Philadelphia — the sixth most populous city in the United States and the center of the original 13 colonies, having served as the nation’s first capital before Washington,
D. C. took over the title — is known as the city of Brotherly Love, in addition to being one of the toughest yet most passionate sports towns in the United States. The city enjoyed its first major sports championship in 25 years this October when the Fightin’ Phillies won the World Series at home! But Philly offers so much to its visitors and non-residents, including delicious cuisine like the quintessential Philly cheesesteak or TastyKake snack treats, where Butterscotch Krimptets and Coconut Juniors may ruin your diet, but are sure to delight your palette! Run, don’t walk, to Geno’s Steaks at 1219 South 9th Street in South Philly or to Pat’s King of Steaks, located at 9th Street where it crosses Wharton and P assyunk Avenues.
As if all these factors weren’t enough, the city is also considered the historic epicenter of the country, with figures like Benjamin Franklin and flagmaker Betsy Ross having called Philly home during their lifetimes, which just so happened to shape our grandparents’ lifetimes, our parents’ lifetimes, our own lifetimes and the lifetimes of future generations! The city combines a visible, tangible old world charm, thanks to colonial architecture which is still dispersed throughout the hustling, bustling city, with a distinctly modern feel. A weekend getaway won’t do the city justice, since there is so much to do! Additionally, if you’re an out of towner or Left Coaster headed East for a few days, Philly is situated about two hours from New York City, three hours north of D.C., and about 6 hours south
o f Boston, so it’s sitting in the hub of the East Coast.
While by no means comprehensive, we’ve selected some key things to do when you hit Philadelphia! SIGHTSEEING If you want to give yourself a cultural history lesson, visit the Liberty Bell at 6th and Market in the historic district of Independence Hall. Tradition states that the Bell, which features a significant crack, had been used to summon locals for the reading of the Declaration of Independence. Take a stroll near Betsy Ross’ house, which sits at 239 Arch Street, between Second and Third Streets.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art — yes, this is where the stairs made famous in Rocky, when Sylvester Stallone ran up them, are located — is a massive institution filled with over 225,000 priceless works. Works from B.C. all the way through modern times are housed here, featuring Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp and Sol LeWitt. Located in the Fairmount Park section of the city, at Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 26th Street.
HOTELS You can get cozy at the Rittenhouse Square Bed & Breakfast or you can stay in style at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, which is a stone’s throw from the water and South Street. There’s also a cost-efficient Best Western Independence Park if you’re simply in need of somewhere to hang your hat, er, unpack your suitcase!
SHOPPING While South Street isn’t as quirky as it once was in the 1990s, several blocks are lined with shops you can’t find in your local mall, such as Guacamole, a youthful yet hip young women’s boutique, which sells everything from tops to handbags to shoes. These shops share elbow room with bars, piercing boutiques and tattoo parlors, as well as music venues, like the TLA. Old City in Center City boasts local shops like Sugar Cube, Third Street Habit and Vagabond. There are tons of other cute and quaint shops in this area, so bring your credit cards!