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The First-Timers Guide to Planning an Exquisite Weekend in Philadelphia

Whether you’re new to town or playing host to visitors, here’s a simple guide planning an unforgettable weekend in the City of Brotherly Love.

Start with an impeccable meal

Getting to know a new city starts and ends at the dinner table.

  • Dine on Rittenhouse Square: No visit to Philadelphia is complete without a meal off the city’s most prestigious and desirable square. Indulge in an enchanting evening of charbroiled goodness at Barclay Prime steakhouse or check out our post on Top Lunch Spots on Rittenhouse Square.
  • A sky-high banquet: Take in a bird’s eye view of the city from one of these elevated eateries.
  • Savor Philly’s most iconic dish: Engage guests with the finest gastronomy the city has to offer but also schedule in a cheesesteak from John’s Pork Roast.
  • Make reservations to enjoy the tasting menu at Vetri.
  • Arrange a private chef: Show off your luxury Philadelphia real estate with a charming privately prepared meal at home. Charter any of the city’s fine catering services then head out afterwards for a martini.

A dabbling of history and art

As one of the most historically significant cities in the nation, even the non-history buffs will enjoy a tour of the Philadelphia’s architecture and most prominent sites.

We’ll presume most of the attractions within Independence Historical National Park as givens. Try these lesser-known gems that exemplify the cultural vibe of the city:

  • Elfreth’s Alley: Cobblestone streets and the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood in the United States. Once home to artisans and craftsman, the alley is now a living museum of 300-year-old private residences.
  • Once you’ve covered the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation and the Franklin Institute (or your personal museum favorites), dive into the heart of Philly’s art scene on the Avenue of the Arts. Galleries supply not only a rawer art experience but they offer the added benefit that should you like something, you can buy it and take it home. No souvenir is more authentic than a work of local art.

Start with the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts when searching top-shelf cultural events that may be playing while your guests are in town. Should nothing tempt you, check out what’s playing at the city’s other top venues:

  • Walnut Street Theatre
  • Academy of Music
  • Arden Theatre Company
  • The Wilma Theater

A taste of nature

With so many activities to choose from there can be a tendency to go, go, go when experiencing Philadelphia for the first time.

Take time away from checking boxes off the list of top attractions to relax in one of Philadelphia’s famed public squares or go for a stroll in the Morris Arboretum or Fairmount Park, the largest public park in the city.