Oh my goodness, Philadelphia is amazing. It was so much to take in all at once. And I’m so glad we had the opportunity to go out and wander. Before our trip I looked up suggested things to do/places to eat/things to see in Philly-there was so much! I was really hoping we could take a train up to New York for a day but I’m not sad at all that we didn’t. Philadelphia did not disappoint.
First order of business: East Coast seafood. Luke’s Lobster is a chain (a rule I typically follow is to avoid eating at chain restaurants when I travel) BUT only on the east coast and mainly in Philadelphia and New York, making it completely acceptable in my book. The food was AMAZING. We ordered the “Noah’s Ark” a platter for 2 that included 2 plates of smaller portion sandwiches of lobster, shrimp and crab + 2 crab claws each and their homemade coleslaw + artisan soda’s. It was amazing.
We wandered and shopped a bit in downtown Philly. There was a concert happening in this small little church so we had to poke our heads in.
Sunday morning we went back to downtown to explore Laurel Hill Cemetery. It is huge-78 acres of incredible monuments to those that rest there. There was so much to look at-family mausoleums, huge statues, and my favorite-large angel sculptures guarding the graves below.
Can you tell the angels are my fave? Every since seeing Nightmare Before Christmas as a child I’ve wanted a large angel as my tombstone:
Seeing this cemetery really added to my options. The views overlooking the city were so pretty.
After Laurel Hill we headed further downtown to the Reading Terminal Market. A local was sure to correct us and let us know it is pronounced ‘Redding.’ During my search for things to see/do in Philadelphia this quickly became a high priority for me. It’s an entire market full of every kind of food!!
According to reviews-this was the best place to get a Philly Cheesesteak. I looked for the vendor with the longest line and determined that that was where I was going to eat.
I was not disappointed! It was so, so good. I also bought to take home sauerkraut with seaweed, goat’s milk caramel sauce, speck, and a chocolate dipped banana cookie thing that was super good. All things I wouldn’t find anywhere else. I was however, heartbroken to find out that all of the Amish booths were closed due to it being the sabbath. Righteous Amish. I was so sad I didn’t get to see any of them!
Downtown is so much to look at! On the other side of the fountain is the “Rocky Steps.”
There are mosaics everywhere and lots of art painted on the buildings.
We wandered a bit further to Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. They are getting ready for the Pope to visit in the next week so excitement was buzzing everywhere we went, but particularly there. During our visits to Italy and Germany I learned a lot about the difference between cathedrals and churches. I always thought that cathedral just meant “really big church that’s super ornate” but I was wrong. Churches are places of worship, Cathedrals are a church and also the seat of a bishop (literally and figuritively). Basilica’s are churches that the Pope has deemed important for some reason-events that took place there, unique architecture, etc. or granted special privileges. So interesting.
I love the painting to the right of the nativity. And the fact that I snuck a pic of Cyndi with it.
City hall. Amazing. Overall I really want to go back and see more of Philadelphia-we barely scratched the surface! Next time…