2 Days in Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Museum of Art

2 Days in Philadelphia

Visiting Philadelphia, the city where one of my very dear friends (Keli) lives, was a very memorable experience.  What could be better than having your very own personal tour guide show you everything good Philly has to offer?

Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; it’s the “City of Brotherly Love”.  There is so much to do in Philly yet we were able to cover so much ground in just a couple days and about 3 short miles.  Keli had planned out our 2 day fun-filled adventures prior to my arrival and she did a great job.

2 Days in Philly at a glance-

Day 1:

  • Independence Hall & Liberty Bell
  • Free Quaker Meeting House
  • Ben Franklin’s Resting Place
  • Betsy Ross House
  • Ben Franklin Bridge
  • Elfreth’s Alley
  • USA Merchants’ Exchange Building
  • Reading Terminal Market
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Philadelphia City Hall
  • Pat’s King of Steaks

Day 2:

  • Italian Market
  • The Gleaners Café
  • Di Bruno Bros.

I arrived at the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) very late Thursday night and Keli was excitedly awaiting my arrival at baggage claim.  From there she drove us down to South Street for a late night slice of pizza at a well-known spot called Lorenzo’s.  It was delicious.

Philly is a very walkable city.  In fact, most of the site-seeing should be done on foot rather than driving around trying to fight for parking.

Day 1:
We awoke early, as planned, had coffee and a bite at her place before hitting the streets.

First tourist site was America’s Birthplace- Independence Hall.  We took a guided tour of the Independence Hall.  Very informative and interesting.

**Helpful hints- Free timed-tickets to tour Independence Hall are available on the day of your visit at the Independence Visitor Center on a first come, first-served basis.  Tickets can also be reserved in advance at 1-877-444-6777 or www.recreation.gov (there is a $1.50 reservation fee per tickets reserved in advance).  A limited number of tickets are distributed to tour Independence Hall each day; therefore, ticket availability is best during the first two hours of the day (8:30am – 10:30am).

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Assembly Room

Assembly Room

Assembly Room-Signing of US Constitution and Declaration of Independence.   The most important treasures in the room are the chair used by Washington during the Constitutional Convention, with its rising sun carved on its back and the silver inkstand used for the signing of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Second stop was short walk across the street to the Liberty Bell Center.  The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence.

**Helpful hints-  Admission is FREE.  Click here for hours of operation & other helpful information.

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

US Liberty Bell- The bell that changed the world four days after July 4 at the first reading the Declaration of Independence. Recognizable for its crack, the Liberty Bell remains significant today for its message of liberty.

Walked by the National Constitution Center but didn’t go inside.

National Constitutional Center

National Constitutional Center

Walked past U.S. Mint.

U.S. Mint

United States Mint

Went inside the Free Quaker Meeting House.

Keli in front of the Free Quaker Meeting House

Keli in front of the Free Quaker Meeting House

Free Quaker Meeting House

Free Quaker Meeting House

The Society of Free Quakers built this meeting house as a place of worship in 1783.  Free Quakers took an active role in supporting the American Revolution and split from the traditional and non-fighting” Quakers (Society of Friends).  This building is now preserved as a public museum

Then a short walk to Benjamin Franklin’s Burial Place.

**Helpful hints- I took these pictures from outside the gate, otherwise, to tour the cemetery they want $2 for adults, with guided tour $5 (which isn’t bad).  Children (5-18) $1, with a guided tour $2.  Groups $15, up to 25 people with guided tour $25.  $2 per person isn’t bad but we were on the move…

Benjamin Franklin's Burial PlaceBenjamin Franklin's Burial Place

Stopped at the Betsy Ross House.

Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross (1752 – 1836)

Credited with making the first stars and stripes flag, Ross was a successful upholsterer.  She produced flags for the government for over 50 years.  As a skilled artisan, Ross represents the many women who supported their families during the Revolution and early Republic.

Then a walk halfway across the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Benjamin Franklin Bridge

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge is a suspension bridge across the Delaware River connecting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden, New Jersey.

Then on to the oldest street in the United States- Elfreth’s Alley.

Elfreth's Alley

Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth’s Alley is a street in Philadelphia which is referred to as “Our nation’s oldest residential street,” dating to 1702.  As of 2012, there are 32 houses on the street, which were built between 1728 and 1836. The Elfreth’s Alley Museum is located at #124 and 126.

Strolled by the Merchants’ Exchange Building–  America’s oldest existing stock exchange building.

Merchants' Exchange Building

Merchants’ Exchange Building

Passed by the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

African American Museum in Philadelphia

African American Museum in Philadelphia

Had lunch inside Reading Terminal Market.

**Helpful Hints: Over one hundred merchants offer fresh produce, meats, fish, artisan cheese, groceries, ice cream, flowers, grilled cheese, baked goods, crafts, books, clothing, and specialty and ethnic foods. Every space in the market is rented out; three of the vendors are descendants of original market merchants. The market is open every day of the week (regular hours: M-Sat: 8am-6pm; Sun: 9am-5pm).

Reading Terminal MarketReading Terminal MarketReading Terminal Market

Alas we reach the Philadelphia Art Museum.

View of Ben Franklin Pkwy from Philadelphia Art Museum

View of Ben Franklin Pkwy from Philadelphia Art Museum

Philadelphia Museum of Art- Famous Rocky Stairs

Philadelphia Museum of Art- Famous Rocky Stairs

Standing with Keli in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Upon our walk back we stumbled up on the Franklin Institute.  Had to get a photo in front of the plane. 🙂

Franklin Institute

Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute is a science museum and center of science education and research in Philadelphia.

Passed  Philadelphia’s City Hall along our walk.

Philadelphia’s City Hall

Philadelphia’s City Hall

Philadelphia City Hall (from Avenue of the Arts side) exterior of limestone, granite and marble.  This building was the tallest in the world from 1894 to 1908.

Headed back to Keli’s place and took a well-deserved nap.  Upon waking we were starved and ready for dinner.  Keli suggested we try out one of Philly’s well known place for a great Philly Cheesesteak- Pat’s King of Steaks.  So we drove over to Pat’s and tried out one of their delicious cheesesteaks.  I don’t typically like cheesesteak sandwiches but this was delicious!

Pat's King of Steaks

Pat’s King of Steaks

The world’s famous cheesesteak corner in South Philadelphia- Pat’s King of Steaks, the originator of the cheesesteak and right across is Geno’s Steaks. Of course no visit to Philly is complete without a visit to this corner after a night out in the city.

Drove by Geno’s Steaks long enough to take a picture.  Will try Geno’s next time.

Geno's Steaks

Geno’s Steaks

Day 2:
Hit the streets again.  First stop was the Italian Market.

Italian Market

Italian Market

The Italian Market is the popular name for the South 9th Street Curb Market, an area of South Philadelphia featuring many grocery shops, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, cheese shops, butcher shops, etc., many with an Italian influence.

Giordano's

Giordano’s

Giordano’s began as a produce stand in 1921 growing into a block-long stretch of storefronts by the Giordano family, who lived in apartments above the store.  It was a multilingual, multi-ethnic market, where Italian and Jewish shopkeepers and their families spoke English, Italian and Yiddish.  The first spot of the  famous 9th Street Italian Market.

After shopping for produce, we stopped off at a little cafe called The Gleaners.  It’s one of Keli’s favorite little local places.  We enjoyed delicious coffee and pastries.  It was a perfect spot, just my speed.

Cleaner's Café

Cleaner’s Café

We then stopped in Di Bruno Bros. where I nabbed some Italian pastas to take home to my daughter, Jana.

Keli standing in front of Di Bruno Bros.

Keli standing in front of Di Bruno Bros.

Italian immigrants in the 1930′s, Danny and Joe Di Bruno, along with their brothers and sisters, came to Philadelphia through Ellis Island in search of the American Dream. They arrived to Philadelphia’s 9th Street Italian Market. With 3rd grade educations, they working endless hours, and their entrepreneurial spirit, the brothers opened up the Di Bruno Bros. at this location.  They became so famous in Philly there is now one in Rittenhouse Square and University City.

Sugar cane for sale.

Sugar cane

Sugar cane

After our visit to the Italian Market, it was time for me to head back to the PHL airport to catch my flight.

While you could easily spend three days exploring everything the significant and historic the city of Philadelphia has to offer I’m so impressed and happy we did so much in just 2 days!  The weather was perfect, sunny and 83 degrees!  Beautiful March spring day for enjoying this wonderful American City.

Places I’d like to see during my next visit-
Penn’s Landing
Philadelphia’s Magic Garden
Valley Forge National Park
and lots more!

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