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36 Hour Guide To Philadelphia

Happy Monday, friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend and is settling well into February. Earlier last week we got a major urge to get out of town and head out on a little adventure and we ended up spending the weekend in Philadelphia! Even though it is only a little over two hours away (such an easy drive!), we somehow have never made it to the city of brotherly love in these past few years of living in DC. One of my very best friends will be moving to Philly this Spring so I knew I had to head up there and check it out in preparation for many more trips to come once she is living there.

If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you’ll see a big list of all of my to-do’s and must-see’s by neighborhood or activity, though I am sure I’ll continue to add to this list with every trip I take up there in the future.

Where We Stayed | Warwick Rittenhouse Square

One of my best kept travel secrets (and recommendations if you’re willing to take the risk) is the app Hotel Tonight. In a nutshell, you can log into the app up to 7 days in advance of your stay and hotels that still have availability will drop their prices significantly in order to get to capacity. This means that you can often get a room for $100-150 that would typically be $300-400. We have done this in tons of cities and it always ends up working in our favor. In this case, we got a great deal at the Warwick Rittenhouse Square and really loved its central location and walkability to just about everything.

Saturday Morning | Terrain Garden Cafe

I have a huge crush on virtually anything and everything Anthropologie does, and because Philly is where they are headquartered, you absolutely cannot miss one of their most recent additions, Terrain at Styers. Out in Glen Mills, PA (about 25 minutes outside of the city), is this mecca of Anthropologie’s home and garden brand, Terrain. Complete with an outdoor nursery, huge indoor gift shop and a farm-to-table style cafe, I was basically in heaven. We left around 7:30am Saturday morning so that we could get to Terrain right when they opened for breakfast and it did not disappoint.

{greenhouse vibes in the cafe}

{the best almond milk latte}

{pure magic inside of the shop}

After Terrain, we drove straight into the city to do some major exploring. I knew that once we got to our hotel that afternoon and parked our car in the city (fair warning, street parking is a total nightmare in downtown Philly so I suggest leaving your car with your hotel valet overnight and walking as much as possible), we probably wouldn’t see much of the neighborhoods outside of Rittenhouse, so we drove straight into Queens Village, a cute part of town that felt very up-and-coming mixed with old school Italian.

Saturday Afternoon | Queens Village 

{wandering around Queens Village}

{pure goodness at Hungry Pigeon}

{strolling through the Italian Market on 9th St}

{new favorite gift shop: Moon + Arrow}

Saturday Evening | Rittenhouse Square 

After plenty of eating and exploring, we headed into Rittenhouse Square to check into our hotel and walk it all off with an afternoon and evening of meandering. Rittenhouse was by far my favorite neighborhood and reminded me of being in New York with it’s narrow, pedestrian-friendly streets and big Brownstones. We also met up with our friends Jay and Lia for drinks at the uber-cool Double Knot and dinner at Amis for some homemade pasta and lots of red wine.

{we picked up matcha lattes from Plenty to keep us warm}

{outside of my bestie’s new apartment come spring-time}

{i love him}

Sunday Morning 

We woke up early to make it in time to take a class with one of my oldest yoga friend, Nanci. I haven’t seen her since she moved a couple of years ago to open Corepower Philly and kept it a total surprise until we walked through the doors right before class. It was SO nice to see her, take her class, and sweat out all of our Saturday night libations. Next up, we made our way to PS & Co. (recommended by so many of you!) for a fresh green smoothie, coconut yogurt, and brazil nut milk lattes.

{don’t miss this spot for organic everything}

{the best avocado kale smoothie — need to recreate this ASAP}

I am so excited to spend more time in Philly! Below is a giant list of things to do/places to eat, etc. I’m sure I am missing so much, but as I make more visits I am sure I’ll keep adding to this list.

RITTENHOUSE SQUARE 

*symbolizes an eatery with healthy, plant-based options

COFFEE SHOPS & BREAKFAST

La Columbe: a must-visit when in Philly
Bluestone Lane: Australian coffee shop, beautiful decor*
Federal Donuts: a Philly staple, unique donut flavors
Plenty Cafe: two-story coffeeshop great for studying*
PS & Co.: organic, gluten free, vegan cafe with amazing smoothies + food*
Spread Bagelry: bagels worth the long line outside
Parc: french food, the same owner as Le Diplomate in DC, go for brunch
Bakeshop: coffee + pastries
Rival Bros Coffee: technically in Fitler Square, an easy walk from Rittenhouse

CASUAL EATERIES

Dizengoff: hold in the wall spot for hummus, pita and frozen lemonade (so good!)*
Bar Bombon: vegan food for non-vegans (the same owner as hipcityveg)*
Hip City Veg: vegan fried “chicken” sandwiches, sweet potato fries, and salads*
Snap Kitchen: grab and go healthy food options*
V Street: vegan street-style food, same owner as Vedge (below)*

DINNER & DRINKS

Ranstead Room: great for drinks
Double Knot: upstairs bar with a downstairs sushi restaurant*
Amis: handmade pasta in a lively atmosphere
Twenty Manning Grill: American eatery specializing in fish, fowl, beef and pork
Fri Sat Sun: charming corner spot with French fare
El Vez: Mexican food with a twist
Barbuzzo: Italian food in a beautiful setting
Charlie Was A Sinner: cocktail bar with strickly vegan food*
The Dandelion: a fresh take on British pub food
Tinto: a wine and cheese bar
Tria: wine, beer and small plates

QUEEN STREET 

Grab Coffee at Plenty Cafe*, Rally, or Function Coffee Labs
Eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at The Hungry Pigeon*
Walk through the 9th Street Italian Market
Visit Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Grab a pizza at the famous Blackbird Pizzeria (entirely plant-based)*

FISHTOWN

Reanimator Coffee
La Columbe Coffee (huge and very impressive!)
One Shot Cafe
Girard Bruncherie*
Root: Italian wine bar*
Beer Gardens & Halls: Frankfurt Hall, Standard Tap, Heritage, Yards Brewery

OLD CITY/DOWNTOWN

Eat dinner at Zahav, ranked one of the best restaurants in Philly*
Eat brunch or grab a coffee at High Street on Market*
Grab lunch or dinner at the farmhouse-chic Talula’s Garden*
Put on your tourist cap for a visit to the Liberty Bell
Run the Rocky Steps

OTHER TO-DO’S

Barnes Museum
Walk the South Street Bridge
Race Street Pier
Visit the Eastern State Penitentiary
Reading Terminal Market
LOVE Park
Independence Hall

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