Vacationed in Philly and what a Spectacular City!

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty CalBRE #01492138

 Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966

I just got back from a vacation in Philadelphia, PA. It was a beautiful city and full of history. I spent the majority of my time in the downtown area and what a pleasant eye opener. One good site I found while researching this article was the Independence Visitor Center which is full of tourist information.

 Living in California most of my life, I had never spent much time in a crowded city. What I discovered was Philadelphia is full of historical buildings, street vendors, restaurants, stores, numerous hotels, condos and apartments everywhere and lots high rises.

Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966              Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966

Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966This is City Hall; A spectacular historical building.

The city has a massive street system of one way streets, lots of cars trying to get from one place to another in hurry, and drivers of cars and trucks looking for parking. Also I was amazed to see people walking everywhere from early in the morning until late at night. No one seemed to worry about crime here. I felt safe here and would like to mention I saw a lot of police presence in the city, Philadelphia Police Dept.; bike patrols, beat officers and patrolling units. I was told they have reduced crime rates here by half in the past 5 years. Very impressive!

Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966    Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966    Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966

Philadelphia is a town known for their Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches and hoagies. If you are visiting for the first time, be sure to try one while you are there. The restaurants downtown go from small cafes to fine dining. Shopping is pretty much the same; $5 & Below stores all the way to most all Designer stores imaginable. Plus about 25 minutes away, there is a mall, King of Prussia Mall which claims to be the largest mall in the US. I went there 3 times during my trip.

Parking is the one negative issue in this city. There are lots that charge ridiculous fees. The streets have kiosks to pay for parking from 20- minutes to 3 hrs for a more reasonable fee. DO NOT TRY TO PARK DOWNTOWN IF YOU CANNOT PARRELL PARK! We must have spent over $300 in parking fees while we were there.

The city has great historical sites to see and the best part, they are all free. We went to Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell, and Betsy Ross’s House. Amazing that these houses were built in the mid 1700’s and is still in great shape. Of course, they were remodeling the steeple of Independence Hall so they had scaffolding up. We took the tour at Independence Hall and afterwards I felt so proud to be an American. Our independence started right here in the place I stood not more than a week ago. I highly recommend this free tour as the guide gives you a historical summary of the events leading up to the signing of the “Declaration of Independence” and the turmoil afterwards.

Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966      Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966

One area I was particularly interested in was the Penn University area. I took pictures of the Penn Law School which is beautiful plus I sat out a horrific thunder storm in the Starbuck’s there.

Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966                Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966


Lots of rain in the summer! In CA, we do not have much rain so it was nice to get caught up in thunder storms. One suggestion, carry an umbrella.

  Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966  Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966

On a Friday afternoon in a huge rain storm, we took on an unobtainable feat. We drove 11 miles northeast of the city to an equipment store that closed at 5:00 p.m. So we started out at 4:15 p.m. and of course we arrived at 5:15 pm and they had closed 15 minutes before. So we had to go back Monday morning!

Lots of Shopping and Restaurants here: Target, Wal-Mart, Banana Republic, Staples, The Gap, Jones of New York, Apple Store, Best Buy, Macy's and many more. Plus lots of Ice Cream Shops, Coffee Shops, Ethnic Restaurants for everyone's taste, McDonald's, AppleBee's and many more to choice from. So everything to satisfy your needs.

Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966 Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966

Here I am at my favorite store! Yes, I love Macy's and there are quite a few in the area.

And here is my family at The City Tavern, a very popular restaurant in the downtown area. This photo shows the beer tasting sampler.

 One comment here for anyone thinking about visiting in the future. Take the train from the airport instead of a rental car. The train takes you to the downtown area and from there you can take a bus, the subway or walk to your downtown hotel. Some of the hotels also have a shuttle service directly from the airport. You will save a bunch of $$ in parking, car rental fees, and just a whole lot of stress searching for parking. I am planning to go back in March 2012 and that is my plan. Pack 1 large rolling suitcase for easy mobility. I have a rolling computer case, so I am not sure I am taking it with me. I will have to re-think this one. But of course I cannot be without my computer unless I go with some computer back-up system? HUM!!!


                         Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966  OR    Kristin Hamilton 909-557-6966

*I loved Philadelphia and plan to go and visit often. I found it to be clean and the mass transit system is easily adaptable for tourists. If anyone is planning to visit or move to Philadelphia, I would highly recommend it and I have a lot of good memories.


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Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Kristin - it sounds like you enjoyed your trip.  And, you've given great advice for visiting any of the major cities with good public transportation - leave the driving to them, LOL. 

Jul 18, 2011 09:00 AM #1
Anne M. Costello
Weidel Realtors - Yardley, PA

Kristin: What kind words for my hometown! The layout for downtown Philadelphia was designed by William Penn himself. He planned the city and then decided on where the city would be located. The grid in Center City is very easy to follow. The numbered streets go North and South, the streets with tree names run East and West. The regional rails were fully connected about 25 years ago, making it easier to go say from Bucks County through downtown and out to the wetern suburbs. Our sports teams are world class with world class ownership who understand how sports and the businesses they support are a huge economic driver in the community. With Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra, top class theaters and world class museums, the Cultural Scene is alive and well. Something like 89+ institutions of higher learning exist in the Greater Philadelphia area - bringing students from all over the world and sending them out again after graduation to better the world.

Hopefully on your next trip, you can see some of the surrounding areas. The counties have quaint downtowns with lots of shopping and fine dining. I won't say Bucks County is my favorite, but I have lived here for 10 years. Approximately 25 miles north of dowtown and 604+ square miles, it offers something for everyone.

Glad you enjoyed your stay! Come back anytime.


Jul 18, 2011 09:07 AM #2
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Keller Williams Realty - Redlands, CA
(909) 557-6966, GREEN, SFR, CHS-Redlands/Loma Lind

I am so glad you liked my post since you are a native of Philly and are so familiar with it, I am so glad you did not find any discrepancies. I love the city so much I left my daughter there for the next couple of years. I have comfort knowing she is in a lovely city. Yes, the next time I go I will try to see much more of the surrounding areas. We did take the wrong turnoff (3 times, yes 3 nights we did this) and had to drive about 10 miles out of our way en route to our hotel in King of Prussia. We ended up just shy of the Turnpike and couldn't get off until the Norristown exit. Due to the road construction we had drive this distance and then turn around and go back. But nice to see lots of road construction going on. We did go to Harrisburg and the city is very nice and I loved the beautiful toll road.

Jul 18, 2011 10:09 AM #3
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Kristin, sounds like your vacation was FULL of history!    Philly offers so much and looks like you hit all the highlights!   THX for sharing, I have never been there.

Jul 19, 2011 01:39 AM #4
Gina Tufano
Ask Gina & Company with Pearson Smith Realty - Sterling, VA
Ask Gina & Company, Northern Virginia Real Estate

Sounds like you had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures and tips!

Jul 19, 2011 02:28 AM #5
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Keller Williams Realty - Redlands, CA
(909) 557-6966, GREEN, SFR, CHS-Redlands/Loma Lind

I did have a good time and I even liked the weather. I plan to retire in a place where they have storms and lots of rain. I  live in a really dry area and love thunder storms. Everything looks and smells so clean afterwards. If you get the chance, stop by Philly!

Jul 19, 2011 02:48 AM #6
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