What can we say? We love Philadelphia. I mean REALLY love Philly. In fact, we have such affection for the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love that we have more properties there than any other city - that’s right, a whopping 12 Stay Alfred properties.
That’s so many properties that you could stay in a different one every month of the year. Yes, so many Philly travel apartments that you could stay in a new one every week for a year (honestly, you’d be our hero).
If you’ve never visited Philadelphia, make 2020 the year you finally take that trip. If you have been before - we guarantee there’s more to explore. We understand time off can be hard to come by; that’s why we’re here to maximize those PTO days with a hit list of a few of our favorite Philly neighborhoods and where to eat, explore and play over a long weekend.
Philadelphia is home to around 35 unique neighborhoods and districts, each with their own vibe and charms. A long weekend leaves you with just enough time to tackle at least one neighborhood a day without packing in too much and stressing you out. It’s vacation, people - Stay Alfred is here to help you enjoy your time and leave all that everyday life stress behind (for at least a few days).
Sidenote: some of these recs include indoor and outdoor winter activities, but the majority can be enjoyed all year round.
So, where to first? We’re starting central. Center City will have you wanting to call it “City Center,” but this area is, indeed, a great hub to start exploring. Check out some of our favorite places and happenings:
- Swan Around Dilworth Park - winter months feature an ice rink and stunning Wintergarten, but throughout the year you can join in on events, live music, a fountain filled with kiddos when it’s warm, or simply picnic on the lush green areas.
- Shop Local at Reading Terminal Market - one of the oldest and largest public markets in the country, this local favorite offers a vast selection of locally grown and exotic produce, locally sourced meats and poultry, plus the fresh seafood, cheeses, baked goods, and confections. Shop and stock up on groceries for that full kitchen you’ll be coming home to in your travel apartment.
- Feel Fancy with a Night at the Theater - The historic Walnut Street Theatre has quite the claim to fame as “the oldest continuously-operating theatre in the English-speaking world and the oldest theatre in the United States.” Thank you, Wikipedia! Make sure to check the current season schedule for available shows.
Indulge in Shameless Selfies at Wonderspaces - with 24,000 square feet of art installations and limitless opportunities for TikToks, selfies or live videos, the whole family would love this pop up art show.
Now that you’ve got your bearings in the center of the city, we’re heading east! And things get real historic real quick once you’ve entered - wait for it - Old City. So follow the cobblestone road and get ready for historic landmark plaque bingo, we’re going in. There’s something for everyone in this beloved neighborhood:
- Ice Skate While Overlooking the Delaware River - The seasonal RiverRink Winterfest is a great way to take in a sweeping view and work up an appetite for all those cheesesteaks. Make sure not to miss the Lodge area where you can sip on something warm.
- Relive Your Youth at the Brick Bar Pop Up - Millennials, rejoice! Finally someone has combined Legos and booze and thus built the Brick Bar. Dates are limited so be sure to check their events page.
- Inspire Your Inner History Buff - With a name like Old City, this neighborhood better deliver on landmark moments in history, and holy Founding Fathers does it ever. Turn a corner and you’re going to run into something amazing: the National Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell, the Independence Visitor Center, Elfreth’s Alley, the Ben Franklin Museum, the Museum of the American Revolution.
Up Your Hip Factor at Cherry Street Pier - Home to artist studios, a local makers market, an urban garden, and historic trolley car food court - start exploring and you just might spend all day at this pier turned mixed-use space.
Alright, you’ve had a fantastic and relaxing night’s sleep back at your home away from home travel apartment, it’s morning, you’ve had that coffee and you’re ready to roll. Onward to Fishtown! A town of fish, you say? Nay - this neighborhood has become one of the hippest locales for trending restaurants and bars and a great place to get to know Philly locals in their natural habitat:
- Tap Into the Philly Brewery Scene - Philly is a great beer town. We highly recommend hitting up Evil Genius Beer Company, Kurant Brew & Brew and Fishtown Brewpub. Here’s also a great list of beer events for anytime you’re in town.
- Catch a Show at Johnny Brenda’s - an institution in Fishtown, this bar / restaurant / live concert venue brings the grit and gets loud in the best way. Check their calendar for upcoming shows.
- Eat Your Way Through Fishtown - Because what’s a vacation without eating your way through a neighborhood? And Fishtown is your veritable buffet. Here’s our list of the best and tastiest: Sarvida, Philly Style Bagels, Murph’s Bar, Cheu Fishtown, Pizzeria Beddia, Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop. Bonus bragging points if you’re there on National Cheesesteak Day this March 24.
We’d love to see what you get up to on your long weekend in Philly - share all your bragging points with #stayalfred.