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Discover Philadelphia - from our students' perspective


discover program

by our own Jess Hoag, Abbey Road Student Correspondent

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is known as the place where independence was decided and where cheesesteaks and soft pretzels are the sole foods eaten. But, as a person who lives just outside of the city and has come to ignore the touristy sites, the rare days spent as a tourist can be as fun as always.

1. The Please Touch Museum – Kids and families can always be found in Philadelphia, and there are many things kids can do. One great idea is to visit this museum that features water features and mazes a la Alice in Wonderland where kids are able to go play and explore the scenes. This gives parents a nice break from dealing with kids bored in the city. The possibilities are endless in the museum that has been a fan favorite for so many years.

2. The Duck Tour – As the cheesiest way to see the city, it is also filled with laughs. The driver keeps the crowd talking with terrible jokes and puns about the city’s history while driving past Betsy Ross’ house and South Street. However, the best part of this tour is definitely the trip into the Delaware River. The rush of going from car to boat in a matter of seconds attracts both kids and adults to this fun way of seeing the city. Much better than walking everywhere, in most people’s opinions.

3. Old City – If you are coming as a group of adults or a family with older children, the tours and museums can seem a little boring. So, the best way to get a feel for the city would be to walk around the oldest part of Philadelphia. Old City is filled with beautiful architecture and sites one would not normally see if they stuck to the normal route of a tourist. The history that is found in the rows of brick town homes or cute little restaurants and the lesser-known historical buildings can make the walk definitely worth the possible foot pains. This visit would purely be for the beauty aspect instead of the learning aspect.

4. South Street – This one is definitely for the older crowd. There are no historical buildings in sight but the amount of boutiques and restaurants are pleasing to any crowd that stops by. The different places that you can find on South Street range from a concert at the Theater of Living Arts to the thrift shop on the corner. A little known fact by a Philadelphia native, one little store is worth the trip to South Street solely for the building. The items available for purchase are unique and beautiful from Mexican culture but when you get to the second floor, the store becomes beautiful in a completely different way. Pink glass adorns the walls and skylights light up the room. When it is a nice day out, the room lights up. This store shows no uniqueness from the outside but the inside tells a totally different story. Taking a trip to South Street can uncover these hidden gems a tourist would not normally find. And while on the way, make sure to stop by the Philadelphia Magic Gardens!

5. Geno’s vs. Pats – The debate known nationwide, the place with the best cheesesteaks. This one is for the tourists that consider themselves foodies. The two main restaurants that are in this debate are just across the street from each other and the rivalry is well known. Philadelphians each have their favorites and they do not stray. Closer to the Italian market part of the city, the two cheesesteak stops are surrounded by other delicious restaurants but if you are just stopping by the city, this is the one thing you should experience.

When you make a stop in the City of Love, make sure to check out these lesser known places that true Philadelphians love and will attest to. But no matter what, this city is definitely worth the trip.

Written by Jess Hoag

Abbey Road Student Correspondent

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