Fall makes for such typical blog fodder. Everybody loves it and it's just so Instagrammable. The moody hues, the oversized scarves, the hand-warming hot beverages... it's disgustingly picturesque. I know it gets played out very quickly so I'm going to try to get my "OMG AUTUMN!" posts out of the way early on. With (allegedly) millions flocking to Philly in a few short weeks to say "hello" to Pope Francis when he stops by, I figured I'd make a mini list of some of my favorite fall(ish) activities. This is by no means an all-inclusive list so be sure to keep checking back!
Great food is obviously appreciated any time of the year but when those nights just keep getting chillier, there's nothing like some good ole comfort food. A few of my favorites are V Street, (fancy vegan street food-- the Peruvian Fries are a MUST.) Khyber Pass Pub, (I really miss their vegan sausage sandwich.) Farmicia, (pictured above-- their brunch is heaven-sent.) and Standard Tap. (cocktails on a cozy outdoor patio.) For all you carnivores, Fette Sau is incredibly cozy and always gets rave reviews. (And for those who don't eat meat, the pickles are pretty darn good.)
For coffee connoisseurs.
One of my favorite things about fall is being able to take a little walk around the block with a hot coffee in hand. There are so many amazing coffee places in Philly it's been really difficult to pick just a few favorites. Elixr has a great atmosphere and is a stone's throw away from some of Philly's best shopping. (Also to add to the Philly-centric nature of this list, it's co-owned by an Eagle.) Higher Grounds is one of my favorites because it's adorable, a few blocks from my house, and pups are allowed in. It's tucked away on an adorable side street in Northern Liberties, not far from other great restaurants. Menagerie is another favorite of mine, conveniently located within a few minutes of the TV station where I work. They have the BEST almond milk cappuccinos. Chhaya is where I had my first cortado and fall in love with it. It's in the bustling East Passyunk neighborhood and a few stores down from a great vintage store and more great shopping. Last but not least, there's Grindcore House. It's a great vegan cafe in South Philly. I love the music they play and the Mate Latte has got to be one of the tastiest things I've ever had the pleasure of imbibing.
ETA: Ultimo! How could I have possibly forgotten this one? (A kind commenter pointed it out.) It's been voted #1 in AMERICA and it's really, really cozy inside. Definitely worth trying, plus the neighborhood is really nice to walk around.
Philadelphia gets a bad reputation for being dirty and kind of smelly but it's surrounded by some stunning landscapes. There are a lot of great places to hike that are less than an hour outside of Center City. Tyler State Park is in Bucks County and it's where I go to get away from "it all." While I've never personally played, I've heard it's got one of the best disc golf courses in the county. (If you're into that kinda thing.) Wissahickon is full of beautiful trails and there are a lot of places you can wander outside of those marked trails. I love it because it's good for hikers of any level. One of my favorite things to do is climb the rocks over by Devil's Pool.
For urban explorers.
No I'm not talking about "urbexing," though there are a lot of places to do that here. I'm talking about discovering the city on a bicycle, and now that Philly has its own bike share, it's easier for guests to do it! The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk is a great place to start-- you can get easily (and safely) from South Philly to the Art Museum. (Just watch out for pedestrians!) The views are great, especially when you get up to Boathouse Row.
For the cultured.
Philadelphia has a lot of wonderful museums. You all know about the Philadelphia Art Museum but how about The Franklin Institute? (For science nerds.) Or the Mutter Museum? (For you weirdos who appreciate medical anomalies.) There's also The Barnes Foundation, (lots of Renoir, Cézanne, and the like!) and the Rodin Museum. The museums can be a little pricey but trust me: they're worth it. Oh, and don't forget that this is the birthplace of America. It wouldn't be a trip to Philly without a little walk around Old City to say "hello" to the Liberty Bell. (I really felt like I had to mention that one.)
For forlorn beach bums.
If you're like me and love the beach, don't be sad that summer is almost over. Early fall is actually one of my favorite times to explore the Jersey Shore. Cape May has some of the most adorable B&B's and Ocean City's boardwalk is so pretty when it's no overrun by "shoobies." It's quiet in an almost eerie way but so tranquil and inspiring.
For wannabe farmers.
Who doesn't love apple or pumpkin picking? Forget the fact that you're basically paying to do work, going to the farm and picking your own fresh produce can be so much fun. My favorite place to go is Solebury Orchards in New Hope. It's a bit of a drive outside of the city but when you're done picking, you can chow down on some apple cider donuts (or just drink ALL the apple cider like I do) and head over to Peddler's Village. They have a lot of cute shops and an adorable scarecrow contest that runs for pretty much the entire fall season. I also love that Hewn Distillery opened a cocktail bar there.
For those avoiding S.A.D.
The days are getting shorter, the nights are growing longer, your tan is starting to fade and those jeans aren't fitting like they used to... Seasonal effective disorder is a very real thing. To combat it, a little bit of exercise works like a charm. (Those endorphins are crucial!) If you live here or even if you're a fitness-crazed she-woman just visiting, a drop-in to a group class or two may be just what the doctor ordered, and we have a lot of them here. Lithe Method is good for those who want a little butt-kicking. (And don't mind overly peppy cheerleaders doing the honor.) Practice yoga offers a donation class, which is great for beginners or those who just need to clear their mind every so often.
Anyone planning on visiting? Or just want to add something to the list? Let's chat in the comments below.