Believe it or not, a great weekend in a big city can be had on a budget if you plan it right and the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, is one east coast town where you will find the bright lights don’t cost that much. Solo travel or family getaways can be chock full of things to do in Philly and it’s an easy roadtrip at about 2 hours from either NYC or Baltimore, 2.5 hours from Washington D.C. or Alexandria, VA and a short 1 hour from Atlantic City, NJ.
A frugal alternative to the city’s 4 and 5 star hotels is the new boutique venue, The Independent. It’s funky, hip and well appointed but more important it’s affordable and weekend hotel rates can be had for about $100 – 150 per night.
Tack on another $15 per night for parking, which is conveniently located across the street, and you’ll be well set because at The Independent, the rate includes a continental breakfast delivered to your room. and free wi-fi Internet access. The room itself has a mini fridge and micro for your convenience, so you can truly make this a budget getaway. The Independent is conveniently located just off Broad Street, otherwise known as Avenue of the Arts because of the numerous arts and music venues located on this main drag, and the Parkway Museum District is a short 15 minute walk.
Philly is all about music, history and heritage. Whether you are interested in seeing the birthplace of our nation at Independence Hall or taking in a show which has moved from NYC’s Broadway to Broad Street, there is something for everyone. The city’s tourism bureau is also one of the most accessible anywhere, so visit their site as well as the Independence Visitor Center before you go.
TOURIST TIP: Whenever I travel to a new city, I like to get the lay of the land early in my visit, so hop aboard Philly’s open air trolley tour and get unlimited hop on/off privileges for the length of the pass. At $43 per adult for a 48 hour pass, it’s great for when your feet get tired. If you’re making this a girls’ getaway, Philadelphia is a relatively safe city. I travel solo and felt quite safe in all of the major areas of downtown at night.
If you’re not the adventurous type or would like more of a guided experience, there are plenty of great walking tours in Philadelphia.
Frugal Friday introduces weekend getaways which can be enjoyed for about $250, exclusive of transportation costs; however, it’s worth noting here that depending on your time of travel, a weekend r/t train ticket on Amtrak is under $100 from New York City.