Believe it or not, big city fun can be had on a budget if you know how to shop like a frequent flyer. Most solo travelers rack up a lot of rewards, whether in the form of frequent flyer points or those bonus clubs which we tend to ignore. However, the frugal traveler goes in for the kill when the time is right.
A friend wanted to go and jump up and down on the “Rocky Steps” (the Philadelphia Museum of Art) without spending a lot of money. Since Philly is a quickie weekend escape from New York, I was able to use my “thank you” rewards from one of those “bonus” clubs.
We landed upon Club Quarters and it’s a great find even without a freebie. Club Quarters is a concept hotel chain (hence the “club” reference) but outsiders can easily reserve a room through most online travel sites. Rooms can generally be had for about $99 – $159 and that’s a great price in any major city. It’s a boutique hotel which is more like a trendy apartment building. It offers guests the comforts of home, including laundry and fitness rooms and free WiFi throughout the hotel.
The furnishings are trendy and it’s centrally located, (1628 Chestnut Street) just off Avenue of the Arts, and within walking distance to almost every major Philly attraction, including the Rocky steps! (By the way – you can leave the bottled water at home because at Club Quarters they have water bottles at the ready for all guests!)
Philadelphia is a great weekend escape or girls getaway 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.
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. 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 TIPS: Philadelphia is loaded with great restaurants. Jack’s Firehouse Grill is worth a stop and that makes it easy to visit the Eastern State Penitentiary (Al Capone’s old home) just across the street. If it’s a spa getaway you’re looking for, there are plenty of wellness centers for you to check out, including the Rescue Rittenhouse Spa, quite near Club Quarters.
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.