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Downtown Philly...
Old 07-17-2015, 10:40 PM   #1
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Downtown Philly...

Hello all....DW wants to take a road trip to the Mutter Museum...we have never been to Philadelphia before ...the museum is on South 22nd. We would be driving in from out of state and would certainly appreciate any advice on hotel and parking situation from anyone familiar with the area....thanks.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:09 AM   #2
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I have been very happy using Hotwire for hotel reservations everywhere. Phillynhas some great sites to visit depending on your interests. Independence Hall,The Reading Terminal Market, the Art Museum, Rodin Museum, Barnes Collection, the Italian Market, there is an aquarium across the water in Camden, NJ...


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Old 07-18-2015, 04:46 AM   #3
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How long will you stay? Do you walk a lot?

Phila Art Museum
Independence Hall
Barnes Institute
Rodin museum
Franklin Institute
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:51 AM   #4
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I visited Philadelphia in August of 2013 for a week. I stayed downtown at the PennsView hotel. Great location but it's an older building so my room was small. Good breakfast including a waffle iron that makes liberty bell waffles!

Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell can be seen in 2 hours if you arrive early. The Philadelphia Art Museum is good and you can take a selfie on the "Rocky Steps." I took a ferry across to Camden and enjoyed the audio tour on the Battleship New Jersey, but the aquarium as packed with kids that day, so I was in and out in less than an hour.

The district around the PennsView hotel has some of the oldest buildings and streets in Phily. Just walking around and seeing the tiny alleys that date back to the 1700s was cool, I thought. That being said, I think Phily is a 2 day visit, 3 tops.
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:59 AM   #5
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We went to Philly last month & stayed at the Thomas Bond House Bed & Breakfast. There is a parking garage right next door and it is in Old City section of Philly. It is walking distance to Independence Hall, Liberty Bell and Reading Terminal.

Lots to do & see in Philly!
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:12 AM   #6
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When I was an impressionable teenager an older sibling living in Philly told me about the Mutter Museum, and in particular told me to ask to visit the "back room" - a large store room with all the really creepy stuff they couldn't show out front. If you know what's out front you can only imagine what they hide in back. Blew my 15 year old mind.

30 or so years later on a visit back east I dragged my DW to the Mutter and tried to get access to the back room once again. Sadly this resulted in a firm refusal from the museum director. Without a compelling research interest tourists are no longer allowed back there as simple voyeurs of freakdom.

Still worth a visit though.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:29 AM   #7
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Philly is great, good suggestions. On your trip do you want to visit Gettysburg? Only 2.5 hours west, neat place to tour.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:36 PM   #8
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Philly is great, good suggestions. On your trip do you want to visit Gettysburg? Only 2.5 hours west, neat place to tour.
Do yourself a favor and allow some time to spend in Gettysburg if you have any interest in Civil War history. The park ranger events are excellent. As a minimum, take a tour bus or buy the driving tour CD at the museum. But far more memorable if you can walk the grounds.
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by urn2bfree View Post
I have been very happy using Hotwire for hotel reservations everywhere. Phillynhas some great sites to visit depending on your interests. Independence Hall,The Reading Terminal Market, the Art Museum, Rodin Museum, Barnes Collection, the Italian Market, there is an aquarium across the water in Camden, NJ........
Nothing like sending a tourist to the slaughter...
Not sure I'd want to go to Camden, NJ
Probably best to not cross the river.

Crime in Camden, New Jersey (NJ): murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers, crime map
Camden, NJ Crime and Crime Rate - USA.com™
"The Camden crime rate is much higher than the New Jersey average crime rate and is much higher than the national average crime rate."
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:03 AM   #10
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Do yourself a favor and allow some time to spend in Gettysburg if you have any interest in Civil War history. The park ranger events are excellent. As a minimum, take a tour bus or buy the driving tour CD at the museum. But far more memorable if you can walk the grounds.
+1

Its interesting even if you don't really have a civil war interest, to be able to see where Abe gave his speech, walk the street he walked, and look down a cannon at the fields where soldiers walked into cannon fire by the thousands.
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:31 AM   #11
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Nothing like sending a tourist to the slaughter...
Not sure I'd want to go to Camden, NJ
Probably best to not cross the river.

Crime in Camden, New Jersey (NJ): murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers, crime map
Camden, NJ Crime and Crime Rate - USA.com™
"The Camden crime rate is much higher than the New Jersey average crime rate and is much higher than the national average crime rate."
It's not that bad, Camden is the city I was born in. Those reports must be exaggerated!
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:20 AM   #12
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Nothing like sending a tourist to the slaughter...
Not sure I'd want to go to Camden, NJ
Probably best to not cross the river.

Crime in Camden, New Jersey (NJ): murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers, crime map
Camden, NJ Crime and Crime Rate - USA.com™
"The Camden crime rate is much higher than the New Jersey average crime rate and is much higher than the national average crime rate."
Yes, in 2012 Camden crime index was 6Xs the state index. Also true that in same year phila was 3Xs the state index. If this is good as a yardstick, we would have missed out on a slew of city visits around the world over our lifetime.

I didn't originally recommend the OP visit Camden. But here are the main attractions, IMO, all safe, with plenty of protection.
Wiggins Park for view of phila and bridge, Aquarium, SBC amphitheater, ball park.

We go to the areas mentioned a few times each year.
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
Nothing like sending a tourist to the slaughter...
Not sure I'd want to go to Camden, NJ
Probably best to not cross the river.

Crime in Camden, New Jersey (NJ): murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers, crime map
Camden, NJ Crime and Crime Rate - USA.com™
"The Camden crime rate is much higher than the New Jersey average crime rate and is much higher than the national average crime rate."
Nothing like using statistics to scare people...Don't visit St Louis! #1 Crime Capital of America!!

Except St Louis is a big metro area, and most of the crime is concentrated in areas most people will never see as tourists. Maybe before posting such inflammatory and misleading nonsense like "sending a tourist to the slaughter" it would be good to know more than some general statisitcs about an area...

Certainly there are bad parts of Camden, but the Aquarium in Camden and the waterfront tourist area of Camden are considered safe and nice.

From virtualtourist.com:
"Camden is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. The crime rates are huge! Be very careful in this city. The area where the New Jersey State Aquarium and the USS New Jersey are located, however, are quite safe and very nice. You can park your car in one central parking lot and walk to either one of these attractions. While walking on the Delaware river's edge, you will see a beautiful, close up view of the Philadelphia skyline. Here is a nurse shark contained, quite safely, behind glass in the aquarium."
http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel...en-TG-C-1.html

Similar comments on tripadvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...ew_Jersey.html

From hipsterhenry website:
"Worth Mentioning: Camden, NJ is one the most dangerous cities in America list. Not only is it on the list but it comes in at one or two depending on the year. The Adventure Aquarium and parking lot are in a safe area right on the waterfront by several other great attractions. This section on Camden is seperate from the trouble areas."
http://www.hipsterhenry.com/things_t...ntureaquarium/


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Old 07-26-2015, 09:18 AM   #14
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From virtualtourist.com:
"While walking on the Delaware river's edge, you will see a beautiful, close up view of the Philadelphia skyline.
I took the ferry across the Delaware to Camden from Phily and toured the battleship New Jersey and the Aquarium. I walked between the two sites along the shore and it is pleasant and safe. Of the two, I much preferred the battleship, but I'm a bit of a history buff and the Aquarium was really noisy.

Note -- The New Jersey has a very good audio tour, but exploring the ship definitely requires some agility. There are lots of "ladders" (stairs on ships) and trip hazards to naviagate as you explore the ship.
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:16 AM   #15
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If you are interested in The Mutter, you may enjoy touring a part of Pennsylvania Hospital. It was the first USA hospital co-founded by Benjamin Franklin. They used to have tours of the first surgery arena (with open balcony and tiered seating) and the first medical library. It's in downtown Philadelphia as well.
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:35 PM   #16
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It's not that bad, Camden is the city I was born in. Those reports must be exaggerated!
The Camden aquarium is nothing great, but the Battleship New Jersey is really cool. Just don't go driving randomly around Camden. Follow directions and you'll be fine.

When you're in Philly, if you're looking for some high end dining, I would recommend Alma de Cuba or Budacan. Both are very pricey, but among the best places I've ever eaten in my life. For more modest spending, try Matyson's (I think it's on 20th)...whatever the soup of the day is, eat it. For low end, but fun, go to Love Park and get a cheesesteak from the street cart. Eat it by the fountain. If you go early in the morning, go to the cart and get eggs and bacon with cheese on a hoagie roll. You'll die a year earlier, but it's worth it

At some point, stop at a Rita's and have a water ice (mango is the best).

Also, if you're up for it, head east and hour and hit the Jersey shore. Ignore what you see on TV. There is a part of the shore for everyone. Just research the beaches before you go and find the right one for you. I'd suggest Avalon.

Have fun!!
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:20 PM   #17
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Watch your timing...the Pope is coming to town at the end of September and it will be a traffic nightmare.
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:15 PM   #18
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Ah, Philadelphia. We were there, but I could not remember when. My wife, when asked, immediately said 2005, which was right. Hmm... I am never good at remembering dates, but am nearly always better than my wife about recalling scenery or circumstances.

Anyway, knowing the date makes it easier for me to look up the photos of that trip. Yes, I had a photo of the Liberty Bell to prove it. Security was tight around the site, as they were afraid terrorists might just cause damage to this important symbol of the US.

We flew to PHL, then took the rail into downtown where we stayed. We toured all the historic sites using public transportation. Then, a few days later, we got a rental car to explore the surrounding, like the Amish country, the Hershey factory, etc...

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Old 07-27-2015, 02:06 PM   #19
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Aug. 1, 10am til 5pm - Arts and Wine Festival @Wiggins Park in Camden.
Sounds like a winner.
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:08 PM   #20
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FYI, my sister lives near Philly and recently said that traffic in and out of the city is horrible nearly all the time right now as they are rebuilding many bridges on the main highways at the same time. So you may want to get your hotel room in the downtown area so you don't need to navigate the roads every day. The train/subway system is decent if you ignore the panhandlers in the stations.
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