48 Hours in Philadelphia

Historic Philadelphia, our nation’s first capital. With only 48 hours in the city of brotherly love, here are a few highlights from my most recent trip:

City Hall

The Philadelphia city hall building is stunning. The centerfold of the downtown skyline, this building is awe-inspiring. It was built from 1871-1901, and is complete with a bronze statue of William Penn, the city’s founder. In fact, that statue is the largest to top any building in the world, at 37 feet tall. The building itself was made in a masonry style, from limestone, granite, and marble. Settled in the center of the city, Philadelphia’s city hall building boasts beautiful, ornate architecture.

The Liberty Bell

One of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of Philadelphia is, The Liberty Bell. A symbol of our nation’s independence, The Liberty Bell is surrounded with interesting American history.

The bell was rung on July 8, 1776 to mark the reading of the Declaration of Independence. That is when it is believed the bell first cracked, although historians are unsure. The Liberty Bell later became a symbol for abolitionists.

Because it was our nation’s first capital, Philadelphia is overflowing with interesting American history.

Famous 4th Street Delicatessen

Good food in Philadelphia is not hard to come by, but it is immediately obvious why the famous 4th Street Delicatessen is in fact, famous. Established in 1924, the deli still has a very Art Deco vibe, and tons of beautiful delicacies line the deli cases. Start out with some pickles, which are made in house and are outstanding. I ordered a cheesesteak, (when in Rome), which did not disappoint. Their fried onion game is strong at the 4th street delicatessen, and it shows in the cheesesteak. The portions here are huge, making it a great place to bring some friends, share some funky, Philadelphia fare, and make memories.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

My favorite part of my brief trip was exploring Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Created by artist Isaiah Zagar beginning in the 1960’s, the beautifully-interesting mosaics were meant to turn around the rough image of the South Street neighborhood. The magnificent murals and mosaic arts ultimately saved the neighborhood from demolition, as it was slotted to become a major expressway. In 1994, Zagar purchased the building where the magic gardens stand now, though his murals are seen throughout South Street.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens are just that, magic. I could spend hours wandering the corridors, getting lost in the poetry and complexities. Everywhere you look there is something new to see, something you haven’t thought of before. The inspiration radiating from this place is as tangible as the community it serves. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens are not to be missed.

Philadelphia is a wonderful city with a lot to offer. I am already planning my return, to see what else the city has in store for me. Whether you have 48 hours, or forever, Philadelphia is a city worth exploring.