Historical places, good restaurants, easy walking city, theatre, museums, fine hotels and B&Bs, the best Philly cheesesteak sandwich, and sports are what visitors expect when in Philadelphia. It’s easy to collect a long list of things to see because the city gets better every year. And people tend to know this because more people are coming as tourists, and as residents. Philadelphia is about history, and about museums (many are along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway), there’s Chinatown, small new shops, interesting walking tours, dueling piano bars, comedy clubs, jazz, Reading Terminal Market, Fairmount Park, a terrific zoo, and a Philadelphia Convention Center being expanded for bigger and better meetings. At the Independence Visitor Center at the NE corner of 5th and Market Streets well-informed people stand behind a long counter ready to answer questions and distribute the appropriate pamphlets for neighborhoods of choice. And a cafe awaits nearby for regrouping and sorting of plans. Maybe you can find Albert Lee. www.independencevisitorcenter.com
Though Philly is a fairly small city as cities go; it has all that’s expected of a city without the maddening crowds. The Christmas lights are up, at Macy’s the Wanamaker organ is ready for glorious Christmas music, and Rittenhouse Square Park feels good when walking pass the simply displayed, with a touch of elegance, Christmas lights.
Tour buses, walking tours, horse drawn carriage tours, a Duck tour, or a pointed finger will guide you to the buildings surrounding the Independence Visitor Center where history is waiting. Hungry and feet tired yet? Want a relaxing meal? You won’t have to go far.
With feet rested and energy replenished it’s time to see more of what’s uniquely Philadelphia. If you’re still in the general area of Market Street, a walk on 3nd toward Arch Street offers splendid shopping, and Betsy Ross’s house and Benjamin Franklin’s final resting place are on Arch Street. If Elfreth’s Alley was by-passed earlier, now is a good time to take a look.
And should there be an interest, a nice walk north on 3rd Street toward the 600s, and a turn east toward 2nd Street, will find a retail shop belonging to Penn Herb Co. Ltd. at 603 North 2nd Street, and also where an up-and-coming neighborhood is enjoying a new look. www.PennHerb.com A stroll on 3rd rather than 2nd will find a fine array of shops. However, if someone wants to take a glance on 2nd Street, or other streets leading toward the 600s, why not.
But then, there you are all the way north; perhaps now you have time to go south checking out what’s on Walnut Street, or continue walking south to the antique shops, and the Italian Market, and much more. Or you can wend your way west to the University City area to see what’s going on there, or perhaps you want to go to the theatre. A little reading of maps and pamphlets, a decision, and away you go. Keep it uncomplicated, Philadelphia has been here a while, and you can always come back, right?
Whatever or do, wherever you go, enjoy.