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Philadelphia Historic Distict - Best Approach?

Philadelphia Historic Distict - Best Approach?

Old Jul 6th, 2010, 05:42 PM
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Philadelphia Historic Distict - Best Approach?

Hello - I hope I can get some recommendations on the best approach for a visit to Philadelphia. I'll be flying in to DC, staying there a few days and thing picking up a rental car and heading up to Hershey, PA (bribe to get the kids to the museums in DC!). After a few days in Hershey, heading to Philadelphia for two days before we catch our flight home from there. My questions are:

Return the rental car upon arriving in Philadelphia or keep it until we depart? I understand that parking can be difficult and expensive while staying in the historic district of the city. What would make more sense financially, or should I keep the car so we can see more of the city?

My two hotel options seem to be the Holiday Inn Historic District (looks like a great location) or the Loew's near the city center. Loew's Front Desk advised that the historic district is a 5-minute walk, but I rather not deal with two hot and bothered teenagers if it's longer than that.

A friend mentioned the trolley/double decker bus tours - any thoughts? She stayed at a Hampton Inn where you could hop on the bus right in front of the hotel. I have no idea which location that is, though.

Thanks for any information anyone can provide!
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Old Jul 6th, 2010, 06:39 PM
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Ditch the car: absolutely. There are trains, buses, Phlash, taxis if you really want...but you definitely don't need a car.

Either location is fine, depending on what you're doing. It's definitely not long to the historic district from Loew's, but Holiday Inn 4th and Arch is pretty much right in it. However, Loew's is closer perhaps to some of the other things your teens might like...check the links below:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...-itinerary.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...iladelphia.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...iladelphia.cfm (This one has a lot more links in it!)

Anyway, this should get you started...Happy reading, and I'll be happy to try to answer any questions you might then have!
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Old Jul 7th, 2010, 04:03 AM
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Thanks for the info, Amy. Sounds like I'll only need the car for two days - which will save me a bit of money since we're picking up/dropping off in two different locations.

I'll check out the links that you provided, and appreciate any other information you (or anyone else out there) think would be helpful.
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Old Jul 7th, 2010, 12:54 PM
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What age/gender are your kids? There's quite a lot to do in Philadelphia, so you might want to make a bit of an itinerary if you're only going to be here for two days. If you want them to visit Independence Hall, for instance, you might want to reserve tickets ahead of time online if you're coming at a busy time. (i.e. summer)

Just out of curiosity, how many days are you in Hershey? I'm wondering what your plans were for there--I'm guessing Hersheypark, for one!
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Old Jul 13th, 2010, 10:53 AM
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My kids are quickly getting to the point of being too old to be called "kids", they are 17 and 12 after all! However, I know to me they'll always be the kids! As for our plans, I plan to spend 2 days in Hershey (time for Chocolate World and for Hershey Park - we love roller coasters!). We'll have two days in Philadelphia, so we'll do our best to see what we can while we're there. The historic district is a given, but I thought we had to wait to get the tickets for Independence Hall on a "same day" basis. Can I reserve those ahead of time online?
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Old Jul 13th, 2010, 11:07 AM
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My daughter was 11, I believe when we went to Philly for a few days. She really enjoyed the Constitution Center. I ditched my rental car there and was glad I did - driving is NO fun in Philly.
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Old Jul 13th, 2010, 11:43 AM
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My grandkids are 14 and 11 and they thought Chocolate World a waste of time.

You can go to Hershey Park at night and go back the next day for free. Not sure what hours that starts but you can look it up on line. Also, a few stores offer discount on your ticket. That can be found on line also.
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Old Jul 13th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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You can indeed reserve tickets ahead of time to see Independence Hall, and in fact that's a good idea -- though it will cost a dollar or two to mail the reservations out to you. Be sure to order enough ahead to receive them.

While possible to get tickets to Independence Hall on a walk-up basis, it's hit-or-miss that way. The line tends to form early and can get long fast, and all the tour slots can fill quickly, especially if there are school groups trying to get in.

I've been to Hershey Chocolate World and thought it was at least okay. Truthfully, it's about on a "must-see" level as World of Coca Cola is in Atlanta. Not the greatest thing since sliced bread, but okay.
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