Philadelphia

Philly

If you’re making the move to Philadelphia, you’re definitely making a great choice! Philadelphia is full of history, including being a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and Constitution in 1787, as well as a great nightlife, and of course, amazing food! Philadelphia, also known as “Philly”, is the fifth largest city in the United States and home to prestigious colleges and universities. It is also claims many U.S. firsts including the first library, hospital, zoo, and first medical school. The city is full of activities and festivals throughout the year. Let’s explore the “City of Brotherly Love”!

Neighborhoods

  • Fairmount
    • Known as the hub of museums and attractions along the Ben Franklin Parkway, Fairmount offers much more than big tourist attractions. The streets are lined with beautiful row homes attracting families and young professionals. The main street, Fairmount Avenue, is home to a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops. Don’t forget to check out Fairmount Park, one of the largest urban park systems in the country! Great spot to run, ride your bike or watch rowers down the Schuylkill River.
  • Manayunk
    • Manayunk is a neighborhood in the northwest section of Philadelphia. Manayunk draws younger middle class professionals and families making it a great place to live right out of college. It has a small-town charm with small two-three story row homes, cobblestone roads, and hilly streets. The nightlife is Manayunk draws many visitors from all over the city and beyond.
  • South Philly (Passyunk Square, specifically)
    • South Philadelphia is in a terrific location. As the name states, it is located in the southern part of Philadelphia, and is near Center City and University City. It is close to all major highways and public transportation. South Philly is reasonably priced for all its amenities. South Philly is home to Pat’s & Geno’s Cheesesteaks and the Philadelphia Italian Market featuring many grocery shops, cafes, bakeries, etc.
  • Fishtown and Northern Liberties
    • Fishtown and Northern Liberties are located right next to each other along the Delaware River. Known as the hipster part of Philadelphia, it features great restaurants and is filled with artistic, culinary, and musical action. You certainly will not be without bars serving awesome craft beers. These areas are very walkable with many restaurants and bars and have some of the city’s most popular brunch spots. These working-class neighborhoods are also home to narrow streets with modest row homes.
    • Fun fact: Fishtown got its name due to its history as the epicenter of the commercial shad fishing industry.
  • University City
    • University City is located in West Philadelphia in the academic epicenter of the region. University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University are located here. This area is great if you still want the college town vibe right in the city. University City has a very diverse population and is filled with many restaurants and bars.
  • Rittenhouse
    • Rittenhouse Square is in the heart of Philadelphia and is downtown living at its finest, and the price tags show that. The cost of living is high, however, the neighborhood is the center of it all in terms of location, shopping, and dining. There is a large, open park in Center City as well. The area is also home to many high-end shops and trendy restaurants. This area is also home to the popular “Center City Sips” which is a summer long happy hour with discounted drinks and appetizers at the hottest restaurants.

Transportation

  • SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority)
    • The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, commonly known as SEPTA can be found all over the city and surrounding suburbs. SEPTA consists of the Regional Rail (train system), subway, trolley lines, and buses. Cash is accepted for travels on all services for a set fee, however, you can purchase tokens online to provide a discount off the cash fare. Tokens are only valid on the bus, trolley, or subway.
      • Please note: if you are taking the Regional Rail, fares are based on zones. Make sure you know the zone of the station you are boarding and traveling to in order to determine the correct fare.
    • There are taxis and Uber throughout the city as well. If you are looking to visit South Jersey for the day, take the Riverlink. The Riverlink is a ferry that crosses the Delaware River, connecting the Camden waterfront (in New Jersey) with Penn’s Landing (in Philadelphia).

Philly Food

Philadelphia has amazing food that you must try if you are living there or visiting. Here are just a few I guarantee you will love:

  • Cheesesteaks
    • No city makes a cheesesteak as good as Philadelphia! There is the famous rival between Pat’s and Geno’s located right across the street from one another in South Philadelphia, but I must admit my favorite is Steve’s Prince of Steaks. They have three locations within city limits, but you can find a Philly cheesesteak at just about any restaurant.
  • Philly Pretzels
    • You can find a Philly Pretzel Factory in every neighborhood. Philadelphia soft pretzels are distinguished from all others by their shape (a figure-8). If you go to a Philly Pretzel Factory you can enjoy a fresh, hot pretzel but don’t forget to pick up a famous Philly pretzel on the street corners as well!
  • Reading Terminal Market
    • You can find over 100 merchants that offer fresh produce, meats, fish, cheese, ice cream, etc. at this enclosed public market located in downtown Philadelphia. Be sure to check out some of the Amish specialties!
  • Wawa
    • No convenience store will ever compare to Wawa according to Philadelphia natives. It is the largest convenience store chain in Greater Philadelphia area, selling a variety of coffee, chips, drinks, sweets, and made-to-order hoagies. There is a full deli with touch-screen to order sandwiches, hot sides, built-to-order drinks and deli meats.
  • Stephen Starr restaurants
    • For the cutting-edge dining experience, check out any of the Stephen Starr restaurants throughout Philly. Stephen Starr is a famous restaurateur in Philly having been named “Restaurateur of the Year” from both Bon Appetit and Zagat. With more than 10 restaurants throughout Philadelphia, make sure you have a meal at least once!

Things to do

  • Museums
    • There are numerous museums throughout Philly: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Franklin Institute, Mutter Museum, National Constitution Center, African-American Museum, and Academy of Natural Sciences, just to name a few. Each has their own variety of exhibits that are very educational.
  • South Street
    • South Street is one of Philadelphia’s most popular streets filled with shopping, dining, and exciting nightlife. Known as the edgiest street in Philadelphia, it is always filled with a diverse mix of pedestrians. Be sure to stop by the fun shops and get a bite of eat at one of the cafes.
  • First Friday
    • On the first Friday evening of every month, the streets of Old City fill with art lovers wandering 40+ neighborhood galleries. Most galleries can be found between Front and 3rd Streets, and Market and Vine streets.
  • Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk
    • This 2,000-foot-long path opened in October 2014. This new boardwalk extends the Schuylkill River Trail (26.5 mile trail) from Locust to South Street and provides spectacular waterfront views of the Philadelphia Skyline. It’s a great option if you want to ride your bike, run, or take a long walk outside.
  • Sporting Events
    • Philadelphia fans aren’t known as the nicest, but Philadelphia is one of the most knowledgeable sports towns in America. Philly is one of a few cities with a professional franchise in all 4 major league sports, in addition to a professional men’s indoor soccer team, and 2 professional men’s lacrosse teams. Most pro teams play within a few miles of Center City at the South Philadelphia sport complex which includes 3 major venues – Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field, and Citizens Bank Park.
  • Historical Attractions
    • Philadelphia is full of historical sites side-by-side with the hustle and bustle of the 21st The city is rich in history and I highly suggest visiting the Betsy Ross House, Independence Hall, Constitution Center, Liberty Bell, and Eastern State Penitentiary. Be sure to visit the Eastern State Penitentiary around Halloween for a fright!
  • One Liberty Observation Deck
    • Opening in November 2015, One Liberty Observation Deck provides a panoramic bird’s-eye view of the city from the 57th floor of One Liberty Place in downtown Philadelphia. As the tallest standing attraction within Philly, you are guaranteed a beautiful view!
  • Penn’s Landing
    • Penn’s Landing is a waterfront area of Center City along the Delaware River. There is ice skating in the winter months and concerts in the summer. Make sure you check out some of the events all year long.
  • Avenue of the Arts (musicals and shows)
    • The Avenue of the Arts is a city designated arts-based cultural district on a segment of Broad Street. It includes many of the city’s large theatres including the Kimmel Center (home of the Philadelphia Orchestra), the Academy of Music, Merriam Theatre, and more!
  • Camden Waterfront
    • Take the Riverlink over to New Jersey to explore the Adventure Aquarium, Battleship NJ, BB&T Pavilion (concert center), and more!
  • Mummers Parade
    • Don’t forget the Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day in Philadelphia! Local clubs prepare elaborate costumes and moveable scenery throughout the streets of the city. This notorious annual event is believed to be the oldest folk festival in the United States. You will definitely not see anything like this anywhere else.

Famous People from Philadelphia

There are many celebrities that were born in Philadelphia. Here are a few that you may recognize:

  • Will Smith
  • Kat Dennings
  • Kevin Bacon
  • Bradley Cooper
  • Lauren Cohan
  • Kevin Hart

If you are moving to Philadelphia, or even just visiting, be sure to check out www.visitphilly.com for more information of things to do, restaurants, shopping, and more!

crista

 

Originally from Philadelphia, Crista graduated from Penn State University where she was a member of the Gamma Rho chapter of Alpha Phi serving as Panhellenic Delegate. Crista graduated with a degree in Risk Management – Real Estate and joined the Executive Office staff in July 2014 as the Program Manager of Collegiate Housing.