If you are looking for information on the liberty bell, museums, or the best Philly cheese-steak, this article won’t help you out. If you are going to Philly for one or two days on a business trip or just a romantic weekend—-THAT I can help you out with. Don’t get me wrong, I have done the tourist attractions and history tour of Philly with the best of them. I didn’t quite make it up the Rocky steps because quite honestly it looked exhausting and I’ve never seen the movie. Don’t judge.
So here we go, the top five things I strongly encourage you to do on a lazy weekend or on a quick trip to Philly that has nothing to do with Thomas Jefferson or William Penn. I skipped the cheese-steak war because you’re better off asking a local where to get one. I do not like to fall for tourist traps so ask a local that doesn’t work for a tourist company for your best hoagies or cheese-steaks.
#5 The Magic Garden on South Street:
If you are a fan of street art and murals, you will love this Isaiah Zagar display. Just walk down South street and check out the stores, restaurants and street art. You will not be bored. Trust me. As you walk down south street with your lover or special someone holding hands and strolling along, the only thing that will distract you are the craft beers on your way. It’s ok, let go of her/his hand and grab a pint. Which brings me to the next attraction.
#4 Pop up gardens and beer gardens:
I absolutely love this concept. The horticulture society uses lost space green areas during the summer and they decorate it for live music and drinking. The only difference between the two are that pop up gardens are sponsored by the horticulture society and beer gardens by the city. I went to Opa, Fergie, and Independence hall but there are many others. I have no preference and just enjoyed the concept very much and of course I went for German Pilsner. Philadelphia is known for its crafts beer so you will find what you’re looking for.
#3 Boat houses:
When I was a train conductor, I always saw the boat houses from the train and it was my visual sign that I was close to Philly station coming from NYC. However, you can walk by them and truly enjoy the scenery. On your way you can perhaps pack a picnic, enjoy the painters, and just stroll through these lovely homes and views of the Schuylkill River.
#2 Rittenhouse Square:
I loved this park. There is something very romantic and poetic walking through this park. Take a book, grab take-out on your way, and just view the locals as they go about their day. There are many green areas in Philadelphia but I just particularly enjoyed this one. I did get drenched because it started raining and somehow ended up in Barnes and Noble with a very chatty guy which I will call V. Interesting fellow but someone please save me from two hours of talking about politics past and present. I should have stayed out there in the rain.
#1 Spruce Street Harbor:
YESSSSS!!!!! Quite honestly, I could just go here and stay there all day. What a creative use of space, hammocks, food trucks, craft beers, and you can just lay on the water with local friends that you hopefully have met on your trip to Philly. If you’ve not met any, you have not had enough beer. What a glorious place. If you are more on the active side, take a yoga class over the water but I would personally not be able to stand on one of those boards long enough before I splash into the Delaware river. Instead, grab some food from the many delicious choices, choose a craft, and lay in that hammock as long as your little heart wants to lay there. I won’t judge you—but I will judge you if you skip this spot in beautiful Philadelphia. Enjoy!!!!