Earlier this week, after 18 days of rowdiness, revelry and more beer than you can shake a stick at, the original Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany came to a close. But most of us can’t make it over to Bavaria to celebrate. Philadelphia‘s Brauhaus Schmitz has come up with the next best thing: an Oktoberfest celebration to entice partiers from around the region. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at Brauhaus Schmitz Oktoberfest, which runs Friday, October 6th through Sunday, October 8th, 2017.
As Philadelphia‘s Benjamin Franklin Parkway kicks off its 100th anniversary, the city is spending the next year celebrating. And right now Fireflies are pedaling up and down the boulevard that is home to so many fantastic museums: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rodin Museum, Barnes Museum, Franklin Institute and more. That’s right — pedaling. Each Firefly is a pedicab covered in cheery Chinese-style lanterns. It’s all part of an art installation by artist Cai Guo-Qiang. And until October 8th, visitors can get involved by taking a free Fireflies ride!
You might have heard that Philadelphia played a rather key role in the founding of the country. In the city’s Old City neighborhood you can see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Constitution Hall. Many of the most important and interesting historic attractions are free and allow you up-close access. You can easily get it all in within a single day. So strap on your walking shoes and let’s get going. Here’s my guide to a day in Philadelphia for history buffs!
If you are a fan of the arts then the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection has a whole lot in store for you! Philadelphia has been the home and inspiration for countless artists such as Thomas Eakins, Alexander Calder (both Milne and Stirling), and Robert Crumb. The galleries and collections in the city are also incredibly impressive. This is both in terms of quantity and quality. It doesn’t matter if you prefer modern art, impressionism, or street art, the city has something for you.
If you only have a single day to see and experience the city and you love art, here are my recommendations for how to spend a day in Philadelphia!
It would be understandable to think that the go-to place for Japanese food or groceries in Philadelphia was in the city’s Chinatown. The neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures. But, consider that New York City’s go-to Japanese marketplace is Mitsuwa Marketplace located across the Hudson River in Edgewater, New Jersey. It turns out that Philly’s Japanese hot spot is in Ardmore at Maido, a marketplace and a restaurant.
Philadelphia‘s Elfreth’s Alley is considered to be the oldest residential street in the United States. The street has been inhabited since 1702. But you could be forgiven for easily walking right past this charming and historic stretch. I know I’ve driven by it for years and not even realized what I was missing!
Breakfast, so they say, is the most important meal of the day. This is especially true when you’re going to spend the day exploring Philadelphia‘s historic sites or, say, visiting the new Museum of the American Revolution. Really, it’s important even if you simply want to have a relaxing morning. And starting this week, Philly’s Old City neighborhood has a new option for a morning meal at The Little Lion.
To say that Philadelphia played an important role in Colonial America can’t be overstated. The city is home to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Valley Forge and the Brandywine sit just a stone’s throw away. Yet somehow, the City of Brotherly Love didn’t have a single museum dedicated to the movement that founded the United States of America. Until now! I recently got a chance to get a sneak peek at the brand new Museum of the American Revolution, which opens on Wednesday, April 19th.
Tulips and daffodils are sure signs of spring. But so far cherry blossoms! What started as a Japanese tradition of picnicking under the blossoming cherry trees has been adopted internationally as a rite of passage each spring. Cities around the world are now celebrating spring by hosting celebrations under the cherry blossoms. Philadelphia is no different. Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia hosts a week long celebration in honor of those pretty flowering trees. The final event of the cherry blossom week is Sakura Sunday in Fairmount Park. And this year’s Sakura Sunday was bigger and better than ever!
Quick. Think of Philadelphia. What’s the first museum that comes to mind? Probably the Philadelphia Museum of Art? Maybe the Franklin Institute? For out of town visitors looking to get the most of the city, there are lots of things to see that might ordinarily be easy to overlook. For locals, there are places that you might have heard about but never made time to go visit. Regardless of the reason, there are plenty of museums to inspire, entertain and pique your curiosity. But now is the time and go visit! Here are 5 Philadelphia museums off the beaten path that you shouldn’t miss!