If you follow the travel series here at the PLG, you know that we have featured several east coast landmark cities that we love to visit (Pittsburgh, NYC, Washington DC, Hershey, Atlantic City). However, there has been one gaping hole in that series that we are finally filling today: Philadelphia! We have visited Philadelphia several times since living on the east coast, but earlier this year we had some of our dearest friends move there, giving us a reason to spend even more time there and experience things we haven’t seen before!
So, today we are sharing a weekend trip we took to the city a couple of weeks ago with a group of friends. And while, like any major city, there is SO much to see/eat/do that it would be impossible to cover it all in one weekend (or blog post), here are a couple of highlights to add to your list if you are planning a visit.
(Old City, Philadelphia. The MOST charming area ever.)
First, where to stay! For this visit we teamed up with the FAB Penn’s View Hotel, and stayed there for a couple of days. This gem is located in Old City, Philadelphia, nestled right against the Delaware river. The area itself is stunning (The pictures above are homes in the alleyway behind the hotel. Could you die?), with views of the river on one side and modern city buildings on the other. This hotel is so full of charm and every detail feels elegant and historic. Plus, the location is incredible, within walking distance of downtown Philadelphia and landmarks like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.
The rooms at Penn’s View Hotel make you feel like you have stepped back in time in the BEST way, without losing any modern conveniences (like, everything is gorgeous and full of character and charm, but there is still Diet Coke there), and they were so spacious and cozy, we felt right at home. Plus, the staff were so wonderful to us, helping to calm a tired, sobbing toddler at check-in while our hands were full of luggage, and serving a wonderful breakfast in their gorgeous dining room. I loved stepping out of the hotel everyday right into Old Town and taking it all in. It’s a magical place to stay if you are in the city. I can’t recommend this one enough.
A new favorite on our list of places to see while in Philly is Chestnut Hill! Our friends moved to the Chestnut Hill area in June and when we first visited them there I lost my mind when I saw it. Chestnut Hill is known as Philadelphia’s “Garden District”, and was named one of the 12 Most Distinctive Destinations in America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation because it is the DREAMIEST. There are cobblestone streets where trolleys once ran, beautiful restaurants and boutiques, and incredible architecture that is so full of charm that I have NO chill while I am there. The cuteness is too much to stay composed. See for yourself:
I mean, it’s too much, right? You have to visit while you are there. Promise me right now.
Another must while in Philadelphia? Reading Terminal Market! This amazing public market is packed with locally grown and exotic produce, flowers, Amish specialties, fresh meats, seafood, and poultry, handmade confections and baked goods, and so many more delicious things under one roof. I cannot stress enough the feeling of belonging and love I felt when I walked through the doors. It was my heaven. I ate a hot dog, latkes, and a whoopie pie all before noon and I loved it so much.
My kiddos reeeeeally didn’t hate it either.
There are so many iconic landmarks to see while in Philadelphia like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and this beauty, Philadelphia City Hall! While we were there we were lucky enough to visit the City Hall Christmas Market, which is a must see if you are in the area at Christmastime. There are vendors with beautiful handmade goods, a massive Christmas tree and an ice skating in the shadow of City Hall. Plus, around the corner at the City Center Macy’s they go HARD at Christmas, with a constant Christmas light show and Wanamaker organ concert on the third floor all of December and a live Charles Dicken’s Christmas Village with Santa Claus. Yes, our kid’s heads almost exploded from all of the merriness. It was the best.
Can you handle these handsome boys? Santa wanted to eat them up. I couldn’t blame him.
Aren’t these little houses at the Christmas Market so sweet? Adam was in heaven because they market reminded him of the Christmas market’s he visited when he lived in Germany. So darling.
Ugh, these beautiful friends. I can hardly handle my love for them. We had the best time exploring together. Friends that feel like family are the best.
Yes, it’s true. I guess sometimes you can feel too much holiday cheer. Just ask Redder. And while you’d never know it from his expression in this photo, Redd (and the rest of us) LOVE Philadelphia. It is an iconic city that is a definite bucket-list destination with so much culture, history, beauty and FOOD. So, start planning a trip, book your room at Penn’s View Hotel right now, and make SURE you get your hands on some baked goods at Reading Market. This is your homework. I will follow up.
Happy holiday traveling, and THANK you Penn’s View Hotel for a wonderful trip!