While the first day of any two-day trip to Philadelphia should be spent hitting the sites that make the city famous from a historical perspective, spend the second day learning about modern Philly. The city’s parks and art museums can compete with the best in the world, and there are options to suit whatever your preference is.
This is what to do on day two if you only have 48 hours in Philadelphia.
Stop by The Middle Child for a counter breakfast in a restaurant with Cold War-era decorations. Perhaps most known for creative sandwiches, The Middle Child also has a hearty breakfast menu with options like the Herschel Walker, a specialty egg sandwich with short rib corned beef, bagels with lox, and standard breakfast platters.
Head up to LOVE Park (officially JFK plaza, but no one calls it that) for a photo by the LOVE statue, which is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. It’s located at the start of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and is an ideal jumping-off point for your next adventure.
If you’re an art lover, continue on Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The outside is famous as the Rocky steps, while inside you’ll find more than 240,000 pieces of art from pre-Columbian indigenous to Salvador Dali to modern photography and design. The museum dates back to the country’s centennial celebration in 1876, and today the collection is known around the world. Regular admission is $20 though the first Sunday of the month is free from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
For something a little different, head to the Mutter Museum. The medical museum is part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the exhibits explore medical history and oddities. There’s a human skull collection, Albert Einstein’s brain, surgical tools, and more. Tickets are $18.
If you decided on the Museum of Art, stop by the Frank Gehry-designed café for street food or the Stir Restaurant for a more elevated menu based around local ingredients. Those who still have an appetite after the Mutter Museum should go to K’Far, an Israeli cafe by the same people who run the much-lauded Zahav. At K’Far, you’ll find a range of salads variously filled with ingredients like feta, tuna, olives, and chicken.
Continue on your same route up from City Center after your museum visit to reach Fairmount Park. First things first, accept that you won’t be able to cover all of Fairmount Park’s 2,000 acres and 50 miles of paved trails in one visit. Choose between hiking or the Schuylkill River waterfront or head to one of the many attractions in the park, like the Philadelphia Zoo or the endlessly relaxing Shofuso Japanese House.
Once you’ve had your fill, hail a ride across town to Pura Vida. The food spans a range of Central American cuisines, including classic Mexican options and Guatemalan tamales and chicken ginger soup. The restaurant doesn’t have a liquor license, but you can bring your own and the staff will make your margaritas and mojitos. If you feel like having Asian food instead tonight, casual Vietnamese restaurant Streetside is also in Northern Liberties and has a BYOB policy, too, though they also offer inventive mocktails and Vietnamese coffee.
Take the short walk up to Fishtown or catch a ride to R&D, an inventive cocktail lounge where you can sip on your favorite classic cocktail or one of the bar’s originals. If you’re looking for something more lively, head to Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown. It’s a popular spot with a first-floor bar and a second-floor music venue with local bands playing five nights a week.