Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

May 10 2017

What's In Old City And Along The Delaware River Waterfront?

Two Historic District Neighborhoods Offer Restaurants, Art Galleries, Nightlife, Shopping—And History

Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City, part of Philadelphia’s Historic District, boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.

Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries, boundary-pushing theaters and vibrant nightlife. Especially popular are First Fridays, when art lovers fill the streets for gallery hopping.

Old City boundaries stretch from the Delaware River to 6th Street and from Walnut Street to Race Street. It’s an easy walk or cab ride from Center City, or a quick trip on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford line (“the El” to residents), which stops along Market Street at 2nd and 5th streets.

Restaurants, Bars & Clubs:

  • 2nd Story Brewing – A local farmer teamed up with her beer-brewing son-in-law to open this working brewery, restaurant and bar. The menu includes fish and chips, burgers and house-made flatbreads, with plenty of healthy options in the mix. 117 Chestnut Street, (267) 314-5770, 2ndstorybrewing.com
  • AmadaIron Chef Jose Garces’ first restaurant is widely considered responsible for starting Philadelphia’s tapas trend. Amada is also known for big Spanish-style plates, including a roasted suckling pig known and a chef’s tasting menu, with or without the wine pairing. 217-219 Chestnut Street, (215) 625-2450, amadarestaurant.com
  • Ariana – This family-owned bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) restaurant was the first to serve traditional Afghani food in the region and one of the first to introduce hookahs to the city. Guests rave about the kabobs and pudding desserts. 134 Chestnut Street, (215) 922-1535, restaurantariana.com
  • Bistro 7 – This casual yet intimate BYOB offers farm-to-table, French-inspired, small and large plates that are all meant for sharing. 7 N. 3rd Street, (215) 931-1560, bistro7restaurant.com
  • Bleu Martini – This restaurant, bar and club bathed in cobalt blue offers a VIP scene and an edgy DJ soundtrack. Daily happy hour specials run from 4 to 7 p.m. and include select $5 martinis from the 30 martinis on the menu. 24 S. 2nd Street, (215) 940-7900, bleumartiniphilly.com
  • Brasil’s Nightclub – This upstairs club gets packed on weekends with fleet-footed Latin dancers (with free salsa lessons Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays). The spot features mirrors and a full bar with drink specials, including caipirinhas, three nights a week. 112 Chestnut Street, (215) 432-0031, brasilsnightclub-philly.com
  • Buddakan – Stephen Starr’s original temple of modern Asian cuisine offers creative takes on the classics and is known for bento box lunches, edamame and many varieties of dumplings, a 16-foot-tall golden Buddha and a 32-seat communal table. 325 Chestnut Street, (215) 574-9440, buddakan.com
  • Buffalo Billiards – This downtown pool hall welcomes sports-loving crowds with its flat screens, dartboards and casual fare. In addition to pool and darts, there’s shuffleboard, skeeball, foosball and more. 118 Chestnut Street, (215) 574-7665, buffalobilliards.com
  • Capofitto – The crew behind Philadelphia’s beloved gelato mini-chain, Capogiro, wows with their Neapolitan-style pizza from a custom wood-fired oven. Weekend brunch features pasta, egg dishes and pizza, of course. 233 Chestnut Street, (215) 897-9999, capofittoforno.com
  • Chloe – This tiny BYOB serves New American cuisine with innovative flair in a comfortable, neighborhood setting. The restaurant maintains a no-reservations policy, so in-the-know diners arrive early to secure a table without a wait. 232 Arch Street, (215) 629-2337, chloebyob.com
  • City Tavern – Revolutionary renditions of 18th-century Colonial fine dining include George Washington’s original recipe for ale. Costumed servers add to the charm. 138 S. 2nd Street, (215) 413-1443, citytavern.com
  • The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar – Old City’s original martini bar, the Continental specializes in global tapas served in a lively, stylish setting. The kitchen stays open late on Fridays and Saturdays to satisfy the cravings of the neighborhood’s party people. 138 Market Street, (215) 923-6069, continentalmartinibar.com
  • Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar – Cuban and Latin cuisine and refreshing mojitos fit perfectly in this setting straight out of old Havana. Helmed by two-time James Beard Award-winner Guillermo Pernot, the kitchen offers the “15 Tastes of Cuba” tasting menu nightly and an a la carte or unlimited tapas brunch on weekends. 10 S. 2nd Street, (215) 627-0666, cubalibrerestaurant.com
  • DiNardo’s Famous Seafood – A Philadelphia seafood institution for nearly four decades, DiNardo’s gets crabs flown in daily from the Gulf Coast and serves them hot and dirty Baltimore-style or with garlic. They also prepare seafood specialties, steaks, pasta and chicken dishes. 312 Race Street, (215) 925-5115, dinardos.com
  • Drinker’s Tavern – Young partiers drink 40-ounce bottles and dance to basement DJs in a loud and always-lively scene. When hunger strikes, they chow down on inexpensive and classic pub grub, such as tacos, hot dogs and nachos. 124 Market Street, (215) 351-0141, drinkersoldcity.com
  • Farmicia – The staff serves tasty food and beverages created from local and organic products in a relaxed yet lively environment. Happy hours Tuesday through Friday and during weekend brunch make Farmacia an all-week destination. 15 S. 3rd Street, (215) 627-6274, farmiciarestaurant.com
  • Fork – This elegant American bistro, owned by chef Eli Kulp and Ellen Yin, jumpstarted the restaurant scene in Old City more than 15 years ago, and remains a highlight in the neighborhood and city. Seasonal ingredients make up the elevated yet accessible menu. 306 Market Street, (215) 625-9425, forkrestaurant.com
  • The Gaslight – This bar and restaurant from Top Chef alum Jason Cichonski features interesting takes on the classics (think lobster pasta). Cleverly named drinks and brunch keep the fun going all weekend. 120 Market Street, (215) 925-7691, thegaslightphilly.com
  • Han Dynasty – With accolades from CNN and Anthony Bourdain, this chic, contemporary Chinese restaurant puts a twist on the classics. Diners choose their spice level, numbered one through 10. 123 Chestnut Street, (215) 922-1888, handynasty.net
  • High Street on Market – Fork’s sister restaurant serves meals all day: Morning means egg sandwiches, sweet and savory pastries and Rival Bros. small-batch coffee; lunch brings sandwiches and market salads; dinner is a sophisticated but casual, complete with handmade, house-extruded pastas, family-style plates and a concise selection of wines and spirits. 308 Market Street, (215) 625-0988, highstreetonmarket.com
  • Independence Beer Garden – Nothing celebrates freedom quite like enjoying a cold one outside, and that’s why this beer garden is an American classic. Chef Michael Schulson’s seasonal 20,000-square-foot getaway boasts 40 taps and seven cans of craft beers, plus a seasonal menu. 100 S. Independence Mall West, (215) 922-7100, phlbeergarden.com
  • Irish Pōl – With 40 craft beers on tap, this bar has established itself as a must-visit spot for beer lovers, with digital screens displaying the beers on draft. The downstairs Barrel Room is devoted to bourbons and other spirits. 114 Market Street, (267) 761-9532, theirishpol.com
  • Keating’s Rope & Anchor, Bar + Kitchen, Grill – This Hilton Penn’s Landing restaurant features contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on sustainable seafood, locally sourced ingredients and handmade cocktails. Other reasons to go: waterfront views, live entertainment and an outdoor patio. 201 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard, (215) 521-6509, ropeandanchorkitchen.com
  • Khyber Pass Pub – Known for its bacon-grease popcorn and New Orleans-style brunch, the city’s oldest established existing pub offers an intimate experience in a friendly, no-frills setting. But don’t let the popcorn scare the non-meat eaters in the bunch: The menu also specializes in vegan and vegetarian dishes. 56 S. 2nd Street, (215) 238-5888, khyberpasspub.com
  • La Famiglia Ristorante – This well established, old world Italian restaurant boasts the same owners as Panorama, serves lunch and dinner and is known for its deep wine selection and romantic setting. 8 S. Front Street, (215) 922-2803, lafamiglia.com
  • La Peg – Diners at this brasserie, located inside the FringeArts building, enjoy contemporary American dishes from chef Peter Woolsey and waterfront views. The industrial-chic design pays homage to the building’s original purpose as a pumping station. 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 375-7744, lapegbrasserie.com
  • The Little Lion – Offering brunch, lunch and dinner, this restaurant—named for Alexander Hamilton, founder of the nearby First Bank—has revolutionary flair and classic southern cuisine, including fried green tomatoes, mac and cheese and bourbon-and-brown sugar iced tea. 243 Chestnut Street, (267) 273-0688, thelittlelionphilly.com
  • Lucha Cartel – A Mexican bar and restaurant by the same team behind National Mechanics, this vibrant venue serves Tex-Mex appetizers and entrees, as well as Latin-inspired beverage favorites such as mojitos and margaritas. Tuesday nights feature salsa. 207 Chestnut Street, (267) 761-9209, luchacartel.com
  • Mac’s Tavern – Rob and Kaitlin McElhenney of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are a few of the owners of this straightforward bar and restaurant, which serves a staggeringly large selection of draught and bottled international beer. On Saturdays and Sundays, patrons enjoy $5 Bloody Mary and mimosa pints until late in the day. 226 Market Street, (267) 324-5507, macstavern.com
  • Morgan’s Pier – Just below the Ben Franklin Bridge, leafy trees, a gourmet picnic menu and a beer garden unite at this seasonal dining destination. Earlier in the evening, people enjoy brews and food during sunset; later on, they listen to live music or DJs while taking in the waterfront view. New events for 2017 include Tuesday game nights, mini beer fests and “yappy hour” fundraisers for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA). 221 N. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 279-7134, morganspier.com
  • Moshulu – The breathtaking views keep diners coming back for twilight cocktails and delicious fare aboard the world’s oldest and largest square-rigged sailing vessel still afloat, berthed on Penn’s Landing. 401 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 923-2500, moshulu.com
  • National Mechanics – A former bank building houses this darkly stylish indie bar, where the crowd is hip and the craft beers flow. What’s more, the food is pretty impressive. Tip: Those are notable Philly personalities etched on the pint glasses. 22 S. 3rd Street, (215) 701-4883, nationalmechanics.com
  • The Olde Bar – When Jose Garces took over classic yet shuttered seafoodery Bookbinder’s, the celebrity chef deliciously resurrected a Philadelphia tradition. Today, the handsome saloon serves Fish House punch, raw and fried oysters, snapper soup and strawberry shortcake for two in booths and at the bar. 125 Walnut Street, (215) 253-3777, theoldebar.com
  • The Plough & the Stars – This friendly spot offers well-executed American fare (with some Irish classics like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips), a bustling bar that draws a young weekend crowd and live traditional Irish music on Sundays. If it’s nice out, patrons gravitate to the outdoor tables. 123 Chestnut Street, (215) 733-0300, ploughstars.com
  • Positano Coast – Diners transport to Italy’s Amalfi Coast at this restaurant and wine bar. Favorites of the Mediterranean menu include the sea urchin pasta, pan-seared branzino, house-made vegetable ravioli and grilled octopus. 212 Walnut Street, (215) 238-0499, positanocoast.net
  • Race Street Café – This low-key rustic bistro, warmed in the winter by a wood stove and cooled in the summer by the breeze blowing through open barn doors, features seasonal and local menu. 208 Race Street, (215) 627-6181, racestreetcafe.net
  • Radicchio Café – Wonderful rustic Italian cuisine and seafood make up the specialties at this first-come, first-served BYOB restaurant on the neighborhood’s edge. Open seven days a week for dinner, it’s the perfect place to check out on a Monday night, when many other restaurants are closed. 314 York Avenue, (215) 627-6850, radicchio-cafe.com
  • Red Owl Tavern – This tavern attached to the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia serves up handcrafted cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices, along with house-cured charcuterie and classic dishes with an international twist. On weekends, brunchers enjoy a self-serve Bellini bar from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 433 Chestnut Street, (215) 923-2267, redowltavern.com
  • Revolution Diner – Across from the new Museum of the American Revolution, this new, 24/7 diner partners with local vendors to provide fresh food. Menu items inlcude the Red Velvet Revolution Waffle and “Battle Soup” cups. 241 Chestnut Street, (215) 238-6900, revolutionphilly.com
  • Revolution House – Serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, this two-floor, indoor-outdoor spot offers prime rooftop views of the Christ Church steeple and Benjamin Franklin Bridge, along with a playful menu of internationally influenced comfort food and Neapolitan pizza. The bar pours eight rotating local beers, local spirit cocktails and boutique wines. 200 Market Street, (215) 625-4566, revolutionhouse.com
  • Panorama – One of the most romantic Italian restaurants in Philadelphia, this gem boasts a Guinness Book World Record for its largest cruvinet system of dispensing wines by the glass. Specialties include gnocchi con provola affumicata—that’s homemade potato and ricotta gnocchi with fresh basil and smoked mozzarella in a San Marzano tomato sauce. 14 N. Front Street, (215) 922-7800, panoramaristorante.com
  • Sassafras – Serving Philadelphians for more than 35 years, this Old City classic offers a small but eclectic menu, specializing in Prohibition-era cocktails, along with a serious selection of single-malt scotches, whiskeys and bourbons. Not to be missed: A live jazz trio performs most Sunday through Thursday nights. 48 S. 2nd Street, (215) 925-2317, sassafrasbar.com
  • Silence Dogood’s Tavern – Named after Benjamin Franklin’s circa 1722 penname, this cozy spot serves inexpensive flatbread pizzas, chicken wings, salads and beer. The operation belongs to the folks behind the Big Red Pedal Tours, a 15-seat, person-powered touring surrey. 216 Market Street, (215) 923-1400, silencedogoodstavern.com
  • Spasso – This Italian restaurant with a casual and inviting feel boasts an open kitchen that turns out seafood and meat dishes and homemade pasta. During warmer months, Spasso’s alfresco dining and happy hour is a must. 34 S. Front Street, (215) 592-7661, spassoitaliangrill.com
  • Stratus Lounge – On a rooftop 11 stories above the Historic District’s most historical treasures, party people dance to the sounds of DJ-spun music every Friday and Saturday night at this posh spot. Open year-round, Stratus serves light bites to complement the signature drink list. Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, 433 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-2889, stratuslounge.com
  • The Victoria Freehouse – A British experience with pub snacks, British cheeses, curries and Sunday roasts also includes a large assortment of wines and brews—and football (soccer) matches on the telly. 10 S. Front Street, (215) 543-6089, victoriafreehouse.com
  • Wedge + Fig – Cheese lovers revel in the global selections at this small bistro. Guests who bring their own beer or wine can tap into the pairing expertise of the staff. When the weather is nice, patrons love to sit outside in the courtyard. 160 N. 3rd Street, (267) 603-3090, wedgeandfig.com
  • Wister – Former Lacroix sous chef Benjamin Moore oversees this charming dinner and Sunday brunch BYOB named after 19th-century Philadelphia ironworker John Wister. As such, the seasonal, seafood-focused spot is adorned with exposed brick walls, dimly lit tables—and fine metal work. 26 N. 3rd Street, (267) 239-5900, wisterbyob.com
  • Xi’an Cuisine and Bar – This three-story spot is a bar, restaurant and karaoke lounge in one. Aspiring singers fill up on Chinese comfort cuisine and cocktails before venturing into private karaoke rooms on the third level. 120 Chestnut Street, (215) 627-1688, xiancuisine.com
  • Zahav – James Beard Award winner Michael Solomonov prepares cuisine from his native Israel in his adopted home of Philadelphia. In a restaurant whose design pays homage to the hidden courtyards of Jerusalem, diners choose from a selection of raved-about hummus options, share a few small plates or order from the $45 tasting menu. 237 St. James Place, (215) 625-8800, zahavrestaurant.com
  • Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine – Finesse and creativity are infused in this top-shelf sushi and sake bar. Must haves: the specialty Old City roll, shrimp tempura topped with eel and avocado. 132 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-9998, zentocontemporary.com

Juice, Tea, Coffee & Confections:

  • Café Ole – This busy local hangout is known for its friendly staff and great Mediterranean snacks, including shakshuka. It’s also pet-friendly and serves breakfast, lunch and pastries. 147 N. 3rd Street, (215) 627-2140
  • European Republic – Guests munch on European-style wraps and Belgian-style frites with
    20 different toppings while sipping on fresh-roasted coffee at this cozy cafe. 213 Chestnut Street, (215) 627-5500
  • The Franklin Fountain – This Victorian-inspired ice cream saloon tempts people of all ages with its handmade ice cream, banana splits, thick shakes, sundaes and flavored phosphates and fountain drinks—all served by soda jerks. During colder months, customers line up for hot chocolate, hot milkshakes and homemade pie. 116 Market Street, (215) 627-1899, franklinfountain.com
  • ICI Macarons & Café – The house specialty is French macaroons in endless flavors, but this contemporary café has developed a following for its house-baked croissants, irresistible pastries and local coffee. 230 Arch Street, (215) 608-8938
  • Inspired Brews – A lawyer and designer teamed up to serve up small batches of seasonal kombucha, an ancient, sweetened fermented tea known for its nutritional probiotics and B vitamins. 263 N. 3rd Street, inspiredbrews.com
  • Old City Coffee – Roasting small batches of 100% Arabica traditional cultivar coffee since 1985, this friendly spot on cobblestone Church Street also serves pastries and locally sourced organic yogurt. 221 Church Street, (215) 629-9292, oldcitycoffee.com
  • Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop – Retro treats in the form of hard-to-find candy whose popularity dates back to the 1970s and 80s are the stock-and-trade of this fun store. So are seemingly endless flavors of bottled soda pop. 302 Arch Street, (215) 650-3163, rocketfizz.com
  • Shane Confectionary – Owned and operated for 99 years by the Shane family, this candy maker and shop now belongs to the duo behind The Franklin Fountain, who’ve kept original recipes and employ local ingredients to create confections. 110 Market Street, (215) 922-1048, shanecandies.com
  • Stripp’d Juice – Local ownership and locally sourced, non-GMO ingredients combine for organic, fresh-pressed juices and acai bowls. There’s even a breakfast sandwich on the menu for solid food-lovers. 263 N. 3rd Street, (267) 550-STRP (7877), strippdjuice.com
  • Swiss Haus Bakery – This Philadelphia institution uses century-old European recipes to make its 30 cookie choices, custom cakes and handmade pastries. Guests can stop in to have coffee or order goodies to be shipped. 313 Market Street, (267) 457-3262, swisshausbakery.com
  • Tartes Fine Cakes and Pastries – Neighbors with sweet teeth know to head here for their daily supply of cookies, tarts, bars and other petite pastry. 212 Arch Street, (215) 625-2510

Spa, Fitness & Grooming:

  • Bloke’s Barbershop & Gentlemen’s Emporium – An old-school barber with high-end hair and face care for men, this newcomer plays vintage, vinyl rock and blues on a 1963 Seeburg jukebox. 151 N. 3rd Street, (267) 314-5557, blokesbarbershop.com
  • Gents Barber Lounge – Starting out as a shop strictly for men, this salon now offers women’s cuts and groom’s packages too. All customers are greeted with a drink when they sit down; students enjoy $5 off on Tuesdays. 45 N. 3rd Street, 2nd Floor, (267) 800-2873, gentsbarberlounge.com
  • Moko – Once a well-kept neighborhood secret, this organic beauty studio has made it into broadcast news and In Style magazine for their facials, makeup application, waxing, haircuts and styling. 55 N. 3rd Street, (215) 922-6656. mokobeauty.com
  • Terme Di Aroma – This holistic day spa and sanctuary is known for employing aromatherapy in its holistic yet luxurious skincare, massage and body treatments. Clients can also pop by for a 30-minute stress treatment or to build their own gift baskets with oils and candles. 32 N. 3rd Street, (215) 829-9769, termediaroma.com

Shops:

  • Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction – This rustically stylish cocktail shop belongs to the creators of Art in the Age Root, Snap, Rhubarb and Sage artisan liquors, who curate the selection of bar accessories, recipe books—and run regular tastings in conjunction with Philly’s New Liberty distillers. It’s also a retail spot for Warby Parker glasses. 116 N. 3rd Street, (215) 922-2600, artintheage.com
  • Bonejour Pet Supply – Pets lead their owners here for all-natural items, food consulting and top-notch independent brands that emphasis pet wellness. Clients can give their pooch a scrub at the DIY bathing station, book personal services and purchase ethical toys, treats and gifts. 53 N. 3rd Street, (215) 574-1225, bonejourpetsupply.com
  • The Book Trader – In business for 40 years, this indie bookstore lets readers swap their titles for store credit and peruse shelves for tomes of all genres and hard-to-find LPs. 7 N. 2nd Street, (215) 925-2080, phillybooktrader.com
  • Brave New Worlds – Comic lovers find collectibles and the latest illustrated novels, comics and Japanese manga, as well as action figures, games and toys. Weekly emails alert customers about new books, and staff is happy to hold titles for those who can’t get there right away. 55 N. 2nd Street, (215) 925-6525, bravenewworldscomics.com
  • Bucks County Dry Goods – With beloved locations outside of the city, the urban version of this country-store boutique appeals to fashionably vintage-minded shoppers via clothing, accessories, gifts and midcentury furnishings. 138 N. 3rd Street, (215) 515-3168, bcdrygoods.com
  • Charlie’s Jeans – This one-stop shop for designer denim exclusively carries Sebastian McCall jeans, made in the USA and known for their perfect fit. Store employees pride themselves on their ability to size up customers at first glance. 233 Market Street, (215) 923-9681, charliesjeans.net
  • The Conversion Shop – This rustic, nostalgic shop carries gifts, furnishings and home accessories that include the owner’s custom-made repurposed wooden tables, benches and shelving. Vintage dressers and trunks are for sale, as are accessories to top them. 38 S. 3rd Street, (215) 627-2777, cnvrsn.co
  • Doggie Style Pets – This haute pet emporium sells everything dogs need to be Fido-licious, including grooming services. Cat companions are also welcome, as well as owners of fish, birds, rabbits, reptiles and other small animals. 315 Market Street, (215) 923-4333, doggiestylepets.com
  • Erdon – Fashion is an art form in this gallery-like space. The lighting is bright in order to highlight the latest designer goods from MM6, Closed and Trippen. 162 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-0300, erdon.co
  • The Geisha House – Named the “Best Women’s Boutique for Brands You Don’t Know” by Philadelphia magazine, this spot does not disappoint. The dresses are trendy but wearable, and the jewelry is just funky enough. 149 N. 3rd Street, (267) 886-8110, hellogeisha.com
  • Lost + Found – Those who snag the indie men’s and women’s duds here get great looks at affordable prices. Accessories, jewelry and vintage pieces round out a successful shopping trip. 133 N. 3rd Street, (215) 928-1311
  • Margot & Camille Optique – Life looks brighter through the lens of this optical boutique. Customers rely on high-quality and a customized approach to keep their eyewear fresh and fashionable. 47 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-0508, margotcamille.com
  • Millesime – This modern design showroom features collections of modern and contemporary furniture, lighting and home accessories from American and international designers. The ever-evolving merchandise includes USM modular furniture, Herman Miller, Marset, Louis Poulsen, Ligne Roset and Foscarini. 33 N. 2nd Street, (267) 455-0374, millesime.us
  • Minima – This contemporary furniture, lighting and home accessories gallery balances form and function, meaning intelligent use of materials combines with inspired design to create modern furniture with longevity. 118 N. 3rd Street, (215) 922-2002, minima.us
  • Mode Moderne – Known for amazing midcentury furnishings at great prices, this 20th-century decor shop also offers brand-new classics by Herman Miller and Modernica. 159 N. 3rd Street, (215) 627-0299, modemoderne.com
  • Momo’s Tree House – This cute and quirky shop lives up to its “toys for curious kids” tagline by offering hard-to-find, specialty toys and games. Tiny customers can test out the plush animals, scooters, train sets, as well as weekly story time and music classes. 205 Arch Street, (267) 457-2803, momostreehouse.com
  • Never Too Spoiled – The place to go for the girl who already has everything, Never Too Spoiled carries clothes, jewelry, candles, accessories, housewares, books, stationery and even gifts for pets. 57 N. 3rd Street, (215) 928-0167, nevertoospoiled.com
  • PeoplePrints 3D – The city’s first 3D printing studio lets visitors hold their favorite memories in the palm of their hand. Couples, singles and pets are welcome, and the whole process takes just a matter of minutes. 20 S. 3rd Street, (267) 273-1157, peopleprints3d.com
  • Philadelphia Independents – This all-local boutique makes gift-giving a cinch. Only handmade items by Philadelphia artists are offered here: Think jewelry, handbags, housewares, prints and baby gifts. 35 N. 3rd Street, (267) 773-7316, philadelphiaindependents.com
  • Pinot Boutique – This “Best of Philly” winner offers great wine, tastings and classes, private parties and more. Locals stop here for the wide selection of wines from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, plus accessories galore. 227 Market Street, (215) 627-WINE, pinotboutique.com
  • Regan Design – Specializing in handmade jewelry, this small maker creates (and repairs) high-end accouterments, including engagement and wedding rings. 53 N. 2nd Street, (267) 239-5504
  • Scarlett Alley – Hosts and hostesses head here to guarantee their dinner parties are bedecked with elegant yet approachable tableware, candles and accessories. It’s also known for finding go-to gifts, complete with free gift-wrapping. 241 Race Street, (215) 592-7898, scarlettalley.com
  • Select Shop 215 – This shelter and gift haven has drawn a fan base for its clever selection of journals, apothecary products and Brooklyn-made jewelry. 41 S. 3rd Street, (215) 454-6910, selectshop215.com
  • Sioux Zanne Messix – This charming shop offers women’s clothing and accessories, in both new and vintage designs. 54 N. 3rd Street, (215) 928-9250
  • Smak Parlour – Take fun and flirty, and blend in a little hipster chic, and that’s the look of the original designs by fashion mavens Abby Kessler and Katie Lubieski. Their girly boutique is so popular, it spawned a roving Fashion Truck that traveled throughout the city and is currently spreading Smak love in Los Angeles. 219 Market Street, (215) 625-4551, smakparlour.com
  • Sugarcube – A spacious store and small, coveted labels (Asbury Park Denim, Rag & Bone, Bridge & Burn, Lavender Brown, Won Hundred, Krisa) make for a well-edited men’s and women’s boutique. 124 N. 3rd Street, (215) 238-0825, sugarcube.us
  • Tribal Home – The unique shop carries African art and home furnishings and accessories from around the world. Every First Friday, Tribal Home hosts an in-store, artist-led discussion. 56 N. 3rd St, (215) 592-4215, tribalhome.com
  • United By Blue – Part clothier, part coffee house, this flagship store features eco-friendly men’s and women’s fashion and accessories. For every product sold at the boutique, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through company-organized cleanups. 144 N. 2nd Street, (215) 278-7746, unitedbyblue.com
  • US*U.S. – This tiny boutique offers custom designs by Philadelphia-based designer Lele Tran, creator and sewer of dresses and accessories, including her patent-pending zipper scarf. 323 Arch Street, (215) 546-5975, ususcoop.com/lele-tran/
  • Vagabond – A generous smattering of indie labels, Philly-made hand knit collections and modern designs in the form of denim, cotton, linen casual togs to going-out wear fill the racks of this Old City style pioneer. 37 N. 3rd Street, (267) 671-0737, vagabondboutique.com

Galleries:

  • The Center for Art in Wood – This gallery shines a light on bold works in wood, with a permanent collection of more than 1,000 international objects, ranging from functional pieces to contemporary sculptures. 141 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-8000, centerforartinwood.org
  • The Clay Studio – Dedicated to active learning, this nonprofit studio and gallery offers ceramic classes for all ages and levels, outreach programs (including a kids’ summer clay camp), studio space and engaging contemporary ceramics exhibitions. It’s also a good spot for handmade gifts. 137-139 N. 2nd Street, (215) 925-3453, theclaystudio.org
  • Moderne Gallery – The works of George Nakashima and Wharton Esherick, internationally renowned for their 20th-century furniture, lighting and accessories and an extensive inventory of French and American Art Deco fill five floors of space. 111 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-8536, modernegallery.com
  • Muse Gallery – This artist-run gallery highlights visual arts in mixed media, from painting to photography to sculpture. Group and individual shows fill the calendar. 52 N. 2nd Street, (215) 627-5310, musegalleryphiladelphia.com
  • PII Gallery – The curator of PII (Philadelphia International Institute) rounds up works in all media by some of the most innovative and emerging international artists working in textile design, printmaking, painting, sculpture and photography. The gallery premieres a new exhibit on the first Friday of every month. 242 Race Street, (215) 592-1022, piigallery.com
  • Rodger LaPelle Galleries – Visitors to this spacious gallery enjoy contemporary work, including abstract drawings and realistic paintings. Entertaining owner Rodger LaPelle has been an art world fixture for decades. 122 N. 3rd Street, (215) 592-0232, rodgerlapellegalleries.com
  • Ruckus Gallery – This lifestyle exhibition space showcases the work of innovative local, national and international artists who create counter-cultural art and functional decor, fashion and accessories. The smoke and vape shop in the back has the largest selection in the city. 27 N. 2nd Street, (267) 457-5544, ruckusgallery.com
  • Stanek Gallery – Founded by two working artists with national and international acclaim, this gallery displays unique collections in an open space. Works range in subject matter, but all feature exquisite craftsmanship. 242 N. 3rd Street, (215) 908-3277, stanekgallery.com
  • Wexler Gallery – The accomplished team at Wexler believes in challenging the traditional labels that categorize art, allowing contemporary glass, studio furniture, ceramics and decorative arts to coexist happily here. 201 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-7030, wexlergallery.com

Performing Arts & Theaters:

  • Arden Theatre Company – Noted for both premieres and popular works, the Arden presents a main stage series for adults, as well as productions for children. The theater has received numerous awards, including nine “Best of Philly” awards from Philadelphia magazine. 40 N. 2nd Street, (215) 922-1122, ardentheatre.org
  • Christ Church Neighborhood House – This historic, welcoming building has been reborn as a community-minded performance space for local and international talent. 20 N. American Street, (215) 922-1695, neighborhood-house.com
  • FringeArts – A 232-seat theater with retractable seating presents contemporary performance, experimental concerts and other events throughout the year. The onsite restaurant, La Peg, makes for a great dinner-and-a-show. 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 413-1318, fringearts.com
  • Painted Bride Art Center – Connoisseurs of all art forms regard “the Bride” as an important center for innovative, edgy and experimental music, art, dance, poetry and other performing arts, where a Community Table features locally curated events with a range of topics. 230 Vine Street, (215) 925-9914, paintedbride.org
  • Penn’s Landing Playhouse – This 500-seat theater offers audiences another great option for enjoying approachable, often hilarious, musicals and comedies. The playhouse is located inside the Independence Seaport Museum. 211 S. Columbus Boulevard, (855) 448-7469, plplayhouse.com
  • Ritz Theaters – Fans of indie and international films pack the Ritz’s three Old City locations for eclectic flicks with frequent discounts for seniors and students. Ritz East, 125 S. 2nd Street, (215) 925-4535; Ritz Five, 214 Walnut Street, (215) 440-1184; Ritz at the Bourse, 400 Ranstead Street, (215) 440-1181, landmarktheatres.com

Historic Attractions & Museums:

  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia – Visitors take a fresh, bold look at the stories of African-Americans through technology, photographs, videos and artifacts on display in the permanent Audacious Freedom exhibition. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380, aampmuseum.org
  • American Philosophical Society – It’s all about science, art and history, so it’s no surprise this esteemed organization was another of Ben Franklin’s ideas. Inside: Lewis and Clark’s expedition notes, Jefferson’s handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence and hundreds of other treasures. 104 S. 5th Street, (215) 440-3400, amphilsoc.org
  • Benjamin Franklin Museum – Tucked below Franklin Court, a revamped museum features artifacts and interactive exhibits that chronicle the inventor’s life as a citizen and statesman. Before entering the museum, guests explore the Ghost House in the courtyard. Market or Chestnut Streets between 3rd & 4th Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
  • Betsy Ross House – America’s most famous flag maker greets guests in her interactive 18th-century upholstery shop. Visitors learn about Ross’ life and legend from the lady herself. Summer brings a weeklong, annual Stripes and Stars Flag Fest celebration with free events everyday, including a free, 10 a.m. flag-raising event with Ross and a friend. 239 Arch Street, (215) 629-5801, historicphiladelphia.org
  • Carpenters’ Hall – The site of the First Continental Congress was also the place for spying, upheaval and revolution. At Carpenters’ Hall, feisty American colonists fanned the flames of independence. 320 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-167, carpentershall.org
  • Chemical Heritage Foundation – At this library, museum and center for scholars, visitors journey through the weird and wonderful world of matter and materials that changed the world. Its collections include rare books, fine art, artifacts and instruments related to science and technology. 315 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-2222, chemheritage.org
  • Declaration House – This house, tiny by 21st-century standards, once held such big ideas. The home of Jacob Graff hosted Thomas Jefferson as he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Hours are limited; information on tour times is available at the Independence Visitor Center. 7th & Market Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
  • Elfreth’s Alley – America’s oldest, and possibly most charming, continuously inhabited street is perfect for tiptoeing along the cobblestones and exploring its quaint museum. Weekend tours available Friday through Sunday from 12-5 p.m. every half hour. June’s annual Fete Day celebration offers a rare glimpse inside the 18th-century private homes. 124-126 Elfreth’s Alley, (215) 574-0560, elfrethsalley.org
  • Fireman’s Hall Museum – A circa 1902 fire station-turned-museum offers lessons in the history of firefighting via old trucks, ladders, helmets, photographs and a tribute to September 11, 2001. Kids here can try on firefighter coats and boots, play with puzzles and learn how to make emergency calls. 147 N. 2nd Street, (215) 923-1438, firemanshallmuseum.org
  • Independence Hall – This striking brick structure proudly pays homage to where it all began—where 13 upstart colonies declared independence and where representatives from a young nation framed its laws. Check out the original copy of the U.S. Constitution in the adjacent West Wing. 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
  • Independence National Historical Park (INHP) – The Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, New Hall Military Museum, Bishop White House and Declaration House are just some of the sites that make up INHP. In the summer months, the park offers ranger-led walking tours. (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
  • Independence Visitor Center – This all-in-one center serves as a clearinghouse of information and a box office for free timed tickets to Independence Hall. It’s also the spot to ask real, live experts for Philly tips. 6th & Market Streets, (800) 537-7676, phlvisitorcenter.com
  • Liberty Bell – It doesn’t make a sound, but its message rings loud and clear: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” This inscription on the cracked but mighty bell is one reason it became a symbol to abolitionists, suffragists and other freedom-seekers around the world. 6th & Market Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
  • Museum of the American Revolution – Philadelphia’s newest museum opened its doors on the the 242nd anniversary of the “shot heard round the world.” Visitors learn stories of well-known and everyday people who experienced the tumult through galleries, engaging films and a collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, diaries and works of art. 101 S. 3rd Street, (215) 253-6731, amrevmuseum.org
  • National Constitution Center – Dedicated to the four most powerful pages in America’s history, the National Constitution Center is wholly devoted to honoring and exploring the U.S. Constitution. Museumgoers view exhibits and artifacts, take in the 360-degree live theatrical production Freedom Rising and walk among 42 life-size bronze statues of the Founding Fathers. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
  • National Liberty Museum – Geared towards young adults, this museum aims to teach about the diversity of Americans and respect for all people through interactive exhibits, stories of heroes and works of art—and is especially known for its art glass collection. 321 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-2800, libertymuseum.org
  • National Museum of American Jewish History – Overlooking Independence Mall, this modern museum delves into the story and impact of Jewish people in the U.S., from early settlers to history-makers such as Albert Einstein, industry giants such as Esteé Lauder and entertainers such as Jerry Seinfeld. Four floors of artifacts, memorabilia and artwork weave important and artful true stories. 101 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 923-3811, nmajh.org
  • Philadelphia History Museum – At the esteemed venue formerly known as the Atwater Kent, visitors stroll on the world’s largest walkable Philadelphia map, then check out exhibits that show how Philly got to be, well, Philly. 15 S. 7th Street, (215) 685-4830, philadelphiahistory.org
  • Second Bank of the United States – This beautiful columned structure paints a picture of America’s roots, with walls lined with more than 150 portraits of the nation’s earliest movers and shakers. (Just steps away, the First Bank, although closed to the public, also boasts a photo-worthy exterior.) 420 Chestnut Street (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
  • The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation – At this powerful site, visitors see structural fragments of the home where Presidents Washington and Adams lived during their terms and where the first president kept nine enslaved Africans. The open-air space invites people to learn about the events that transpired through illustrated glass panels and video re-enactments, and then partake in silent reflection. 6th & Market Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde

Historic Churches & Sacred Spaces:

  • Arch Street Friends Meeting House – Founded by Quaker William Penn, this simple, welcoming place of worship and reflection invites visitors, attendees and members to tour and learn about the “Society of Friends,” a still-thriving Christian group that holds monthly meetings here. 320 Arch Street, (215) 413-1804, archstreetmeetinghouse.org
  • Christ Church – Betsy Ross, William Penn and George Washington were among the early Americans who sat in the pews of Old City’s circa 1695 Episcopal church, its tall white steeple visible from across the Delaware River. The church is available for tours daily, except when in use for Wednesday and Sunday worship. 20 N. American Street, (215) 922-1695, christchurchphila.org
  • Historic St. George’s United Methodist Church – A historic landmark in American Methodist history, this house of worship has had an active congregation since 1769. Sunday services blend Protestant traditions with contemporary music and prayer. 235 N. 4th Street, (215) 925-7788, historicstgeorges.org
  • St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church – The official National Shrine of Santo Nino of Cebu for the Filipino American community, this 220-year-old traditional Augustinian parish welcomes worshipers of all faiths and backgrounds—and made an appearance in the film The Sixth Sense. 241 N. Lawrence Street, (215) 627-1838, st-augustinechurch.com
  • Christ Church Burial Ground – The historic cemetery a few blocks from Christ Church is the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin, four more signers of the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Thomas Bond and 4,000 more notable Philadelphians. This sacred spot is open—weather permitting—November through March, but many throw pennies on Franklin’s grave through the fence for good luck any time of the year. 5th & Arch Streets, (215) 922-1695, christchurchphila.org
  • Mikveh Israel Synagogue – This full-service synagogue dates back to 1740 and still offers traditional weekly and holiday services. Catered, full-course meals follow Shabbat services (reservations required). 44 N. 4th Street, (215) 922-5446, mikvehisrael.org
  • Old First Reformed United Church of Christ – Built in 1837, this church represents the country’s third oldest religious congregation, established in 1727 and once the center of Philadelphia’s German community. The church’s credo is “Love First” and welcomes newcomers. 151 N. 4th Street, (215) 922-4566, oldfirstucc.org

Green Space:

  • Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest and Summerfest – In winter, this riverside pop-up village features an open-air Olympic-size ice skating rink, cozy lodge with fireplaces, festive landscaping, twinkling lights, fire pits, arcade games and a variety of food and beverages. Come summer, the space transforms into a day-to-night hangout with Center City’s only roller rink, classic Philadelphia foods, and plenty of playful spaces to chill out. 101 S. Columbus Boulevard (Columbus Boulevard & Chestnut Street), (215) 922-2222, delawareriverwaterfront.com
  • Franklin Square – One of William Penn’s original five squares transformed a decade ago into a fun family park featuring an 18-hole, Philly-themed miniature golf course, restored marble fountain, large playground and old-fashioned carousel starring some famous Philly animals. When hunger strikes, seasonal SquareBurger delivers with burgers, fries and Cake Shakes. 6th and Race Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
  • Penn’s Landing – Along the Delaware River, where founder William Penn first arrived in Philadelphia, this reclaimed space always has something fun going on. Think festivals, concerts, free movies, beer gardens, yoga, roller-skating and ice-skating. Columbus Boulevard between Chestnut & Spruce Streets, (215) 922-2386, delawareriverwaterfront.com
  • Race Street Pier – In the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, this finger pier juts into the Delaware River. The landscaped park provides two levels for recreation: The upper promenade is paved with a sustainable, synthetic decking material fashioned from reclaimed plastic. At street level, wood connects to the grassy lower terrace via a multi-tiered seating area that’s perfect for picnicking and water-watching. The pier hosts free outdoor yoga from April to November. Columbus Boulevard at Race Street, (215) 922-2FUN, racestreetpier.com
  • Signers Garden – Across 5th Street from Independence Hall, this popular, petite corner meeting place for tours features lush garden, shaded benches and a triumphant statue of George Clymer, a statesman who signed both the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. 500 Chestnut Street, (800) 537-7676, phlvisitorcenter.com
  • Spruce Street Harbor Park – Recognized by national press as one of the best places to visit in Philly spring through fall, this popular park features tree-slung hammocks, magical lights, oversize games, floating gardens, amazing food from popular Philly restaurants and refreshing drinks. Columbus Boulevard & Spruce Street, (215) 922-2FUN, sprucestreetharborpark.com

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
 

Contact(s):
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