This past week I had a 10 hour layover in Philadelphia while on my way to Erie. Instead of waiting at the airport I decided to make use of my time in a new place. I have to say I enjoyed the public transportation system in Philly. It was hassle free and not as confusing as other ones I have been on. I purchased a one day Independence Pass that allowed me to go on any train, subway, trolley, or bus all for only $12! That is definitely a steal to me (for convenience you can purchase this pass once you are on the train).
I made a very detailed itinerary so I would not be late getting back to the airport and it also helped in maxmizing the time that I had. I have to say, I was able to get through 6/8 things that I had planned to go to. First on my list was the Franklin Institute. I enjoyed the architecture of this museum and I was excited because it was featuring the Genghis Khan exhibit. I started having an infatuation regarding the history of the Great Khan from the show Marco Polo so it was cool experience being able to see all of the artifiacts. I was a little disappointed because I thought the exhibit would be bigger but nonetheless it was a good experience. Second on my list was the LOVE statue. Everything seems bigger on TV. That is all I have to say (laughs). I do not know why I thought this statue would be bigger but being the tourist that I am I had to take a picture! This statue was made by Robert Indiana and is located by city hall [first picture].
Third on my list was Reading Terminal Market. Similar to Pike Market in Seattle, it houses various food and merchandise vendors. I read great reviews on DiNic’s sandwiches so I had to try it for myself. I got the roast pork with provolone and broccoli rabe. It was definitely a twist on your typical Philly cheesesteak! There were so many food options that I wish I could have sampled bits of everything!
Fourth and fifth on my list was Chinatown and the Liberty Bell. I have been to many Chinatowns before so I only briefly browsed the area for some boba tea ^_^. The Liberty Bell is actually only a couple of blocks down the street from Chinatown. It was pretty awesome standing in the area of where George Washington and John Adams used to live. The Liberty Bell is housed right by Presidents House (currently an archeological site), which was considered the first home for the President of the United States when Philadelphia was the temporary capital. Again, National Treasure made the Liberty Bell look really big on TV but it is actually quite small in real life.
Last on my list was the Mutter Museum, which used to be called the College of Physicians. This was probably the most morbid yet coolest place I have been too. You know of the first siamese twins Chang and Eng? Well their liver is preserved here along with other body specimens that have been donated to this museum. There is actually a display of a human body that has been preserved. It is preserved so well, you are able to see all of the arteries, veins, and other parts of the body. I highly recommend this place if you are ever in Philadelphia.
The other two locations I wanted to go to were Magic Gardens Mosaic and 200 S. Camac St. Magic Gardens Mosaic is literally a garden made out of glass mosaics and Camac St. is the only street left that is made out of wood.
My ten hours was up and after a series of unfortuante events I was able to make it to Erie, Pennsylvania! My time in Erie was short but I was mesmerized by the hue of the lake and the autumn colors all around me. It has been a while since I have felt a true fall weather and I am glad I got a little taste of it during my trip.
I highly recommend taking advantage of a long layover and to not be afraid of taking a little mini adventure! Researching ahead of time and creating a detailed itinerary will be beneficial to keeping you on track. Below is an example of what I did. I even wrote when I should walk and when I should take the subway haha.
Thanks for reading this long post! Stay tuned for my next mini trip back to one of my favorite places, San Francisco!