Category Archives: United States

Visiting Montgomery, Alabama

Dexter Avenue Church interior

Inside Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

Montgomery, Alabama has been getting news attention lately for the opening of two new buildings that symbolize serious components of U.S. history.

On April 26, 2018, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is a visually moving monument built in remembrance of over 4,000 African American men, women and children who were victims of lynching. The memorial also has a fellow new structure opening on the same day, called The Legacy Museum: from Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. This facility focuses on the impact of slavery and racial injustice.

I got to visit Montgomery the previous December, while these new places were still under construction. On my trip, I learned that the city has been the location for significant milestones in America. Montgomery also has some other surprises, too. It’s home to cultural institutions, famous icons, and a food scene that has embraced its diverse residents. Here is what I saw and did.

From Civil War to Civil Rights Movement

Two parallel opposite events have happened in Montgomery. Over two centuries ago, the city was where officials from Southern states met to voice their opinions at the State Capital building about succeeding from the Northern ones, in what would eventually spark the Civil War. The decide for succession took place here, with word apparently sent from Montgomery to South Carolina’s Fort Sumter; it would lead to the shot that started the war.

Moving forward to a new century, Montgomery would be a major witness to social change. It would be where two significant figures in the Civil Rights Movement emerged. Rosa Parks committed her act of social defiance of getting arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat. At that very bus stop location, the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University commemorates her act that would spark the Montgomery Bus Boycott. See a visual re-enactment of that moment along with exhibits of photos and artifacts relating to Parks’ arrest and the subsequent bus boycott.

The Rev. Dr. Martin King Jr. also has strong ties to Montgomery. Go on a tour of Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, a still active parish and National Historic Landmark where King served as its pastor from 1954 to 1960. The tour includes a visit to King’s office, where he conveyed plans for the boycott, along with the church’s interior. Also, visit the Dexter Parsonage Museum, formerly the residence of the church’s pastors but in particular reflecting the years when King and his family lived here.

Inside a former Greyhound bus station, the Freedom Rides Museum chronicles the 1961 Freedom Riders’ journey by bus through the South and their encounters with mob violence along the way.

Fitzgerald Museum

Where the Fitzgeralds once lived

Cultural Finds

Two Montgomery residents are honored at their respective museums. The Hank Williams Museum honors the late singer/songwriter with displays of his stage wardrobe, TV footage, private photos, instruments, and even the Cadillac he passed away in. Then pay your respects to Williams and his wife, Audrey, at their graves in Oakwood Annex Cemetery, a half-hour drive from the museum.

The Fitzgerald Museum was once a home for F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and their daughter, “Scottie.” Zelda, a Montgomery native, gets her due here for her accomplishments; her paintings, family photos, and writing are on display, along with her husband’s works. It’s nice, too, because Zelda is often known for her illness, but this museum overshadows this aspect by showing the work that she’s done.

One might not associate Shakespeare with Montgomery right away, but, yes, his plays are the thing here. As a performance venue, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival not only presents works by the Bard but also stages classics, musicals, and children’s productions.

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Central is best known for its fett soux fries.

 

A Dining Enclave

Montgomery’s restaurant scene is as varied as its locations and a diner’s interest. You can go upscale casual or low key but fully stuffed.

Have biscuits as your morning meal at Cahawba House with their “build your own breakfast” menu featuring this floury food and a number of add-ons. Inside a former warehouse, Central offers fine New American cuisine fusing traditional Southern cooking with multicultural influences.  On the menu, look out for fett soux fries, a delicious smoked and fried pork belly that glazed with South Carolina barbecue sauce and served with a peach chutney.

Derk’s Filet & Vine dishes out deli-style servings of Southern fixings with ample table seating. Started by a Greek immigrant over a century ago, Chris’ Hot Dogs remains a family-run eatery liked for its hot dogs and chicken sandwiches. Nowadays, Montgomery has a Korean population, so head to places such as Ginza Japanese & Korean Cuisine, noted for its ramen and barbecue.

 

Visit Virginia Beach Pop Up Travel Agency

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The tourism board, Visit Virginia Beach, has “set up shop” in Brooklyn with a pop up escape the room attraction that brings attendees inside a past-meets-present travel agency in Williamsburg at 135 Kent Ave. On April 22 and 23, 2018, visitors can come to the agency and discover more about Virginia Beach by playing the game. Their visit to the agency will end at the store’s back room speakeasy, with Virginia Beach inspired food and drink. Reservations are required. To book, visit this link.

 

Why You Should Visit Minneapolis Even after Super Bowl LII

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Photo Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

I got sent to Minneapolis in early January to do a quick piece on the city before it would welcome in a ton of ticketholders for Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium. While NFL fans are flocking here for the game, I found that Minneapolis can provide many other reasons for visiting year round (of course, their sports teams are valid ones).

Here is also why you should visit Minneapolis even way after Super Bowl II.

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Walking along the Skyway

Besides the usual ways of getting around a city, Minneapolis has one that’s pretty well connected. It’s the Minneapolis Skyway System, a network of enclosed bridges above street levels that is linked to various buildings and 80 city blocks and can be accessed through street-level entrances (in some cases, you can access certain parts via elevators). On a cold day or night, you definitely have the chance to stay warm by cutting through.

Prince

Photo Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Remembering Prince

Sadly we lost this amazing musician in 2016, but Minneapolis keeps its native son’s memory in harmony. Yes, if you didn’t know, Prince is from this city and you can see where he did his best works such as murals of him like the one above in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood. Within downtown Minneapolis, the nightclub First Avenue has its exterior walls adorned with silver-painted stars naming acts that have graced its stages – and of course Prince’s stands out in gold. If you’ve seen the film “Purple Rain,” then you’ve seen interior shots of this venue. Then go further by taking a half-hour ride to Paisley Park, Prince’s creative compound turned museum in Chanhassen.

Listening to a Ton of Music

While Prince will always have his place here, there are music clubs for hearing current and upcoming talent. The laidback Dakota Jazz Club in the downtown area provides a more intimate venue for its cabaret style seating and local nightly acts. Also within downtown, Fine Line Music Café can get a bit smushed in with music-goers at times, or so I’ve read, but it offers live music and a bite to eat. In an area known as Dinkytown, the Varsity Theater is a glowing concert hall with a well-planned event schedule.

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Photo Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Stepping Into Nature Easily

What might surprise you about Minneapolis is its close proximity to nature. The city’s got an extensive park system that encompasses regional and neighborhood parks with trails, paths, gardens and other outdoorsy highlights. Perhaps its most popular park is Minnehaha Regional Park, with its key attraction being an incredible 53-foot waterfall and limestone bluffs. Plus, the park has garden areas, walking and biking paths, and look out posts. Another prime spot is Lake Calhoun, also known as Bde Maka Ska, the largest lake in Minneapolis. Part of the city’s Chain of Lakes, it’s surrounded by city park land and circled by bike and walking trails.

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Learning about Its Flour Power

Did you that for about two centuries Minneapolis was a major flour milling city? You can still see remnants of this past near the city’s riverfront. The Mill City Museum is based inside what was once the largest flour mill in the world (Washburn A Mill). Its “Flour Tower” is an elevator ride that takes you on various floors of the mill while playing recorded interviews from workers. The upper levels offer great overhead views of the region, while the ground floor features flour-related exhibits and a bakery where you sample a sweet treat.

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Multi-Cultural Dining

The people who’ve come to make Minneapolis their home brought their cuisine to the plate. In the Northeast section, Kramarczuk’s Sausage Company is all about Eastern European foods, with sausages and breads made on the premise. House specialties include their cabbage roll or sandwiches stuffed with bratwurst or in Polish or Hungarian versions. Nordic cuisine is represented in places ranging from a FIKA at the American Swedish Institute to a The Bachelor Farmer, an eco-conscious eatery within the North Loop. Midtown Global Market is a culinary incubator for small business owners and restauranteurs with meal options extending to Moroccan, Mexican, Indian and Thai or American fare or pick up some coffee or baked goods.

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Many Museums

Along with the City Mill Museum, other museums in Minneapolis represent different cultures or collections. The Museum of Russian Art puts on exhibits on various mediums and perspectives involving religious icons, Soviet era works, or cultural symbols such as the matryoshka doll. Known also as Mia, the Minneapolis Institute of Art is a massive treasure trove with decorative arts, Asian architecture such as a Japanese teahouse, African and Native American craftsmanship, European art, and paintings/drawings— and general admission is free! Then there’s the Walker Art Center, a contemporary mixed media museum with free entry on the first Saturday of every month. Across the street, the Minneapolis Statue Garden holds pieces from the center’s collections with its centerpiece being “Spoonbridge and Cherry,” whose name reflects exactly what this sculpture looks like.

Have you been to Minneapolis too? What recommendations do you have?

 

Foodie Travel: What to Eat in Charlotte versus Raleigh

 

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Photo: Charlotte’s got a lot Facebook page

 

Your Pick: Charlotte or Raleigh?

 

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Photo: visitRaleigh Facebook page

 

While Durham has been getting buzz as a foodie destination, two other North Carolina cities also have much on their plates to offer – Charlotte and Raleigh. These Southern metropolises are spooning out different tastes and dining perspectives that will leave visitors satisfying. Perhaps even stuffed. From food to drink, here is a culinary comparison of the best of what Charlotte and Raleigh are serving up.

First, let’s start with Charlotte.

Charlotte’s Eateries

 

King's Kitchen & Bakery

Photo: The King’s Kitchen & Bakery / The Plaid Penguin

 

Nicknamed “The Queen City,” Charlotte has traditional Southern specialties but also cuisines representative of cultures from around the globe plus some fun infusions.

With an adjoining bakery and breakfast café, The King’s Kitchen & Bakery is a non-profit eatery that not only provides lunch and supper picks like gumbo, catfish and baked or fried chicken, and healthy fare, but also gives their workers a fresh start and helps to feed those within the local community. With locations in Charlotte’s Uptown and Southpark districts, Rooster’s Wood Fired-Kitchen puts a European twist on scratch cooking this cuisine.

In also what’s described as “Southern-leaning American fare,” 204 North Kitchen and Cocktails in Uptown gets a little spiffy but also has a drinks list featuring fun and unique pairings and classic mixed drinks. Or go for Lowcountry cooking at Mert’s Heart and Soul, a couple-owned, colorful and soul food eatery in Uptown Charlotte. Zada Jane’s in Charlotte’s Plaza-Midwood neighborhood gives vegetarians some love, with choices that could include their non-meaty “Kool Kips” nachos and a selection of salads and sandwiches (plus some options for carnivores).

 

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Photo: McKoy’s Smokehouse and Saloon Facebook page

 

Of course, Charlotte’s barbecue joints hold their own within North Carolina, tenderly. South Charlotte’s McKoy’s Smokehouse and Saloon offers smoked meats like their pecan-smoked wings and perfected seasoned pork. Since 1963, the no-frills Bill Spoon’s Barbecue in Starmount focuses on its food with cooking up Eastern North Carolina style barbecue (with the whole pig being prepared and served with a mustary and vinegary slaw). Then, there’s Midwood Smokehouse, with three locations throughout Charlotte, whose brisket got high rankings in The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America.

Other interesting dining opportunities in Charlotte range from The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, an infusion minded eatery in South Park, to Aria Tuscan Grill bringing refined Italian fare to Center City, to Crepe Cellar Kitchen and Pub, a Euro gastropub noted for its savory crepes.

 

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Photo: The Old Mecklenburg Brewery Facebook page

 

Charlotte’s Breweries

As for the beer scene, Charlotte is also has raising the glass on breweries with some new or recent additions or long-time spots. Described as a Belgian brew pub, Heist Brewery in NoDa neighborhood is placed within an industrial setting with craft beers and pub fare.

There are German beer halls too. The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery has an eight-acre beer garden and pub, and VBGB Beer Hall and Garden puts a contemporary take on this tradition with 30 craft and import beers on top. Other noteworthy places include Birdsong Brewing Co., with lively scene serving flights, pints, and growlers; Sycamore Brewing, which also offers international eats, and the Growlers Pourhouse, with a curated beer program that rotates taps and prime bar food such as their award-winning Rueben sandwich.

Other noteworthy places include Birdsong Brewing Co., with lively scene serving flights, pints, and growlers, and Sycamore Brewing, which also offers international eats. Growlers Pourhouse has a curated beer program that rotates taps and prime bar food such as their award-winning Rueben sandwich. Free Range Brewing lets their ingredidents determine what type of beer will be produced, in brewing small batch beers in various styles.

Now, let’s see what Raleigh has to offer food-minded travelers.

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Photo: Little City Brewing and Provisions Co. Facebook page

Raleigh’s Breweries and Distilleries

Raleigh’s more than 25 breweries are as diverse as their sudsy creations. In the Warehouse District of Downtown Raleigh, Crank Arm Brewing Company produces three flagship brews and rotates seasonal beer styles and works with local vendors and farmers in obtaining specialty ingredients for unique flavors. With a focus on creating a place for community, Oak & Dagger Public House serves up its draft beers and an “elevated pub” lunch and dinner menu. Another neat feature: a research library where experimental, small batch brews are being concocted. Then there’s Little City Brewing and  Provisions Co., described as an industry chic bar that not only serves beers but also unique cocktails and wines.

As for distilleries, Oak City Amaretto locally handcrafts this sweet Italian liqueur, and Raleigh Rum Company produces small batches of this distilled beverage. Plus, Pinetop Distillery – with its title coming from an old nickname for moonshine – offers tours of, and tastings at, their facility on Saturdays.

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Photo credit: Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant Facebook page

Raleigh’s Shops and Eateries

From Southern cooking to in North Carolina is essential. One popular place to go for breakfast or lunch in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square District is Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant, noted for its funky ceiling fixtures and southern classics on the menu (there’s also a sister site called Big Ed’s North, located in North Raleigh). Big Ed’s also holds a Hot Cake challenge, consisting of eating a total of three large servings, and provides all-day breakfast offerings. Explore its location include the Historic City Market, with other tenants such as restaurants, cafes and bars. Best picks include Treat, an ice cream shop, and Woody’s At City Market, a long-time watering hole.

Trying BBQ is a must head to The Pit, a Warehouse District eatery serving a whole hog, pit-cooked barbecue, or Clyde Cooper’s BBQ, a Carolina-style barbecue fixture in downtown Raleigh since 1938, or fellow long-timer Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, which opened three years later!

 

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Photo: Escazu Artisan Chocolates Facebook page

 

Raleigh’s Chocolate Shops

Got a sweet tooth? In Raleigh, chocolate has quite a decadent place with a good amount of shops and factories. Azurelise Chocolate Truffles creates orders of this decadent treat and other sinfully good sweets, while Escazu Artisan Chocolates additionally prepares bars and other confections, and Videri Chocolate Factory holds tours of its facility.

So which city’s culinary scene has your mouth watering, or making you thirsty for more? To get your food-centered trip started, check out these suggested hotels in Charlotte and in Raleigh, respectively.

This post is part of Trip.com’s Underdog Cities program.

South Africa Tourism and Citi Bike NYC Host TriBeCa Block Party

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During the month of September 2017, Citi Bike NYC riders might want to check in at the TriBeCa docking station – at Franklin Street and West Broadway – to get a glimpse into South African art and culture.

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South African Tourism and Citi Bike officials with Imani Shanklin Roberts and Esther Mahlangu

On Wednesday, September 13, representatives from South African Tourism, South African Airways, and Citi Bike NYC held a ceremony unveiling of a street mural at this station. The event was to announce a month-long partnership between Citi Bike NYC and South African Tourism, to encourage New Yorkers to be inspired to see South Africa.

The mural was designed by New York City resident and visual art Imani Shanklin Roberts. At the Wednesday event, Shanklin Roberts said her Afrocentric piece was created in honor of Esther Mahlangu, a South African artist. Mahlangu, who was also at the ceremony, is recognized for her colorful and geometric paintings. In her comments, Shanklin Roberts noted that she had a piece of Mahlangu’s and was inspired by Mahlangu’s artistic methods.

The general public can join in the celebration this Saturday, September 16, with a South-African themed block party organized by Citi Bike and South African Tourism. Held in the vicinity of the Franklin Street and West Broadway docking station, this block party will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will feature South African food and music plus the opportunity to talk travel with ambassadors from South Africa.

Other aspects of this partnership involve 30 South African branded Citi Bike docking stations across the city and a special vacation package offer from South African Airways Vacations.

 

Boston and Philadelphia: A Tale of Two Historic Cities

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Boston Public Garden. Photo: Massachusetts Office of Tourism

What’s Your Pick: Boston or Philadelphia?

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Independence Hall by D. Cruz for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

 

While the distance between of Boston and Philadelphia are located about a three-hour drive or six-hour Amtrak trek apart, these major cities have one big thing in common. They’re sources of history. And the modern day scene in these respective cities is thriving too. Here’s what to see in each state.

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Boston Common in the fall. Photo credit: Tim Grafft/MOTT

History Is Happening!

Boston has many trails and locations connecting you to key figures linked to Beantown or in particular the start of the American Revolution.

Walk along the Freedom Trail, a self-guided, 2.5-route that will bring you past 16 historic sites. Pass by Boston Common, also known as America’s oldest park; The Paul Revere House – where the famous nightrider lived during the time of his legendary ride, to its end point, The Bunker Hill Monument, honoring soldiers in one of the earliest battles in the American Revolutionary War. The African American Trail will bring to you stops such as the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54 th Regiment Memorial, which commemorates the regiment that was made famous in the film, “Glory.”

Independence Hall

Independence Hall. Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

In comparison, Philadelphia clearly has a stronghold on U.S. history – for starters, the Liberty Bell at the Liberty Bell Center. In April 2017, the Museum of the American Revolution opened its doors, to tell the story of why our nation went to being a British colony to a new country in a different light. It goes beyond the usual key players by highlighting other figures such as freed and enslaved blacks, native peoples, and women. Then there’s Independence Hall, where our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and later on delegates would work on our Constitution. Also, did you know that the first “White House” – as in one before the famous home in D.C. – was in Philadelphia. Called The President’s House, this venue is now an open-air museum where the first Executive Mansion in which Presidents Washington and John Adams stayed.

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Photo: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Being Artsy and Scientific

The arts and sciences have their place in Boston and Philly. In Boston, you can spend a whole day at the Museum of Fine Arts. Its three levels house everything from Egyptian artifacts to Contemporary American art, with pieces from every corner of the globe. A short walk away, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum reflects the look of a Venetian palace with a beautiful courtyard along with a collection owned by its namesake, a major collector and philanthropist. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum honors the legacy of our country’s 35th Commander in Chief. The Mary Baker Eddy Library contains the Mapparium, a three-story, stained glass globe that can be walked through, and the Museum of Science will teach you a thing or two with planetarium shows and live exhibits and experiences like its butterfly garden.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art / Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

Philly can boast having the oldest museum in the country – the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. It’s got some other fine ones too. Climbing up “The Rocky Steps” to the east entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art feels like a workout, but you’ll encounter the statue of Philly icon, Rocky Balboa. Inside the museum, discover artistic and architectural finds from all over the world, with an over 240,000-piece collection!

The Rodin Museum has the most pieces by this sculptor outside of Paris and Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a fun folk art/gallery space that’s covered in mosaics. If seeking science, The Franklin Institute is an educationally entertaining museum and research center with an IMAX theater and planetarium, while the Mütter Museum focuses on medical abnormalities with displays that might make you a bit squeamish.

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Boston Public Market. Photo by Massachusetts Office of Tourism

Good Eats

Getting hungry? Both Boston and Philly can fill you up at markets or in eateries. An indoor enclave, Boston Public Market sells New England sourced bounty from farmers, fishers, and food product vendors, or features demos and classes at The Kitchen, the market’s programming center. Inside this historic meeting hall, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is now more a mall setup with food stands and restaurants offering staples like pizza, ice cream and chowda. On Fridays and Saturdays, the outdoor Haymarket at Congress and Hanover streets sells fruits and veggies. Boston’s North End is its Little Italy, with pizzerias, cafes and ristorantes such as Giacomo’s Restaurant. As for other restaurants, a hot seafood spot is Neptune Oyster, being well-noted for its raw bar and lobster rolls, or Atlantic Fish Company, a Boston surf and turf institution.

Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market. Photo by R. Kennedy for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

As one of Philly’s major culinary attractions, the Reading Terminal Market is an interior food hall with a cornucopia of Amish specialties, seafood and produce stands, cookware stores, and bakeries and restaurants. Of course, you have to try a Philly cheesesteak, but note there are more places to choose from than the noted rivalry between Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. McNally’s puts theirs on a Kaiser roll, and Jimmy Fallon was seen digging Dalessandro’s Steaks. Have a hoagie at shops ranging from a tofu type at Fu Wah to the hearty stuffed at Cosmi’s Deli. Explore Chinatown and perhaps go for a late night meal at David’s Mai Lai Wah for their noodles and dumplings.

Get started on planning your visit by looking at these Trip.com recommended hotels in Boston or Philly.  Tell me which historic city would you head to first.

This post is part of Trip.com’s Underdog City campaign.

 

Exploring Philadelphia’s Old City District

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Last week, Philadelphia welcomed in a new museum that’s really fitting for its location in Old City district – the Museum of the American Revolution. For work, I got to see a pre-opening preview of the museum and spent some time revisiting locations significant to our nation’s founding.

During our country’s Colonial days, Philadelphia was a big deal. In what’s now the Historic District, which Old City belongs to, there are buildings still standing from that era and plaques marking areas where once located structures once have their respective ties to our legacy. But it’s not all history here in Old City. This neighborhood’s present-day scene is really buzzing with restaurants, nightlife, and galleries.

Here are my suggestions for exploring Old City.

First, check out these museums and attractions.

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Museum of the American Revolution
As a 2.0 American history lesson, this redbrick building goes beyond dates and facts. It’s designed to bring visitors directly into the growing conflicts that would have the 13 British colonies deciding to break away from English rule and develop a new republic. And, of course, there are many sides to the story. In a chronological format, the museum delves into not just the main characters like General George Washington, but also other individuals whose voices often may be overlooked – women, freed and enslaved African peoples, and the Native American Oneida nation. Artifacts are on view too. In particular, see Washington’s headquarters tent that’s enclosed in a glass casing – where he made crucial battlefield decisions.

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The President’s House and Liberty Bell
Maybe you know this already or you don’t. Before the White House was built in and D.C. would become our nation’s capital, our country’s first two Presidents George Washington and John Adams resided in Philadelphia. While their presidential home – known now as The President’s House – is long gone, an outdoor display marks its spot where you learn about the African Americans who served Washington and his family. Adjacent to this area, take the time to view the Liberty Bell. It once was a working bell, before getting its now signature crack, and has become a symbol for civil rights.

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Benjamin Franklin Museum
Most of what we think of this Founding Father is from his later years in life. But he’s got his place in our history, and it’s definitely noted. With fun videos and well-described objects, this museum is based on a lower level of a building and tells overall about his life story. For example, Franklin is actually not originally from Philly, came to live here at a young age and went on to be prosperous and influential. Afterward, head to Christ Church Burial Ground, where he’s buried and find coins placed on top of his tombstone.

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Independence Hall
You need to walk over to the Independence Visitor Center first to get your timed entrance ticket to visit the interior of this landmark and step into the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed. While waiting in line for your turn inside the East Wing, go visit the West Wing to view original copies of documents like um…. the Declaration of Independence.

Now, as for dining, here we go. My picks include:

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– 2nd Story Brewing: This brewery/restaurant/ bar was started by a local farmer (who still owns it) and her beer-brewing son-in-law, with bar grub that’s healthy too (as shown here).

– The Little Lion, located right across from the Museum of the American Revolution, centers on fine, Southern-inspired comfort food with brunch, lunch, and dinner selections within a casual setting.

– Zahav, an Israeli restaurant featuring small plates, tasting menus, hummus and other traditional dishes with a modern twist, and an at-the-bar happy hour specials like half-off on hummus.

– Khyber Pass Pub: This dive-looking, dark wooden interior bar with a side gastropub is touted for its Southern food and beer selection plus has vegetarian-friendly options. Some unique choices include popcorn that can suit vegans or carnivores (the latter version features bacon grease).

– Han Dynasty: The Old City location of this chain does a contemporary yet still authentic take on Sichuan cuisine. One of their best dishes is their Dan Dan Noodles, and you’re given a choice on the spice level by calling out a number.

– Fork: This sophisticated New American restaurant that’s said to have jump-started Old City’s restaurant scene about 15-20 years ago. With an elegant interior and a push for seasonal ingredients, lunch/dinner choices can feature handmade pastas and high-end starters.

– The City Tavern: Yes, it can seem touristy with the wait staff dressed in historic attire, but it provides a fun intro to what the Colonials ate and drank with choices based on authentic period recipes.

– The Franklin Fountain: An ice cream parlor bringing you back to the time of soda jerks with bow-tied waiters and quite the list of flavors.

Have you been to Old City? What do you recommend?

Have you been to Old City? What do you recommend?