48 Hours in Philly: The Itinerary

Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, PA   Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Philadelphia, PAIndependence Hall, Philadelphia, PALove Park, Philadelphia, PA  Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PALe Miel Patisserie, Philadelphia, PA
1. Liberty Bell; 2. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; 3. Independence Hall; 4. Love Park; 5. Franklin Institute; 6. La Miel Patisserie

A few weeks ago, Darren and I took a mini-vacation to Philly. Philly is a wonderful city with lots of attitude, history, and gastronomy to boot. In our 48 Hours in Philly series, we’ll cover where to stay and where to go. A full mind and belly are guaranteed!

Getting there and around: Megabus runs multiple daily routes between DC and Philadelphia. If you buy ahead of time and travel during non-peak hours, tickets can run as low as $1/person. Buses leave from DC’s Union Station (Metro-accessible) and arrive at Philadelphia’s X Station. The station is on the other side of the river, but is only a 20 minute walk to center city. Cabs are plentiful and cheap, and will run you approximately $8-10 from the bus station. Philly is an incredibly walking-friendly city, with many of the main attractions within close proximity to one another. There’s also a subway system, but we walked almost everywhere during our stay and never felt the need to seek public transportation.

Stay: Back in January, I signed up for the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card, which offers the following perks:

  • 85,000 bonus Gold points- 50,000 Gold points awarded upon first use, additional 35,000 Gold points awarded after spending $2,500 in 90 days.
  • 10 points per $1 spent at Carlson Rezidor hotels
  • 5 points per $1 spent everywhere else
  • Club Carlson Gold Elite Status- free room upgrades (when available), free breakfast, free Internet, and early check-in/late check-out (when available).
  • 40,000 points when you renew your card each year ($75 annual fee, not waived for the first year)
  • Bonus Award Nights- When you use your Gold points to redeem 2 or more consecutive award nights, your second night is free.

Using my Gold points, I booked 2 nights at the Radisson Warwick by Rittenhouse Square for 40,000 points (40,000 points per night, less the second award night per Club Carlson’s “Bonus Award Nights” feature). Others may argue that there are better ways and places to spend 40,000 Club Carlson points, but since this was my first time in Philly and our out-of-town road trips are far too scarce, it was 40,000 points well spent.

This post by Frequent Miler does a great job of discussing the Club Carlson card’s various features, in case you are interested in learning more.

Below is the itinerary that we created/followed. As you can see, it’s heavy on the food and hits on a fair amount of the major attractions around town. Feel free to modify to suit your own interests!


  • 6:00 PM – Arrive at bus terminal, cab to Radisson Warwick
  • 7:00 PM – Dinner at Pub & Kitchen
  • 9:00 PM – Drinks at Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company


  • 8:00 AM – Breakfast at hotel
  • 9:00 AM – City Hall & coffee at La Colombe Torrefaction
  • 10:00 AM – Explore Old City: Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • 1:00 PM – Lunch 1: Pat’s, then Geno’s (yes, both!)
  • 1:45 PM – Explore the U.S. Mint Museum
  • 2:30 PM – Walk around Chinatown,Afternoon tea/coffee: Ray’s Tea and Coffeehouse
  • 3:30 PM – Lunch 2: Ramen at Terakawa Ramen
  • 4:30 PM – Reading Terminal Market
  • 5:30 PM – Naptime!
  • 6:30 PM – Shopping in Rittenhouse Square
  • 8:00 PM – Dinner: Continental at Midtown
  • 10:00 PM – Dessert: Capogiro


  • 9:00 AM – Breakfast at hotel
  • 10:00 AM – Love park, Walk down Benjamin Franklin Blvd and see the Free Library, Franklin Institute, Art Museum, Rodin Museum, Logan Square
  • 11:30 AM – Lunch, Dim Sum Garden, Chinatown
  • 12:30 PM – Shopping, Shops at Liberty Place
  • 1:30 PM – Dessert: Macrons at Le Miel Patisserie
  • 2:00 PM – Return to hotel, nap and check out
  • 3:00 PM – Free time: hang out or check out any other sites you missed
  • 5:00 PM – Cab to bus terminal

Stay tuned for additional posts in our 48 Hours in Philly series, including a hotel review and information on what to see, eat, and drink!


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