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Old 10-29-2018, 08:58 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
5,218 posts, read 8,025,382 times
Reputation: 9927

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Ok, I know this is a little bit lazy because of the search feature but I know of a few homers here who I hope will answer with a few gems to a couple of (almost) first time visitors.

The last time I visited was in 1970 when I was 9, although I do clearly remember some stand out aspects of the city (the architecture, cobblestone streets along with Betty Ross’ house and the Liberty Bell) and my partner went to a Grateful Dead concert in the early ‘80s and doesn’t remember much about the city lol.

We are going to a wedding this weekend (Thurs through Monday) and thought this would be a great chance to experience this great city together. I am an architect and my husband works for the Navy but we are both mad for historic architecture/neighborhoods, dense urbanity, walking several miles every day to explore a city, great museums - from the Masters to Pop Art- dive bars, martini bars, local’s restaurants, quirky performances, neighborhood festivals and music. I know we aren’t going to be able to take it all in but are pretty certain we will leave with a very favorable impression.

We reached out before visiting both Baltimore and Pittsburgh for our first time last year about this time and had some great experiences in both of those amazing cities because of a little local input here. Hoping to garner at least a few recommendations.

Thanks in advance! We are super excited even though it seems the weather will be a bit milder than we would wish for- trust me the last thing we desire is more mild weather haha.
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:28 AM
 
10,270 posts, read 5,934,396 times
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Holy mackerel... Where to start? SO MUCH has changed but there will be a few things that will be somewhat familiar to you.

Anyhow check out the Visit Philly site to start.
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:09 AM
 
Location: New York City
6,225 posts, read 5,562,899 times
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Where are you staying?
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:36 AM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
5,218 posts, read 8,025,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
Where are you staying?
Right in the heart of the city next to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:22 AM
 
10,270 posts, read 5,934,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
Right in the heart of the city next to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
You might want to start by getting on one of the hop on/off tour buses. You can get on one of those at 5th and Market, NE corner. They're fun. I went on one once just to hear what the tour guide was telling tourists; I'm a native Philadelphian. Anyhow a tour like that will help re-orient and re-introduce you to the city. It's changed a lot since you were here.

Since you enjoy walking around absolutely explore the Washington Sq neighborhood, Old City up to Vine St, Society Hill since they are close to where you will be staying. Also go to the Visitor's Center at 6th and Market.

Being here several days will give you a fair amount of time to dig into things.

I highly recommend watching all of the Philly short videos produced/created by Cory Popp. They're all on youtube or his web site. There are also a bunch of Philly drone videos on youtube. One note although all of these are great they are old enough that there have been even more physical changes since they were made. Basically they all show off the city! They're wonderful.

Since your husband is in the Navy he may know that Phila. "Navy Yard" still exists as an office park. Afaik it still has Naval research facility and there are old Navy vessels mothballed there.

If you remember the Reading Terminal Market as a drab/dying place. Forget that! It's booming now!
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:48 AM
 
4,995 posts, read 3,039,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
We are going to a wedding this weekend (Thurs through Monday) and thought this would be a great chance to experience this great city together. I am an architect and my husband works for the Navy but we are both mad for historic architecture/neighborhoods, dense urbanity, walking several miles every day to explore a city, great museums - from the Masters to Pop Art- dive bars, martini bars, local’s restaurants, quirky performances, neighborhood festivals and music. I know we aren’t going to be able to take it all in but are pretty certain we will leave with a very favorable impression.
If you are into historical stuff and dive bars, I think Monk's and McGillin's are two good suggestions. McGillin's has been in business since 1860. So men literally drank a beer at the bar there before heading off to fight in the civil war.

This website ususally has a pretty good run down of the week's events: https://www.uwishunu.com/2018/10/thi...29-november-4/

In terms of Muesum's, outside of old city, the parkway ones are the must see. A general tour of the Philadelphia Art Museum and a visit to the Barnes Foundation are the two top ones to see imo. People usually enjoy the Mutter museum which a pretty unique and unusual place.

If you really like buildings, I always like to suggest going to the Skygarten beer garden on the top of Three Logan Square. Since that isn't open until night, an alternative is to pay to go to the observatory in One Liberty Place or take a tour to the top of City Hall.

If you are really feeling adventurous and have lots of time, you could go across the river to the Cira Green park and checkout Penn's campus in University City. They have a nice museum on campus

Reading Terminal Market is a staple of the city so getting a sandwich at like DiNic's is usually suggested. Chinatown is a fascinating place with a ton of great asian cuisine. Good Good Comedy club is a hidden gem in Chinatown and can provide for a quirky fun night.

I would suggest taking a walk to down Walnut or Chestnut to Rittenhouse and down like Locust/Spruce/Pine Streets. There are a ton of good restaurants between where you are staying and rittenhouse. This is a pretty good list to work off of for dinner: https://www.phillymag.com/foobooz/50...staurants/#map

I am sure other's will have other suggestions.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:45 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,169 posts, read 28,586,554 times
Reputation: 9566
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
Ok, I know this is a little bit lazy because of the search feature but I know of a few homers here who I hope will answer with a few gems to a couple of (almost) first time visitors.

The last time I visited was in 1970 when I was 9, although I do clearly remember some stand out aspects of the city (the architecture, cobblestone streets along with Betty Ross’ house and the Liberty Bell) and my partner went to a Grateful Dead concert in the early ‘80s and doesn’t remember much about the city lol.

We are going to a wedding this weekend (Thurs through Monday) and thought this would be a great chance to experience this great city together. I am an architect and my husband works for the Navy but we are both mad for historic architecture/neighborhoods, dense urbanity, walking several miles every day to explore a city, great museums - from the Masters to Pop Art- dive bars, martini bars, local’s restaurants, quirky performances, neighborhood festivals and music. I know we aren’t going to be able to take it all in but are pretty certain we will leave with a very favorable impression.

We reached out before visiting both Baltimore and Pittsburgh for our first time last year about this time and had some great experiences in both of those amazing cities because of a little local input here. Hoping to garner at least a few recommendations.

Thanks in advance! We are super excited even though it seems the weather will be a bit milder than we would wish for- trust me the last thing we desire is more mild weather haha.
Dirty Frank's for a dive bar.

Watch The 6th Sense & see how many of the places you can find.
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
27,265 posts, read 25,865,265 times
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McGillin's Olde Ale House. You just have to go there. https://mcgillins.com/ The bonus is that you get to look at the Hale building... or what's left of it. https://hiddencityphila.org/2012/03/...ent-revolting/

I've never been to Dirty Frank's, but I like the name. McGlinchey's is a good enough dive bar. Cigarette smoke aside, it doesn't smell of rot, old sweat, and urine, so it's not a total dive.

The Franklin serves a nice cocktail. The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company There's a doorman and you're supposed to say something like, "I'm here to see the banker" to get in.

I liked the Mutter Museum, but my son loved it. I would have spent more time at Eastern State Penitentiary, but my nephew wanted to leave ASAP.

Since you're staying in Center City, there's no need to look further afield for things to see and do.
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:13 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
5,218 posts, read 8,025,382 times
Reputation: 9927
^^^
This is all great! Thanks for all of the recommendations.

One of our good friends here (a Justice Dept. lawyer who also fancies himself as a mixologist) insists we go to Banks and Bourbon or Gino’s - I think one of these has a Ben Franklin original- clarified milk punch drink.

I like the hop on/off bus idea. Actual as touristy as these are they are a great way to get an initial feel of a city. We’ve done those in Paris and London even as we’ve been there before and discovered whole new areas and attractions of the cities. And WTH, we are tourists.

We will delve into some these recommendations a bit more to get the scoop and see if we can plan out a somewhat logical itinerary to link some of these attractions and areas together.

Thanks again- I definitely pay it forward with visitors to our city if they reach out.

When we went to visit our friends last year in Pittsburgh I posted here (in the Pittsburgh forum) of our adventures with our great tour guides afterwards and someone made a comment that we had done and experienced more in four days than they had in the 30 years living there haha. So we hope to have a fun-filled repeat of that experience. We tend to do cities right. 👍
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:11 PM
 
163 posts, read 120,814 times
Reputation: 544
Philadelphia has so much in the way of historic architecture, I hardly know where to begin. Buildings by famous architects like Robert Mills, William Strickland, John Haviland, John Notman, Frank Furness, Thomas U. Walter, Daniel Burnham, Louis Kahn, and the firm of McKim, Mead, and White abound, and certain landmark buildings such as PSFS, the Merchants Exchange, the Second Bank of the United States, and City Hall are quite famous.

Speaking of City Hall you might want to focus your attention on this section of Center City as there are so many really great buildings concentrated in a very compact area. The Philadelphia City Hall (b. 1871-1901) is considered the finest example of Second Empire architecture in the U.S. and the tallest masonry-supported building in the world. Take the interior tour and then cross the street and tour the magnificent Norman-styled Masonic Temple (1868-73).

Go inside Macy's Department Store (The Wanamaker Building b. 1902-11, Renaissance Revival) and see/hear the world's largest operating pipe organ (28,000 pipes). Don't forget the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (1905-08) and be sure to check out the display panels in Dilworth Park (west side of City Hall) for a fascinating history of the redevelopment of this part of the city as well as construction of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Of course you could spend three days just walking around Old City, Society Hill, Rittenhouse Square or any number of other historic neighborhoods in Philadelphia. I hope you have an enjoyable trip and that you'll spend more time here the next time you visit!
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