Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in Just 24 Hours
Philadelphia is the home to history, detailed architecture, and a plethora of things to see and do. A day in Philadelphia is not nearly enough time to explore the whole city. What if you only had 24 hours? Here is what we did in a little under 24 hours in Philadelphia.
We traveled into Philadelphia from the D.C. area via I-95 North. When approaching the Philadelphia airport, if coming in northbound of 95, keep watch for planes flying low over the interstate. It makes for a fun view for the kids. Shortly after passing the airport, you will be able to see all the stadiums to your left. All along the right side of I-95, train cars, tractor trailers, ships are in view for all to see. The City greets its visitors with beautiful bridges and detailed architecture.
Be sure to have cash for the tolls. The tolls do NOT accept any type of cards. The tolls can be pricy with one of them alone being $8.
We checked into the Historic Wyhndam which is a fantastic location for visiting the historical section of Philadelphia. Aside from the location, the cleanliness of the rooms and the rooftop pool makes for a unique experience. Once we got all checked in and snuck a peek at the rooftop pool, we headed out for a sweet treat. The hotel receptionist recommended we walk to the Franklin Fountain.
The walk provided us with a glimpse of city life. Live musicians were set up, serenading the tourists as we walked the clean sidewalks. We have been to many cities. By far, (at least this area of Philadelphia) was exceptionally clean. We passed by Ben Franklin’s Printing Press and snapped a few pictures on the way to get some ice cream.
The Franklin Fountain had a line out the door. No need to be concerned, the line moves quickly and it is so worth the little wait that we did have! Inside the Franklin Fountain, employees are dressed in the era that Ben Franklin lived. The soda fountain was made of an old lamp creating an antique feel. That was just one of the many antiques in the store. The phones were even old-timey phones.
The next morning it was time to hit the streets for a step back in time to visit some of the many historical sites in the city. After a quick stop at the visitor center to pick up our free tickets, it was off to Independence Hall. After a few quick photos outside, it was on to our guided tour of Independence Hall. As we learned the history, a real sense of overwhelming appreciation settled in as we stood in the very room where our great country was founded. My husband, being the history guy he is, was totally on cloud nine!
Once we finished our tour, we went across the street to see the Liberty Bell. Like most people, we had seen photos, but being able to see it in person was truly inspiring. The hall that it is in, was also beautifully done and provided a very thorough history of the bell.
Ben Franklin Museum
We then walked a few short blocks to the Benjamin Franklin Museum. There we were able to view some of the remaining foundations of his home. Once inside we were immersed in all the details with its many aspects of Franklin’s life.
From rebellious teen to an inventor, printer to statesmen, there was a tremendous amount of content as well as several interactive exhibits as well.
Within sight down Market Street was Sonny’s! Having two growing boys (ok 3 including my husband) the legendary Philly Steak and Cheese Sandwich had been a hot topic before we even arrived in the city. While there are many places that serve the legend, and a few of those widely known, several locals had told us Sonny’s was the place to go!
We stepped into a somewhat small restaurant with a line to wait, but once we received our food, it was sooooo worth the wait! It was everything my boys had hoped. I will put it this way this was one meal with NO leftovers!
After lunch, we made a quick stop into Christ Church. This historic church was visited by several of our founding fathers including Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington and John Adams while they were serving as President of the United States. The history of the building and the beauty of the architect made it a stop we were very glad we made!
We then made our way to Elfreth’s Alley. This was one of my favorite spots we visited. This cobblestone street was not in the original plans of Philadelphia but in 1706 this alley was named after silversmith Jeremiah Elfreth. This would become a residential area and today stands as America’s oldest residential street. I loved looking at the homes as they stood side by side. It was really a quaint but beautiful area.
Christ Church Cemetary
Our final stop on our walking tour was the Christ Church Cemetary. It was several blocks from the church but wow, what history it held. Many prominent members of the city of Philadelphia, as well as leaders of various armed forces, are laid to rest there. Probably the most famous is that of Benjamin Franklin himself!
Philadelphia Art Institute… STEPS
Before we left the city, there was one more stop we had to make. No visit to is complete without a visit to the Philadelphia Art Museum. To be completely honest, we didn’t even go inside but it was the things on the outside that had drawn our attention. While the art museum by name may not ring a bell, many would recognize the name, Rocky Balboa! It was the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum that became known as the Rocky Steps.
Our boys loved taking a quick run up, while it served as a good reminder to my husband he is not as young as he used to be (HA!) Then, of course, we had to get a quick pick with the Rocky statue.
Whether a quick day trip or a longer vacation, Philadelphia has so many things to offer. It is a place our family was so glad we made the decision to visit and yet left us filled with anticipation of a new adventure and more things to see on our next visit!