Destination: Philadelphia

'Love' sculpture at JFK Park
Philadelphia is like getting a refresher course on your American history, all while enjoying some amazing food and exploring great neighborhoods. I ventured here last month to attend my brother's graduation from Penn, and really fell in love with it. Though it may not be a place you find yourself going for a week's vacation, it certainly is a fun weekend spot and there is plenty to do if you find yourself here for a work trip. The most similar thing about Philly to Chicago is that the people love to eat. Whether it was cooked by a chef or slathered in Cheez Whiz, it was all really delicious.

Parc Bistro & Cafe: Beautiful atmosphere and lovely food in Rittenhouse Square
Fork: Elegant farm to table food at it's best in Old City.
Cochon: BYOB with more pork on a menu than I have ever seen, which is a great thing.
Sabrina's Cafe: Massive brunch menu with portions to match. Also BYOB
Jack's Firehouse: Set in a 19th century Firehouse in the Fairmount neighborhood with great BBQ

Philadelphia Museum of Art: Run up the 'Rocky' stairs like a champ, then explore the beautiful art. The Capucci exhibit was outstanding and so gorgeous.
Old City: Find out how the founding fathers got things done by visiting Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell*, and Betsy Ross's house.
University of Pennsylvania: The school lives up to its Ivy League credential by being absolutely gorgeous.
Rittenhouse Square Park: Peruse the public art and the neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants
JFK Park: Visit the famous LOVE statue.
Eastern State Penitentiary: Visit this massive old prison that when built, was the largest and most expensive structure ever constructed. Former inmate Al Capone's old stomping grounds

Reading Terminal Market: Get your eating shoes on and walk around this huge market with more food options than it is possible to sample, although I tried. Top picks were DiNic's pork sandwich, Spatoro's cheesesteak, and the Amish pretzels. Bring a group and share so you can try everything.

Skuylkill River: Rent a kayak and paddle, walk along the water, or find an outdoor cafe to relax at

*note: Do not wait in a long line to see the bell. You can see it outside from the window and it is just as lovely.

I know there are so many more places, please share!


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