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Several quick last minute ?'s about Philadelphia visit

Several quick last minute ?'s about Philadelphia visit

Jun 6th, 2008, 08:20 AM
  #1  
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Several quick last minute ?'s about Philadelphia visit

I appreciate all the suggestions I've received from this site. But I have several last minute questions that hopefully someone can help answer "easily". There are several questions, but some should have short responses.

Reminder from my previous posts - we're staying in Norristown, attending conference in Wayne, but wanting to visit a little of Philadelphia during our time there.

1. Re: Manayunk - is this an area we could visit from 4:00 through the evening? Do the shops stay open into the evening?

2. Is it possible to take public transportation from Norristown into the historic area?

3. Is it possible to take a stroller (large one with baby carrier) on public transportation?

4. Is there a difference between Old City and the historic area?

5. Traveling from Norristown - Wayne...road suggestions?

6. Best way to see the historic area - walking tour, guided tour?

7. Does everything cost for admission - see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Constitution center (is this the new museum)?

8. Longwood Gardens - should we visit during the day or wait and see the illuminated fountain show at night? how long should we allow for a visit here?

9. Are Manayunk and Chestnut Hill similar? Prefer one over the other?

10. We'd like to visit Naked Chocolate - any time better than another? How far from historic area?
lakeside77 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 08:42 AM
  #2  
yk
 
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I can answer a few of your Qs:

< 1. Re: Manayunk - is this an area we could visit from 4:00 through the evening? Do the shops stay open into the evening? >

Yes - the shops have "usual" hours - close around 6pm? I think one weeknight (perhaps Thurs) they are open until later. Plenty of restaurants to eat in Manayunk

< 2. Is it possible to take public transportation from Norristown into the historic area? >

Yes, the R6 connects Norristown with downtown. You can get off at Market East Station. See septa.org for schedules and fares.

< 4. Is there a difference between Old City and the historic area? >

Not much. Old City covers a slightly larger area than historic area, by a couple of blocks. But basically both refer to the area near Independence Hall.

< 6. Best way to see the historic area - walking tour, guided tour? >

There are trolley tours. Also you can make up your own itinerary. Gophila.com has lots of suggestions.

< 7. Does everything cost for admission - see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Constitution center (is this the new museum)? >

Liberty Bell & Independence Hall are free, but for Independence Hall you'll need to get the free timed tickets in advance. Try to go early for the tickets as they do run out, esp during summer months. For more info go here
http://www.nps.gov/inde/

There is admission fee for the National Constitution Center.

My suggestion would be first get the timed tix for Independence Hall. If there is a time gap, you can visit Liberty Bell and/or NCC before your Independence Hall visit.

< 8. Longwood Gardens - should we visit during the day or wait and see the illuminated fountain show at night? how long should we allow for a visit here? >

I've only visited during the day time. It's a good half-day visit, if not longer. The garden is quite big in size. Can't comment on the fountain show.

< 10. We'd like to visit Naked Chocolate - any time better than another? How far from historic area? >

It's at 1317 Walnut Street, so about a 10-min walk from Independence Hall (~10 blocks).
yk is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 09:20 AM
  #3  
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Thanks, yk, for your help answering some of the questions.
lakeside77 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 12:32 PM
  #4  
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ttt
lakeside77 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 12:43 PM
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If you are in Philadelphia this weekend?? Know that the Manayunk Bike race takes place on Sunday. It is a good time but very crowded and a big party. Probably not the best scene for young kids.
tyedye33 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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Question 3. baby stroller. Yes, you are allowed to bring a stroller on public transit. But 1) don't expect much in the way of help if you need assistance getting it up or down the steps on the R6 regional rail from Norristown 2) they will probably ask you to fold the stroller up to keep it clear of the aisle. As for taking a stroller on a SEPTA bus once you are in Center City, these buses can get incredibly crowded - you might do better to take a taxi if you are going far. If you are just trying to get to Old City from Market East Station, it's a very short walk - no need for public transit.

Question 9. Manayunk vs. Chestnut Hill. Shopping experience about the same - a mix of big name chain retail and some smaller mom and pop boutiques. Manayunk has more restaurants and bars and a more vibrant scene for nightlife.
Ceidleh is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 02:32 PM
  #7  
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We're not there this weekend. We will be there starting Monday during the week.

Just looking at the main rail from Norristown to the historic area...not bus transportation once we're there.
lakeside77 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 03:55 PM
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I didn't see your earlier posts but here's some thoughts on some of your questions:

4) Old City and the historic area are often used interchangeably, but if you want to get a feel for the restaurants and galleries, etc. of Old City, you'd want to walk a little larger area than just the historic squares, for instance weave in and out of 2nd through 4th streets between Chestnut and Arch. You'll see more historic places as well...and don't forget about Elfreth's Alley in that area!

6) I recently lived in the midst of the historic area for a couple years. I recommend either a self guided walking tour - get a guide at the Visitor's Center at 6th and Market if I'm remembering correctly (you can look that up easily), or take a guided tour. We took visiting family on a trolley tour and I was NOT impressed, but maybe we just happened on a bad one. Kids love the duck busses.

7) Someone else already answered about cost - I just want to say, that while many love the Constitution Center, neither my husband or I were that impressed. If you want to do something different, go to the Curtis Center instead, on 6th Street just north of Walnut, and see the Magic Garden mural - absolutely amazing. And/or take the time to go the Ben Franklin memorial area. Again, I didn't see your original post and responses, so forgive me if you've already heard it all and made your choices about which historical activities to do.

9) Personally I prefer Chestnut Hill to Manayunk these days, as the latter often has drunk teenagers around.

10) For many people it would be a bit longer than 10 minutes to walk to Naked Chocolate at 13th and Walnut - more like 15 or even 20, especially with large stroller. And if I may give a counter-suugestion, tho' I love the drinks at Naked Chocolate too, if I had to choose, for the chocolate pick I'd pick the bittersweet chocolate flavor gelato at Capogiro's at 13th and Sansom (a block from NAked Chocolate). It's heavenly, and they have many, many other flavors too.

Enjoy your trip! And oh, I hope you already know about and are planning to go to Reading Terminal Market!
go_laura is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 04:16 PM
  #9  
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go laura - thanks for your suggestions and feedback.

We have not made decisions about what historical sites to see yet. It just seems like a shame to not do the Constitution Center, but at $12 a pop...not sure if it's really worth it.

I looked up something about the Reading Market, and I think we would definitely enjoy it. Just not sure how to fit it in.
lakeside77 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 05:42 PM
  #10  
yk
 
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The Reading Terminal Market isn't that far from Independence Hall etc. You can pop over there for lunch the day you're in town.

I wasn't that impressed by the NCC - but if you're a history buff or remotely interested in it, I think you'll enjoy it.
yk is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 06:18 PM
  #11  
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Is it worth getting a ticket to see Independence Hall?
lakeside77 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 06:21 PM
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Would you guys recommend taking the suggested SEPTA R6 from Norristown to Market East Station instead of driving? We would be driving in at about 12:30-1:00 on Wednesday to see the historical area.
lakeside77 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 04:39 AM
  #13  
yk
 
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< Is it worth getting a ticket to see Independence Hall? >

ABSOLUTELY!!!

< Would you guys recommend taking the suggested SEPTA R6 from Norristown to Market East Station instead of driving? We would be driving in at about 12:30-1:00 on Wednesday to see the historical area. >

I can't speak for R6, but I've taken the other SEPTA lines many times before. They're not fancy but fine. Driving into Philadelphia isn't that difficult, BUT parking is quite expensive. And if you're driving back to Norristown around rush hour, you'll be stuck in traffic forever. Personally I'd take the SEPTA.
yk is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 09:17 AM
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> Is it worth getting a ticket to see Independence Hall?

When my ten year old nephew came out of the Firth Street subway station, I asked him the following questions

1 What do Americans celebrate on the Fourth of July?

2. Where was that document adopted?

3. When you become an American citizen, or join the military, what do you swear your HIGHEST allegiance to?

4. Where was that document adopted?

5. In many countries, citizens can be arrested for what they write, or for how they worship, or for joining a non-violent protest. Or they can be arrested and held in jail without ever being told why they're in jail. What document says that can't legally happen to American citizens?

6. Where was that document adopted?


The three most fundamental documents in American history were ALL from this building, making it BY FAR the most historic place in the U.S.A.

It's the first place I take friends and relatives to, and I still get goosebumps when I walk in the steps of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, etc.
PaulRabe is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 11:32 AM
  #15  
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Paulrabe - definitely sold me on it; it's exactly what I think my response would be. I think we will definitely do Independence Hall.

yk - I think we'll end up doing the SEPTA to make it easier. From looking at their site it seems like from Norristown we will do 2 transfers to get to Market St. Is that correct? Are they similar to just subways in other cities?
lakeside77 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 11:55 AM
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http://www.manayunk-pa.com/mpa/

The Great and Poweful Thingorjus
Proenza_Preschooler is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 01:28 PM
  #17  
 
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Lakeside--
the R6 is a train -- official name"regional rail line" You don't have to transfer anywhere --just stay on the train until Market East --that's at 10th and Market and Independence Hall is at 6th and Chestnut (5 blocks down, one over)
Reading Terminal Mkt. is right next to teh train station -- it starts at the end of that block, 11th and Arch (the next block over) maybe hit it for late afternoon snack on the way home.
elmom is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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Thanks, elmom.

Do we just buy septa tickets before boarding? or is it something you need to purchase in advance? Being from a small town, public transportation is rather confusing on how it works.
lakeside77 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 02:13 PM
  #19  
yk
 
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I don't know the Norristown septa station. If it's a manned station, you buy your ticket from the window agent. If it is un-manned (which i suspect), you can buy your tickets from the self-service machines at the station. However, a lot of times the machines don't work, so you can just buy your tickets on the train.

When I used to take the septa train (that's over 4 years ago), they did not charge a "penalty fee" for buying tickets on board. I don't know if they still have this policy or not, because the NJ Transit does charge a penalty for tickets bought on board.

Another problem I faced in the past was those ticket machines didn't recognize the (then newish) $10 & $20 bill. I hope SEPTA fixed that problem by now.
yk is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 03:35 AM
  #20  
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Thanks for the info. From what I can tell from the SEPTA website, the onboard tickets are more expensive than the ones in advance. And it seems that certain times of the day are higher priced than others. It may make sense to locals who use it all the time, but it would be nice if their website had some help for first time users, or maybe there is and I just haven't found it yet.
lakeside77 is offline  

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