This summer, my friends and I took a day trip up to Philadelphia! I've been on many school trips and day trips to Philly before, but this was my first time ever walking around the heart of the city. It was absolutely gorgeous! Whenever someone mentions Pennsylvania, my mind automatically thinks of history and founding fathers, so seeing modern-day skyscrapers mixed in with historical buildings and sites was amazing. Even thought we didn't even have time to brush the surface of all the history in Philadelphia, I still feel like we learned a lot.
Our first stop was to check out the iconic Liberty Bell. I recommend getting there right when it opens (9am) or being very very patient if you want to get a good picture because it was super crowded. It was a struggle just to get close enough to see it properly.
If you want to take a tour of Independence Hall, which we did, you have to purchase tickets in the Independence Visitors Center. However, these tickets are free and just reserve the time for your tour. From start to finish, the entire tour lasted about 30 minutes, and the tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. The tour included rooms such as the Assembly Room, where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
We also took a short tour of Congress Hall, since there were no tickets required, and it was right next to Independence Hall.
Now, who can go to Philadelphia without eating a Philly Cheesesteak? You know we had to. But personally I'm not the biggest fan of them, and for the life of me, I cannot pronounce "cheesesteak." Instead, I told the cashier that I wanted a "cheesecake." But that's okay. She knew what I meant. We chowed down at a little place called Sonny's Famous Steaks, whose cheesesteaks were surprisingly quite good. But I guess that should be expected from a local favorite. The line was literally out the door, and we were there right after it opened.
The rest of our day was just spent walking around the city and taking in the sights. We even stopped by Washington Square to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the eternal flame. This tomb serves as a war memorial for unknown soldiers from the American Revolution.
For those of you who enjoy markets and crowds of people, you should appreciate the Reading Terminal Market. It's an indoor market with a huge variety of products. They had candy, desserts, meats, honey, flowers, fresh produce, ice cream, bakeries, and a variety of restaurants. With rows and rows of stands and restaurants, it felt like we were walking through a maze.
I love visiting Philadelphia, but by the end of the day, I was super tired and ready for bed. If you're ever on the East Coast, consider making a trip to Philly. There's so much more to see, and I definitely will visit again.