By taking the bus, and using our feet, we were able to enjoy a cheap, delightful weekend visiting three thought-provoking museums and charming streets.
by travelinhazel on February 27, 2006
We selected it because of the central, downtown, location, and the bargain price. We had a Ben Franklin [$140] special, including 2 tickets to the Constitution Center[regular price is $14 each} breakfast, and parking[regular price is $18]. Hint: Check out gophila.com for specials. We didn't need parking because we took the bus from New York City. We walked a few blocks from the bus terminal with our small wheeled suitcase, and then all around the city. Walk 10 minutes east to the historic district, 5 minutes west to elegant Rittenhouse square, 5 minutes north to Chinatown, Reading Market etc. Our room was large and lovely,(who needs closet doors) with all the amenities like an iron, hair dryer, shower cap, sink vanity, toilet, and tub. Breakfast was fine, and the location was terrific. It even has an outdoor pool for you summer visitors. There are nice restaurants nearby, and the staff tries to be helpful—though not exceptionally well-informed.
Caribou, a French bistro, was a block form our hotel. We had no reservation at 6:45 on a Saturday night, and we were told they were full with the pre-theatre crowd, but would seat us in 40 minutes. So we went for a walk and when we returned, we had a great table on the balcony, overlooking the main room. Both the wine and food were delicious. We had a seafood crepe appetizer, steak frites, chicken wellington, and a tarte tatin for desert. The service was very friendly and attentive. And the atmosphere "tres francais." The price was fair, not a bargain but not outrageous. We would definitely return.
This 2-year-old museum is entertaining, informative, and really gets you thinking. If you, like me, have been out of school for many years and are not a reader of political books, you will find yourself rethinking history and current events in a whole new way. First, you enter a circular auditorium where a live speaker talks about what our founding fathers meant by "we the people," and questions what is meant by that phrase today. Afterwards, you are free to explore the museum itself which consists of numerous displays that are mostly interactive, or lively audio-visual debates that encourage you to think about current issues and how our government works (or should). Then, there is the special exhibit hall. Last fall, it was Lincoln. Currently, it is Ben Franklin. Incredible. Allow 2 to 3 hours to do it all. Not great for kids under 12 or so.
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