Philly without a car?

Jul 22nd, 2009, 04:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 281
Philly without a car?

We are planning a trip to Philadelphia for Labor Day weekend, arriving Friday morning and departing Monday afternoon. We'll be flying in from Chicago.

Since we are getting married in November, we must be pretty frugal on this trip. Is it necessary to rent a car in Philadelphia if we choose a centrally located hotel? I am planning to try to get our hotel on Priceline, what area is best if we decide not to rent a car?

I think one thing we'd like to do outside the city is visit Valley Forge, but not sure if public transportation could get us there easily enough.

Thanks in advance!
Cadgirl is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,763
You can certainly do without a car in center city if you get a hotel there. Philly is a decent walking city at the center. SEPTA's R1 train will take you into center city from the airport in about a half hour. Whether you can walk from a train station to your hotel depends on which one you get with Priceline. You might need to take a subway train or a bus or perhaps a taxi. You may wish to do some research with a site like BetterBidding to guess which hotels you might get with Priceline and see what the SEPTA options are for it - or just take your chances and deal with it...

SEPTA does have a bus out to Valley Forge visitor's center:

but you could also simply rent a car for the day and return it without parking it at your hotel, though cars may be expensive to rent over Labor Day...
Andrew is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 05:16 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,683
Ideally, you should stay somewhere between 5th St to 19th St --Walnut to Market.

A nice hotel near City Hall is Loew's.

The best place to stay, in my opinion, is near Rittenhouse Square. This is the posh area of Philadelphia with lots of great restaurants and shops.

You do not need a car for Center City. You can walk almost anywhere or take a cab.

I live near Valley Forge and I would not take public transport to get there. I suppose you could but it would be a pain in the ass.

However, if you only have 3 days in Philly, I wouldn't go to VF when there are so many things to see in the city.

But that is just me.

Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 05:36 PM
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Are you a member of ZipCar? They have them in Philly.
Birdie is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Philly is one of those rare cities in the USA where a car is not necessary for a visit. Indeed, it is a city where a car would be an expensive nuisance. The drivers are crazy, parking is either non-existent or expensive, and everything you'd want to see is either close enough for a walk or easily gotten to by public transport. If too tired to walk or unwilling to take mass transit, just hop in the omnipresent cabs.

Unless you have a major interest in the Revolutionary War, I agree that you can skip Valley Forge. The simple fact is that nothing really significant happened here -- which is actually the main reason it is so famous, because the Continental Army COULD have collapsed here, but didn't. All you will find are plaques detailing which units almost starved or froze at which site.

Actual battles were fought at nearby Brandywine Creek and at Monmouth NJ.
PaulRabe is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 07:52 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 281
Thank everyone. I just booked us at the Holiday Inn Historic District ($69.00 a night on Hotwire!) and will probably forget about renting a car.
Cadgirl is offline  

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