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Long weekend in Philly

Aventura, Florida
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Long weekend in Philly

Would appreciate comments on our itinerary for our trip to Philly May 1-5. We are seniors and find we last only four or five hours on our feet. We arrive Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday

Rosenbach Museum and House tour

Dinner at Barclay Prime

Thursday

Philadelphia Museum of Art with lunch break at the museum

Friday (will stay at the east end until after the concert)

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

US Mint

Liberty Bell

Museum of Jewish American History

Dinner at Ristorante Panorama or Spasso

Chamber music concert

Saturday

Barnes (10:30 entrance)

Rodin Museum (including music performance)

Dinner at Time

Sunday

Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel

University of Pennsylvania Museum

Questions:

Is the Drexel for adults at all, or really for children?

Should we include the Fairmont Park houses? If so, which of them would you recommend and where should we fit it in?

Any comment on the restaurants selected?

Thanks for the help. As always, I will say thank you with a trip report.

Philadelphia...
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1. Re: Long weekend in Philly

First a FYI -The Academy of Natural Sciences located on the Parkway may be owned now by Drexel but is nowhere near the Drexel campus & should be referred to as the Academy of Nat Sci just for clarity sake.

Friday:

I love the Rosenbach & applaud the choice. For dinner in the Rittenhouse Sq area I would suggest either Vernick Food & Drink, The Dandelion or Parc rather than Barclay Prime. Barclay Prime is good but very expensive. If you are set on a steak house I would rec Butcher & Singer.

Thursday - you could easily spend all day in the Phila Museum of Art. If it is nice out & you're not too tired you might want to consider going to the Eastern State Penitentiary which is nearby.

Friday - not sure about staying on the east end comment - I'm a little confused here.. can you explain your plan for Friday- Saturday a little more?

Lastly I like the Academy of Natural Sciences but for a more interesting experience I would go to the Mutter Museum.

Aventura, Florida
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2. Re: Long weekend in Philly

Thanks so much for your reply. I will look at each of the restaurants you recommend.

We are staying near City Hall. On Friday we thought to stop at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (maybe only to see the architecture) and go to the east end to tour the US Mint, take a look and the Liberty Bell and then spend three or four hours at the Museum of Jewish American History. We would have dinner in the area before going to an 8 p.m. chamber music concert at the American Philosophical Society at 427 Chestnut.

Saturday we have 10:30 a.m. tickets for the Barnes. I do not know how long to expect to be there. We would then go to the Rodin Museum. They have a concert being performed at 1:30, 2:15 or 3 that day and there is a tour at 1:30, if we got there in time. I picked a restaurant called Time for dinner.

Any other comments or suggestions are very welcome.

Philadelphia
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3. Re: Long weekend in Philly

I don't think you will need 3-4 hours at the Jewish museum and unless you have a particular interest in the topic I think you could spend your time better at the National Constitution Center, which is a great museum.

As you seem to have a strong interest in Art, I think you should definitely plan more time to see the exhibits at PAFA both in the historic building and the annex.

That area is also convenient to the Reading Terminal Market which is on my must see list. It is a large indoor food market with lots of food stands where you can eat lunch. It can get pretty crowded but is definitely worthwhile! I personally would recommend Wursthaus Schmitz for their great wurst sandwiches also Salumeria for an Italian hoagie. The lines for the roast pork sandwich at DiNic's are legendary as is the sandwich that people are waiting in line for!

When you go to the Barnes I recommend arriving 1 hour early so that you can tour the exhibition on the life of Dr. Barnes prior to viewing the gallery. I would allow 2 hours for the entire visit.

I think you would enjoy the Penn Museum much more than the Academy of Natural Sciences which, as you suspect, is primarily geared to kids. The Penn Museum has a lot to see and they also recently acquired the Lod mosaic for a limited exhibition.

At to Fairmount Park houses, I toured several of them this winter and found the tours fascinating. The three that I went to were Lemon Hill, Mt. Pleasant, and Woodford. They were open for special holiday tours and Woodford had a costumed interpreter. I liked this selection because the houses were all from different periods. I think that Lemon Hill was most elaborate although they each had their different charms and history lessons!

I am not sure about your choice of Time for dinner was there a special reason why you chose it? There have been a number of restaurants that come and go in that space and for some reason none of them are ever very successful. There are so many great restaurants in Philly that I would hesitate to recommend Time over some others that I know are very good. What type of food are you interested in trying here?

Postiano Coast is a good choice and I prefer it much more than Spasso which is pretty mediocre.

I would also vote for Butcher and Singer as I love the 1940's theme.

Edited: 10:18 am, February 15, 2013
Bucks County...
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4. Re: Long weekend in Philly

I agree win RnR's comment about Time. It is more of a bar than a restaurant. Plenty of other choices.

Aventura, Florida
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5. Re: Long weekend in Philly

Thank you again. We have added Lemon Hill and Woodford Mansion (my DH's limit is two). Based on your time evaluation for the Barnes, there will be plenty of time for them Saturday, and we will go to either Dandelion or Parc for dinner that evening.

I had listed Ristorante Panorama or Spasso (not Postiano) because both offer gluten free choices, which is nice for me at an Italian restaurant. Would you recommend Panorama over Spasso?

Thanks again for all your assistance.

Philadelphia
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6. Re: Long weekend in Philly

Panorama is a whole other level of restaurant than Spasso, which like I said is only average plus the decor, service and ambiance leave much to be desired.. I think you would be disappointed. Panorama is very elegant and is especially know for their selection of wines by the glass.

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Long weekend in Philly

Okay I have to agree with everybody else. Ditch Time for dinner. There are much better food choices in that neighborhood. We can go over some more later if you like...

When making your dinner plans it really helps to use OpenTable.com (if you don't already). If you alert the restaurants about your gluten issue when making the reservation online they will be better prepared to accommodate you. Plus as a side note I have eaten at lots of Phila restaurants & they have all been able to deal with special requests/needs with no difficulty.

PAFA (Pa Acad of Fine Arts) is an amazingly beautiful building & they have a great collection of American art. It"s also not a very large museum which is nice. In the immediate area is also the Masonic Temple which is very interesting. The tour there takes a little over an hour & is worthwhile site.

I also think 4 hours at The Jewish Museum may be pushing it. But since you're interested in art you may want to squeeze in a stop at the Dream Garden mosaic at The Curtis Center. Splendid & free! Ristorante Panorama is a good dinner choice in that area & you'd want a 5:45 or 6 o clock dinner reservation so you can relax and enjoy your dinner. The chamber music concerts start on time. The venue at the Philosophical society is nice too. Very intimate, as chamber music should be.

I'm thinking about Saturday dinner now...

Bucks County...
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8. Re: Long weekend in Philly

The Barnes should take no more than 2 to 3 hours.

Philadelphia...
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9. Re: Long weekend in Philly

Some thoughts on your Thursday plan:

You have an awful lot of walking in that itinerary. I'd skip the US Mint. There is so much to see in that area and I've never heard someone say they were really glad they toured the Mint.

Regarding the MJAH, depending on your prior level of knowledge, you may be interested in the fourth floor and a bit of the third, only. These cover the Colonial Era through Civil War. After that, what is presented is what many people already know.

I agree with the previous poster who said spend more time at the PaFA.

Another vote for Panorama. Another great dining option for gluten-free is Amada (Spanish). Many of their regular menu items are gluten free and they have awesome GF dessert options.

Skip the Reading Terminal Market if you can't risk cross-contamination.

Lynn

Edited: 5:58 pm, February 15, 2013
Southampton...
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10. Re: Long weekend in Philly

Since the Jewish Museum and Constitution Center are so close, you can probably spend the 3 to 4 hours between the 2 sites. I used to work at the "old" Museum of American Jewish History so I'm a little biased. The new museum has so much to offer, depending on the show at the time.

Around Rittenhouse, we really like La Croix restaurant