Philadelphia Wellness Weekend
A Sisterly Experience in the City of Brotherly Love
Known for its cheesesteak and citywide special, Philly definitely has no shortage of carbs. But what many don’t know, is that the City of Brotherly Love also knows a thing or two about wellness. Home of one of the world’s largest city park systems, a blossoming fitness scene, and top-notch vegan eats, this historic metropolis offers plenty of ways to relax and recenter. Here are just a few of our favorites.
Where to Stay
Kimpton Hotel Monaco
Located in the heart of Old City, Kimpton Hotel Monaco boasts a rooftop lounge, in-room spa services, and a view of Independence Historic National Park. Even your morning vinyasa is ready with a yoga mat stashed in every room. Should you actually feel like leaving this oasis, you can take the hotel’s complimentary bikes to the dozens of nearby attractions.
If the hotel is as much the destination as is the city, then you’ll have to check out Lokal Hotel. Nestled between hip boutiques on N. 3rd Street, their thoughtfully designed suites come equipped with amenities you never realized you needed—but now you can’t stay without. Think cocktail-mixing kits, Sonos Soundbars, and iPads that allow you to order groceries and takeout directly to your door.
For a hideout near Philadelphia’s downtown, try Roost Rittenhouse. The Philly-owned boutique hotel has three convenient locations to pick from. Their cozy interiors will make you feel like you’re apartment-sitting for your effortlessly cool friend. You know, the one with the walk-in rainfall shower.
What to Do
Palo Santo Wellness Boutique
Dive into Philly’s growing yoga scene at Palo Santo Wellness Boutique. It’s a refreshingly modern studio that’s still totally authentic. If you arrive in town on a Friday night, you’re in luck because their 5:15 p.m. Happy Hour Vinyasa is only $11 for a drop in. Be sure to pop into their storefront and admire the mesmerizing display of crystals, custom herbal teas, and natural beauty products.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
This spectacular set of buildings, inspired by the temples of Greece, sits at the end of Benjamin Franklin Highway (and has some of the best views in town). Hopefully, you have time to explore its amazing collections, but even if you don’t, you have to go just to run up the stairs, Rocky-style, with your fist pumping in the air.
Check out everyone’s favorite neighborhood. This trendy spot has all the liveliness of Center City with a little more breathing room. Plus, there’s plenty of restaurants and cafes to grab a bite at.
Walk off that cheesesteak and take in Philly’s history with a guided city tour. The Constitutional Walking Tour will lead you through everything from the Liberty Bell to Independence Hall in under two hours. If you prefer to go off the beaten path try Grim Philly Twilight Tour. You’ll get a deep dive into the city’s seedier characters, such as vampires, ghosts, and pirates. They have an array of different tours on offer so make sure to read up first.
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Be sure to stop by Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, which features immersive art, unique mosaics, and international folk art by Isaiah Zagar. The two indoor galleries and outdoor sculpture garden are open Wednesday to Monday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. You may want to buy your tickets in advance online (especially on the weekends).
For a souvenir that’s actually made in Philly, hit up some of the city’s best boutiques. Moon & Arrow stocks minimal bohemian home goods, vintage clothing, beauty products, and a healthy amount of sage smudge sticks. Treat yourself to some luxe jewelry at Bario Neal, which uses reclaimed metals and ethically sourced gems to craft handmade rings, necklaces, earrings, and other accessories. Or indulge in luxury bath products for an at-home spa day at Duross & Langel, where hand-poured soy candles come in relaxing scents like rosemary and mint.
Take a little time to explore some of the best vintage shopping in the city. Jinxed’s trove of well-priced home decor ranges from retro seltzer bottles to kilim rugs, while At Home Modern serves up serious mid-century finds. For something a little more packable, score a hard-to-find album at Philadelphia Record Exchange.
Where to Eat
Start your day with a meal at The Tasty, an all-vegan diner housed in a classic South Philly luncheonette. They make a mean tofu egg & cheez, but no one will judge you if you go straight for the cheezsteak at 10 a.m. (when in Philly, after all).
Sleep in and then head to brunch. With a seasonal, locally-sourced menu and a truly impressive plant wall, it’s a green paradise. Savor the banana foster french toast while enjoying Heritage’s free live jazz.
Headhouse Farmers Market
Stroll through Headhouse Farmers Market in the historic Society Hill. Surrounded by 18th-century homes, this culture spot features locally prepared foods (like our favorite pumpkin chai muffin at Ric’s Breads). Open on Sundays all year round, be sure to bring your reusable bags for fresh flowers, produce, and locally made chocolate and baked goods.
High Street On Market
Lauded by Bon Appétit for their bread, this American eatery also makes praise-worthy salads and grain bowls.
Front Street Cafe
Grab dinner at the modern rustic Front Street Cafe. Their mostly vegan and vegetarian menu sources local ingredients to create nourishing dishes (like the best buffalo cauliflower wings ever made). Most weekends, the restaurant’s stately upstairs is transformed into a bass-heavy nightclub. What better way to cap off the evening?
After a day of sightseeing, snag a table for dinner at Talula’s Garden. With a seasonal, farm-to-table menu, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to try the lemon souffle cake (it’s a personal favorite).
What’s a wellness weekend in Philadelphia like for you? Share some of your favorite eats, stays, and activities below. Or tag us on Instagram @shetravelswellco.