How to See Philadelphia as a Business Traveler – Hipmunk City Love
A couple of years ago, I had a brief business trip to Philadelphia. Like most of my trips, I’m only ever in town for a night or two. On this occasion, I was in town for only one night. My day and evening were both packed with client meetings and dinners, leaving me with little time to explore a city that has long been on my bucket list. Thus, I set out in the early morning to catch a quick glimpse of all the sights before converting from blogger to businessperson.
I realize guide isn’t the best method of seeing Philadelphia. It’s a walk that will take you about an hour. It doesn’t account for anything beyond downtown, nor does it even allow time to step inside museums. Then again, if you’re following this tour in the early morning like I did, nothing is open anyway. The trick is to allow your imagination to do most of the work and transport yourself back to revolutionary times. Moreover, this guide works best if you book a downtown Philadelphia hotel only.
Rise and Shine for the Birthplace of Our Country!
I set my alarm for 6 a.m. Since I am not an early riser, I made sure everything was laid out for me when I rolled out of bed. My casual clothes and comfortable shoes were placed neatly on top of my suitcase, and the coffee pot was filled with water and one of those single use packets. When morning rolled around, I systematically got dressed and headed out the door with a warm cup of coffee in hand. You don’t need a guidebook, as most sites are marked with informative plaques, and your hotel will give you a free map of downtown.
My first stop was The First Bank of the United States. Then, I walked down Chestnut Street to Independence Hall, the birthplace of America, and Congress Hall, the first United States Capitol. It was well before operating hours and all I could do was read some information placards. Next, I walked over to the Liberty Bell Center. While it was closed, I could still catch a glimpse of the Liberty Bell through the front windows.
My walk wrapped up at the site I was most looking forward to seeing — the first president’s house. This was probably the most interesting stop on my self-guided tour. It is currently a work in progress, and you can see men at work excavating the framework of the foundation to give an idea of what the house used to look like. The site stood as a skeleton of what it once was. There were plenty of museum quality placards to tell the story of the house and the Founding Fathers who lived there.
An alternative option if you have a small window of time is a Duck Tour. You’ll hit all the sites mentioned above, and then some, in just a little over an hour.
Good Eats in Downtown Philadelphia
Downtown Philadelphia is also home to some amazing restaurants. Two I recommend are Amada, a Spanish tapas restaurant owned by Iron Chef Jose Garces, and Monk’s Café for amazing Belgium food and beer.
Even if your time is limited, a walk through the downtown will still yield some interesting sites and opportunities for you to take photographs.
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This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series