What would you do if you have several hours, say, 3 hours in Philadelphia?
Just hang out at friend’s place, read in the park, have some nice quality coffee or you could crash into some building with super airconditioning since the summer days are so hot. I had a chance to visit Philadelphia briefly on the way back to Fredericksburg, VA from Wildwood Crest, NJ last weekend. On Sunday, we went out for a brunch (Yes, I do brunch now! Or at least that day), and had a few free hours before heading back.
I was planning to visit Philadelphia on my way up to New England but didn’t expect to have time this weekend. Good that I’ve read some about Philly in the car though.
We all prefer to do off the beaten path destinations. But there are reasons why many of the typical and touristy things are typical and touristy, because they are awesome. I’m not saying all the places are worth visiting to beat the crowd at 4 o’clock in the morning, but certain things are. My short itinerary in Philadelphia was not so unique per se, but I enjoyed it very much. I’d call it ‘on the beaten path of Philadelphia’.
Brunch – Feel the vibe
First thing on Sunday’s schedule was brunch. Yes, that’s right, brunch. There are many places to enjoy brunch in Philly. Be aware of the crowds though. We had to wait for 20 minutes to get a table.
However I’m happy to say that the food was worth waiting for. I had Italian hot sausage frittata, and other food looked fantastic. The portion was big enough to be called as lunch, and presentation was great too.
Independence Visitor’s Center – Visit starts from here
The main historic tour starts with the visitor’s center. They kindly suggested this on the map in front of the Liberty Bell. Independence Visitor’s center is not just a visitors’ center with a bunch of maps and gift shop. It is really a starting point of the whole historic city tour.
They have excellent presentations of the history of the United States, because this is where all the history begins. We got a Philadelphia center city map, and watched the movie called ‘Independence’.
The Liberty Bell – Feel the liberty
Of course, the Liberty Bell! No doubt, Philadelphia’s top tourist spot. The 2080lb bronze bell is surely worth waiting to see. The bell’s inscription is the symbol of liberty, even though its history is only about two hundreds years.
Liberty Bell center, where the Liberty Bell stands, is filled with its information. When it was born, how it cracked, and interesting roundabout stories. The bell, I didn’t expect to see it that closely, but was really impressive. After a few weeksof visiting historic sites and learning the history of the United States, seeing the Liberty Bell means more than I thought.
Independence Hall – Where the history begins
By the time we got there around 3pm, it was already too late to visit Independence Hall. Formally called Pennsylvania State House, is worth visiting for sure. Pity we didn’t get there earlier to go in, but I could feel the noble spirit. If you are planning to visit Philadelphia, make sure get there early to get the ticket to get in.
Washington Square – Original city plan
While walking down from the Liberty Bell to the Museum district, we were passing Washington Square. It was conceived as a part of William Penn’s original city plan. It is a peaceful place to take a rest during all the magnificent sightseeing. Also the square has the tomb of the unknown soldiers who died during the war for independence.
There you have it, on the beaten path of Philadelphia. I’ve noticed cool things about the city, such as street murals – the most murals in the world!, and I HAVE TO visit Franklin Institute Science Museum, just because you know, there’s ‘science’ and ‘museum’ in it. 🙂 Hope to get to see those on my next visit, along with eating a Philly cheesesteak!
Enjoying my journey in the US?
Don’t forget to follow Runaway Juno on
Twitter @RunawayJuno & #JunoinUS hashtag,
Facebook page & Filckr photo album along with Runaway Juno blog!
12 thoughts on “On the Beaten Path of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania”
I had a good time in Philadelphia last time I visited. The whole region is just so rich in US history and it was great to be able to see and feel all of these things I learned in history class at school.
I agree. I only read a lot of it and see little things, but I really am looking forward to visit again. All the buildings are so beautiful and murals were amazing. history, another thing to learn in Philly.
Ever since seeing a certain episode of How I Met Your Mother, one of my bucket list plans has been to lick the Liberty Bell, haha
Lick the Liberty Bell? Is that on the series? I don’t remember that! But there are cops all over. Be aware. 🙂
Try THE HAPPY ROOSTER in Rittenhouse Square for good grub and drinks
Then check out the Water Works – great architecture there
The happy rooster? I like the name. Thanks for the suggestion Maria!
Mmmm… philly cheesesteak.
Yeah! I love seeing historical cities like Philly getting some love. Hope you had fun!!
Thanks! I’m back in Philly for four days now. hope to have some ‘off’ the beaten path this time!
I live less than 3 hours from Philly but I’ve never actually been there before…after seeing your pictures, I think I need to take a little weekend trip down there…it’s certainly a place filled with tons of American history!
Yeah, I love the history there. So many places to go and many things to learn! Of course the skyline is pretty awesome too.
Glad you enjoyed your visit! I live close by, love Philly! The murals and art is so unique.