Philadelphia for a long weekend

lovinmaryland

Well-Known Member
Thinking of heading up to Philadelphia for a long weekend in March. Anyone have any recommendations on things to do (on the more affordable side), places to eat, must see type stuff I'd really appreciate it.
 

lucky_bee

RBF expert
Thinking of heading up to Philadelphia for a long weekend in March. Anyone have any recommendations on things to do (on the more affordable side), places to eat, must see type stuff I'd really appreciate it.
I just went there last week! Had a great time. Initially went for a concert, but stretched the stay for 2 nights so we could actually enjoy ourselves and sightsee. Pretty sure I spent the whole weekend eating :drool:

I usually stay right in City Center so I can walk places, however staying there more than one night left me with a hefty parking garage payment. I'd suggest something a little more on the outskirts. LT told me about Embassy Suites. Uber should make that a little affordable to get places outside your walking distance comfort zone.

I also suggest the Independence Hall tour and that general area: the Liberty Bell, Carpenter's Hall, Betsy Ross House, Ben Franklin museum, etc. Almost everything was free. BR's house and Franklin's museum had a small charge, I didn't visit those bc of time though. There's a ton of awesome shops and restaurants in that area too, the "Historic District". Also did the tour thru the U.S. Mint where they make the coins. Free and pretty neat, but that's only open M-F.

Eastern State Penn was pretty neat. LT made me go to it's haunted Halloween tour a long time ago but I chickened out. It was very cool to finally see it in the daylight! Not scary this time, just a tad creepy :lol:

"Rocky Steps" are at the Philly Museum of Art, which I wanted to visit but for $18/person, couldn't justify it bc my guy would be bored out his skull :rolleyes: The steps and statues to the musuem looked like a cool hang-out place though.

I absolutely loveee Reading Terminal Market, even more so now that I finally got to experience it on a Friday morning and actually got to walk around without feeling like I'm in a cattle herd :lol: It's cool anytime nonetheless but gets super crowded Sat/Sun. We ate half our meals there this last visit :lol:

I got a lot of info from the fun lists on this site: http://www.visitphilly.com/
 
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libertytyranny

Dream Stealer
Thinking of heading up to Philadelphia for a long weekend in March. Anyone have any recommendations on things to do (on the more affordable side), places to eat, must see type stuff I'd really appreciate it.
If you go nowhere else, the reading terminal market. Go hungry and eat all the things. The mutter museum if youre up for weird/creepy/infomative medical stuff amd eastern state is really neat, if you can swing it, do a nighttime flashlight tour.

The embassy suites was a $10-20 uber ride away from everything and is a signficant cost savings over the city center hotels..plus free pre-gaming at night :lmao:
 

Freefaller

Active Member
Gotta Try a famous Philly cheesesteak from either Pats or Geno's. They're right across the street from each other. I believe they're located at the corner of 9th St and Passyunk in South Philly. Make sure you have your money out and ready to pay as soon as you order. Don't let any lines scare you away. The lines move really fast. Last time I was there, the tours for independence Hall and such required a ticket. The tickets will have a time on them. Also, the tickets were free. You can reserve your tickets on line and pick them up in the visitors center.

As far as a hotel, the best prices are at hotels out near the airport, just off of 95. It's just a few minutes by car to get into the city. It was all free parking at those hotels. If you stay in the city, the parking fees can get pretty heavy. I thought the run from the airport area hotels into the city was easy and fast. I also went on the Eastern Penitentiary tour. Loved it. Afterwards, we drove to the "Rocky" steps and statue at the Art Museum. Didn't pay anything for that. (I still find it funny that they erecteda statue to a made up movie character, but that's just me)

Another place to try for lunch would be the City Tavern. It's been around and operating sing the 18th century and was a gathering spot for many founding fathers. Carpenters Hall was the location of the 1st Continental Congress and is a must see. It is quite an impressive building!

Have fun!
 
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lucky_bee

RBF expert
Gotta Try a famous Philly cheesesteak from either Pats or Geno's. They're right across the street from each other. I believe they're located at the corner of 9th St and Passyunk in South Philly. Make sure you have your money out and ready to pay as soon as you order. Don't let any lines scare you away. The lines move really fast. Last time I was there, the tours for independence Hall and such required a ticket. The tickets will have a time on them. Also, the tickets were free. You can reserve your tickets on line and pick them up in the visitors center.

As far as a hotel, the best prices are at hotels out near the airport, just off of 95. It's just a few minutes by car to get into the city. It was all free parking at those hotels. If you stay in the city, the parking fees can get pretty heavy. I thought the run from the airport area hotels into the city was easy and fast. I also went on the Eastern Penitentiary tour. Loved it. Afterwards, we drove to the "Rocky" steps and statue at the Art Museum. Didn't pay anything for that. (I still find it funny that they erecteda statue to a made up movie character, but that's just me)

Have fun!
I have several coworkers and friends from Philly that said Pat's and Geno's was fine, but told me of plenty other places that weren't flooded by tourists for cheesesteaks. We did Campo's in the historic district for cheesesteaks since we were walking around the Independence Hall area around lunchtime. ####in fantastic :yay:

During Jan/Feb, no tickets are needed for Independence Hall. We were the only ones there walking around on a Friday afternoon besides a small group from a local elem school!

Philly gets a lot of #### for being a tough, hard city. That movie helped give it a more positive image, embodied the spirit of Philly, and brought in a ton of tourists :lol: It's worth a mention.
 

lovinmaryland

Well-Known Member
I just went there last week! Had a great time. Initially went for a concert, but stretched the stay for 2 nights so we could actually enjoy ourselves and sightsee. Pretty sure I spent the whole weekend eating :drool:

I usually stay right in City Center so I can walk places, however staying there more than one night left me with a hefty parking garage payment. I'd suggest something a little more on the outskirts. LT told me about Embassy Suites. Uber should make that a little affordable to get places outside your walking distance comfort zone.

I also suggest the Independence Hall tour and that general area: the Liberty Bell, Carpenter's Hall, Betsy Ross House, Ben Franklin museum, etc. Almost everything was free. BR's house and Franklin's museum had a small charge, I didn't visit those bc of time though. There's a ton of awesome shops and restaurants in that area too, the "Historic District". Also did the tour thru the U.S. Mint where they make the coins. Free and pretty neat, but that's only open M-F.

Eastern State Penn was pretty neat. LT made me go to it's haunted Halloween tour a long time ago but I chickened out. It was very cool to finally see it in the daylight! Not scary this time, just a tad creepy :lol:

"Rocky Steps" are at the Philly Museum of Art, which I wanted to visit but for $18/person, couldn't justify it bc my guy would be bored out his skull :rolleyes: The steps and statues to the musuem looked like a cool hang-out place though.

I absolutely loveee Reading Terminal Market, even more so now that I finally got to experience it on a Friday morning and actually got to walk around without feeling like I'm in a cattle herd :lol: It's cool anytime nonetheless but gets super crowded Sat/Sun. We ate half our meals there this last visit :lol:

I got a lot of info from the fun lists on this site: http://www.visitphilly.com/
We're actually going to stay at the Embassy Suites that is located in Center City...well at least I've got it booked for the time being. How did you like the one out by the airport? It doesn't have the greatest online reviews is why I opted to go w/ the one in Center City.

Ok so you all went on a Friday? That is what I had been planning also. I've read some reviews it is super packed so I was hoping if we did that first thing it wouldn't be so bad.

I'm gonna look into Independence Tour now. I know I wanted to see the Liberty Bell I didn't realize all those other places were in close proximity to the others.
If you go nowhere else, the reading terminal market. Go hungry and eat all the things. The mutter museum if youre up for weird/creepy/infomative medical stuff amd eastern state is really neat, if you can swing it, do a nighttime flashlight tour.

The embassy suites was a $10-20 uber ride away from everything and is a signficant cost savings over the city center hotels..plus free pre-gaming at night :lmao:
I've been researching and we're definitely hitting up TM. We went to one in Chicago that we fell in love with called the French Market but it doesn't seem half as big as the Terminal Market.
Gotta Try a famous Philly cheesesteak from either Pats or Geno's. They're right across the street from each other. I believe they're located at the corner of 9th St and Passyunk in South Philly. Make sure you have your money out and ready to pay as soon as you order. Don't let any lines scare you away. The lines move really fast. Last time I was there, the tours for independence Hall and such required a ticket. The tickets will have a time on them. Also, the tickets were free. You can reserve your tickets on line and pick them up in the visitors center.

As far as a hotel, the best prices are at hotels out near the airport, just off of 95. It's just a few minutes by car to get into the city. It was all free parking at those hotels. If you stay in the city, the parking fees can get pretty heavy. I thought the run from the airport area hotels into the city was easy and fast. I also went on the Eastern Penitentiary tour. Loved it. Afterwards, we drove to the "Rocky" steps and statue at the Art Museum. Didn't pay anything for that. (I still find it funny that they erecteda statue to a made up movie character, but that's just me)

Another place to try for lunch would be the City Tavern. It's been around and operating sing the 18th century and was a gathering spot for many founding fathers. Carpenters Hall was the location of the 1st Continental Congress and is a must see. It is quite an impressive building!

Have fun!
Really? I've that both of those are pretty much touristy spots that aren't that great. I'll check out City Tavern that sounds interesting. Do you think that is kid friendly? I'll have my 7 & 10 year old w/ me.
 

lovinmaryland

Well-Known Member
If you go nowhere else, the reading terminal market. Go hungry and eat all the things. The mutter museum if youre up for weird/creepy/infomative medical stuff amd eastern state is really neat, if you can swing it, do a nighttime flashlight tour.

The embassy suites was a $10-20 uber ride away from everything and is a signficant cost savings over the city center hotels..plus free pre-gaming at night :lmao:
How was the ES happy hour and breakfast at that location? I've found in some bigger citys New York, Chicago, etc... they don't all have the unlimited drinking for the 2 hour happy hour. They do vouchers per adult in the room. (typically 2 per adult) When I book I like to factor that in the price. If we can save $ pre gaming at the hotel I don't mind spending a little more for the room itself, but theres nothing worse than figuring out they don't participate in the normal happy hour.
 

Freefaller

Active Member
Really? I've that both of those are pretty much touristy spots that aren't that great. I'll check out City Tavern that sounds interesting. Do you think that is kid friendly? I'll have my 7 & 10 year old w/ me. They are the most famous cheesesteak places in the city for a reason. If you go there after a ballgame (On Broad Street), you'll find ballplayers and celebrities. I always go when I'm in Philly. Do what you want to do, it was just a suggestion!
 

lovinmaryland

Well-Known Member
Really? I've that both of those are pretty much touristy spots that aren't that great. I'll check out City Tavern that sounds interesting. Do you think that is kid friendly? I'll have my 7 & 10 year old w/ me. They are the most famous cheesesteak places in the city for a reason. If you go there after a ballgame (On Broad Street), you'll find ballplayers and celebrities. I always go when I'm in Philly. Do what you want to do, it was just a suggestion!
If its legit steak and cheese I want it! I just spoke w/ some other friends who go up for Army Navy game every year and they said it was a tourist trap. But I know we are going to want to get an authentic steak& cheese while we're there.

Have you happen to have been there when any parades are going on?
 

libertytyranny

Dream Stealer
How was the ES happy hour and breakfast at that location? I've found in some bigger citys New York, Chicago, etc... they don't all have the unlimited drinking for the 2 hour happy hour. They do vouchers per adult in the room. (typically 2 per adult) When I book I like to factor that in the price. If we can save $ pre gaming at the hotel I don't mind spending a little more for the room itself, but theres nothing worse than figuring out they don't participate in the normal happy hour.
It was a true unlimited happy hour, and the bar staff was great. We tried to book at the other ES but it was full so thats how eneded up at the airport one. I dont have any complaints, especially for the price. I think the breakfast was slightly less tasty than others I have stayed at, btu the snacks were way better. So it was a toss up. it is actually on the smaller side for an ES I think and the uber ride down to where we were going wasn't bad at all, probably less than parking. But it is a few minute drive, so take that into consideration



The steak and cheese I got at the TM was AMAZING ...and i didn't have to order in any special code, I just told them what I wanted and the wait wasn't atrocious.
 

lovinmaryland

Well-Known Member
It was a true unlimited happy hour, and the bar staff was great. We tried to book at the other ES but it was full so thats how eneded up at the airport one. I dont have any complaints, especially for the price. I think the breakfast was slightly less tasty than others I have stayed at, btu the snacks were way better. So it was a toss up. it is actually on the smaller side for an ES I think and the uber ride down to where we were going wasn't bad at all, probably less than parking. But it is a few minute drive, so take that into consideration



The steak and cheese I got at the TM was AMAZING ...and i didn't have to order in any special code, I just told them what I wanted and the wait wasn't atrocious.
Hmm ok sounds like i'll have to keep my eye on both of their rates and see if I can score a good deal at either one then. I have HH Points I had planned on using for one of the nights. I think we are going to take the train in because I've read parking is pretty steep...at the hotel its $50 a night. :faint: I've read theres a garage near by but that is $40 a day/night.

We pretty much exclusively stay w/ ES when we travel because you cant beat the breakfast and of course happy hour. Its just funny to me how some are typical pretzels and chips and others have a lavish spread. Right now Savannah and Richmond are at a tie for the best ES Happy Hour in our book. The first three pictures are savannah the others Richmond. These are what they called "light snacks" :lol:
 

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Freefaller

Active Member
If its legit steak and cheese I want it! I just spoke w/ some other friends who go up for Army Navy game every year and they said it was a tourist trap. But I know we are going to want to get an authentic steak& cheese while we're there.

Have you happen to have been there when any parades are going on?

Thin cut Rib Eye steaks and fixed whichever way you want them. I don't see them as a tourist trap. In fact I don't know how they could be. They are what they are. I like em and go every time in Philly. DO what you feel is right for you. I'm sure there are other great places to get a good cheesesteak. Like I said, they're the most famous for a reason!

Lots of decent Chain Hotels out near the airport. Staying in the city while it is more convenient, is much more expensive. No free parking at your hotel. It just depends on how much you want to spend. I thought the drive into the city was quick and easy and was worth the savings. You decide.

Have a great trip!
 

warneckutz

Well-Known Member
Thinking of heading up to Philadelphia for a long weekend in March. Anyone have any recommendations on things to do (on the more affordable side), places to eat, must see type stuff I'd really appreciate it.
Philly... ugh... :lol: I don't miss that area.
 

lucky_bee

RBF expert
Honestly, anywhere you go for a cheesesteak will be fantastic. Campo's is a place I found right around the corner from the Independence Park area.

We went into Philly last thurs evening for a concert that night, traffic was a little heavy but not too bad, we'd left with plenty of time. We got ourselves dinner at a fantastic noodle house bc City Center/our hotel/the theater were all right next time/in Chinatown. Then, Friday morning we explored Reading Terminal for breakfast, and then walked over to Independence Hall for a couple hours to do touristy stuff there. Hit up Campo's for a cheesesteak, the US Mint to check out how they make the coins (you actually walk across a catwalk and can see the workers down below with many interactive screens that explain everything. and it's free! It was super neat. Ended up back near historic district for dinner and drinks later that night. Hit up the Market again the next morning for breakfast and lunch to go and then drove over to the Eastern State Pen.

A little bit of sightseeing, a lot of eating :yay:

But yes, Liberty Bell, Franklin's museum, Independence Hall, Constitution museum, etc. is all in a corner of the city called the historic district. I'll see if I can find the webpage for you with a great map I used. Ind. Hall asks for "tickets", but they're free and more of a way to handle the crowds in organized waves. You don't need them January and February. And I doubt you'd have much of a crowd in March either. Most spots are free, a couple aren't. We spent all our money on food so we skipped the paid ones and hit up the free ones. I was willing to pay the $5 to see the Betsy Ross house but that was closed just for that wknd for renovations :ohwell:

Haven't been to the ES in City Center, I've done the Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn, both nice. But next time I'll either take the train in or park my car at the airport. First time I stayed more than one night and the girl at the desk said it'd be $35/weekend....no. Paid $70 for 2 nights :shocking: However, I really do like being able to walk to lotsss of things by staying in such a central spot. I usually go in the off-season, aka not summer or holidays and never have a hard time finding a decent room for a decent price.

If you're staying in City Center, try for breakfast at the Terminal too! We had crepes one morning and breakfast sandwiches the next... :drool: everything is just so good. We might've also picked up a dozen donuts from the Amish place and a couple roasted beef sandwiches for later :blushing:

I think I used this site to pick and choose which historic places we wanted to see: http://www.phlvisitorcenter.com/
 

lovinmaryland

Well-Known Member
Honestly, anywhere you go for a cheesesteak will be fantastic. Campo's is a place I found right around the corner from the Independence Park area.

We went into Philly last thurs evening for a concert that night, traffic was a little heavy but not too bad, we'd left with plenty of time. We got ourselves dinner at a fantastic noodle house bc City Center/our hotel/the theater were all right next time/in Chinatown. Then, Friday morning we explored Reading Terminal for breakfast, and then walked over to Independence Hall for a couple hours to do touristy stuff there. Hit up Campo's for a cheesesteak, the US Mint to check out how they make the coins (you actually walk across a catwalk and can see the workers down below with many interactive screens that explain everything. and it's free! It was super neat. Ended up back near historic district for dinner and drinks later that night. Hit up the Market again the next morning for breakfast and lunch to go and then drove over to the Eastern State Pen.

A little bit of sightseeing, a lot of eating :yay:

But yes, Liberty Bell, Franklin's museum, Independence Hall, Constitution museum, etc. is all in a corner of the city called the historic district. I'll see if I can find the webpage for you with a great map I used. Ind. Hall asks for "tickets", but they're free and more of a way to handle the crowds in organized waves. You don't need them January and February. And I doubt you'd have much of a crowd in March either. Most spots are free, a couple aren't. We spent all our money on food so we skipped the paid ones and hit up the free ones. I was willing to pay the $5 to see the Betsy Ross house but that was closed just for that wknd for renovations :ohwell:

Haven't been to the ES in City Center, I've done the Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn, both nice. But next time I'll either take the train in or park my car at the airport. First time I stayed more than one night and the girl at the desk said it'd be $35/weekend....no. Paid $70 for 2 nights :shocking: However, I really do like being able to walk to lotsss of things by staying in such a central spot. I usually go in the off-season, aka not summer or holidays and never have a hard time finding a decent room for a decent price.

If you're staying in City Center, try for breakfast at the Terminal too! We had crepes one morning and breakfast sandwiches the next... :drool: everything is just so good. We might've also picked up a dozen donuts from the Amish place and a couple roasted beef sandwiches for later :blushing:

I think I used this site to pick and choose which historic places we wanted to see: http://www.phlvisitorcenter.com/
Awesome thanks for all the info. Sounds like you guys saw a lot and did a lot in a short period of time which is exactly what I was hoping to be able to do. I figured the same thing about the market it looks liie there is a ton of options for food!

Do you remember what time in the morning you went to the market on Friday? I'd like to avoid super crazy crowds if possible.
 

lucky_bee

RBF expert
HGI is only a 1/2 block from the market so we slept in and went in around 9:30/10am? There was still a decent amount of people walking around, but we had no problem getting seats at the crepes place vs. standing in long lines, taking our food to go, and fighting for space at the general seating areas :lol: We walked around for a 1/2 hour so my guy could actually see what they all had since he'd never been. It's a fascinating place. It did start to fill in after 10:30. Going in on Saturday morning was a madhouse :crazy: so many pushy women with huge strollers and everything had a line.

http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/merchants

I'm still dreaming of Beiler's amish donuts :notworthy
 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member
The Independence Hall tour is interesting and definitely worth it.
:yeahthat:


The Mint
if you are into Naval Vessels - USS Olympia, BB NJ, and a Sub are in the Harbor

there are a couple of Historical Churches ...
Betsy Ross House
Elfreth's Alley

City Hall - you used to be able to go up to an observation deck [class trip in 1979]

https://www.google.com/search?q=histtorical+places+in+philly&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#newwindow=1&q=historical+places+in+philly&rflfq=1&rlha=0&rllag=39950451,-75146339,423&tbm=lcl&tbs=lf_msr:-1,lf_od:-1,lf_oh:-1,lf_pqs:EAE,lf:1,lf_ui:2&rlfi=hd:;si:;mv:!1m3!1d11342.30209940416!2d-75.15757518247375!3d39.95037372934379!3m2!1i1133!2i712!4f13.1


if you are a Rocky fan - the museum where Stallone ran up the stairs
 
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