Known as the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. Just under an hour and a half by plane from Toronto, a few weeks ago I packed up my bags for a girls getaway to enjoy the sights, sound and delicious eats in Philly. Philadelphia is the fifth largest city in the USA and was once the capital city. Today, it has become a vibrant cultural hub home to some of the best art museums in the country. To help you plan your weekend escape, here are some of my suggestions for exploring the “birthplace of America.”
Where to Stay
Located just steps away from the main museum promenade along Benjamin Franklin Promenade, The Logan Hotel is part of the Hilton Curio Collection of that has created a living gallery spaces within the hotel. The Logan Hotel has curated a collection of artwork by local artists inspired by both modern and historic Philadelphia showcased in the lobby, common areas and throughout each room. They have also partnered with the nearby Moore College of Art & Design to launch an Artist in Residence showcasing the student’s artwork within their halls.
Where to Eat
If Philly is known for one thing, it would have to be their Philly Cheese Steak that mixes finely shaved steak with chopped onions and a melted cheese sauce on a bun. After chatting with the locals, it is worth the wait for a bite to eat at either Ishkabibbles or Sonny’s.
For more of a culinary adventure, be sure to swing by the Reading Terminal Market to get lost in the rows and rows of delicious grub. The downtown farmers market has been open since 1892 and is now home to a mix of modern delicacies and traditional Amish eats. But it is hard to stop by the market without a visit to the Pennsylvanian Dutch Beiler’s Bakery to indulge in their donuts and other sweet treats.
What to Do
While Philadelphia was once the hub of American history and government, but what intrigues me most about this city is the vibrant arts and cultural scene within the city today. The area of South Broad Street is affectionately known as The Avenue of the Arts housing a number of theater, concert venues and performance halls along the stretch from City Hall to Lombard Street.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, best known for the iconic steps that Rocky ran up, is home to a wide collection of both ancient and modern art. Along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, you can also find the, Barnes Foundation, Academy of Natural Sciences, Franklin Institute Science Museum, Mutter Museum, Rosenbach Museum & Library and Rodin Museum.
If you have more eclectic taste, Philadephia’s Magic Garden is a folk art garden made entirely of mosaic glass murals and sculptures. Today it is a nonprofit outdoor gallery space dedicated to preserving the works of Isaiah Zagar that were made from using nontraditional materials such as folk art statues, found objects, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors.