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