Well, it’s taken me a year and a half of blogging to finally welcome in my first guest post, but here she is. I met the author, Kelly, my freshman year of college and we’ve been best buds ever since. Kelly is from Long Island and moved to Roxborough for a few years after graduation. After much coaxing, she finally moved to Center City this year (we’re neighbors!) and with that, came her visitors. Kelly’s apartment has a constant flow of out-of-towners, and she knows exactly how to keep them busy (and buzzed). Her Philadelphia “tours” show the best our city has to offer, minus the standard historical sites and long lines. Her visitors always love their stops so much, I asked Kelly to share her go-to’s with all of you.
Moving to a new city can bring many mixed emotions, but there’s no better feeling than making it your own. For me, that feeling quickly fades when one of my friends says those four dreaded words: “When can I visit?”
Don’t get me wrong, I adore my friends, but the idea having guests in your new city can be daunting. To combat this, I’ve created a fool proof agenda, guaranteed to impress even the most difficult to entertain out-of-towers. First stop . . .
1. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (1020 South Street)
Located on one of my favorite streets in Philly, PMG is a mosaic oasis and an absolutely amazing display of creativity. I’ve been almost 10 times with different guests and still always find a new nook to admire and explore. As an added bonus, the gardens are super Instagram-able and are the perfect backdrop for a new Facebook profile pic.
2. Reading Terminal Market (51 North 12th Street)
How could anyone not love an 80+ vendor farmers’ market featuring every type of cuisine imaginable? Reading Terminal has some of the best eats in the city and truly something for everyone. My recommendations include the roast pork sandwich from DiNiC’s, followed by either ice cream from Bassetts or cookies from Famous 4th Street Cookie. To avoid the inevitablly long line at DiNiC’s, get there at 11am on the weekend and you’ll breeze right through.
We all know this city is amazing for a number of reasons, but my guests always comment on Philly’s walkability. Walk off some of those lunch calories down Market Street and swing by Independence Mall to show off the historical side of Philly. From there, hop on the El to:
3. Yards Brewery Company (901 North Delaware Avenue)
If you’ve never been on a brewery tour, you’re in for a real treat. But even if you have, Yards does it right. I’ve had Mike as my tour guide three times and he’s incredible. You learn, you laugh and you drink . . . is there a better trio? Stick around for some brews after, the tasting room is a really neat space with pool tables and plenty of seating. My friends and I once played Heaps Up (a must-have) and made some good buds at surrounding tables.
A quick walk from Yards will bring you to . . . more drinking . . . and two choices.
4a. Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Avenue)
Frankford Hall is a German-style beer garden nestled right in Fishtown. It’s particularly perfect on a nice day as most of the space is outside. Long, communal picnic tables, ping pong, Jenga, and steins of beers are some highlights – and most people tell me they have never been to any place like it. It tends to get pretty crowded, so I have an alternate, but equally as amazing, locale as a backup.
4b. Barcade (1114 Frankford Avenue)
A straight shot from Frankford, Barcade never disappoints. They have a ton of retro video games lining the walls that only cost a quarter to play, just like back in the day. If you forgot your quarters, no need to fret! Barcade has change machines available so you can game to your heart’s content. Coupled with an extensive selection of craft beers, Barcade is a unique environment that your friends are bound to enjoy.
So you’ve had a pretty long day and head back to your apartment to regroup before taking on the night. I recommend you close the visit out with:
5. Dealer’s Choice!
These are your friends we’re talking about! As long as you’re together, you’re bound to have a good time. Where would you go on a normal Saturday? I’ve taken my friends to Drinkers, Irish Pub, McGillins, time, Bob and Barbara’s . . . and all have been huge hits. So let your hair down and have some fun, because you just showed your friends the best that Philly has to offer.
Thank you, Kelly, for highlighting some great gems in the Philly scene! If you need more ideas on how to spend some time in Philadelphia, check out my blog on the 150 things you must do in Philly. If you’d like to hear more Philadelphia-inspired antics, follow Kelly on Twitter. She has a way with words. xx