Hello, and welcome back to another edition of Sweet Summertime Reads Roadtrip! Each Wednesday this summer I'll be taking you on a virtual roadtrip to various places on the map and hopefully introduce you to some new reads along the way as well. This week we're visiting Philadelphia as Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner takes us on a tour of her favorite spots that she calls home.
Welcome to my little corner of Philadelphia! I don't actually live IN Philadelphia but from my apartment you can see the "Welcome to Philadelphia" sign…literally. When we got married, Will and I wanted to move closer to the city but not be IN it because commuting to the suburbs would suck. So now we kind of have the best of both worlds being not too far from the city at all and all the amenities of the suburbs right there. So I'm going to share with you some of our favorite spots:
Places To Go:
We live across from a great hiking spot in the Wissahickon Valley Park -- also known as Forbidden Drive. It's part of the Fairmount Park system which is a huge park system in Philadelphia (there are other cool spots within it but this is OURS). You should see how crazy the parking is there on Saturday afternoon in the summer and we get to just walk right across the street and start hiking. It's a great, great trail to bike and walk on.
If we are feeling like taking the train closer to Center City our new favorite spot as of this summer is the Spruce Street Harbor Park. I've always loved that spot because it's what people know as Penn's Landing and sometimes there are good concerts down there. It's right on the Delaware River and the Spruce Street Harbor Park is a pop-up park for the summer. We've been excited about it since we heard it was happening and it didn't disappoint. They build a boardwalk, urban beach, a floating barge that has places to sit and eat (also really cool hammock-like seats that are over the water), a bar, boat rentals, a hammock park, life sized chess and Jenga games, bocce ball and shuffleboard. It's just a really cool spot to relax. We haven't gone there at night yet but apparently it's all lit up and the bar is super fun!
If you happen to love baseball or are traveling with someone who does you HAVE to check out a Phillies game. Unfortunately we aren't the amazing team we were a couple years ago but that means tickets are cheaper and easier to come by right now. Will and I, every summer except this one actually for some reason, typically go to multiple Phillies games throughout the season. Citizens Bank Park is one of my favorite ballparks ever and I've been to quite a few. There's not a bad spot to watch the game from and we've literally sat in almost every spot. We did standing room only during playoffs and even that was a good spot. If you are eating there I highly suggest Chickies and Pete's for some crab fries! I've been to all the sporting events you could go to in this area and without a doubt catching a Phillies game is the best, though the Philadelphia Union games are also really great.
If you came to visit me, the food would be my first priority. Here's some of the spots Will and I frequent quite often:
Earth Bread + Brewery (Mt. Airy neighborhood)
This is our new favorite pizza place -- just ask Alexa from Alexa Loves Books and Elena from Novel Sounds how good it is because I've already taken them. The pizza is of the flatbread variety and mostly everything is locally sourced and made on a hearth. If you are looking for greasy pizza, this is not it. I've tried MANY of their pizzas and loved them all but can we just talk about the mac & cheese pizza?? . I know it sounds gross but it's not at ALL. Their beer is good and I also loved their handmade sodas. OH AND S'MORES DESSERT PIZZA OKAY.
Green Eggs (Center City though there's a couple locations in the city)
If you find yourself in Center City Philadelphia you HAVE to get brunch at Green Eggs. HAVE TO. Beware….the wait is always super long and we've stood outside waiting for a table for an hour before. YOU HAVE TO GET THE RED VELVET PANCAKES. They are huge and fairly priced. I've gotten a meal and Will has gotten the pancakes to eat as his meal and we split everything and we STILL come home with the red velvet pancakes. Their breakfast burrito is also amazing but THOSE PANCAKES GUYS.
The French Bakery (Chestnut Hill neighborhood)
It's literally just called The French Bakery. It's tucked away off the main drag in Chestnut Hill and it doesn't even have a sign so it's easy to miss. But it's a cute little spot to go for breakfast (their croissants are great) and I had a really nice lunch there as well. It's also the spot where Margot took the fauxto of me for Anna and the French Kiss.
Reading Terminal Market
This is about as touristy as I get but OMG the amount of food in this place. ANYTHING you could want to eat is there and I'm still discovering new places. I recommend the crepe place, also some of the Pennsylvania Dutch eats..but my favorite is DiNic's for the roast pork sandwich that was on Man vs. Food so THERE'S THAT.
Will and I love going down to Chinatown for some food and bubble tea. Always with the bubble tea because there is only like one place in the burbs where I know I can get it. There's some great noodle shops! We like Dim Sum Garden and Terakawa Ramen. And if anyone wants to come visit me I really want to try Banana Leaf (malaysian food).
Favorite book shop hands down:
It's worth the trip out to the burbs but Children's Book World is my favorite local indie. They put on some of the BEST events and the staff are like friends at this point. There's also some good places to eat around there (see, always about food)!
If you want to take an armchair adventure to Philly:
- The Pretty Little Liars series -- it's set in the Main Line area of the Philly suburbs. Sara Shephard also wrote an adult novel set in the Main Line as well.
- Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard -- This book was SO FUN and I loved how Philadelphia really came alive as much as the dead came alive. I don't read a ton of paranormal books but this series is GREAT because it's also historical set in the late 1800's.
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: I actually know someone who was an extra on that movie because they did a TON of shooting around here.
- a couple of Laurie Halse Anderson books: Fever 1793 and her book Forge (companion to chains) is set in historic Valley Forge.
- Silver Linings Playbook and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick: Also, it was a HUGE thing when they filmed Silver Linings here in Philly..especially because Bradley is from around here. That book/movie really did get Philly natives right haha.
I haven't really given you a very touristy guide to Philadelphia but that's just not where I would take you if you stopped here to see me. I showed you MY Philly. You can always go to the historic section of Philadelphia and see the Liberty Bell if that tickles your fancy. The Philadelphia Art Museum is WONDERFUL and I highly recommend. Also, gotta run up those Rocky stairs!! There are also a lot of really great parks and spots in the suburbs that I'd take you to but then this post would be even longer!!
(all photo credits to Jamie)
Well, I know where I want to go eat on vacation! Ha Thank you, Jamie, for showing us around YOUR Philly! One of these days, WE WILL MEET, and we'll feast on red velvet pancakes and see a show at the Mann Center. IT WILL HAPPEN. I love how Jamie showed us a unique side to an already popular city. What a fun roadtrip!
Next week, before we hit the road home, we'll be making one last stop in Kentucky as Danielle shows us around her hometown. Be sure to come back!