This post has been a long time coming, I don't know why it has honestly taken me so long to write it. Naturally when we were there and touring around I was taking pictures thinking about the post I was going to write and then there is just so much information to put in that it seems overwhelming and I put it off and the longer I put it off the less I felt like writing it. I thought about just not posting about it but honestly it was a really a great day and I think its definitely a place worth visiting so I'm not sure how this post is going to go, whether it will be full of information or just a quick overview.. we'll see!
So a couple of weekends ago Jason and I planned to get up early on Saturday and head to Philly for the day, we had talking about doing this forever with Philly being so close but the entire year we were in Jersey City we just never got there, weather, Jason's work schedule.. you know how it goes! Now being here its even closer and we wanted to check things off our list of things to do in case we ever actually get out of here. We watched the weather, got up early and hit the road.
Its funny we take so many LONG road trips that I forgot how nice it is to drive just two hours away and enjoy the scenery and the trip! We arrived in Philly quite early and because Jason had already managed to spill his coffee all over his white shirt our first stop was CVS for a tide to go pen! HA! Honestly I generally have one of these in my purse but I took a small purse because we were going to be touring around all day and that thing just didn't make the transfer, I will know better for next time! We also ran into the post office because it was right there, we needed stamps and there just isn't one handy where we are in New Jersey. Fun stuff right? Keep reading, it gets better.
We parked just off from all the historical stuff on Market St or Chestnut St.. I cant remember but around that area. There were tons of convenient parking lots which was great, you parked and paid a flat rate and it wasn't super far from everything.
Before going I had made a list of all the things I wanted to see and do there and when researching where everything was and considering that we had one day we decided that the best way to get to everything and enjoy it would be by getting a Big Bus Pass. This was by far the best way to see things on account that you can get on and off the double decker bus at whatever stops you want to make and then hop right back on. We decided that we were take the bus tour and get all the history and then start jumping on and off at the places we wanted to go to. I wont lie we ended up walking pretty much everywhere after the bus tour anyways but like I said it was great to be able to hear all the history and little tales about the buildings and historical spots that you would have never otherwise know.
Our first stop that we made and toured around was The Eastern State Penitentiary, all the reviews that I had read said that this was the place to see and I knew I would love it. If you missed the post I wrote about our time spent at the Eastern State Penitentiary you can read that HERE. I highly recommend making this part of your trip, we did the audio tour and it was well worth our time!
Another place I had to stop was The Philadelphia Museum of Art, I would have loved to actually wander through the museum which we did a bit but definitely didn't cover the whole thing, sadly museums aren't really Jason's thing. But what I really wanted to go there for was because I am the biggest fan ever of the Rocky movies! I wanted to see the steps and the statue and let me tell you guys, it was amazing!!
This was actually in the visitors center where we got our tickets for the big bus tour!
From the stairs there was the most amazing view of the Philly Skyline!
I don't know who this guy is.. a Rocky fan obviously. There was a huge line up to take pictures with the statue and not a moment where you could get a picture without someone in front of it.. so there's this guy!
I am so glad I got to go here and see all this, I watch the Rocky movies every single time they come on TV, and seriously its absolutely beautiful here, this is also a place I highly recommend seeing on a trip to Philly!
Across the street from the museum there was a small park with a large fountain which I believe had a statue of George Washington (I could be wrong about this because its not on the map I am referencing but I am pretty sure) and they also had a ton of food trucks and the nicest mobile bathrooms I have ever seen. I know that's a pretty odd thing to mention but seriously, when you are touring around a city all day you are bound to have to use gross public bathrooms and these ones were AMAZING, air conditioned and CLEAN! It was actually quite warm the day we went, possibly even downright HOT.
After this we decided to grab some lunch, obviously Jason had to have a Philly Cheesesteak and he had done his research before going and we stopped at Sonny's Famous Cheesesteaks. Obviously I don't eat red meat so I did not partake but Jason said it was absolutely amazing. I meant to take a picture because I will admit it looked really good but I forgot. Sorry! Jason said he would highly recommend this place, it was absolutely packed with people when we went in but he got his sandwich really quickly and said it was excellent!
After Jason's sandwich we headed to the Reading Terminal Market which was also highly recommended in all my research. I wont lie I wish we had eaten here, they had a TON of places to eat with an amazing variety! We toured around here for quite awhile and decided we would come back before we left because Jason felt he needed some pumpkin whoopie pies and fudge.
After this we did a ton of touring around this historic area. There is so much American History here that is really worth checking out! I'm going to photo dump here and tell you whats what!
Disclaimer: These pictures are not in the order that we saw them.
This was a mural right across from where we parked! I love street art.
This is Penny Franklin, you can read about him HERE. He is made entirely out of pennies and is of Benjamin Franklin who coined the term "A penny saved is a penny earned" this is also why people throw pennies on his grave site which is also here. We were told on our bus tour that every year the pennies thrown on the grave total $3,000-$4,000 which all goes towards the upkeep of the grave and its surroundings.
This is the Chinese Friendship Gate located in the China town area of Philadelphia. This amazing piece actually has nothing holding it together, not one nail, screw, etc. It is essentially a giant jigsaw puzzle which is pretty amazing.
This is Philadelphia's City Hall, the building is absolutely INCREDIBLE! It took 30 years to build and believe it or not they wanted to take it down at one time because people didn't like it, didn't think it fit in the city. However because of its grandeur and sound structure they figured it would take just as long to take it down as it did to build it. So here it sits, and I think its for the best.
Guys I am sorry I cannot remember for the life of me what this partial house was, I even tried to google it but its hard when you don't know what its called. I will see if Jason knows and if so I will make sure to post it in the comments. If you know, please let me know in the comments below!
Independence Hall, if you look to the first floor on the far left where the curtains are half drawn that is the exact room where the Declaration of Independence was signed! Pretty amazing!
Tomb of an Unknown Soldier with the eternal flame.
These historic plaques were all over the city!
So this is a little bit of a funny story, both Jason and I really wanted to go to the Betsy Ross house. As you can see above she is buried there with I believe her third husband, you can tour her home and they have a gift shop as well. Well this historical landmark we were told could possibly be a fraud, ha! I kid you not. We heard that her house actually could have been the one beside this house, we were told that no one for sure knows if she actually made the flag because there was nothing in writing and that she may in fact not even be buried there! I couldn't believe it. I mean there has to be some truth to all of it otherwise they could not claim all these things but good lord can you imagine if none of it was true?
This is why I cannot wait to post about things, or like when we were in Hawaii I need to have a little book and write notes because this building has some story behind it and let me tell you I have no idea what it is. Its not part of the tour but on the way to the Eastern State Penitentiary. I'm sorry guys.. eek!
Statue of the Joan of Arc.
Logan Circle with City Hall in the background.
After a long day of walking around all day we were definitely hungry and ready for some dinner. Neither Jason or I are foodies, we are both super fussy about what we eat and tend to stick to places we know we will like. I know we are probably missing out by doing this but on the plus side we are also never disappointed. Jason loves the Hard Rock Cafe and we have been to them all over when we can find them, he has been wanting to go for a really long time and so when we saw this one on the beginning of our trip we figured that would be a good place to go to dinner. Fun fact outside the Hard Rock is the second largest guitar next to the one in Vegas.
Sorry this picture is blurry the guy seating us wouldn't stop so I could take a picture even though I announced my tourist moment so I was trying to be quick. Dinner was great, it didn't disappoint at all and I had a strawberry basil lemonade that was too die for!
When we finished dinner we went back to the Reading Terminal Market to get Jason's treats and they were CLOSED! I almost died, they close at 6pm on a Saturday!! Poor Jason was sooo disappointed! We managed to find him a cannoli, the best one of he had ever had he said so it wasn't a total bust!
After that we decided to go for a walk as it was a beautiful night and we wanted to take in as much as we possibly could. We had wanted to go in and see the Liberty Bell but when we were in the area on and off during the day the line up was absolutely ridiculous. However after dinner when we were walking by there was no one around so we decided to pop in!
My apologies for the bad lighting, the whole building is glass so it was really hard to get a picture without the sun ruining the lighting.
The Liberty Bell.
Jason admiring the Liberty Bell.
After touring around the Liberty Bell we decided to head down to the water and walk along the boardwalk. We wanted to see the U.S.S Olympia and just enjoy the night.
Sadly where we ended up we couldn't really get down to the water without taking a major detour so we just took in the Delaware River from Christopher Columbus Blvd I believe. I don't remember what this bridge is called but it takes you from Philly into Camden, NJ.
We had an amazing day in Philadelphia, I would honestly go back and tour around more because although I really do feel like we took in as much as we could I know there were things that we would have missed and would probably catch the second time around. I really enjoy learning about history and seeing things for myself, its amazing to read about things and places and then see them for yourself in person. This was definitely an amazing trip that I am so glad that we took and I highly recommend it to all of you as well. If you would like to read more about historical Philadelphia you can click HERE to do so. My apologies for the fact that this post is so long, I'm not going to lie it took a really long time to write as well!
I hope you are all having a great day, and that you learned something from this post! Thank you as always for stopping by!