Philadelphia: Your Cheap & Close Getaway from New York City

If you answer yes to the following questions, you need to get yourself to Philadelphia on a weekend getaway, my friend.  And here’s why:

1) You want a weekend getaway under a 3 hour drive
You guys, it’s only 2 hours by bus.  I suggest taking the Bolt Bus over the Chinatown bus– it’s only like $6 more for a world of difference (free wi-fi, electric socket plugins, A/C, and more comfortable seats).  Make yourself a nice playlist, work on your computer (ie catch up on those blogs you’ve been neglecting), catch up on reading, and BOOM (goes the dynamite), you’re there.


2) You don’t want to spend more time in the city that may constantly remind you that you have a horribly stressful/depressing/terrible job to return to when your vacation is over
This is kind of why people stay in Brooklyn on the weekends– it can be kind of incongruous to party in the same area that you’re forced to be “all business” in.  It’s kind of the other side of the “don’t shit where you eat” coin.  So why not leave the city entirely, where you can almost start anew and at least try to shake the horrible sense-memory flashbacks you might get if you so happen to pass a certain street or lunch place in Chelsea (or wherever)?

3) You know you have at least 1 friend in Philly you’ve been meaning to visit
It’s like you’re so close, yet so far.  When you live in Philly or NYC, you take it for granted that it’s all so very close by.  Go visit your friend, will ya?  And it’ll be a free place to stay!  Your friends in Philly probably have a way bigger apartment than you do, so it totally won’t be as big of an inconvenience to them anyway.

4) You don’t want to necessarily venture into complete rural/middle-of-nowhere-ness, but you don’t want to just go to an LI suburb or something
Philly is a perfect balance of getting far enough away without feeling like you’re just back home in your parents’ suburb, but close enough to being an actual city.  Philly is kind of like if NYC took half a Xanax or something– laid back enough to relax, but not boring as shit.

Philadelphia IS flavor country

5) You’d take a staycation, if only it were cheaper
It’s kind of bullshit that you might actually spend less being lowkey and/or going out in Philly than in your very own home city of NYC.  It’s crazy, but it’s true.  I think I spent about half what I would normally spend on alcohol and food (really good Indian food there, btw!) in a normal NYC weekend.  Also, because the bars close later, and your friends houses are nicer, it’s way more incentive to stay in or go home earlier.  Fuck, I didn’t even have to walk more than 10 feet to lay on some grass in my swimsuit and play some Cowboy Golf when I was staying in Manayunk.  Not to mention that I definitely participated in a Neko Case singalong or five without disturbing any bar patrons this time.

6) You’ve been meaning to fulfill your Rocky I and IV fantasies at the same time
I don’t know about you, but if you haven’t seriously considered running up the steps of the art museum and run down them yelling “DRAGOOOOOOO!”, then I can’t really say with confidence that II or anyone else would like to know you.

7) It is imperative that you go to Monk’s
Monk’s Cafe aka the place with the WIDEST variety/selection of Belgian beers in North America.  I’m fairly sure this is the reason you’re alive.

8 ) You want to catch one of your fave bands, but all of their NY shows are sold out
Guess where it’s not going to be as crowded or expensive?  That’s right.  Brilliant.

Bonus tip #1: Try to play/be around music with as many slide-y Spongebob Squarepants type guitar effects as possible.  There’s just something Pavlovian about them that immediately relaxes your brain in the best possible way.

Bones Tip #2: Manhattan Bagels (a local bagel chain) resembles nothing of Manhattan, bagels, or bagels from Manhattan.  Just sayin’.

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About the author

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.
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