Somehow I made it twenty three years before visiting Philadelphia, PA. When I finally went, I instantly fell in with all the art, culture, and history that this city has to offer. I know one weekend really isn’t enough time to explore this city in full, but I feel like in my short time there I was able to soak up a lot of what Philly has to offer, and it was definitely enough to make me want to go back. That’s why I decided to share my weekend itinerary in case you’re planning a trip soon. Hope you enjoy!
Once you make your way into the city, head over to Khyber Pass Pub for some Southern-style BBQ and cold beers. With an extensive beer list and kitchen open until 1AM, this is the perfect spot for some late-night eats. Bonus: they offer vegan versions of their most popular dishes like BBQ pulled pork and fried chicken, so the menu has something for everyone!
If it’s a cold night, head across the street to The Plough & the Stars. Between their roaring fireplace and whiskey cocktails, you’re bound to warm up in no time. If you’re starting to feel sleepy by the fire and need to wake up, right down the street is Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar where you can drink mojitos and dance the night away.
Start the day with a picturesque latte and delicious pastry at Chapterhouse Cafe & Gallery Here you can sip your organic, fair-trade coffee while admiring the art on the walls from local artists. This cafe has plenty of seating so you can sit and enjoy your breakfast while you map out your day.
Once you finish your coffee, you’re only about a 5-minute walk from one of the most beautiful and unique spots in the city: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. This nonprofit art museum and gallery spans half a block and is composed of anything from glass bottles, hand-made tiles, and even bicycle wheels. In the end, the seemingly hodge-podge of items creates a breathtaking collection of art. For only a $10 admission ($8 for students) you can walk through the gallery and take in the stunning, colorful display. Don’t worry, they let you take as many pictures as you want.
Now that you’ve had a morning full of art, it’s time for some history! Make your way over to the Independence Visitor Center to get all the info you need. There are numerous attractions to choose from including Independence Hall, the Museum of the American Revolution, and the Betsy Ross House. The visitor center will help you compare ticket prices and explain what each has to offer so you can narrow it down to a few. No matter what you choose, make sure to visit the Liberty Bell while you’re there since this is completely free. Some other free landmarks in the area include the Christ Church Burial Ground which holds the grave of Benjamin Franklin, and the Free Quaker Meeting House.
After a full day of taking in some incredible history, you’re probably ready for some food. And when you think of the food in Philadelphia there should be one that comes top of mind: cheesesteaks. Now I’ll be honest, I’m a vegetarian so I really can’t speak to where the best cheesesteaks are in Philly; however, I can tell you where to get a phenomenal vegan cheesesteak that will make you forget about the real thing – I promise! Blackbird Pizzeria has become famous for their vegan cheesesteak that can satisfy the craving for vegans and non-vegans alike. If you’re looking for something a little different while you’re in town, this is definitely worth a try.
Start your day with a late breakfast/early lunch at Reading Terminal Market. This place is a foodie’s dream with every type of cuisine you can think of, plus fresh produce, flowers, and even some craft booths. It does tend to get pretty crowded around lunch time, so that’s why I recommend going a little earlier in the day.
Now that your time in Philly is almost through, there’s one more place you need to visit before heading out of the city. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has become famous not only for its expansive collection from some of the world’s most admired artists, but also for providing the steps for Rocky Balboa’s boxing training. That’s right, on your way up to the museum entrance make sure to snap a pic on these famous steps, and maybe even feel inspired to run to the top while humming the famous theme song.
Like I said above, there could be pages and pages written on all the fun things to do and see in Philly, but these were some of the highlights for me. Feel free to comment below with anything you think is a must-see!