A quick trip to the City of Brotherly Love
Image courtesy Amada
Why not plan one last getaway before summer’s officially over? If you skipped over Philly as a destination, reconsider. From tried-and-true favorites to off-the-beaten-path options, this city has so much to offer in the way of things to do, see and savor. Read along for our suggested itinerary, plus a special bonus for beer lovers.
Relax & Recharge
Rest in Rittenhouse:
Reserve a room at Rittenhouse 1715, a boutique hotel in one of Philadelphia’s most desirable and central neighborhoods, Rittenhouse Square. The building was erected in 1903 as a carriage house and has since been transformed into luxe lodging with beautifully preserved period details. How fitting for a visit to one of the nation’s most historic cities. Perhaps the loveliest part of staying at Rittenhouse 1715 is their plethora of guest-friendly experiences, including complimentary breakfast, tea time, cocktail hour and (our favorite) a turn down service complete with dimmed lights, drawn curtains and local chocolate from Shane’s confectionery.
Savor the City
Whether your vote is for Pat’s or Geno’s, let’s set the “best cheesesteak” debate aside for a moment to enjoy another signature Philly sandwich (and this one is way underrated, in our opinion). Wander your way through the Italian Market to Paesano’s, a neighborhood hotspot for one insanely delicious creation: the namesake Paesano. In this sandwich, beef brisket is layered on a crisp roll; topped with horseradish mayo, roasted tomatoes, pepperoncino and sharp provolone; finished with a fried egg. It’s messy, and it’s indulgent, and you can bet it’s worth it.
Paesano’s Philly Style
Impress your date with a trip to Amada, a Spanish-inspired eatery that will transport you to Barcelona with just a few bites. Menu highlights include aged Manchego with truffled lavender honey, Ensalada de Jamon (Serrano ham and fig salad), and lobster paella with smoked paprika aioli and squid ink. If brunch sounds like a better fit for you, come here for a stellar eggs Benedict featuring chorizo and black truffle hollandaise. (Insider tip: Make reservations far in advance at this popular spot.)
Image courtesy Talula’s Garden
What’s a trip to Philadelphia without a meal at one of the iconic Steven Starr restaurants? We’re partial to Talula’s Garden, a charming farm-and-garden-inspired spot. Right off Washington Square, this restaurant has a coveted outdoor dining area glowing with romantic lanterns and twinkling strings of lights. We’d say it’s the perfect place to enjoy dinner, or maybe just a selection of gourmet cheeses and a libation. The wine list is extensive, and the cocktails are creative. Try the Beekeeper a ginger-spiced Moscow Mule for a special treat. (Another spot to make very advanced reservations.)
Do & See
Where the Art Is:
Attention art buffs: The long-awaited center-city location of the Barnes Foundation is finally open to the public. If you viewed the art collection at Barnes’ estate in Lower Merion, don’t be spooked by the new building’s modern façade. Inside, the works are displayed the exact way they originally appeared. Here, an incredible combination of paintings and folk art are available for your enjoyment (Renoirs, Picassos and Cezannes, just to name a few). Their new home offers a tranquil experience, too.
The Barnes Foundation
Philadelphia has no shortage of historical places, but for an unusual yet incredibly interesting tour, make your way over to Eastern State Penitentiary. Here, physical punishment was swapped for solitary confinement and labor, creating a model for penitentiaries around the nation. Listen as guides take you through this defunct 19th-century prison and share details of its revolutionary design and notorious residents.
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Image courtesy Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Head to South Street to experience Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a psychedelic creation by artist Isaiah Zagar. You might have seen his mosaics around the neighborhood, but here you’ll find an entire house covered top-to-bottom (and even tunneled underground) with colorful glass and found objects.
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Take your coffee to go and stroll around one of Philly’s best antique markets, Philly Flea, which bounces from place to place around the city each weekend. Every Sunday through November, you can take in a visual feast of curios, collectibles and all kinds of oddities, and snag yourself a souvenir, too. Check their website for the location on your desired weekend.
When it comes to breweries, Philadelphia is a beer aficionado’s dream. Book a guided tasting tour with Philly Brew Tours (phillybrewtours.com) or create your own at some of these establishments in Philly and its surrounding areas:
Yards Brewing Company/Philadelphia/yardsbrewing.com
Philadelphia Brewing Company/Philadelphia/philadelphiabrewing.com
Dock Street Brewing Company/Philadelphia/dockstreetbeer.com
Do Good Brewing Company/Philadelphia/dogoodbrewing.com
Saint Benjamin Brewing Company/Philadelphia/stbenjaminbrewing.com
Crime and Punishment Brewing Company/Philadelphia/crimeandpunishmentbrewingco.com
2nd Story Brewing/Philadelphia/2ndstorybrewing.com
Manayunk Brewing Company/Philadelphia/manayunkbrewery.com
Earth Bread + Brewery/Philadelphia/earthbreadbrewery.com
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant/Philadelphia, Ardmore, and Phoenixville/ironhillbrewery.com
Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery/Lafayette Hill/barrenhilltavern.com
Conshohocken Brewing Company/Conshohocken/conshohockenbrewing.com
Tired Hands Brewing Company and Fermentaria/Ardmore/tiredhands.com
Sly Fox Brewing Company/Phoenixville and Pottstown/slyfoxbeer.com
Stable 12 Brewing Company/Phoenixville/stable12.com
Evil Genius Beer Company/West Grove/evilgeniusbeer.com
McKenzie Brew House/Devon, Malvern, and Chadds Ford/mckenziebrewhouse.com
Victory Brewing Company/Downingtown and Kennett Square/victorybeer.com
Don’t miss SkyGarten, the highest beer garden in Philly, on the 50th and 51st floors of Three Logan Square at 1717 Arch Street, for some of the best city views and brews