Welcome to Part 2 of my East Coast USA Adventure! If you haven’t seen Part 1 yet, click here to see a Washington DC Itinerary you don’t want to miss. Part 2 sees us travel North by train to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Here is a list of some of the activities I would recommend doing / sights to see if you are visiting Philadelphia:
One Liberty Observation Deck
This was only a 2 minute walk from our hotel on 17th Street. A $15 fee per adult to get in, I would highly recommend a visit here. The observation deck sits 57 floors high and gives you a 360 degree view of the city of Philadelphia and beyond. At the time we visited, there were no queues. We went straight on up to the lift and to the 57th floor!
(Confession – we actually visited the Observation Deck again on the 3rd day, as we enjoyed it that much).
There’s no rush when you reach the top. You are not on a timer; not forced to quickly go around the observatory and out again. You’re able to take your time and take in the views at your own pace, which is lovely. There are also tables at the top with board games and colouring on, so kids and adults alike are kept entertained!
I cannot state enough how good the views are – so I will instead let you see for yourselves with these pictures!
Independence National Historic Park
Strolling through the streets of the Independence National Historic Park you realise how full of history Philadelphia is. You pass by building after building, each one holding a story behind American freedom. So much of this park was quiet, with hardly anyone else around. I think some of these buildings in the Historic Park are hidden gems, not known about by many who visit. We too did not know about this park until we stumbled upon it, but I am so glad we found it! The pictures below show some of the sights we saw throughout the Historic Park.
Penn’s landing water taxi
At Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River, there is a water taxi which takes people from one side of the river to the other. Aboard this boat you get a great view of the city skyline.
Where is the best place to eat? Here are the places we went to and loved! This was the city we treated ourselves in the most when it came to food – we had some great fine dining experiences.
- Cheesecake Factory – a restaurant I have heard so much about but had never been until this trip. I am ashamed to say I didn’t have any cheesecake! By the time I had finished my lunch I was too full for dessert, the portion sizes are another level. I ordered avocado toast, and its the best avocado toast I have ever had – but it was a whole ciabatta! Plus point – I had half in the restaurant and took half back to the hotel – it was my dinner that evening! Win win.
- Square 1682 – a great place for brunch if you are in town on a weekend. They provided the largest fresh fruit platter I have ever seen!
- Rope and Anchor – we discovered this restaurant when down on Penn’s Landing. The heat had overwhelmed us and we needed somewhere for a drink! The Hilton Hotel was the only place on the waterfront and this restaurant is situated inside. We came back here after our trip across the river to grab some lunch, and with the views of the water it is a lovely setting.
- R2L – this restaurant is 500 feet above Philadelphia, on the 37th floor of the building next to the Observatory. This restaurant oozes sophistication and class, and has the views to match! It is a pricey evening if you pay a visit, but well worth the treat in my opinion!
- Barclay Prime – a steakhouse which is great for all meat lovers. This place really has a fine dining feel to it.
Philadelphia was the one place on our route that we had heard some mixed reviews about. People that had visited before us said they did not enjoy their visit to the city as much as other places they visited on their trip. I would disagree with this, but I do think a visit here requires a bit more planning and thought than cities such as New York or DC for example, where there is too much to do in 3 days and you have to choose what you want to do the most!
There are some great parts to Philadelphia which allow you to immerse yourself in the history of America’s Independence, and lots of this is quieter and off the beaten track! Sometimes it takes looking beyond where the herds of tourists are to find the true gems that you should visit in the city.
Comment down below or drop me a message if you have ever been to Philadelphia / have been put off Philadelphia by other people’s reviews – I would love to hear what you have to say and how you feel about the city!
Onto the next city. Time for a review of the Big Apple – New York! Check out my social media links for updates on when the New York Blog will be up! Like this blogpost? Click follow to be notified whenever I post something new!