With the holidays coming up and Christmas seasons fast approaching, it may be time to start planning out a vacation outside of the New York City area, and there’s no better place to visit than Philadelphia!
The City of Brotherly Love is jam packed with fantastic shopping and dining to keep any visitor entertained for hours during their visit, and now getting there can be made as easy as clicking a button.
When planning out a vacation to Philadelphia you may be left wondering where exactly you’ll want to start your tour. Luckily, Center City is the perfect choice, not only featuring both endless commercial shopping, and fantastic dining for any visitor to enjoy, but also tons of entertainment to keep you engaged for hours during your visit.
Many of these shops and restaurants are scattered throughout Center City’s multitude of neighborhoods and districts. You may even find some of the city’s best places to dine are local restaurants instead of big chains, so why not visit Center City?
Center City is packed with activities, ranging far beyond just your run of the mill shopping and dining, in fact with so much to do in Philadelphia your only concern will be where to start, and how to get there.
If you live anywhere near the New York City area you may come across an issue plaguing many New Yorkers trying to visit Philadelphia. How to get there, while you may first think about taking public transit like a bus or train, you may want to reconsider, not only are those options dirty, and unreliable, but they’re also unsafe.
Additionally, with so much to do in Philadelphia, a tour of the city is a must do during your visit. Places like Center City are home to a fantastic collection of shopping and dining, along with plenty of entertainment to keep any visitor engaged for hours during their visit!
Center City is filled with all kinds of places to check out, whether that be the several pop-up markets scattered throughout the city or even its historical district marked by a line of colonial houses. In fact, with Philadelphia practically being seen as “the birthplace of independence”, you’ll often find plenty of historical districts and museums to visit.
The line of colonial housing previously mentioned is a clear example of this, who despite being privately owned is still marketed as a museum for visitors to come see. Museums are quite popular in Philadelphia, largely due to the city’s massive influence over American history. Additionally, the area featuring colonial housing also hosts events and parades for visitors to come and enjoy.
With all this in mind it may come as no surprise that a limo or car service is one of the best ways of getting to and around Philadelphia. These days limo services provide more than just simple transportation, they provide an experience, an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Not only are rides easy to book, but with so many different luxury vehicles being made available to you, your only concern will be finding the service that suits you.
Luckily, most limo or car services are more than willing to provide safe, and reliable, long-distance transportation, regardless of where you’re coming from. Finally, thanks to most taxi services looking to provide all this at affordable rates, you’ll no have no issue at all finding the price that’s right for you, so why not book today!
One of Old City’s best attractions is the Spruce Street Harbor Park, a colorful park filled with floating barges, craft beers, shuffleboard, a waterfront boardwalk and many more activities for any visitor to enjoy. Spruce Street Harbor Park has LED lights strung up as well, wrapping around trees to make the nightlife look spectacular.
Most of the park’s food and drink services are located at the boardwalk. Old City is also home to many boutiques, galleries, and even local businesses. Old City also hosts an event called First Friday, where art galleries and shops hold open houses for art, and fashion. Old City has a number of restaurants that are actually owned by some celebrity chefs. Some of these restaurants are Cuba Libre, Amada, Buddakan, and many many more.
Right next to Old City lies Society Hill, and like its neighbor, it’s also one of Philadelphia’s oldest neighborhoods. Society Hill had been established as far back as the 1680’s.
Society Hill used to have a creek in it, Dock Creek, eventually it became polluted and was filled in by the city. Dock creek would eventually be renamed to Dock Street, which now houses its own brewing company! During the 19th century the area began to expand but at the cost of its quality, after the 1940’s Society Hill turned into a slum. Then in the 1950’s the neighborhood turned over a new leaf thanks to an urban renewal program.
Many houses were restored and bought out by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. Many new parks, walkways, and townhouses were built and replica 18th century streetlights and sidewalks were added to bring together the colonial aesthetic. Eventually the area was bought in the late 1950’s, this time by 3 separate companies looking to redevelop Society Hill.
The three companies looking to change the area are; The Redevelopment Authority, the Philadelphia Movement, and the Old Philadelphia Development Corporation. Certain parts of the neighborhood were demolished or relocated, the cleared up area was then used as the site for the Society Hill Towers.
During the mid 1960’s the area would go through another redevelopment, this time being led by architect I. M. Pei, a Chinese-American architect who was raised in Shanghai. Pei’s team would introduce a townhouses and towers project into the neighborhood; the plan was completed in 1977. Waverly Court and Penn’s Landing Square would eventually be built by architect Louis Sauer, an American architect. Louis Sauer’s team would eventually go on to design several row houses for the neighborhood. Louis Sauer’s team would eventually go on to design several row houses for the neighborhood. Louis Sauer’s team would eventually go on to design several row houses for the neighborhood.
Penn’s Landing is a waterfront that goes alongside the Delaware River and is a great visiting spot for any visitor looking for a great view. Penn’s Landing can be seen as the city’s main event center, you’ll often find many celebrations or concerts at the center.
Chinatown is made up of Asian Americans and is actually still growing in size! As of 2018 Philadelphia’s Chinatown has continued to grow mainly due to large migration from New York City. The area is supported by Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, PCDC for short. Chinatown came to be when in the mid-late 19th century, Cantonese immigrants moved near Philadelphia’s commercial wharves. The first business was opened by Lee Fong in 1871, a laundry mat, and soon after the rest of ethnic Chinese followed. Throughout the Early 1900’s the area began to consist mainly of restaurants, and one grocery store. In the mid 60’s a large number of families began to move to Chinatown, this led to the area going up for a renewal program.
Parts of Chinatown had to be demolished in order for the city to build a new highway, though this isn’t the only thing that was built. The Pennsylvania Convention Center was also constructed in that area. While this may have helped the neighborhood develop it was still very controversial.
This led to the creation of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation which gave local businesses a say in local development matters. In the late 90’s, Chinatown began to expand, including not only Chinese immigrants but also Korean, Vietnamese and even Taiwanese. Soon Chinatown became more commercially viable, However this led to an unforeseen issue.
The commercial success caught the eye of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team who began to run a campaign to try to build a new area where they could play baseball. For a while they were planning on demolishing several buildings in Chinatown to make room for this new ballpark. This proposal was met with strong opposition from the PCDC, who felt that a ballpark would destroy Chinatown. Multiple rallies and protests were held by many different ethnic and religious groups in order to help stop the ballpark from being constructed. Eventually the ballpark was built south of Philadelphia instead of in Chinatown. This ballpark was opened in 2004 in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.Chinatowns most recent addition was in 2012, with the addition of an Eastern Tower Community Center. It was quickly approved by the city, construction began in 2017 and it was officially opened 2 years later on November 8th.
Chinatown had to deal with constant renovation programs, highway proposals, and demolishing plans trying to get rid of the neighborhood. Despite this, the area is thriving and is still growing to this day! Today, Chinatown is filled with shops, restaurants, factories, and other industrial businesses.
If you’re looking for a drink you can go to Dragon Beer Garden or to the famous David’s Mai Lai Wah. While the area may be called Chinatown it is far more diverse than the name would have you believe. Chinatown is filled with Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and many more diverse Asian cuisine restaurants. Chinatown is also lucky in that it is near many of Center City’s hotels, making it an ideal area to visit. Chinatown also hosts events, one of the most well known being “Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival”, an illuminated fest where lantern artisans come together to present their work. Their work includes handcrafted lanterns, pandas, whales, dragons, and many more. The event also includes performances of acrobatics, martial arts, folk dancing, and more. Chinatown is also home to one of the oldest public markets in the United States, Reading Terminal Market. Reading Terminal Market is filled with many different cuisines, such as soul food, Asian cuisine, Middle Eastern cuisine, and even authentic Philly Cheesesteaks.
Initially, when Center City was first established most of its development was based on the east side. The proximity to both major cities and key river points made it perfect for business to develop rapidly.
With Center City’s business district developing east, much of its residential district began to develop west. Most of these homes were built during the 1800’s by wealthy businessmen in the area. However the area truly came into being in the 1950’s, when the neighborhood would be redeveloped into a high-rise residential district. Center City West began to construct bigger buildings, attracting wealthier residents to the neighborhood. Such buildings include Penn Center, and the One Liberty Place which broke Philadelphia’s unofficial height limit. This allowed for Center City‘s economic and popularity status to skyrocket.
James Harper was recently retired from U.S. congress and had been a merchant and brick maker before that. James Harper decided to use his wealth to set the tone for Rittenhouse Square; he would proceed to buy most of the north side and begin construction on his own house. James Harper would keep buying land in Rittenhouse Square, dividing it up and then reselling them.
In 1913, Rittenhouse Square would begin to add French architecture to the neighborhood. Thanks to Paul Philippe Cret, a French architect, who redesigned parts of the square to resemble Paris and French gardens. Paul added stone additions to pools and fountains, and constructed new entryways that had a much more classical look. Post World War II Rittenhouse Square began to add modern architecture to its neighborhood. Apartment complexes, office spaces, and condominiums began to pop up around the neighborhood, along with shopping malls and high-rise buildings. Rittenhouse Square would still keep most of its Italianate, and Art Deco styles, but the majority of its Victorian mansions were replaced by residential buildings.
Paul Cret’s redesign was well received among the community, despite how many additions he made the park still remained largely the same, just more modern. His redesign was so popular that it actually caught the attention of several journalists who sought to interview him. Rittenhouse Square would become much more Centered and intricate, and despite many proposed changes, has stayed this way ever since.
Rittenhouse Square is littered with luxury apartments, an office tower, and restaurants scattered around. The park itself has many benches where people can eat, fountains, statues and even doggie bag dispensers. Rittenhouse Square has many historical and cultural institutions around the neighborhood. Among these institutions are many civil war and underground railroad museums in the area. Along with the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Art Alliance and even the Wine School of Philadelphia! The neighborhood is also lined with many different Civil War-Era style mansions, oftentimes being used for the set of Hollywood movies. Rittenhouse Square features a number of events throughout spring, These events typically start at the beginning of May.
Logan Square has a number of restaurants, cafes, and shops for anyone planning to visit. Most of the square’s restaurants and grocery stores are at a walkable distance. Logan Square is also home to a number of colleges and museums as well, making it an excellent stop for anyone taking a vacation in Philadelphia.
Fitler Square is the name of a public park in Philadelphia and the neighborhood around it. Named after Philadelphia’s 19th century mayor, Edwin Henry Fitler. The park is maintained by both the Fitler Square Improvement Association and the Department of Parks and Recreation. Fitler Square is located west of Rittenhouse Square, oftentimes both neighborhoods are associated with one another, eventually garnering the nickname “Rit-Fit”.
Before the 50’s the neighborhood had fallen on harsh times, much of the city was overwhelmed by urban blight, and the park itself was just a wasteland of drunks and druggies. Finally the city managed to get Mayor Joseph S. Clark Jr to help improve the neighborhood through a petition. Mayor Clark began to free up money that allowed for the construction of new homes. At one point the neighborhood was almost removed in order to add a new crosstown expressway. Fitler Square also has a river to the west, Schuylkill River. Today, the neighborhood is mainly residential and houses single families that moved to the area.