One of the things to do in Philadelphia is sample the food, which is not just Philly cheese steak and hoagies. One of the best French restaurants in the country is Le Bec-Fin, a deluxe place on Walnut Street. The main restaurant is upstairs, while the bistro Le Bar Lyonnais, is downstairs and serves less pricey cuisine. It’s a good idea for the visitor to book their reservations weeks in advance. But, if the visitor has come for the famous cheese steak, they can get them at Jim’s Steaks, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s.
Yes, everyone comes here when they come to Philadelphia, but everyone should. Independence Hall, part of Independence National Historical Park, is where the United States was born. This building is where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where the Articles of Confederation were adopted and the Constitution written. The visitor will find copies of both the Declaration and the Constitution in the west wing. Don’t forget, as well, to visit the Liberty Bell. The Bell was forged in England in 1752 before it was brought over to the colonies, where it cracked the first time it was rung. But the large crack it’s known for didn’t happen till about 1835.
Philadelphia Flower Show
This is America’s oldest flower show. It’s been held just about every year since 1829 and now can be found at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 12th and Arch. Put on in early March when not too much is in bloom in Pennsylvania, it’s a fantasy of blossoms, flower arrangements, topiary and bonsai, much of which is created by amateur botanists. Best of all, most of the money is funneled back into Philadelphia’s community gardens.
On the National Register of Historic Places, Elfreth’s Alley is supposed to be the oldest alley in the country. The little street was named after Jeremiah Elfreth, a blacksmith. The houses are small, modest and dignified and people still do live in them. The tourist might want to catch Fete Day in June, or enjoy the Christmas decorations and caroling during the holidays.
Betsy Ross House
Maybe she did or didn’t sew the first flag here. Maybe she didn’t live in this tiny house on Arch Street at all, but it’s still a pretty example of 18th century Georgian architecture. The visitor should take the tour anyway. It’s always good to get an idea of how people lived back in the day.
The Rodin Museum
Though the works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin are an acquired taste for some, the collection is still worth a look. Among other works, there’s the artist’s iconic The Thinker, right at the entrance. The museum, opened in 1929, was established by movie mogul Jules Mastbaum. Only Paris has a larger collection of Rodin’s art.
Another one of the things to do in Philadelphia is visit Wanamaker’s. This department store is Philadelphia’s answer to Macy’s, even though Macy’s now owns it. Aside from what can be bought here, this huge and elegant store has an enormous, gleaming, world famous pipe organ, the sumptuous Crystal Tea Room, and during the holiday season, the breathtaking Christmas Light Show.