some great sports teams and Philly fans are extremely passionate about their teams!
Stuff for Kids: In addition to the highly recommended Please Touch Museum, Philly has plenty of other kid-friendly attractions, including the world famous Philadelphia Zoo. Philly’s zoo is home to over 1600 exotic animals and there is also a special Children’s Petting zoo that features pony rides. Also, in nearby Langhorne, PA there is a child’s dream come true– Sesame Place, which is an amusement park that features all of the characters from the beloved PBS television series. Sesame Place is a must-stop if you visit Philadelphia with young children.
Penn’s Landing and Boathouse Row: Philadelphia’s waterfront has lots to do and see. Throughout the year, Penn’s Landing hosts the Festival Pier Concert Series and there are seasonal cruises on the boat The Spirit of Philadelphia. Boathouse Row is a scenic strip along Kelly Drive, and it’s quite a sight at night when all of the boathouses are lit up. Kelly Drive is also a popular place for joggers and bicyclists, so you can get your exercise in while you’re visiting Philly (no excuses)!
Shopping: Philly’s own South Street features hip boutiques where you can pick up one of a kind trendy finds. In nearby King of Prussia (about 30 minutes west of Philly) check out the King of Prussia Mall, which is the second largest mall in the country. The King of Prussia Mall features every upscale store you can think of, as well as popular anchor stores like Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s.
And, if you plan to visit Philly in the near future, keep your eyes peeled for sightings of Sylvester Stallone and the film crew of the movie “Rocky 6” — they are currently filming in Philadelphia and have been spotted all over the place by locals lately.