Travel Diaries: Six Things to do in Philadelphia / by Didier Young

At the beginning of March, I had the opportunity to head over to Philadelphia for a couple of days to attend their annual Flower Show. This marked my first time in the Pennsylvanian city and I will be honest with you guys, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Philadelphia is not one of those cities that is overly romanticized like Paris and New York nor is it particularly known worldwide for anything other than cheese steak sandwiches, the liberty bell and Rocky. Here are some of the things to do if you’re even in the City of Brotherly Love and Sister Affection.


Flower Show

Sure this is not something that you can visit 365 days a year but if you’re ever in the city at the right time, definitely make a detour to go see it. This year they also hosted the Florist’s Transworld Delivery World Cup which regrouped some of the best florists in the World and the result was honestly breathtaking. 


Reading Terminal Market

The iconic spot is located close to the City Hall and Pennsylvania Convention Center where the Flower show was taking place and I swear that you’d be able to find any type of food you’d desire there. It is fairly similar to Toronto’s St Lawrence market and you could head over for a fresh croissant, a cup of Old City coffee or even your groceries.


Museums & History

Given the rich history of Philadelphia, the city is a must for any art and history lovers out there. Stop by the iconic Liberty Bell and Rocky statue or head over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art or the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to check out the art both old and new. Another notable spot is the Magic Garden, a stunning site composed of a multitude of mosaics. As I fan of architecture, I was overly delighted by the Downtown Core of the city which is fairly reminiscent of New York.


Shopping

I think that we all know by now that shopping is something that I take very seriously. The great thing about Pennsylvania is that they have absolutely no taxes on clothing and shoes. That’s right, none at all. Even if you were to incur any taxes, they are at a fairly low 8% which makes the city a shopper’s dream. My favourite location to browse was in the the Rittenhouse area where you’ll find the likes of H&M, Club Monaco and even a Barney’s.


Food

Philadephia is a city well known for it’s food scene and it spans far beyond Philly Cheese Steaks (although they are a must). The two iconic spots in the city are Geno’s and Pat’s King of Steak but there are obviously lots of other places where you could find a good cheese steak. On this trip, we went to four different restaurants including Talula’s Garden, Glen Mills Garden Café, Louie Louie and Guiseppe & Son, each amazing in their own way but the last one was definitely my favourite of the lot. Coffee lovers might want to stop by a local La Colombe or Old City Coffee, two of the most well-known roasters in the city for a cup of joe.



Longwood Gardens & Terrain

Although this location was slightly out of the city (45 minute drive), it was well worth it. The gardens span over 1077 acres of land with a massive conservatory which was the most impressive one I’ve visited thus far. The gardens are opened all year long and include different seasonal components such as the Wisteria or the Peony gardens. If you’re already in the neighbourhood, make sure to stop by Terrain. The Urban Outfitters owned store is a gardener’s dream and includes a gorgeous café where I had the loveliest vanilla chai latte.


Philadelphia was definitely not what I expected it to be but I really did enjoy my time in the city. I was only there for two days and a half and I would gladly go back to explore some more. Have you guys been or are you planning on visiting Philadelphia anytime soon?

-Didier