Thanks Kimpton for sponsoring this post!
When "they" tell you that your first year of marriage is going to be a doozy, "they're" not kidding. (You know, the proverbial THEY.) Mine has certainly been no exception. Pretty much as soon as we got back from our honeymoon, it's been nonstop craziness. I left my job, he started a new job, I joined a tech startup, we're doing all sorts of odd-jobs so we don't have to live in a box on the street; it's wild. In midst of all that, how am I supposed to have any girl time? Girl time is important, especially for creatively-minded ladies, which is why I HAD to get some blog girls together for a little staycation in Old City. The folks at the Hotel Monaco were THRILLED to have us and we were just as excited to get to stay in such a beautiful place. I needed it. Long live girl time.
The Monaco is situated right across the street from the legendary Liberty Bell in the heart of the city's most historic neighborhood, Old City. If you're coming in from out of town or even just coming from another part of the city, it's a pretty sweet deal because some of the best restaurants in the city are a stone's throw away. (Oh, and all that history as well.) One of my favorite things the hotel had to offer were complimentary bicycles for exploring-- and they were much cuter than the city's bike share cycles. (And free...)
After getting settled into our rooms, we headed up to the Stratus Lounge to catch a sunset session. Ever since I gave up drinking, I haven't been to the bar so I was pretty excited to see that this one had flavor-infused water. (Basil, cucumber, and strawberry, for the win!) It's the little things, right? Afterwards we headed to dinner at one of my favorite comfort food jawns, Khyber Pass Pub, which is conveniently only about two blocks away. No summer night in Old City would be complete without a walk down to Spruce Street Harbor Park, which is even better this year because they have a Franklin Fountain pop-up.
After staying out later that I'd stayed out in quite some time (like, eleven o'clock...) we headed back, changed into our jommies, and dished about life and blogging. Girl chats are seriously good for the soul. Lots of laughter (and Snapchats a plenty) filled the room.
In the morning, we set out for breakfast at High Street on Market, a cozy little restaurant with rustic vibes. Perfect little trip.
Oh, and I totally matched the decor! I guess it was just meant to be?
Here are some more suggestions for if you're planning a trip to Old City any time soon. (Which you totally should, even if you live a few blocks away like I do!) Of course there are a lot more things to do than the ones listed here but these are my personal favorites:
Han Dynasty - This is my favorite restaurant in the entire city. Spicy Chinese food that reminds me of my time in Beijing. Make sure you get the crispy cucumbers!
European Republic - These fries are TO DIE FOR.
Kabul - Authentic Afghan cuisine on a cozy cobblestone street-- perfect for if you want to try something new. Try the Kabuli Chalaw and thank me later.
Ritz East - For a little something different, catch a movie at the Ritz. They show a lot of indie films I've never seen anywhere else. Impress all your friends with your avant-garde film knowledge.
Menagerie Coffee - One of my favorite coffee shops in the city. (You've probably seen it on my Instagram quite a few times.)
Inspired Brews - Locally-brewed kombucha using seasonal ingredients. The fall flavors are my favorite but they're all delicious.
Café Olé - This café is tucked away on one of the coziest streets in Philly. The coffee is good but the food is GREAT. If you order anything with hummus on it, you'll be set.
Race Street Pier - One of my favorite places to sit and people-watch. Great views of the Ben Franklin Bridge and the skyline. Probably one of the best places to Instagram in Old City.
Book Trader - It's a little cluttered in the best way possible. I could spend hours browsing through the seemingly endless titles this little shop's got to offer. (And it smells of old books, one of the best scents in the world.)
Olde City Tattoo - If you're feeling a little more... adventurous.