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Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Helpful Guide to Philadelphia, PA

After hearing about some of the rich history located in Philadelphia, we decided to take a quick trip and explore the city ourselves. I mean, who hasn't heard of the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection? WOW, was it a whirlwind trip complete with sore feet, temperatures in the high 100s and tons of family memories.
Philadelphia, PA postcard sign
If you have landed yourself in this City, might I recommend a few places you MUST-VISIT? After all Philadelphia just so happens to be the 5th LARGEST city which equates to LOTS of traffic and lots of TOURISTS!! 
Philadelphia, PA food
 I was given a complimentary stay/tickets to help facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way, All opinions are my own. 
My first suggestion is visiting the Independence Visitors Center. It is located downtown by the National Constitution Center. While inside you can score free tickets to Independence Hall, local city pamphlets, maps and friendly locals to help plan your visit! 
Philadelphia, PA bus
The city has a lot to offer and is pretty spread out. You can walk many of the attractions depending on your lodging however taking a bus might save you from sore feet! You can schedule any tours you might be interested in along with tickets to the local busing agencies while at the Independence Visitors Center. We decided to use the Big Bus Tours on our trip and I would recommend these double decker, 27 stop tour buses! They run every fifteen to thirty minutes only stopping to let passengers on and off. 
Big Bus Tour
I mentioned the National Constitution Center above and I want to take a moment to talk a little more about it before I give you all my other suggestions. 
The presentation given at the National Constitution Center was by far the BEST part of our trip! I honestly think children from all over the U.S. should watch this presentation of our founding nation's government. After watching this I was so very proud to be an American and my friends that is not a cop-out! If you get the chance, do this first to put you in the historical mindset before you travel back in time to explore the rest of the cities history!
Philadelphia, PA oldest street
 Now about those bus tours.....they save you so much foot work and you can learn about the area and local "hot spots". Another great feature is hiding riding in the A/C on the humid days, that we were blessed with!
Betsy Ross House
 If history is what you seek while in town visit places like the Betsy Ross House or the Benjamin Franklins Museum!
Philadelphia, PA Chinatown
 We found venturing out early helped beat the crowds that tend to linger throughout the afternoon.  We planned the more popular destinations in the morning to help eliminate long lines altogether.
Philadelphia, PA Love sign
 Places like "China town", the "Love sign"  or even "the Rockie statue" are VERY desirable because so many people want their picture taken near them!
Philadelphia, PA Street Art
ART is everywhere! From Nationally renowned artists to local street talents. We didn't have time to visit the Art Museums this trip but I hope someday to cross them off my list! Looking for more places to visit? Try the Fonthill Castle and explore all the Hidden Gems in Doylestown, PA!
Eastern State Penitentiary
 My son has been a very timid boy ever since he was real little. Things tend to scare him more than his classmates. He loves to learn about things but there are some topics we tend to stay away from. While in Pigeon Forge we visited a prison Museum. At first he was completely upset with the idea and had a pretty good meltdown before we even went in. After a lot of talking he finally decided to give it a go.It ended up being the BEST attraction we visited on that particular trip! In the Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN he saw a picture of the Eastern State Penitentiary. Vowing to visit if we ever had the chance. Hence this particular trip to Philly....
Eastern State Penitentiary prison cells
 As a parent who enjoys history, old fashion ghost stories and spooky building this was the highlight of my trip! The Eastern State Penitentiary cell blocks are run down, decaying over time but still give you glimpses of what life would have been like for the prisoners. 
Eastern State Penitentiary, PA
 If you have children with you, I recommend picking up the Scavenger Hunt (it's FREE). This not only provided some additional knowledge but it was entertaining for him as he learned about the kids his age who lived within the walls. They have headsets you can use but the day we visited it was just so hot we decided against lugging them around. They have TWO air conditioning rooms which are a true LIFESAVER when the temperatures get high. 

My thoughts besides "THIS PLACE IS AWESOME"...Go early when it is relatively cool and beat the crowds!
Federal Reserve Bank shredded Money
Another place to visit if you have children was the Federal Reserve Bank
Yes, they give you shredded cash for free but you can also take a small tour and learn all about our money. 
Renaissance Downtown Philadelphia
 Need a place to rest those tired feet? We stayed at the Renaissance Downtown, located a short walk away from Independence Hall, Franklin Square and the Liberty Bell. It was very clean, upscale hotel with all the luxury amenities you would find in a NYC hotel. The restaurant was formal (Suit & tie) which proved to be trying since we didn't know that when checking in. 
I just downloaded a food app and ordered our food.
Philadelphia, PA Guide
Have you ever been to Philadelphia, PA??
What places would you recommend to future visitors??
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