After New York City and Washington DC, Philadelphia, PA is one of the most visited cities on the East Coast. It’s a great place to bring your kids. Kids usually have field trips to Philly that are related to the history of the American Revolution. In my opinion, you have to take your children to Philly yourself and spend at least a weekend there.
When it comes to field trips, it is all about managing time as they run from one museum to another, from one historical point to another and are bored to death! When they travel with you, you actually can make them enjoy the sights and appreciate the freedom to set their own pace. If they want to go get some ice cream and skip their third Benjamin Franklin memorial, you as a loving parent can grant that.
But before that – a few facts.
Philadelphia is the second largest city on the East Coast. It also located only 100 miles away from NYC (160 kilometers). It is often shortened to Philly and is known by the popular name, “The City of Brotherly Love.” This is literary the meaning of the word “Philadelphia” as translated from Greek. And we all know that Philadelphia played a huge role in American Revolution, and the history of the US.
And it’s the place where the Philly Cheesesteak was born. But we will talk about that later.
Ok, now what can we do in Philly? It entirely depends on who you are, how old you are and what interests you have. The food is amazing. I don’t know what is different – but the food is just amazing. We stayed in Philly a few times, 5-7 nights each trip and we ate out 3 times a day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner – different places and different food. And without failure I can say every time, in every restaurant, in every corner of Philly – the food was amazing. I should probably create a list of the places where we ate to help you out, but on the other hand, what about all the other places that we did not know about?
Then the sightseeing. Let me be frank about this. That city is packed with places to be. Revolutionary American history, architecture, museums. Interesting memorials which spark appreciation for all that this country has achieved in less than three centuries. The Philadelphia Museum of Arts is one of the best on East Coast and visiting exhibitions are unreal. We went down to Philly last year just to see the Van Gogh exhibition. Sadly we missed the Salvador Dali exhibition which was the year prior to that.
Then about the nightlife; that side of Philly is much more “democratic” and relaxed than New York. It offers all the perks of Manhattan, but at the same time it is not a frantic rush but rather a time to enjoy and have fun. It’s more about people themselves and socializing, than about having so much fun, that you wake up with huge hangover come Monday morning. You have to experience both to see the difference.
Getting around. Again, I will compare it with New York City. Getting in and out of Manhattan with a car can be one intimidating challenge, even with GPS. Getting in and out of Philly is a piece of cake. From downtown to the highway – literally a 5 minutes drive.
Parking. Even in downtown, there are a lot of parking lots. Not expensive. About 15-20 dollars. You can park on the streets too. But remember not to leave anything valuable in the car. Also GPS’s and holding brackets must be removed and hidden. Just in case, to not tempt anyone.
Taxi and Subway. Normally, we would leave the car in the hotel parking and get around by taxi and subway. Taxis are everywhere, they stop when you raise your hand, they are inexpensive and convenient. But if you need to get from one side of the city to another – use the subway. It’s widely spread and well organized.
Now I want to say a few words about Philly Cheesesteak.
We once went to visit a more isolated history museum in Philly. The Anthropological Museum of Philadelphia was a quaint place with some very interesting pieces on ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Then, after the museum. we wandered the local streets taking in the historic sidewalks that once must has borne the weight of some of the greatest minds of America. Lost in our thoughts, we found ourselves in front of a small restaurant. Answering our rumbling hungry stomach we entered the place to find it was very cozy and covered in old woodwork. After finding a seat and preparing to order, my son got the idea to order a Philadelphia Cheesesteak. Wanting to give the recipe another try, I followed his judgment and ordered one for myself.
I want to emphasize how deliciously seductive this steaming platter was. When our waiter brought over two of them, you should have seen the look on my son’s face. The sizzling beef covered in creamy cheese with golden crispy onions and mushrooms hypnotized us. And the pure satisfaction of taking a bite solidified my love for the Philly Cheesesteak. In fact, it’s what has driven me to try tirelessly to recreate the recipe in our home kitchen to this day.
I hope you took something from my experience and learned what Philadelphia has to offer. So when you decide to set out to Philly on your own adventure, just remember to never judge a book by its cover.
Philadelphia Favorite Attractions:
- Franklin Square
- Top Philly Cheesesteaks
- Philadelphia CityPASS
- Valley Forge National Historical Park
- The Liberty Bell Center – FREE
- National Constitution Center
- Longwood Gardens
- Independence Hall
- The Barnes Foundation
- Rittenhouse Square
- Philadelphia Zoo
- Academy of Natural Sciences
- Adventure Aquarium
- Eastern State Penitentiary
- Love Park
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- The Franklin Institute
- Mütter Museum
- Please Touch Museum
- National Museum of Jewish American History
- The Philadelphia Pass! Admission to over 30 top attractions. starting at $47 per day!
The Famous Philly Cheesesteak Places
The history of Philly Cheesesteak begins in 1930 when hot dog vendor Pat Olivieri decided to put some beef on a grill. The tasty alluring smell was difficult to resist and steak sandwich immediately became popular in the city. Soon Pat Olivieri opened a Pat’s King of Steaks. Today it is #1 most popular Cheesesteak place.
Pat’s King of Steaks – belongs to Cheesesteak inventor and founder Pat Oliviery’s family. 9th Street & Passyunk Avenue, (215) 468-1546, patskingofsteaks.com
Geno’s Steaks – Pat’s competitor located across the street. 1219 S. 9th Street, (215) 389-0659, genosteaks.com
Jim’s Steaks – very popular steak shop with multiple locations. Prepare for the long line started from the front door and stretches out around the corner. 400 South Street, (267) 519-9253, jimssteaks.com
Tony Luke’s – 39 E. Oregon Avenue. (215) 551-5725, tonylukes.com
John’s Roast Pork – 14 Snyder Avenue, (215) 463-1951
Campo’s – 214 Market Street, (215) 923-1000, camposdeli.com
Rick’s Steaks – Lincoln Financial Field, rickssteaks.com
Dalessandro’s Steaks – 600 Wendover Street, (215) 482-5407, dalessandros.com
Steaks on South – 308 South Street, (215) 922-7880, steaksonsouth.com
Shank’s Original – 120 South 15th Street, (215) 629-1093, shanksoriginal.com
Cosmi’s Deli – 1501 S. 8th Street, (215) 468-6093
Sonny’s – 228 Market Street. (215) 629-5760
Steve’s Prince of Steaks – 7200 Bustleton Avenue, (215) 338-0985