Philadelphia was never on my radar. All I recalled were the lyrics to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and my high school lesson of the Liberty Bell. But the moment I visited for the first time, I immediately fell in love with the city and its rich history. With vibrant city murals, original cheese steaks, and towering skyscrapers, Philly has a culture of its own and is absolutely iconic in every way. Each neighborhood and street corner contains a significant landmark or monument that marks a pivotal event in American history dating back as early as the 1700s. From whimsical restaurants, cobblestone neighborhoods, and majestic architecture, Philadelphia has a long list of must-sees that will totally make a forty-eight hour weekend getaway worth it. So pack your bags and grab your girlfriends. Here are a few stops to peruse through!
Kimpton Hotel Monaco is a beautiful place to stay during your travels, as it perfectly combines modern art with an eclectic atmosphere. Hosted by the friendliest and most helpful staff, you’ll enjoy good conversations with locals and experience the warm comfort of unique amenities, such as a rooftop lounge area or delicious cuisine from the Red Owl Tavern.
If it’s a Sunday, be sure to take a seat at Talula’s Garden for a refreshing brunch special. With an array of sweets and wholesome, vegetarian-friendly entrees, this local spot offers a tasty selection to start off any adventure; a common recommendation is the Smashed Avocado Toast — yum!
For a cup of cold brew, head over to Elixr Coffee Roasters. Located in the heart of what is known as Center City, Elixr provides guests with freshly roasted coffees accompanied by a picturesque, laid-back environment.
Start exploring the city by taking a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Rich in historical relics, this spot invites guests to admire the masterful work of brilliant artists from different generations and walks of life. Just next door, you can also find the infamous Rocky Balboa Statue and Steps, which were featured in the movie, Rocky I. Many travel from all over the United States to take pictures and commemorate Sylvester Stallone’s film character.
Art is at the center of what this city thrives upon. As a tourist, one of the best things to do is to check out the city’s breath-taking Mural Mile. Trolleys and tour guides take visitors throughout various locations within Philly to take note of each unique mural — many of which can be found on some of the city’s most majestic buildings. Another must-see is Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Imaginatively curated, this tourist attraction is built upon the frameworks of creative mosaics intertwined with inanimate objects. The technicolor patterns make for a perfect Kodak moment too!
City Hall is probably one of the most awe-striking views within Philadelphia. It’s known to be one of the biggest buildings within the United States that is used for local government. Its architecture dates back to the late 1600s, when the Founding Fathers initially deemed Philly as the “City of Brotherly Love.” If you love farmer’s markets, check out the Reading Terminal Market. As it sits close to the majesty of City Hall, this indoor marketplace setup offers specialty treats and other souvenir takeaways.
Filled with fun attractions and delicious food truck snacks, Spruce Street Harbor Park is a Philly staple that perfectly conveys the city’s relaxed culture. With colorful hammocks hanging from every tree, locals come to enjoy views of the Delaware River. Federal Donuts are served weekly, as one of the food truck retailers. If you’ve never sampled their Strawberry-Lavender Donut Chips, then you are definitely in for a treat!
How could we not pay a visit to the city’s iconic Liberty Bell? The Liberty Bell center is located close to another patriotic spot, Independence Hall, which showcases monuments and plaques dedicated to the city’s historical roots. Be inspired as you walk through some of America’s earliest developments.
Rittenhouse Square is a historical landmark surrounded by bright, fresh greenery and a lively fountain. A walk through this dog-friendly park will lead you through more rich patriotic chronicles, such as the Washington Monument. It’s such an inspiring view!
If quality time with animals is your love language, stop by the Philadelphia Zoo, featuring over 1,300 fascinatingly cute creatures. From gorillas to elephants, this beautiful garden guides you through one of the oldest zoos established within the United States.