A city that I find Manhattanites don’t go to that often is the “City of Brotherly Love”, otherwise known as Philadelphia. It’s weird that we don’t find ourselves there too often, even thought it is a quick and cheap ride away via the Amtrak (same distance if you were traveling to Huntington on the Long Island Railroad, about 90 minutes). The summer is officially coming to an end shortly, and the fall in Philadelphia will be chock full of great events to head to, restaurants to chow down at and hotels to stay in for a great night sleep. Here’s why we think you should be visiting Philadelphia for the fall.
When you get to Philly, the first thing you are going to want to do is of course check in to the hotel you are staying at before you head off on your adventure. When it comes to comfort, professionalism and location, your best bet would be to stay The Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square on S. 17th Street in Center City.
Something I love about this hotel is that it has a luxury type of look to it, yet the pricing for each room is totally affordable and should work within your budget. The lobby (pictured above) is stunning and a fun place to chill in should you be waiting on your friend who takes those 30 minute showers or just need a spot to decompress. The room itself was spacious, comfortable and big enough to feel like I am staying in an apartment of sorts. Also, they are blocks away from some of the best bars, restaurants and nightlife all in Philadelphia. If you need a hotel to check into, this is the one. More info here.
Of course, if you are looking for a more luxurious experience, then you can’t go wrong with The Ritz-Carlton, which has a historical type look on the outside but more sophisticated on the inside. Although I did not stay here, I was fortunate enough to dine at their amazing restaurant inside called Aqimero, which is situated in the lobby of the hotel. They have a spectacular endless brunch option on Saturday and Sunday that is priced at $75 a person, but as previously mentioned… its endless as well as decadent and worth every dollar. Feast on their scrumptious raw bar or if you are looking for something hotter, then go with their Chicken & Waffles with agave syrup & pickled fresno pepper (my choice, and was one of the best C&B options I’ve ever had). More info here.
I’m always craving some sort of Italian food, and was lucky enough to stumble on Little Nonna’s, right down the street from where I was staying that weekend. The restaurant is owned by lesbian business partners Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, who pretty much run 13th Street with the other spots they own (check this out). If there is one dish that is worth going to Little Nonna’s for, it’s their classic take on Spaghetti & Meatballs. Just like mama used to make. Yum. More on them here.
It is important to always highlight the progression of LGBT, even though our visibility is at a sky high today. Philadelphia is known for having some amazing gay nightlife experiences, and one that is coming up that is worth checking out is OutFest on October 8th. Held on National Coming Out Day, it is their 27th year celebrating this occasion and will be doing so with 12 blocks of drag shows, vendors, games, bar crawls, music and shopping. The heart of the festival is at 13th and Locust Streets, site of a main stage—and the start of the high-heel race. More info here.
New this fall is the Parkway 100, where the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, often referred to as Philadelphia’s Champs-Elysées, kicks off a 14-month-long centennial of 100 scintillating exhibitions, events, community conversations and promotions. The event invites exploration of the thriving museums along the corridor via performances, plein-air painting and art lessons, storytelling, Cai Guo-Qiang’s 27 light-up pedicabs Fireflies (September 14-October 8, 2017) and more.
There are a slew of other fabulous events going on this fall in Philadelphia, including Opera Philadelphia’s O17, a huge Opera festival, art and food events, and so much more. Take some time to get out of our concrete jungle for a day or two and experience all Philadelphia truly has to offer. You won’t regret it.
For more information on all things Philadelphia, please check out their official website.