Besides being a quintessential historical monument of American history in and of itself, Philadelphia has also propelled itself in the present and come out as a top host to art, culture, enticing cuisine, and specially crafted drinks on the East Coast. It’s synonymous with it’s most famous icons, like the Liberty Bell and other American Revolution sties. If you’re planning to spend a weekend in this lynchpin of Americana, these top 10 attractions are sure to leave you with a taste of Philly and a desire to extend your stay!
10 Things To Do On Your Philly Getaway Weekend
1. Reading Terminal Market
Foodies, feast your eyes (and stomachs)! Reading Terminal Market is one of the top attractions in the city for being a food-lover’s paradise. It’s a one-stop indoor shop for everything from artisanal cheeses to Amish bakeries to traditional Dutch desserts from largely family-owned stands. Stop at DiNic’s for hot roast pork sandwiches and Sang Kee Peking for duck noodle soup, and bring your appetite!
2. Penn Museum
If investigating ancient cultures is your thing, the Penn Museum is the place for you. Proclaiming itself the world’s finest archaeological and anthropological museum, Penn is located in the heart of the city. Sumerian tablets with some of the world’s oldest writing, a 15-ton Egyptian sphinx, and Mesopotamian jewelry are just some of the permanent artifacts you’ll find in the expansive collection.
3. Spruce Street Harbor Park
Ever visited a pop-up park? Here’s your chance. This unique urban oasis is a collection of beer gardens with a smattering of hammocks, water nets for relaxing, bocce ball, giant Jenga, shuffleboard, a skating rink, and a floating restaurant. The entire scene is set off with live music and neon lights hanging from the trees and along the waterfront.
4. Philadelphia Museum of Art
The steps leading up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art are the same ones that were made immutable by Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. Inside, visitors will find an impressive array of galleries and media collections of photography, sculptures, and more.
5. Independence Hall
This monument is the birthplace of the American government. Independence Hall is where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed, making it one of only 23 World Heritage sites in the United States.. Afterwards, you can stroll through the Independence National Historical Park, which preserves several sites linked with the nation’s founding history.
6. Mütter Museum
Don’t get burnt out on museums before you’ve seen the strange and fascinating specimens at Mütter Museum! It’s an exploration of the weird, sometimes grotesque, and definitely unusual in human anatomy from the perspective of a physician. There’s a skeleton of a 7-foot-6-inch man, a cast of the original Siamese Twins, and other preservations of physical anomalies.
7. Rittenhouse Square
This luxurious center of town is one of the most desirable areas in Philly. The charming park is perfect for a stroll and coffee date, providing a respite from the hustle and bustle. You can also stop by this neighborhood at night and enjoy a variety of restaurants for cocktails and outdoor dining. Check out Federal Donuts nearby, which is worth the line around the block for Korean-style fried chicken, coffee, and specialty donuts.
8. Bartram’s Garden
Admission is free to this 45-acre waterfront park known for it’s view of the Philly skyline and for being the birthplace of American gardening. You can listen to live jazz, take a artist workshop, or float along the river at sunset. If you’re looking for more greenery, Longwood Gardens is a dazzling horticultural mecca that is designed to reach the level of art. There are also seasonal events and concerts that could be worth planning your trip around.
This famous sautéed ribeye beef and melted cheese sandwich is not to be missed! For two excellent choices, visit the corner of South 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue, where Geno’s Steaks and the across-the-street friendly rival Pat’s King of Steaks have competed for years to serve the best cheesesteak. You can be the judge.
Order like a local by identifying the cheese you’d like - provolone or Cheez Whiz - with or without fried onions. For example, “one whiz with” means one cheesesteak with Cheez Whiz and friend onions. There’s also an outdoor Italian Market on South 9th Street where you can walk off the hearty meal.
10. The Franklin Institute
Save room on your museum list for the oldest science museum in the nation. The Franklin Institute features interactive exhibits like a walk-through Giant Heart and brain, the renowned Fels Planetarium, virtual-reality in The Sports Challenge, an IMAX Theater, and huge exhibitions that fluctuate throughout the year.
This article was written by Lauren Riley.