A walk through Old City is what a person really needs to get the feel of the history and wonder of Philly. It is amazing to get off a subway 20 minutes after leaving the house and step into one of the most famous pieces of our country. Old City is a must-see for anyone living in or visiting Philadelphia.
As with any area of Philadelphia, you will come across signs such as the one above, explaining what part of history you are walking through. One of our favorite people here is Ben Franklin, so it is fitting to include this sign in this post.
My first stop on my hot summer morning in the eastern-most part of Philadelphia was breakfast, and I came across a diner which was basically a hop, skip, and a jump away from the 2nd street stop on the Market-Frankfort line. Although the time of the music did not exactly align with the time of the earliest history of Philadelphia, it was a treat to sit amongst music from the 50’s and eat, drink, and read in this historic place.
From here (I am not sure were ‘here’ is: to be honest, I cannot find the name of the diner anywhere online and I am kicking myself for not taking a photo of the sign out front! But I am confident that anyone coming to Old City for any of their meals will find a more-than-decent spot to stop for food, so it is not too concerning.) I walked to Christ Church. Although I had been here a bunch of times before, it was my first time perusing the gardens. What a serene place. The gardens are beautiful and impeccably kept, and there are benches throughout. (Actually, there are benches all over Old City, which was something that a lone traveler with a good book in her purse truly appreciated. Being able to stop, sit, and just BE is a gift that cities with benches are more apt to give.)
From here, I began to just walk. I was fortunate to catch a beautiful day with a breeze and a reasonable temperature. Summers in Philadelphia can be brutal, but fortunately there are coffee shops and museums to take the edge off of the heat.
On my somewhat aimless walk, I decided to go to Franklin Square, however common this place can be. It’s a beautiful square amongst busy-ness of highways and noise, but so fun. There is a miniature golf course that I’ve frequented a couple of times with family, a carousel, a fountain, and walking paths. (Not to mention a public restroom that allows visitors to avoid the dreaded porte-potty.) Quiet on a weekday, this ended up a great spot to ‘stop and smell the roses.’ (Daisies?)From here I stopped at what is probably my favorite book store in Philadelphia, The Book Trader (7 N 2nd Street). This is not a space to go if you are holding anything large and bulky because much to the book lover’s approval, there are rows upon rows of shelves stocked with interesting reads in addition to mounds of boxes and fountains of books everywhere. There is just enough order to be able to find what you’re looking for and just enough chaos to keep perusing interesting. It’s lovely and fun, and I highly recommend it if you’re ever in Old City.
Old City is a certainly a perfect place to visit whether you’re a tourist wishing to see the typical Philadelphia sights, or a local just enjoying a beautiful day out in their city. This post reveals only a minuscule fraction of the wealth of history and value that our city holds. Old City is where you can visit Independence Hall, the Constitution Center, the Portrait Gallery, and of course the Liberty Bell (among a ton of other important and endearing sights). Just go.