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A Guide to Philadelphia

My City!

Even though I grew up in the Baltimore/DC area, after moving here several years ago I really do think of Philadelphia as my home. And even though I love to travel a ton, it doesn't mean I'm trying to get out of Philly. When I am here in my city, I do try to get the most out of it, and treat it like a mini-vacay by checking out new restaurants, attending festivals, walking around new neighborhoods, sometimes even partaking in the tourist attractions. Here are some of my faves of the city:


Philly loves a good festival, and so do I. You can expect shut down streets, open bars, beer and food tents and trucks, live music and DJs. Here are some of my top:

Fall festivals:

Blocktoberfest - Takes place in the South St West area/Graduate Hospital.

Midtown festival- 13th Street festival

Unofficial Mummers New Years Day festival - 2nd st South Philly

Spring festivals:

Italian Market festival - South Philly/Italian Market area

Fishtown Feastivale- Northern Liberties/Fishtown

Summer festivals:

4th of July - Art Museum

2nd Street festival - Northern Liberties

Made in America Concert- Art Museum


The food scene in Philadelphia is just awesome. All types of cuisines, all types of dining experiences, for every type of person. My go-tos:

Any Stephen Starr restaurant - favorites: Talula's Garden (American), Parc (French), Buddakan (Asian)

Any Vetri Restaurant - favorite: Amis (Italian)

Any Garces Restaurant- favorites: Amada (Latin tapas)

13th Street area: Barbuzzo, Tredici Enoteca and Little Nonna's (Italian), Jamonera (Latin tapas), Green Eggs (breakfast)

East Passyunk/South Philly: Barcelona (Latin tapas), Noord (Nordic, byob), Birra (Pizza), The Dutch (breakfast), Hawthorne's (breakfast)

Queen Village: Sabrina's (breakfast), Cucina Forte (Italian, byob), Kanella (Greek), Twisted Tail (Southern, live music), Monsu (Italian, byob), Santuccis and Square Pie (Pizza, byob)

Graduate Hospital: Entree (American, byob), Honey's sit and eat (breakfast)

Northern Liberties: Root (tapas, cocktails), Frankford Hall (beer garden), WM Mulherin's Sons (Italian, cocktails, brunch), La Colombe (coffee)

Old City: Wister (seafood, byob), Positano Coast (Italian, cocktails)

Rittenhouse/Center City: Tria (wine bar), R2L (American), Audrey Claire (American, byob)

In the summer- Philly loves a pop-up bar. They take an otherwise unused space, and turn it into a drinking oasis. Some of the best by neighborhood:

South Philly: Bok bar (incredible views of the city skyline from the top of an old school), Spruce Street harbour park (the only reason to check out Penn's Landing)

Downtown: Independence Hall and Uptown Beer gardens

Graduate Hospital: South Street beer garden

Other spots with great outdoor drinking opps: Morgan's Pier, Silk city, Frankford Hall

Other things to see and do in Philly:

Bike rides! City bikes are all over the city to hop on/hop off. Also, for a longer bike ride and a chance to get out of the city- rent a bike behind the Art Museum by Boathouse row. Ride the trail along Kelly drive, stop for lunch on the patio at In Riva in East Falls (lots of bike parking), then keep going until you reach the Wissahikon park. From there you can continue the ride, or hop off to do some trail walking/hiking. Fall is the best time for this- so pretty to see the leaves change! OR- you can bike on the road for awhile until you reach Manayunk- and from there get on the tow path and continue the bike ride along with water. This is one of my favorite things to do to kill a day.

Shopping! Rittenhouse has a ton of name brand stores - Nordstrom rack, Free People, Anthropologie, J Crew, Banana Republic, etc. If you are into boutiques- Old City has a bunch of cute ones.

Take a Walk! Philly is a great walking city. Up Pine Street and Spruce Street are 2 of my favorites - the houses are beautiful. Elfreth's Alley is another photo worthy spot for houses. The Schuylkill River Trail is great for walking and biking along the water. Walk the Ben Franklin Bridge over to Camden (just don't go into Camden)

Catch a concert at Wells Fargo, the TLA, Penn's Landing, Electric Factory, the Mann Center, the Fillmore, or BB&T Susquehanna Bank Center

Catch a game at Wells Fargo Center or Lincoln Financial Field (all a 10min subway ride away from downtown)

Check out the Eastern State Penitentiary

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