Why you need to get to Philly

Carly Williams

Aussies love the ol’ LA – Vegas – NYC itinerary when hitting the US but if you’re looking for something a little less generic, throw Philadelphia into the mix.

And with the Philly Eagles having just won the Super Bowl, what better time to start planning a trip to the City of Brotherly Love.

The quintessential Philly street of Elfreth's Alley. Photo: Getty

You can imagine the faces on my Aussie/New Yorker mates when I told them I’d planned the Labour Day long weekend in *GASP* Philadelphia. Why not a beach house in the Hamptons? Or the Hudson wine region?

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No, no I was determined to prove Philly wasn’t all urban grit and cream cheese.

The epic view of City Hall from South Broad Street. Photo: Discover Philadelphia

Here’s why you should consider the streets of Philadelphia for your next trip (just think of it as the sixth borough of New York!)


  • Food scene

High Street on Market
Start your day with breakie at High Street on Market in the Old City. This joint puts Melbourne brunch spots to shame - grab The Hickory breakfast sandwich for a thick layering of lancaster bologna, farm egg, gherkin mayo, fried red onions and horseradish cheddar hand made by the Amish people of Pennsylvania. Yes, Amish people are still a thing.

The pastrami sandwich at High Street on Market. Photo: Instagram
A busy day in the open kitchen at High Street on Market. Photo: Instagram
We tried the Hickory Sanga with pour-it-yourself gherkin mayo. Photo: Carly Williams Yahoo7 Be

Philly Cheese Steak
For those who don’t know about possibly the best sanga ever invented: the Philly Cheese Steak is a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéd ribeye beef, fried capsicum, mushrooms and melted cheese. The best are from Jim's Steaks on South Street, Old City.

A classic Philly Cheesesteak. Photo: Instagram
Pat Olivieri invented the cheesesteak in the 1930s. Photo: Instagram

Reading Terminal Market
The museums can wait – this is one of the most adored food halls in the United States. Go on an ice cream tasting binge at the country’s old ice creamery Bassetts or lose your mind pairing the epic cheese selection with your favourite deli meat. There’s more than 30 restaurants to chose from at Reading Terminal Market and you can BYO booze to a selection.

Bars, flower market, cafes, patisseries and bakeries - you'll find everything at Reading Terminal Market. Photo: Discover Philly
Mmmmm American Pie. Photo: Discover Philly

Davio’s
A Philly institution and home of the Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls (OMG!) Davio's impresses with it’s all American dining experience – a menu of comfort food to overwhelm even the biggest of eaters. Everything is laced with truffle butter, lobster and cheese – in the best way possible.

The prime natural aged bone-in ribeye at Davio's can be cut with a butter knife! Photo: Carly Williams Yahoo7 Be
Davio's gnocchi with truffle oil. Photo: Instagram


  • History

Independence National Historical Park
Ahhh the birth place of the United States. Philly was the nation’s capital from 1790-1800 and you can get your George Washington and Alexander Hamilton fix at the National Historical Independence Park This is where the country’s first big wig politicians flexed their self-governing muscle to break away from Britain with the Declaration of Independence which kicked off the Revolutionary War.

Independence Hall - the birth place of the US. Photo: Discover Philly Instagram

Eastern State Penitentiary
The audio guide is hosted by Steve Buscemi – need we say more?! The actor talks you through an eerie 40-minute tour explaining the gory beginnings of America's oldest jail and its obsession with solitary confinement.

Fun fact: Al Capone was locked up here in the 1930s and had his tonsils out in the medical wing. The recordings of real interviews and seeing where tortured prisoners lived and died from 1829-1971 makes you feel sick in the middle but curious for more.

America's oldest jail. Photo: Estern State Instagram
Group of guards in front of the Bertillon Office, c. 1940. Photo: Eastern State Instagram
Eastern State's gothic arched architecture is world famous. Photo: Carly Williams Yahoo7 Be
Take the audio guide with Steve Buscemi. Photo: Instagram
The prison finally closed its doors in 1971. Photo: Instagram
Eastern State Penitentiary always maintained a greenhouse on site to teach prisoners skills. Photo: Carly Williams Yahoo7 Be

Segway Tour
Laugh all you want but cruising around on a Segway is the best way to see beautiful Philly. Jump on the one-hour tour by Philly Tour Hub and you’ll knock out all the must do sights like Penn's Landing, Delaware River, South Street, South Philly, Italian Market, Magic Gardens, Society Hill, and Elfreth's Alley. Listen carefully to your helpful guide and you won’t stack it we promise!

A classic view from your segway tour. Photo: Carly Williams Yahoo7 Be
You'll visit the oldest street in America. Photo: Carly Williams Yahoo7 Be
The Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Photo: Carly Williams Yahoo7 Be


  • The Fun stuff

Here's your check list of the other quintessential sights to see on your Philly trip:

Philly has earned itself a rep for being an important city for music – Jay Z even brought his darling music festival Made in America over to Philly from the West Coast.

Be watched Rihanna perform on Day One of Made in America Festival in 2016. Photo: Getty

Visit The Barnes Foundation - a ‭ ‬hidden ‭ ‬treasure ‭ ‬of ‭ ‬art, ‭ ‬and ‭ ‬revered ‭ ‬for ‭ ‬its ‭ ‬extensive ‭ ‬and ‭ ‬impressive collections ‭ ‬of ‭ ‬world-renowned Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Modern Art collections.

Pose with the Rocky Statue & run up the "Rocky Steps."

The very Intsagrammable Rocky Statue. Photo: Instagram

Snap a photo in front of the Liberty Bell.

Liberty Bell. Photo: Discover Philadelphia

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