ROUND 2: Visiting Philadelphia next month - Suggestions

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Darth Ryno

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#1
Round 2! Rylie (my oldest) has auditioned at Carnegie, NYU (ugh), Juilliard (not a fan of NYC) Boston Conservatory, Boston University School of Music (Berklee), New England Conservatory, OU, Oklahoma City U, Temple and Syracuse. The past few weeks has been hectic going to Pitt, NYC and Boston.

Most schools wait until March to mid-April to give offers for their vocal performance programs. But OU, Oklahoma City and Temple all three offered. Temple is a FRACTION of the cost of the other big named schools ($15,000/year vs $65,000) so she's very interested in going there. Strong program, great location.

Never been to Philly.

Definitely going to eat at Geno's, visit Independence Hall and probably see Franklin's grave/workshop. What else would you suggest? I'm not renting a car this time. It was a great thing to have in Pittsburgh, but it seems the subway system in Philadelphia is really good.

Looking for ideas... we will be getting there LATE Sunday (17th) and will have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday up till our flight that evening.

Thanks for the help/ideas!
 
Mar 27, 2012
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#3
Anyone stayed at an Airbnb? Looking at rooms for 3 nights, most hotels are $200+/night. The Airbnb is MUCH lower priced.
I have and have had really good luck with Airbnb. I always stay at a place that is all mine. I have never shared a place with the owners. I like my privacy too much. Always pretty reasonable it seems. Read the comments on any place you are considering. Good luck and enjoy.
 

CTeamPoke

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#4
I wouldn't trust an AirBnB in Philly... Also it's a really crappy town.

I'd stick to the tourist areas as much as possible. Temple takes you a little bit into a less than desirable part of town, but I'm sure they'll manage to distract you all from that. And then it's pretty easy to get back on the beaten path from there.

Congrats to your daughter!
 
Jul 10, 2009
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#5
Went to Philly last summer and stayed at a great AirBNB kind of close to all the historical attractions. See Independence Hall, Liberty Bell. Betsy Ross house was better than expected, the Constitution Museum was amazingly good. Went to dinner at the City Tavern which was nice and Moshulu, a ship. Used Uber for getting around--much easier than driving / parking. The only thing that I was disappointed in was the US Mint. Kinda boring.
 

OSU79

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#6
We've done AirBnB 8-10 times, multiple cities in the U.S. and Canada. I can honestly say I've never had a bad experience. Once a host failed to meet us on time, I called AirBnB and they had us in another (better) townhouse within an hour. Though the replacement unit was listed at a higher price, they honored the price of the original unit, less another 10% for my trouble. The host of the second unit recommended always renting from a "Super Host" if at all possible - the designation is hard to achieve and they cannot have anything less than excellent ratings from customers.
 

Darth Ryno

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#7
Went ahead and did the AirBnB route.

We have a two story loft for under $300 total, just a block away from the subway. Two bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, etc. Just us... no one to share with (owners just rent it out). Seems like a great deal vs $200+ a night for a hotel.

I wish I knew that I could have got $40 off the first time user if I hadn't registered for an account yet. Sorta silly. If I never opened an account and one of you guys sent me a referral link, you'd get like $20 and I'd save another $40... but since I registered, I can't get that discount. Odd.

Anyway, I'll be able to spend that money for other things like FOOD! :)

The Philadelphia Museum of Art worth visiting? I know I gotta run the steps (or walk, slowly)... but didn't know how good it was. Carnegie had an amazing art museum (besides the stupid Festivus pole).
 
#8
Temple has an urban campus. Think functional, not pretty. If your daughter chooses to go to school there, be sure she stays close to campus because the neighborhoods around campus are some of the worst in the city. I'm a pretty big dude, and there are places around there where I'm not comfortable at night. That said, it's a great school and is worthy of serious consideration.

As far as your trip goes, the subway is good for getting you some places, but not great for others. It is nowhere near as good as NYC or DC. You may want an Independence Pass which will get you on all the public transportation you can take for $13/day. You also may want to be prepared to do some Uber.

Yes, the art museum is worth seeing. I would say it is comparable to the Met in NYC. There is also the Rodin museum just a few steps down the Parkway, and a copy of the Thinker sits outside of it.

The Franklin Institute is an excellent science museum that is also on the Parkway. It is very kid-friendly, but it has lots of technical stuff to keep the adults entertained as well. They currently have an exhibit on Vikings that includes three full-sized viking ships.

Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are must-sees. Independence Hall requires a timed ticket most of the year. You can get them for free at the visitor's center the day of your visit, but you may not get a time you want. You can pay a small fee (it was $2 the last time I checked) and get a ticket for the time and day you want if you go to the website.

The Constitution Center is excellent and worth every penny. I am taking my son again the weekend after you guys are here, and I am really excited about it.

The Museum of the American Revolution is still fairly new, and it is awesome.

Skip Geno's unless you just want the tourist experience. It's way out of your way, and it's a bad cheesesteak.
Skip Pat's as well. They may be the original, but they suck. In that area where all the historical places are, my favorite cheesesteak is at Sonny's. You could also hike down to South Street, watch some weirdos, and get a cheesesteak at Jim's.

You should also check out Christ Church which is where many of the founding fathers went to church, and their names are still on their pews so you can sit where they sat for church. Near there is Franklin Fountain which is an old-timey ice cream shop that makes some amazing sundaes.

Eat at least one meal at Reading Terminal Market.

If you are a Dallas Cowboys fan, leave the star at home unless you just want to hear about it.

I love Philadelphia. It's a great city. I hope you and your daughter have a great time.
 
Apr 14, 2008
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#9
I grew up in that area, and echo what OrangeInPhilly said...yes to the art museum, Franklin Institute is awesome, and skip the tourist cheese steak traps in Pat's and Geno's. Honestly you can pretty much get a good cheese steak anywhere there, but for heavens sake DO NOT put Cheese Wiz on it...no idea when that fad started. Provolone. Period.

Not sure how much time you have but there's lots to do/see outside Philly too. Valley Forge isn't too far off. If you were really wanting to explore the Baltimore Aquarium is outstanding but will require a day trip.

Flyers play Montreal on Tue night. If you haven't been to an NHL game (granted I haven't since they played at The Spectrum...sigh)...you must!
 
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Darth Ryno

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#10
Temple has an urban campus. Think functional, not pretty. If your daughter chooses to go to school there, be sure she stays close to campus because the neighborhoods around campus are some of the worst in the city. I'm a pretty big dude, and there are places around there where I'm not comfortable at night. That said, it's a great school and is worthy of serious consideration.

As far as your trip goes, the subway is good for getting you some places, but not great for others. It is nowhere near as good as NYC or DC. You may want an Independence Pass which will get you on all the public transportation you can take for $13/day. You also may want to be prepared to do some Uber.

Yes, the art museum is worth seeing. I would say it is comparable to the Met in NYC. There is also the Rodin museum just a few steps down the Parkway, and a copy of the Thinker sits outside of it.

The Franklin Institute is an excellent science museum that is also on the Parkway. It is very kid-friendly, but it has lots of technical stuff to keep the adults entertained as well. They currently have an exhibit on Vikings that includes three full-sized viking ships.

Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are must-sees. Independence Hall requires a timed ticket most of the year. You can get them for free at the visitor's center the day of your visit, but you may not get a time you want. You can pay a small fee (it was $2 the last time I checked) and get a ticket for the time and day you want if you go to the website.

The Constitution Center is excellent and worth every penny. I am taking my son again the weekend after you guys are here, and I am really excited about it.

The Museum of the American Revolution is still fairly new, and it is awesome.

Skip Geno's unless you just want the tourist experience. It's way out of your way, and it's a bad cheesesteak.
Skip Pat's as well. They may be the original, but they suck. In that area where all the historical places are, my favorite cheesesteak is at Sonny's. You could also hike down to South Street, watch some weirdos, and get a cheesesteak at Jim's.

You should also check out Christ Church which is where many of the founding fathers went to church, and their names are still on their pews so you can sit where they sat for church. Near there is Franklin Fountain which is an old-timey ice cream shop that makes some amazing sundaes.

Eat at least one meal at Reading Terminal Market.

If you are a Dallas Cowboys fan, leave the star at home unless you just want to hear about it.

I love Philadelphia. It's a great city. I hope you and your daughter have a great time.
I'm sending a PM... will you check it? THX!
 

Darth Ryno

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#11
We landed early EST (1 a.m.) and got to our room around 2 a.m. NICE area, quiet, no crime anywhere (we are in South Philly).

Went to the Visitors Center, got our tickets in the monring. We had some time to waste so we went to eat at Sonny's Cheese-steaks. OUTSTANDING!!!! We then got to our tour, seeing the hall and the court room that were set up to the Queens' standards.

Saw the Constitution Center, which was fun. Seems more for younger kids, than adults like this place. Still, so cool we are getting to see everything. We packed in a ton of information before going to eat dinner at a suice that Rylie wanted. I wanted pizza... we got both :)

Round 2 tomorrow.
-------------------------------
Rylie is shadowing a vocal performance major all day, I was worried it would just be us two. Should bee fun!!!

(pictures soon coming)
 
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Donnyboy

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#12
I grew up in that area, and echo what OrangeInPhilly said...yes to the art museum, Franklin Institute is awesome, and skip the tourist cheese steak traps in Pat's and Geno's. Honestly you can pretty much get a good cheese steak anywhere there, but for heavens sake DO NOT put Cheese Wiz on it...no idea when that fad started. Provolone. Period.

Not sure how much time you have but there's lots to do/see outside Philly too. Valley Forge isn't too far off. If you were really wanting to explore the Baltimore Aquarium is outstanding but will require a day trip.

Flyers play Montreal on Tue night. If you haven't been to an NHL game (granted I haven't since they played at The Spectrum...sigh)...you must!
Disregard any statement that sends you to Baltimore.