A couple of weeks ago I went on a short trip to the east coast. I absolutely love traveling, and it’s without a doubt one of my favorite things to do. I also really enjoy seeing some of the cities that involve our nation’s history. Washington DC is still up there as one of my favorite cities, so getting to go to Philadelphia was exciting for me. And of course, it had a baseball stadium that I needed to see, so that was another perk.
What I loved most about Philly was the fact that it’s a very walkable city. I thought I was going to have to take the subway quite a bit and that a couple of sites might have been too far away, but I quickly found that walking was the best way to get around. I was also lucky enough to have a hotel that was right across the street from the capitol building and consequently it close to pretty much everything. I enjoyed exploring the different streets and feel like I had a pretty good grasp of the central part of the city by the time I left.
I got into Philly in the early evening and knew that I wasn’t going to be able to do much on that day. Thankfully, I discovered the idea of doing a night bus tour and booked that before I left (it departed from right outside my hotel too, an extra bonus). Picture a double decker bus with all of us sitting on top. It was an hour and a half of driving around seeing all the sites in the city with a great tour guide. I loved it and highly recommend that you start with a bus tour if you ever visit Philly. It gives you a lay of the land and it helps you realize what you care about coming back to see versus what you’re just happy to have seen from the bus.
I took a quick shot of the Courtyard I was staying at as we drove by it on the tour:
And of course, it may have been 11 o’clock at night in Philly, but my body thought it was 8 PM and that I still had four hours before I was supposed to go to bed. So what does a girl in that situation do? She finds a cookie shop that’s open all night, of course!
Friday was my big exploring day. I had my timed ticket to see Independence Hall, so I did that in the morning. On my way I stopped at Reading Terminal Market to look around and grab some breakfast. The market was one of my favorite places and I highly recommend it. Sadly, I didn’t get to try any food from the famous Dinic’s because they closed at 6 PM and I didn’t realize that so that I would get back over there in time for dinner. Oh well.
I toured Independence Hall and the Congress building, both interesting. I also checked out the Liberty Bell and got the obligatory picture. The first person I asked to take the picture apparently didn’t realize that I’d want both myself AND the bell in the picture. *sigh* I had someone else take another picture which is why I also have a shot from the other side of the bell.
I spent the rest of the day exploring some of the old site streets in that area and had fun just wondering around. I went to a place called Jim’s Steaks to get a cheesesteak because it was highly recommended online. I got it with “wiz” because I know it’s the way you’re supposed to try a cheesesteak. The wiz wasn’t as disgusting as I thought and as a whole it was pretty tasty. The highlight of that for me was sharing a table with an older couple and getting to chat with them. They were a lot of fun and were on their way to visit their kids and grandkids in New Jersey. When I saw them walking away from the place they were holding hands, which always makes me happy to see old couples doing.
The rest of the day was fairly random. I went to Elfreth’s alley, which is the oldest inhabited residencial block in America. What was pretty crazy to me was that there was both a place for rent and a place for sale. I looked it up online and it’s going for an outrageous price.
I also walked by the Betsy Ross house and Chinatown on my way back to my hotel (for a nap of course, because if you have a hotel within walking distance of everywhere you want to go, why wouldn’t you take an afternoon nap?).
I enjoyed all the random parks that I came across and all of the cool brick buildings that are everywhere in Philadelphia. It’s really a change of pace from what I see in Phoenix all the time and that’s why I love exploring new cities.
This is getting long, so I’m going to break the last two days into a separate post.