3 Hours in Philadelphia

Ah, the city of Brotherly love…
I can honestly say that Philadelphia is quite a friendly place and though I wasn’t here very long I did notice the signs inside of homes and along their front doors: “it doesn’t matter your race, religion or gender, we are happy that you are our neighbor.” I found myself happy so see these kinds of messages in a new city I’d never visited (I’ll keep politics out of this) and knew that the “Brotherly Love” statement still rings true.

So how did I spend 3 hours here?What to do in Philadelphia in 3 hours

In my short time, I made my first stop to see the Liberty Bell. Though I’d never thought too much about its symbolism, today I was educated. Watching a short video about the Bell I learned that it was created as a symbol of peace and equality that soon was tainted and then reinstated years later by various groups who wanted:  Women’s right to vote, racial equality and justice are symbolized by this bell.

Liberty Bell crack

The Liberty Bell, which has been moved and is now confined in an official NPS (National Park Service) building offers great verbiage and video about its history. The building is along Chestnut and South 6th. The Bell also sits at the end of the building with a beautiful backdrop of a small flower garden and Independence Hall.

What to do here: Walk to the back of the building first, view the bell and take a few photos. Then watch MLK talk about peace on a short video {contemplate life today}, read about its history and construction. Walk past the Bell one last time before you leave.
Time: 10-20, it’s small and you can spend as much or as little time as you want here.

*Security: you will have to go through a metal detector when entering this building, don’t bring anything like pocket knives inside.

Independence Hall

Independence Hall was closed by the time I had finished viewing the Bell, but it’s a really interesting building even from the outside. If you have time, go inside for a small tour.

Independence Hall frontal view

On the other side of the Bell is the NPS visitor center where there is a gift shop and a small theatre to watch historic videos along with a few spots to eat and a mall below. I stopped at the gift shop and grabbed an NPS stamp for my book then worked my way back to the car.

Parking can be a little tricky around Old City, so if you can find street parking (1 or 2 Hour), snatch it!

I’d parked near the Sheraton along Dock street (2 Hour parking) where I thought the Liberty Bell was…

On my way back I took in the sights of Old City and enjoyed the views of the buildings and homes here along the cobble stone roads. I scuffled through the fall leaves and wondered how many of these homes still have the original bricks.

cobble stone streets



There are several parks around here to wander through and I highly suggest doing so!

If there is time, view the American Revolution Museum (spend at least 1 Hour here), though I didn’t have time, there is a lot of historical artifacts and video at this museum and they even have a great gift shop. I did spend about 20 minutes in here trying to decide what to purchase. (A blue zipper hoodie with white stars)


You will feel a great sense of American Pride in this city! A city where many great things in our history have taken place.

Next thing on the list before leaving Philadelphia is to have a Philly Cheesesteak.
It was a priority of mine to try a “Philly Taco” while I was here-basically a giant slice of pizza and a cheesesteak.Philly Taco

After seeing the phenomenon on Vice and watching countless people post on Instagram about it, why not? Well people…

giant pizza

Just skip it! Seriously. I was not a huge fan of the gigantic slice of Lorenzo’s pizza and Jim’s steak was so bland.

Instead, you should just go to Pat’s. This is the original steakhouse in Philadelphia and it’s amazing. The bread is soft and the steak is sliced thinner (than Jim’s). Unfortunately my phone died right as I was taking a photo of this delicious cheesesteak, but I took my steak with whiz and mushrooms-No onions. I also added some extra salt, because I’m gross {that’s why}.


Ordering can be a little tricky, so observe ALL the signage before placing your order. Drinks and fries are to be ordered separately from your steak (at a different window). It’s CASH ONLY, so bring some money. Oh and don’t leave the steak window until you get it- they don’t take to patiently for this and the will yell at you!

Finding parking for Pat’s is extremely difficult; especially at night! So go during the day.
In South Philly there aren’t public parking garages, residence park along the road. If you are patient (and have time), drive around a few times. Someone is bound to leave their spot along Pat’s restaurant (30 min parking).

There is only dining tables outside-picnic style. Have a seat and enjoy. If you get whiz on your steak, be sure to grab some napkins!

If you get additional time here in Philadelphia, there are quite a few things I noticed along the way such as the Navy shipyard (viewing), Moshulu (dining in a ship), taking photos with the LOVE sign and catching a game-Eagles, Phillies or 76ers.

Stay tuned for my recap on Atlantic City  and find out if I found Uncle Penny Bags.

Safe Travels

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