Philadelphia, PA - Jim Flynn's BestWeekends

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA Overview

For the longest time, Philadelphia was a city you passed on your way to New York or Washington. Today, Philly is “hot”. National Geographic Traveler Magazine called it “The Next Great City”.

The city of “brotherly love” (the actual meaning of the word Philadelphia) began with a grant from the British crown to William Penn’s father for a debt owed to him by the crown. The Declaration of Independence was written and signed here, the Constitution was adopted here and Betsy Ross made the first U.S flag in Philadelphia. The city was the first “planned city” in the New World, the first multi-year capital (after 1 year in New York) and had the first public library, volunteer fire department, hospital, university, zoo and computer.

How did the transition in this historic town come about? Many credit former mayor Ed Rendell for the revitalization. He got people back to Center City, cleaned up the streets and encouraged major building. Under his tenure The Kimmel Center, The National Constitution Center, The Liberty Bell Center, the Independence Visitors Center, a major convention center and two new  sports stadiums were built. All that money brought new restaurants, bars and clubs and forced people to take a new look at this wonderful city.

Where New York can be overwhelming and Washington a somewhat transient town, Philadelphia is a city of great neighborhoods. There is a wonderful ethnic diversity here and the people are friendly, welcoming and passionate. Don’t start a conversation about the town’s sports teams unless you have a few hours to spare.

I love walking through different areas of town, each with its own character and eccentricities; funky South Street, the narrow streets, cobblestones and gas lamps of Society Hill, the art galleries of Old City, the smells of the Italian Market and the beauty of Rittenhouse Square just to name a few. Like Boston, this is a city that I could easily call home.

How can you not love a city that brought us Rocky, Tastykakes, hoagies, cheese steaks, hot pretzels and even Scrapple? Fortunately, they have some great hospitals too!


When To Go

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Getting There

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Getting Around

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Things To Do

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Dont Miss

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Good to Know, Good to Go

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Special Things

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Where To Stay

Penn’s View

Recognition:

OVERVIEW Penn’s View is conveniently located at Front and Market Streets in Old City, walking distance to many attractions, restaurants and bars. The small lobby evokes memories of small European hotels….lots of marble and interesting murals. This charming little boutique hotel is a great value for a major city. Rates are often in the $150-$250...…

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Ritz Carlton

OVERVIEW The Ritz Carlton brand is one of our favorites and The Ritz Carlton, Philadelphia has recently completed a $25 million redesign which has restored its place at the top of the lodging options in city. Originally built as a reproduction of the Pantheon when it opened in 1908 as The Girard Trust Company, the...…

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Sofitel

Features:
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OVERVIEW We are big fans of the French Sofitel chain of hotels. We think of them as 4+ star hotels at a 3 star price. While there are only 8 in the U.S. they are located in tourist favorites like NYC, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Chicago. They combine location and a contemporary design with good...…

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Where To Eat

Amada

As the story goes, tapas style dining began when an 13th century Spanish king attributed his recovery from illness to eating small bites of food with wine between meals. So convinced was he of the merits of this style of dining that he decreed that no tabernas could serve wine without being accompanied with food.…

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Estia

One of my favorite restaurants in New York, is a wonderful Greek/Mediterranean called Avra, which is featured in our New York Profile. Coincidentally, on my visit to Estia, I found that it is owned by the same family. One brother is in NY, the other in Philadelphia. I'm told the brothers are quite competitive, so…

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Lacroix at the Rittenhouse

Lacroix is the signature restaurant of the wonderful Rittenhouse Hotel, but it is as far from a "hotel" restaurant as you can get. There's so much to like here. Let's start with Bar 210, sophisticated lounge perched above the dining level that offers an amazing list of hand crafted cocktails like a Blackberry Bourbon: Maker's…

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Advance Search

Use our handy tool to search for the perfect weekend with all the features you prefer. Search by accomodation type, recognition, geography, amenity and more. Search now!

May 2020: Little Nell

This months featured property is… charming and sweet. THE ROOMS In 2017, Champalimaud Design refreshed all 86 rooms and suites and all guest floor corridors. The approach was to reinvigorate the spaces to be fresh, light and welcoming, utilizing palettes of blue, tan and grey to complement the relaxed nature of Aspen. Key features include… read more.

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