Philadelphia in 48 hours
If I’m up early in Philly, which isn’t as crazy as it sounds, because I do get up early sometimes, One Shot Café is my go-to spot. Order Huevos Rancheros and a Hairbender Espresso. Really, really good. And they’ve got these funky industrial antiques and furniture designed by a bunch of Philly artists. It gives it this real cool vibe.
To me, you don’t know Philly unless you experience some of its history. And yes, you can do the landmarks, but I like walking down Elfreth’s Alley. It’s the oldest residential street in the U.S., and it’s just a great place to be. It’s like walking back in time into this preserved cobblestone slice of the original Philly.
After walking around it’s nice to come back to a place like The Logan Philadelphia, part of Curio Collection by Hilton. They’ve got a great indoor, saline pool, so I’ll go for a swim. The restaurant there, Urban Farmer, is incredible (amazing steaks), so I’ll order something for in-room delivery to snack on after my swim.
One thing I always try to do in any city I’m in is seek out a good dive bar. In Philly, that’s Bob & Barbara’s—which is just about a 10-minute walk from Bar Ferdinand. It’s been around since the late 1960s and always attracts an interesting crowd, especially if there’s live music or karaoke. They’re famous for “The Special,” a can of PBR and a shot of Jim Beam. I’ll opt for a Moscow Mule myself. Then, I’ll enjoy the company of some unique Philly characters. And there’s no better way to get to know a town than chatting with a colorful local.
It’s nice to lounge around The Logan Philadelphia in the morning, but when I get going, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a place I can never get enough of. The brainchild of Isaiah Zagar, it’s a massive art installation that immerses you in creativity with all these incredible mesmerizing mosaic and other displays… all relating to Zagar’s life. It’s really incredible and you can literally spend hours there. I know I do.
After walking around Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, lunch will be at the top of my list, so I’ll head to Reading Terminal Market. It’s first and foremost a local’s market, so if you want to get a “taste of Philly,” this is the place to do it. I go with the Pork and Broccoli Rabe Sandwich, which a lot of people will tell you is Philly’s signature sandwich. That’s right, not the cheesesteak!
When you’re exploring a city, it’s always nice to know where the best shopping is. In Philly, that’s South Street. If you want a new look… or maybe a bit of a funky look… there are enough new and vintage boutiques here to give you several. And when you’re done shopping, there’s live music and theatre here too.