Philly Half-Day Guide: Explore Center City & Wissahickon Valley Park in Just a Few Hours

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Hi, my name is Medha Gupta! I’m currently a third-year biology student at Drexel University on the pre-med track! In my free time, I like to rollerblade and play GeoGuessr. My favorite thing to do is to venture out into the city and see where the day takes me. There is always something fun and exciting happening to spontaneously jump-in on!

Guest-written by Medha Gupta

There are plenty of things to do in Philadelphia this fall that can be incorporated with the inevitably tight schedule of classes, work, and extracurriculars. As a college student, while I may not have an entire day to spare for an extensive adventure in Philly, I often find myself wanting an excursion that can take up just a few hours. Here are two adventures you can have in the span of about four hours that are still jam-packed with fun!

Center City:

1) Fancy Dining: Every now and then, it can be fun to rally some friends and get ready for a nice meal. Center City is ripe with options for fine dining. One great option that brings ambiance, quality, and service is The Dandelion. The atmosphere of the restaurant will transport you to a London pub. The menu is unique and filled with traditional British delicacies such as Fish and Chips, Rabbit Pie, and Duck Liver Parfait. Some of the desserts include French Toast and Sticky Toffee.

2) Casual Dining: Stop-and-go fast food is a great option when you’re just passing through the city or looking for a less expensive option. Bāo • logy in Center City is a Modern Taiwanese eatery that specializes in a menu with a small but tasteful selection including potstickers (dumplings), gwa baos (a Taiwanese street food with protein and a bao bun), ruen bings (Taiwanese wraps), and bian dangs (the Taiwanese adaptation of Japanese Bento Box). There is a great selection of vegetarian and vegan options, while also staying in a great price range.

3) A Place to Visit: Dilworth Park is located on 15th and Market Street and is the perfect place to visit no matter the time of year. In the summer and winter, Rothman Orthopedics Roller Rink is the perfect excursion, while Christmas Village is always the perfect holiday escape in the center of Philadelphia. During the spring, the City of Philadelphia plants rows upon rows of Tulips in front of City Hall, making it a spectacle all-year round.

4) Photo Spot: The Trader Joe’s rooftop parking lot on Arch Street in Center City is the perfect picture spot. The Instagram-friendly spot features views of City Hall from just a block away. Bring a camera and some friends for some core Philly snaps.

Wissahickon:

1) A Hiking Trail: The orange trail starting in Blue Bell Park is the right distance and difficulty for a workout for anyone in any fitness range. Especially in the fall, Wissahickon Valley Park turns into a beautiful amalgamation of red, yellow, brown, and orange. At around 5.1 miles, the orange trail can be completed in around 2 hours, which can be a perfect half-day hiking trip.

2) Photo Spot: Walnut Lane Bridge can be accessed right off the Orange Trail and is one of the perfect spots for peering over the treetops on either side of the Wissahickon Creek.

The breathtaking view will make you forget that you’re just 15 minutes outside of the city.

3) Transportation: SEPTA is a great way to get to Wissahickon from 30th Street Station for less than $10. In addition, Uber and Lyft can be a quick way to transport a group of people at once! The journey to Wissahickon Valley Park is around 15 minutes from Drexel/UPenn and Temple.

These half-day guides are just a small insight into what you can do in either of these parts of town! They can easily be turned into a full-day adventure with a bit of planning. In Philly, there’s always something to do regardless of what you enjoy!

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