Recently I traveled to Philadelphia for a John Mayer concert, and learned a few things during my time there. Full of history and energy, it's the city on the other end of the state I've called home for all of my life so far, but I hadn't been until now. Here are a few quick tips from my quick trip:
Tip 1 - Bring walking shoes // Philadelphia is a very walkable city, which I loved! We stayed in South Philly and were able to walk to many shops, restaurants, and attractions. I recommend preparing to walk if you visit - it's a great way to see the city and get your steps in, too.
Tip 2 - Make reservations // We had brunch reservations, which came in handy, but we didn't have reservations for Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, which was on my list of to-dos. They were sold out until 5 pm that day, which was too late for our schedule. Instead, we walked around the side streets and alleys to see the mosaic artwork there, but it wasn't quite the same as going in. I recommend buying tickets online in advance for this and anything else that you might want to see or do. Other activities like seeing the Liberty Bell were free and the wait in line wasn't bad at all.
Tip 3 - Do your research // Before the concert, we decided to get dinner at XFINITY Live! Philadelphia, which was close to the Wells Fargo Center. What we didn't consider is that the Phillies home opener was happening simultaneously, and it ended up being packed with people watching the game or who were at the game but left to be inside since it was so cold out. This made for a less than awesome experience, but we made the most of it! Had we known there weren't any other large restaurants nearby the stadiums, we would have gone somewhere completely different before the concert instead. Definitely do some research to find out about other events that are happening while you're there, and have a back-up plan for dining options if you find yourself in a similar situation!
Where we ate:
And that's it! Less than 48 hours in Philly reminded me that sometimes it's better to plan things out, but that there is so much to explore if you take the spontaneous route instead. What I liked the best wasn't necessarily anything that we did there, but the vibes there. It's one of America's oldest cities, holding so much significance and yet it's very progressive, modern, and friendly, a perfect example of how an American city should be! I'm looking forward to spending more time there, but in the meantime I'll think of Philadelphia in a whole new way.