how to be a tourist in philadelphia

Step 1 – Get yourself a Philly cheesesteak. Find out the answer to the age-old question of Geno’s or Pat’s. (I’ll give you a hint: It’s neither, although Pat’s is SLIGHTLY better). Tony Luke’s is doable but I’m sure you can find a better Philly out there. And when you do, let a sister know!

Tony Luke's 2
American cheese with onions

Step 2 – Go on a food crawl at Reading Terminal Market. Your first stop should be DeNic’s for a roast pork sammie. Then, if you’re a fan of doughnuts, check out Beiler’s. If you’re feeling adventurous, I hear the scrapple at the Amish stands are pretty good too.

Reading Terminal Market 1
Reading Terminal Market
Reading Terminal Market 2
Roast Pork from DeNic’s

Step 3 – Marvel at the mosaic pieces at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Crafted by mosaic artist, Isaiah Zagar, the exhibit features everything from old glass bottles to dishes to bike wheels. Tip – if you have a student ID, you can get a $2 discount off tickets.

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens 1

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens 18
My signature pose

Step 4 – Get a tasting flight at the Philadelphia Brewing Company. Tours are free and the beers are great. They have seasonal beers and if the season is over, you might be lucky and nab a 12-pack at their shop for $5.

Philadelphia Brewing Company 2

Step 5 – Admire the cherry blossoms at Fairmount Park. Of course, the blooms vary from year to year, depending on the weather. But 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

Shofuso Gardens 3
Shofuso Gardens

Cherry Blossom Festival at Fairmount Park 2

Step 6 – Lick the Liberty Bell. Well that was the plan but by the time we got there, it was already closed, so we only got a glimpse of it from the outside. We did get to admire Independence Hall though.

Independence Hall 3
Independence Hall
Independence Hall 4
Viewing the bell from the outside, like a peasant

Step 7 – Run up the Rocky Steps. I didn’t get a chance to go this trip but it’s still worth seeing.

Rocky Steps 008
September 2013

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