A few weeks ago, Nick and I went to Philly for a little weekend trip.
A lot of people don’t know this about me, but I’m not the biggest fan of Philadelphia. BEFORE YOU GET MAD, let me explain why. 1. I’m a New Yorker, and the Eagles/Giants rivalry is a thing. So I grew up in a household that already disliked Philly. 2. My ex-boyfriend was from Pittsburgh, who made me a Pittsburgh sports fan…and the battle of the PA Turnpike is VERY, VERY real. 3. Philly reminds me a lot of DC, and I really didn’t love going to school in the DMV area…so there’s that.
So yes, Philly isn’t a horrible city, but there’s a few quirky reasons why it’s definitely not my favorite.
Nonetheless, it’s a quick trip from New York, and cheesesteaks are just….sooooo…goooood.
where to stay
I was invited to come check out the brand new Canopy by Hilton in Center City. When I tell you it was one of THE best hotels I’ve stayed in…I mean it. To be transparent, I wasn’t asked to do a blog post or anything (only Instagram posts), but I felt the need to write about our stay because it was THAT good. Yes, even during a pandemic.
We can start with safety and precautions. I felt VERY safe from the moment I walked into the hotel, to when I got to my room, to all of the times we were in and out. Of course, masks were required by everyone. There were hand sanitizing stations around all high-contact areas (like elevators). The elevators were marked and only limited to ONE person and/or ONE family per elevator. The front desk had plexiglass up, and you were only provided basic housekeeping if you asked. When we got to the room, I was really impressed by the level of cleanliness and sanitizing (alcohol wipes were also provided in the room). Overall, I felt SO safe staying here.
Now let’s get to the hotel itself.
I cannot rave enough about the decor, color palette, and aesthetic of the hotel. Everything was modern, yet a nod to 1980s hip-hop culture. There was a lot of cool artwork, bold colors, and geometric patterns. The rooms had amazing beds, and beautiful bathrooms (yes, with a full length mirror).
where to eat
We were lucky enough to be able to eat at the hotel’s restaurant, The Wayward. From start to finish, the food and service was excellent. We had everything from a raw bar (such fresh seafood!), to corn beignets, to steak and branzino, to doughnuts for dessert. They offer both outdoor and (limited) indoor seating.
On Saturday afternoon, we headed to Reading Terminal, because it’s one of my FAVORITE places in Philadelphia. I feel like there is SO much culture in that one space. I will say, they do not limit the amount of people in the building, so it still feels pretty crowded. Masks were required, and from what I saw, everyone was wearing them while trying to maintain their distance. We got these AMAZING Italian subs from by George.
For our second night in Philly, we went to a place that was recommended to us on Instagram – Talula’s Garden. AND OH MY GOD. The ambiance. The food. The heat lamps. Everything was amazing. Highly, highly, highly recommend this place for a nice, romantic dinner.
what to do
Obviously, with COVID, things are slightly different. Many things aren’t open as usual. There are some outdoor fitness classes in Philly which could be cool. I liked that Canopy provided bicycles to their guests, and it’s just a cool way to see the city on your own. Since it’s Halloween, I looked at the Eastern State Penitentiary – you could do a regular tour (day or night), but they aren’t doing their normal spooky event. So that was a little bummer.
Nick is a BIG fan of playing games. One of our first dates was to Dave & Busters andddddd I couldn’t get him to leave a game until he won. So yeah. That’s Nick in a nutshell. We ended up asking the front desk if there was anything cool to do while we waited for our 9:30 dinner reservation, and they told us a new bowling alley/arcade opened up a few blocks away.
I was a little skeptical at first because of COVID, but when we went I felt better: masks, hand sanitizer, limited people, and each game had stickers on them noting when the last time they were sanitized. So that was cool. And definitely something fun to do!
what to pack
Philly is definitely a chill city, and the weather was absolutely PERFECT (it was in the 60s when we went in early October). I packed jeans, a sweater, and flats for day time. I felt like I’m always wearing jeans and stuff, so I also packed my trusted suede moto and paired it with a midi skirt. When I changed into this outfit for an afternoon of exploring, Nick was like, “wait, you look so nice” LOL. OH. And my hats. We cannot forget about my hats.
Overall, we had such a nice weekend. The weather the food and the accommodations were just perfect for a 2 night stay. So there you have it – a little “travel guide” to Philadelphia during COVID-19. If you have ANY questions, let me know!