How to Make Philly Your New Home

We’ve got a fun guest post for you today– our pal, Kasia over at Ampersand is sharing all the suggestions about how to make a new city… yours. The post is technically about Philadelphia BUT the ideas apply to many cities. Give it a read and then head over to her blog for our take on how to make a home in D.C.!

 

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Kasia here from Ampersand! I’m super excited to be guest posting for You, Me & DC (Carrie & Shannon are the greatest!) and even more excited to be talking about how to get to know Philadelphia. As a Jersey girl, born & raised, I grew up going to New York City often. And for a long time, I thought I would end up there when I got to “the real world.” It wasn’t until I went to college in the Philly area that I started getting to know The City of Brotherly Love more…and ended up falling in love with it so I stayed!

Philly is not like most of your “big” cities. There’s a lot of history & character that makes it extremely unique. I like to think of Philly as a “manageable” city–it’s not as overwhelming as NYC or even Boston. Moving here permanently, I was excited to explore it more and even though I’ve been here for a little over 2 years, there’s still more for me to get to know. So if you’ve just moved to Philly or are planning to in the near future, check out some suggestions to truly make Philly your home. And of course, feel free to pop over to Ampersand for even more ideas & advice.

Do Some Research

First things first. Before I moved to Philly, I did a lot of research to learn the in’s and out’s so I wasn’t totally clueless when I got there. Philadelphia Magazine’s website is a great place to start. They have really great reviews and info on restaurants as well as big upcoming events that you don’t want to miss. Uwishunu is another great site. I love their “Things to Do This Week in Philly” lists because it helps me plan my weekends & fun things to do with my friends. And finally, Visit Philly is essential to make sure you hit all the “touristy” spots (every Philadelphian has been there).

Be a Tourist for the Day

Speaking of being a tourist…I know, you’re moving here so you’re technically not a tourist, but I think to truly appreciate Philly, you have to hit the spots that it’s best known for! Here are a few tourist things that I think are the most worth seeing:

  • Reading Terminal Market: It’s the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market and has every possible type of food you could dream of.
  • Independence Hall/The National Constitution Center: The history of our country legitimately started here. That’s pretty damn cool.
  • The Philadelphia Museum of Art/Rocky Steps: Even though I’m not the biggest fan of art museums, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a great place to spend an afternoon. And of course you have to run (or walk) up the Rocky Steps. It’s a rite of passage.
  • Rittenhouse Square: Located in one of the nicest neighborhoods in Philly, I love to just sit here and people watch. There are also some great restaurants nearby (see my list a little further down!)
  • City Hall/Dilworth Park/LOVE Park: I used to work right by City Hall and I loveeee this part of the city. Also there are lots of events that happen in Dilworth Park (right in front of City Hall) and of course you have to see the LOVE sign.
  • Penn’s Landing: Full of year-round outdoor activities, Penn’s Landing is a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon/evening.
  • Magic Gardens: I think Magic Gardens is just such a unique little section of the city. I’ve never seen anything like it.
  • Get a Cheesesteak: Everyone has their opinion where has the best cheesesteak (are you a Pat or Geno’s person??) I personally like Jim’s on South Street, but I’ll let you pick your fave cheesesteak spot for yourself.

Check Out Other Neighborhoods

So once you’ve checked out Center & Old City, take some time to explore Philly’s other neighborhoods! You’ll find that each neighborhood has a different “personality” that are all unique. Here’s a great list of the breakdown of the city and where each neighborhood is located.

Eat Your Way Around the City

Y’all. Philly has a VERY underrated food scene. I actually have a full section of my blog dedicated to reviewing Philly brunches. Here are some of my favorite/must visit restaurants:

  • Bud & Marilyn’s: Step back into the 70’s with it’s awesome atmosphere.
  • Parc: Are you in Paris? Or Philly? LMK.
  • Mission Taqueria: Don’t knock Mexican brunch till you’ve tried it.
  • FARMiCiA: Farm to table.
  • The Gaslight: Cozy vibes perfect for legit any occasion.
  • El Vez: The best guac you’ll ever have.
  • Lolita: Rivals El Vez’s guac.
  • The Dandelion Pub: You’ll feel like you’re in England. Cheers.
  • Sampan: If you don’t get the edamame dumplings, did you even go to Sampan?
  • Little Nonna’s: Pasta, pasta & more pasta.
  • Tria: It’s a wine & cheese bar. What else do you need to know?

Make Your Weekends Count

I think the best piece of advice I have for moving to Philly is making your weekends count. There are TONS of events going on in Philly year round, so just get out and do some! It’s a great way to explore the city and try new things. Plus it’s a cool way to meet new people or something different to do with your friends/significant other.

Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love! I know you’re going to love it here. &.

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