Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. by A4A guest writer, Jojo.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Overview of Philadelphia

Philadelphia is known for its history as well as Philly Cheesesteaks. But besides that, it is also a friendly city that is easy to get around by walking. There is a verity of food options, shops, arts, and actives for all ages. It is a nice balance with lots of touristy things to see as well as local things to experience.

Top 5 places to visit

5. Fishtown

This section of Philadelphia is also known as the hipster part of Philadelphia. There are many fusion eateries as well as boutique shops. The best thing to do around this area is taking a walk and bring a camera. Fishtown has a lot of fun physical and wall arts all around, as well as interesting house designs.

The Fishtown section of Philadelphia, located immediately northeast of Center City, was named for its former role as the center of the shad fishing industry on the Delaware River. While historically it has been a working-class neighborhood, in recent years it has experienced a regentrification, with housing redevelopment and the opening of upscale art, entertainment and dining establishments. The SEPTA #15 trolley, which hearkens back to the older days, still runs through Fishtown.

Credit: Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.

4. Pennslanding /Delaware Waterfront

There is no best time to visit this location because there is always something going on. With weekly (almost daily) events in the summer at the Great Plaza like cultural festivals, free concerts and movie screenings at night. Most events are free and very kid-friendly.

In the summer there is also Spruce Street Harbor Park. The area is lit up by changing colored lights hanging from the trees. Every night, the park is filled with people hanging out in the hammocks, playing games, visiting food vendors and getting drinks. There is no admission fee so you only pay for what you buy to eat or drink.

While you are down Pennslanding, don’t forget Race Street Pier. A great view from under the Ben Franklin Bridge, right on the river. In the summer, you can enjoy free outdoor yoga classes or lay in the grass and enjoy the weather. You cannot fish here but there are many other piers along the Delaware River you can fish at.

3. Ben Franklin Bridge

Did you know you can walk from Philadelphia to Camden on the Ben Franklin Bridge? It is a bit of a workout if you are jogging or biking but it is great for a leisurely walk. You can enjoy the view of the Philadelphia skyline as well as the Delaware Waterfront and Camden’s Waterfront.

Named after Philadelphia’s arguably favorite Founding Father, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge has become an iconic landmark. The 9,573-foot span connects Philadelphia and New Jersey and hosts 100,000 cars per day, plus the elevated PATCO train and walkers and runners, who traverse the Delaware River via pedestrian walkways.

Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

2. Surrounding Art Museum area

The Art Museum is nice inside but if art is not your thing, you should still visit the surrounding area. From the front of the museum steps, you have a stunning view down the Ben Franklin Parkway with City Hall at the end and some of the Philadelphia skyline to your right.

Behind the art museum, you can go either way to Kelly Drive or the Schuylkill River Trail and still be by the water. Enjoy a nice jog, bike ride or walk along the river.

The art of horticulture is on display in the gardens framing the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Hundreds of plant species bloom throughout the year to create stunning visual displays that welcome visitors to the iconic museum.

Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

1. River Rink

For something to do in summer or winter, visit the River Rink. In the summer, you can rent roller-skates and enjoy the summer breeze. In the winter, rent ice skates and enjoy some hot chocolate by the bonfires. There is an admission fee for skate rentals but none to just stop by and enjoy the scenery.

At the open-air Blue Cross RiverRink on PennÕs Landing, skaters take in a spectacular view of the city while gliding alongside the Delaware River. Outside the rink, a pop-up holiday winter garden and village called Waterfront Winterfest features craft vendors, music, food and drinks, and a holiday-themed light show dazzles every hour from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. Plus, under a massive 400-person warming tent created from recycled shipping containers, folks enjoy comfort food, holiday cocktails and local beers.

Credit: Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

Eating and drinking

For a good Philadelphia Cheesesteak skip Pat’s and Geno’s and head to a corner store. The Oregon Cheesesteaks is also a good choice. For the best cheese fries, stop by Ishkabibbles on South Street.

Philadelphia also has plenty of food trucks around school campuses. Temple University, Penn and Community College of Philadelphia are a couple campuses to check out.

For good Mexican food, try a couple of places in South Philadelphia near the Italian market. Many of the places seem to be family owned and all providing great service and delicious food.

There are two plazas on Washington Ave providing good Vietnamese options: 6th & Washington and 11th & Washington.

Old City would be the best places for drinks. However, Philadelphia has been running a lot of outdoor happy hours throughout the city called Sips. There are many locations with different vibes and crowds.

The skyline of Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood, with only a few tall buildings, stands in sharp contrast to the skyscraper-heavy Center City. At 17 stories and 287 feet, the U.S. Custom House (1934) at 2nd and Chestnut Streets dwarfs many of the surrounding historic buildings in the area. The building’s base is clad in limestone with decorative aluminum details, and the art deco tower is made of red brick and limestone and culminates in an octagonal lantern. The Society Hill Towers, built in 1963 as part of a Society Hill restoration effort, include three 32-story high-rises on five acres of landscaped grounds at 2nd and Locust Streets.

Credit: Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Transport

Philadelphia is a pretty easy city to get around by foot and public transportation. There are two subway lines that run along Broad Street and Market Street. You can purchase a daily pass which will allow you to take the subway, trolley or bus.

A new bike share program called Indigo has recently been implemented. Available near all major attractions and near most other areas, you can rent a bike and return it to any other Indigo locations throughout the city. You can also download the Indigo app to help you find these locations.

After getting to a major location like Center City or the Art Museum, it is easy to get around by foot. You would actually save a lot more time and stress by avoiding traffic and taking a walk.

With the launch of Indego, PhiladelphiaÕs bike share program, riders can hop on one of 600 bright blue bicycles stationed at 70 kiosks and easily pedal around the city. The bikes, which are equipped with two baskets for carrying small items, are offered for rent by the trip with monthly and annual memberships available.

Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Accommodation

For accommodations, there are big hotels on Pennslanding and a couple around Center City. However, they are pretty pricey since you will be paying for the view and location. I would recommend using Airbnb or another host rental website to find cheaper accommodation. I even once saw a little boat for rent on Airbnb.


A4A guest writer – Jojo

Hello! I am a local from Philadelphia and has been all my life. Although Philadelphia is my home, I am actively working towards seeing other cities and experience new places every year. I love the water and my life goal right now is to try to do one pull-up.

Follow Jojo at http://www.expeditionjojo.com/, on Facebook and Instagram.

All photos in this article are the were provided by Visit Philadelphia and the photo credit has been included.


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Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to Philadelphia. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

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