A week or so ago I headed down to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for an extra long girls weekend of exploring, eating, and relaxation with one of my best friends from college. I wanted to share some of the things we did, places we ate, where we stayed, and things we wish we did over our 5 day, 6 night stay in the historic city to give you a better idea of what to do if you visit Philly in the future!
WHERE WE STAYED
We were lucky to be invited to stay with a friend that lives in the city to save a little bit of money, but we did end up booking a hotel for the first night we were in the city to make things easier with our late arrival times. I had heard about the app Hotel Tonight and was itching to give it a try so I figured this was the perfect opportunity! I ended up booking the hotel a week in advance and paid roughly $130 (get $25 off your stay with code: RAMARTIN22) for our stay at the Hilton at Penn’s Landing. Located right along the Delaware River, the hotel was easy to get to from the airport and within walking distance of some of the historic sights we wanted to check out.
If you’ve never used Hotel Tonight before, it’s a great app for finding last minute hotel deals anywhere from the day of to up to 100 days in advance (depending on the city!). You can view photos of the hotel, the original cost of the room, and have access to reviews left by other Hotel Tonight users. The day of your stay, you have access to a Hotel Tonight specialist via the app that you can send hotel requests to, ask for recommendations, as well as get any other questions about your stay answered! It was very convenient and helpful as it was my first time in the city.
WHERE WE ATE + DRANK
Full disclosure: we spent a majority of our time in Philly eating. Go figure.
Marathon Grill – If you’re looking for a spot to grab lunch or dinner that’s in between drinking wine and eating cheese and fast food, Marathon is a great place to check out. The food is easy and delicious, they serve mimosas all day long, and I actually ate all of my food. Does anyone else get extremely full extremely easy when eating at restaurants? I almost always have to bring my leftovers home with me. Okay so maybe I just got an appetizer, but it was so delicious I wouldn’t even had leftovers if I tried.
&pizza – I love a good flatbread pizza and &pizza hits the nail on the head. We stopped in for lunch one day and it was so good that I went back the next day. Yolo, right? If you like hot and spicy, get the Dirty Bird (a delicious twist on a classic buffalo chicken pizza).
Luna Cafe – Paige & I randomly stumbled into Luna Cafe on the first full day we were in the city on our way to do touristy shit, I was pleastly surprised with all of their breakfast options. Their coffee was scrumptious (I opted for the hot coffee!) and my breakfast sandwich was so filling. If you stop in, make sure to have cash on you, they’re a cash-only establishment!
Saxby’s – Essentially Starbucks long lost sister, (apparently) Saxby’s are *everwhere* but we’r clearly not cool enough to have them in Massachusetts. The prices are roughly the same as Starbucks and the coffee is a little sweeter and not so bitter. If you are in Philly (or somewhere else that has Saxby’s) I highly recommend popping in and grabbing a coffee to take with you on your adventures!
Tria – if you love wine and cheese and want to have a cozy, quiet night outside of your home (or hotel!), you need to give Tria a try! There are four locations in Philadelphia and each have a different vibe. I visited the Rittenhouse location on S. 18th Street. It’s a small space, the lighting is dark and moody, and I could have stayed there for hours drinking wine and eating cheese. Speaking of cheese, we opted for the Fromager d’Affinois (my personal fave), Etxegarai, and Grafton Clothbound Cheddar. Each cheese case with its own topping that complimented it perfectly. We also ordered the Goat Cheese Bruschetta, which was delicious! I highly recommend ordering at least one of the bruschetta’s on their menu along with your favorite cheeses.
Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop – A late night stop, Joe’s was my first Philly Cheesesteak experience and man was it delicious. Who knew that Whiz was the thing to get on your cheesesteak? If you’re in Fish Town, you have to stop into this cute shop for a delicious cheesesteak (& a side of fries!).
Rope and Anchor Restaurant – Located at the base of the Hilton at Penn’s Landing, Paige and I stopped in for a glass of wine and a bite to eat while we watched the remainder of the Patriot’s game. I ordered the fried calamari and Paige went with the cheesesteak egg rolls – both were to die for.
The Foodery – Love beer? Stop in to a The Foodery to put together your own 6 pack! I’m not a huge fan of beer but we stopped in for Paige to make her own 6 pack and I was amazed with the extensive craft beer options (they have the normal stuff, too). We ended up going back a few days later to grab a beer at the bar after lunch. I couldn’t tell you what I drank but it was local and it was good.
WHAT WE DID
The Liberty Bell – Am I the only person who had zero idea that the Liberty Bell was enclosed in a building? I’m not a huge history buff so I naturally just expected it to be on the corner of some cute alley, not in a giant building with metal detectors,
Elfreth’s Alley – More than just a perfect street within a bustling city, Elfreth’s Alley is the nation’s oldest residential street and has been perfectly preserved over the years. Now considered a historic landmark, private tours of the street and museum are available but there are also public tours available on Saturday’s. We opted against doing a tour and using our time to take photos due to time constraints. Whether you just stop by the street to take a few photos and take in the beauty or take the time to learn more about the history of the street, it’s a must-visit (& one of my favorite spots!) in Philly.
dress / sneakers / denim jacket / necklace / sunglasses
Betsy Ross House – Even though it’s know as the Betsy Ross House, it wasn’t actually owned by Bertsy Ross. She rented a room (along with a handful of other families) from the owner and would hide away in her bedroom making what is now known as the American Flag. Now made into a museum, it’s affordable ($5!) and doesn’t take too much time to walk through!
The Electric Factory – Our main reason for our trip was to go to a few concerts at The Electric Factory and both were so, so amazing! It’s always a cool experience to see concerts at venues that you’re not familiar with, especially with new, fresh faces! The vibe was incredible at both shows and I highly suggest seeing a show here if there’s any you’re interested in during your visit.
Philadelphia City Hall – Talk about a massive building! The city has done such an amazing job preserving the building over the years and walking through it transports you to another time.
Reading Terminal Market – From cookbooks and small gifts to sandwiches, beer, and chocolate, the Reading Terminal Market is a massive space featuring local foods and gifts. We didn’t end up eating at the market, but everything looked delicious!
Rittenhouse Square Park – Located within Rittenhouse Square (duh), the park is filled with benches, and a statue of a lion and goat that are very popular with children. Whether you’re just walking through, meeting a friend for coffee, or reading a great book, the park is quiet and a perfect spot to relax. If you’re visiting the city but not in close proximity to the park, you’re not missing out on a whole lot if you don’t have the chance to stop by to see it.
t-shirt / jeans (DIY’d the raw hem!) / sweatshirt / sneakers
THINGS WE WISH WE DID
There were a handful of things we wanted to do on our trip and we either A. were hungover/tired/not in the mood, B. didn’t have time, or C. got unlucky with the weather. But I still wanted to share the things we wanted to do just in case you were interested in some other things to do during your own trip to Philly!
- Philadelphia Art Museum
- Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk
- Magic Gardens
- Eastern State Penitentiary
- Constitution Center
- Independence Hall
- LOVE Park
- Morris Arboretum
Have you ever been to Philly? What are some of your favorite things to do in the city?