Weekend Philly Trip

Philly is a very walkable city with great architecture, food, and nice folks. In short, Philly is Phantastic!
(sorry, I couldn't resist)

I wanted to drop in on the Congress for New Urbanism conference in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to meet some of people who were speaking there, so I really only needed to take a couple of hours on Saturday and again on Sunday to listen to their presentation and then schmooze afterward. As a roadtrip-addicted family, we used the opportunity to have another FamilyRoadtripper weekend adventure.

We had never really been to Philly before and we were happily surprised at how cool it is. We'll be back, early and often!

As usual, we took back roads
We try to avoid interstates unless we're truly in a hurry, or if it's night time and there is nothing but dark to see out the windows. We took 84 west to Port Jervis, and then hopped onto the back roads whittling our way to Route 611 along the Delaware River (a great American back road) and right into the heart of Philly (see the map below). The road ended three blocks from our hotel, so in addition to being a scenic route, it was a direct route too.

Before going, I went to Fodor's forum to ask advice about kid-friendly places and activities. As usual, the Fodorites had a handful of tips and tactical advice.

At the top of the list was the Reading Terminal Market
What a great place. Almost everything you need under one roof. I say almost because we didn't actually explore the whole place enough to be sure that something was missing, but just about everything I need was there: Mexican food, sushi, Greek food, Philly Cheese Steaks, jalepeno hummus (!), beer garden, wine store, bakery, ice cream restaurant, bee store (bees wax, honey, etc), toys, post cards, beer garden, fresh fruit, vegetables, seafood, meats, flowers, coffee, did I say beer garden?

Needless to say, we started the days at the public market, and ended them there as well. We went to the Liberty Bell and the Independence Mall, taking the advice of PaulRabe not to stand in line to see the Liberty Bell because you can see it through the window, and the kids can play on the mall.

China town was right there by our hotel, and Tinsley found herself in seventh heaven when she noticed a Chinese dollar store. All of the kitchy little Chinese lanterns and budahs and dragons that you see in Chinese restaraunts for a buck. It so happened that this weekend was Lilly's second birthday, so Tinsley bought a bunch of party supplies (noisemakers, silly hats, a mask for lilly...) and we had a birthday party up in the hotel room, then Lilly got a birthday bath and went to bed!

Below is a little map with our stops:


Jennifer said...

I hopped on your blog to look for useful tips for traveling with kids and dogs. We travel by car to the NE every summer from the MW.This will be our first summer with a dog. We have done some of the things you mentioned before, but you also offer some really great tips - so thank you.

I am really interested in how you liked the CNU conference. I studied new urbanism during my masters studies in historic preservation. It's the first time I have heard the CNU mentioned in a while. Good to know others are interested. Hope it was enjoyable.

Dan said...

CNU was interesting. I went to meet Ed Mazria, an architect, to interview for my magazine. I was also interested in the Gulf coast rebuilding effort; CNU has some great ideas, such as Louisiana Speaks Pattern Book and Tool Kit (google them).
Thanks for your comments,