Okay, so let’s be real. Most of us have just gotten used to doing our own laundry and sorting through the good and the bad at the dining halls. You probably haven’t taken very much time, in comparison to getting used to life at Penn, in Philadelphia, itself. Unlike other Ivy students, we live in one of the coolest, quirkiest, and most awesome cities in the world. Philadelphia is officially your new home. Congratulations!
Now that you’ve settled into your classes, it’s time to take advantage of the mother load of opportunities available in Philly. Opportunities for amazing food, nightlife, farmer’s markets, art fairs, fashion festivals, movies, performances, and more- it’s all here for the taking in this big, beautiful city.
Here’s our challenge for you:
Plan a day in October to have a speed-dating session with Philadelphia. That’s right. We want you to try out as many facets of the city, find what you love, and learn how to make this city into your city. If you’re staying here for Fall Break, you already have plenty of free days to do this!
Without further ado… we give you… THE BEST DAY EVER.
(You will need $10-15 for transportation).
Go rent a bike from the Fisher Hassenfeld Equipment Office and ride through West Philadelphia (take a left out of the Quad, make a left onto 38th street, and then your next right onto Baltimore Avenue – stay in the bike lanes!). Go check out some of the quirky cafés and really cool-looking houses in the area. Eat breakfast and grab some coffee at the Green Line Cafe on 43rd and Baltimore or Milk & Honey at 45th and Baltimore.
Take the trolley right outside the Quad to 18th and Market. This will drop you off right in the middle of Center City and very close to Walnut Street/Chestnut Street shopping areas. Go browse through the three-story Urban Outfitters, two-story H&M, Anthropologie, Guess, Zara, Steve Madden, and basically any other store where you could possibly want to go. There is plenty of shopping for guys and girls alike. There are tons of athletic stores, too. If you’re into thrifting, go check out the Buffalo Exchange on 17th and Chestnut. It’s a really cool mix of vintage, thrift, and gently used modern-day clothing.
Eat at Marathon Grill on 19th and Market Streets. It’s an eclectic, gourmet, delicious restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with very reasonable prices. Their breakfast is served all day! The interior is really swanky. You’ll definitely feel like a local. To get to 19th and Market, basically just go from 19th and Walnut, and then walk north on 19th street to Market Street.
Walk to Rittenhouse Square (just a few blocks south of Marathon). It’s a great place to hang out and take a rest. People watching is really entertaining at the square. Usually, there will be a few musicians playing for tips.
Walk to 20th and Pine Street and catch the 17 bus towards Front/Market. Get off at Market St and 11th St. Walk to 12th Street towards Reading Terminal Market. If it’s a nice day, the walk from Rittenhouse to Reading Terminal is quite a nice one. Spend an hour or two enjoying the AWESOMENESS that is the Reading Terminal Market. It’s seriously one of the coolest markets in the world. I’ve only seen another one like it in Barcelona, Spain. There is so much good food and flowers and crafts and people. It’s a wonderful, colorful, fun experience.
Head over to 13th Street Station to catch the Market-Frankford Line subway back towards campus. You can transfer to a green line trolley at certain stops (30th Street is generally the easiest), so that you can get right back in front of the Quad. Our stop is 37th Street, and you can take any West-bound trolley back except the #10. If this is too complicated for you, then just take the El back towards the 34th & Market Station and walk back to the Quad.
Take a breather. You’ve accomplished a lot so far today! Take a shower and get on a nice outfit. We’re going out!
Take the East-bound #40 bus at 6:07 pm to 2nd Street. You’ll be really close to a lot of cozy, romantic restaurants and Penn’s Landing! Choose a restaurant near here and take yourself out for a nice dinner. There are plenty to choose from. Then, head over to Olde City Frozen Yogurt near 3rd and Market for some delicious froyo.
Head over to the Arden Theater on 2nd Street (40 N. 2nd) to go see a showing of their latest performance, August Osage County, at 8 pm. It’s a beautiful, moving, and hilarious piece. Why not go to the theater dressed up and feeling fancy? Tickets are $15. Call in advance to get your ticket! Warning: the play will last until 11:30 (it’s worth it, I promise).
Walk along Penn’s Landing and the water back towards South Street (about a 15-30 minute walk). After eating dinner, just head east towards the water, then walk on South Street and you’ll end up hitting all the fun stores. You can go find quirky clothes, souvenirs, late-night cafes, and all other manner of weird things on South Street. It’s just a really funny area to have a good night. To get back, just walk back towards the 40 bus on Lombard Street and catch the bus back towards the Quad.
In one day, you’ll have discovered soooo much of what makes Philly an awesome place to live! Whaddya waiting for? Have the BEST DAY EVER.