Cheers Sippin Gypsy Team Gin! This post comes to you while enjoying a refreshing Sorbet Sparkler with raspberry sorbet and thyme from my garden, Enjoy!
Philadelphia was such an incredible experience. First, I had time with my cousin, Jeremy... and second, since he loves living in Philadelphia and has been there almost 10 years, he showed me all of the best places and local secrets for what to do and where to go! Check out some of the great spots we found for cocktails and cuisine at my Sippin Gypsy Quick Tips for Sippin.
Before I list some of top things to do when visiting Philadelphia, I wanted to share a few other easy tips for your adventure to one of the oldest cities in the United States.
1. Downtown Philadelphia is very easy to navigate with many spots within walking distance of Center City. However many of the streets are still lined with old brick or cobblestone. While this may appear charming, your feet will not find it so charming...wear very comfortable and supportive shoes.
2. If you aren't used to the weather in the Northeast of the United States, wear layers and expect the cooler evenings and days to have a dampness in the air which can make it feel more chilly, especially after the sun sets.
3. Philadelphia hosts a lot of festivals, concerts and shows. Consider planing your travels through Philadelphia based on a particular show or artist you may was to catch, or see what is happening in the communities. This may also effect availability of hotels, but can also be a nice anchor for what to plan your stay in the city around. The Visit Philly website is very resourceful to see what events could enhance your visit.
4. Philadelphia has one of the best markets I have experienced. Consider visiting either the Reading Terminal Market or The Italian Market on your first day to stock up on delicious goods to keep in your hotel in place of always eating out.
5. Philadelphia is an easy trip to New York City and Washington DC. Consider using Philadelphia for where to fly into or out of when visiting this iconic part of the United States.
1. Reading Terminal Market
A public market since 1893, the Reading Terminal Market is one of the oldest public markets in the United States and features local produce, meats, prepared goods as well as quick service prepared meals to tide you over until you get back to a kitchen to cook up something delicious on your own. I highly advise making Reading Terminal Market one of the fist places you visit to fill your room with delicious local snacks and options for while in Philly.
2. Historic Tours
As in any big city, Philadelphia has no shortage of tours. I personally love the intrigue of dark tours...getting the inside scoop of ghosts and other things that may go 'bump' in the night. I find I get almost just as much history in these tours, but the added charm of a good ghost story. My cousin and I elected to do the Ghost Tour of Philadelphia. Just a side note, this tour does not have bathroom stops, nor does it stop for food or beverages. Make sure you have already had food and bring a bottle water or coffee with you for the tour, and have solid plans afterward for food and perhaps cocktails. The tour ends near the historic City Tavern, a fun place to wrap up your history lesson and grab a beer before heading off for the evening for dinner or cocktails. Philadelphia is also sprinkled with important buildings and preserved sites that take you back into time. It was amazing to see Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell and tour the very ground where Benjamin Franklin's house and businesses once stood. The Visit Philly website puts together great lists and suggestions for what each museum and historic site offers.
3. Catch a show or concert
Philadelphia hosts so many concerts and shows ranging from world renowned symphonies and ballets, to off Broadway hits and local up an coming talent. I sadly lost track of all the venues that Philadelphia offers. While walking around, my cousin would point out more and more theaters or bars with space for live performances. Philadelphia Theater website gathers what is available at most of the larger venues throughout Philly along with ticketing options.
4. Tour The Masonic Temple
I truly battled with listing this with my other tour suggestions above. But in the end, if your visit doesn't take you through the footsteps of the founding fathers of the United States, it should at least take you through the impressive structure located just behind City Hall, the Masonic Temple. Tours are offered regularly and the structure is truly breathtaking.
5. Search for your favorite Philly Cheese Steak
I specifically did not put any places on my Sippin Gypsy Quick Tips for Sippin for where to find the "best Philly Cheese Steak" because I haven't found it yet. My time in Philly was incredible exploring the other amazing cocktail and cuisine venues throughout Philadelphia. However it should be known, that the city has no shortage of spots that claim to offer the best Philly Cheese Steak. During my next visit to Philadelphia I will take part in this friendly war and seek out which place offers this iconic sandwich best to my liking! Until then, if your travels take you to Philadelphia and you wish to indulge in cheesy meaty goodness, consider visiting the dueling locationsPat's or Geno's located directly across from each other, or talk to the locals...they will all have different suggestions, and one will be close to your hotel or lodging or along your path as you explore the city.
Philadelphia was an incredible experience. There is truly is so much to do and explore ranging from walking in the footsteps of the founding fathers of the United States to enjoying the talents of local artisans. The people are amazing and passionate about their beautiful city. Thank you to my cousin Jeremy for showing me around your city. I can't wait to get back there and continue the adventure! Cheers!