Philadelphia, PA - Philly is known as a world-class city worth visiting. Philadelphia is a city deeply steeped in history and tradition. Home of the greats such as Benjamin Franklin, Louisa May Alcott, Solomon Guggenheim, and Mr. Footloose himself, Kevin Bacon, and the distinguished first capital of the United States and the first American flag.
Visiting Philadelphia in Just 24 Hours
So, how to squeeze all the Philly has to offer into just one day? You can't. But, if you find yourself in Philly for the day or the weekend, the below itinerary will scratch the surface.
10:00 am – Stop for Brunch at The Dutch Eating Place
The Dutch Eating Place is a one-of-a-kind experience. One of Reading Terminal Market’s most iconic eateries, this diner offers rib-sticking, Pennsylvania Dutch fare to take away or to enjoy at the counter, elbow-to-elbow with locals and visitors alike.
Breakfast is popular and mornings start early with glasses of fresh-squeezed orange juice, eggs however you like them, and stacks of blueberry-studded pancakes and apple cinnamon French toast, each generously buttered and accompanied by crispy bacon.
Already had breakfast? Stop by for shoofly pie, made with molasses, or try a warm apple dumpling, a whole cored apple wrapped in pastry and baked until it slumps into a sweet, cinnamon-scented treat, served with a splash of cool heavy cream.
Despite my tasty meal, my greatest takeaway was the wonderful atmosphere and warmth of the staff.
11:30 am – Take a Stroll through the Italian Market
From Carman's corner, head towards the outdoor market of vendors known as the Italian Market, made famous in the Rocky Movies. The market makes up few blocks down 9th Street, and a stroll through the market is a great way to get a sense of the neighborhood and mingle with the locals.
The market consists of fresh produce, fish, meats, and a few well-known restaurants. The Italian Market. 9th Street
12:30 pm - Tour of the Old City Hall
Philadelphia is home to the first City Hall in America. This impressive building was once Philadelphia's city hub and was the original home of the Supreme Court (1791-1800). The building and its rooms, which are perfectly preserved and marked, are free and open to the public. Old City Hall. Chestnut St and South 5th Street
1:00 pm - Liberty Bell
"Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof" - reads the inscription taken from Leviticus XXV.
The line to get into the Liberty Bell visitor center is long. If you are visiting in the winter, bring your mittens. All visitors are subject to an airport-like security screening, which is truly annoying, but a sign of the times that we must learn to endure. Luckily, after the hoops you must jump through to get inside, the center, free of charge, is truly inspiring. The center is laid out like a mini-museum, where you can learn about the history of the bell through pictures, artifacts, and films.
Before you exit, you get to meet the bell up close and personally. It was a lot smaller than I had imagined, but that didn't stop me from wiggling my way to the front for a photo with the most famous lady in town. Liberty Bell. 600 Chestnut Street. Philadelphia - Old City Neighborhood
2:15 pm - Philadelphia Museum of Art
The museum was constructed in 1919; this impressive building hosts one of the largest museum collections in the United States.
The building itself is truly an architectural wonder with its columns and detailing. Within the Philadelphia Museum reside more than 225,000 objects, which are broken down into about 200 galleries.
Among these pieces, you will find famous works such as Van Gogh's Vase With Twelve Sunflowers and Monet's Japanese Bridge and Water Lilies. Philadelphia Museum of Art. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
3:30 pm - Visit with Rocky
On my way out of the museum, after running down the stairs like a champion ( there was no way I was going to attempt the ascent), I paid homage to the famous Rocky Balboa statue.
The line was long. In the end, I didn't have the patience to take a photo myself. I did, however, catch this guy's moment. Rocky Statue. The base of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
4:00 pm - City Hall
The current City Hall building is an architectural beauty. Resplendent in white, silver, and blue and adorned with gargoyles and statues, the building is the country's largest and most elaborate city hall.
Just outside the city hall during the holiday season, you will find a Christmas market with vendors and crafts. The city hall boasts an old-fashioned carousel for the kids. It sits adjacent to the famous LOVE statue, reminding us that Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love. Make sure you have your camera for this one. City Hall. Market Street and South Broad Street
6:30 pm - Dinner and a show at Relish
Relish grabbed my attention when I walked in, with its earth tones and beautiful sepia portraits of jazz greats.
There are two dining areas and a bar. The first dining room is a more formal room that hosts concerts (Relish boasts live music Wednesday through Sunday). The second dining area is less formal and very quiet.
The servers are friendly, and the service is quick. The dinner here, your typical soul food fare with a modern, edgy flare, was excellent.
The night I was there, I got to see Kathy Sledge (of Sister Sledge) perform The Brighter Side of Day, an uplifting tribute concert in honor of the late great Billie Holiday. 7152 Ogtontz Avenue. Philadelphia, PA 19130.
11 pm - Cheesesteak at Pat's
After rounds of drinks at Relish, I was in the mood for something to munch on. It seemed like the perfect time to sample my first cheesesteak. Despite the time, there was a line. I had to work for this one.
Pat's King of Steaks is credited as being the home of the Philadelphia Cheesesteak. If you ask any local, is nothing to take lightly.
Invented at Pat's in the 1930s, a classic cheesesteak consists of thinly sliced steak seasoned with onions and provolone cheese on a hoagie roll. There are about as many cheesesteak varieties as there are opinions about who makes the best one. I decided to stick with the original steak at its home of origin.
My sandwich was delicious. The meat was well seasoned and piping hot. It was, however, very greasy and way too big for me to finish. A complete meal (not a snack), I returned to my hotel in a food coma. Perhaps the best way to end your stay in Philly is with a run up the steps of the museum of art, after all.