I've been getting SO many questions from readers who say they're heading to Philly this season. It's exciting because Philly is a fantastic city with so much to offer to visitors. Now that the weather has been getting warmer, I've found myself wandering around like a tourist because I just love this city so much. Since I've been getting so many questions and the last time I did a guide was in the fall, I figured I'd do another one. Once again, this is NOT an exhaustive list. I know I'm going to miss some things. I'm only human. Bear with me and if there's something that desperately needs to make its way into the guide, let me know in the comments!
Spring makes me crave fresh flavors and if I can eat outside, that's a huge plus. If you want some lighter fare, Soy Cafe, P.S. & Co., and Snap Kitchen offer quick, healthy meals you can grab and take to a nearby park, perfect for a lunch-on-the-go. (Soy Cafe and P.S. & Co. both have adorable patios, by the way!) For a heavier meal, Dos Segundos has some of my favorite Mexican food in the entire city. When they bring out the salsa, make sure you try the verde-- it's truly heaven-sent. If you want to make it a date night, I'd suggest getting some super spicy Chinese food from Han Dynasty (Old City) or being transported to Paris by dining at Parc in Rittenhouse.
If you want more of a "genuine" city experience, track down a food truck, because Philly's food truck game is strong. A few of my favorites are Poi Dog (tofu poke bowl is life) and Kung Fu Hoagies.
And of course... a few options for those of us with an insatiable sweet tooth: I've recently fallen in love with Little Baby's Ice Cream. They have the best quirky flavors and toppings, with a ton of vegan options. If you want something a little more traditional, Franklin Fountain might be the ticket. (You've probably seen their nostalgic ice cream creations on The Food Network!)
For Coffee Connoisseurs.
If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat then you know that I work from coffee shops a lot. There's nothing like a nice hot cappuccino with almond milk (my go-to) but in the spring, I tend to go for lighter flavors. I go to One Shot in Northern Liberties at least twice a week. I love their cozy upstairs area and their Lavender Earl Grey Latte (hot or iced) is what dreams are made of. I'm also a huge fan of Grindcore House in Pennsport. Their food is fantastic but their Yerba Mate Latte is the quickest way to my heart. One of my favorite places to wander around is Society Hill, the neighborhood just South of Old City. It's got two great coffee shops, Ox and Bodhi. Get your drink to-go and take a stroll around the block.
If you've got wheels, you're not far from some scenic places where you can do outdoorsy activities to your heart's delight. Marsh Creek is about 45 minutes from Center City. There's a lake there where you can paddle board, kayak, or just sit out and enjoy the weather. (But no swimming.) There are also a few hiking trails along the water. The beach is also under an hour away. Ocean City is family-friendly and has great restaurants, a boardwalk, and beautiful beaches. If you're heading down the shore to do "actual beach things" (not just walking on the boardwalk) during the busy season though, (starting about May 1st) head to Strathmere. It's MUCH less crowded. (If you're planning on spending the day there though, remember this: there are no public restrooms by the beach!)
Exploring.... without leaving the city.
You can still do a lot of exploring without leaving the city. Philly's Mural Arts Program is one of my favorite things the city has to offer to visitors as well as residents. You can book a tour through them or you can find some murals you want to check out on a map then take advantage of our IndeGo bike share. Depending on when your visit is, you may also be able to check out Spruce Street Harbor Park, a seasonal pop-up along the Delaware River. It's got everything to get you in the mood for summer: hammocks, lawn games, and food and drink from Philly's finest.
What do you think? If you have an upcoming trip and have any more questions, hit me up! And of course... if I forgot anything, let me know.
*all images from my Instagram.