Museum exploration is an exciting adventure, but like most adventures it requires a bit of planning. Read on to find out how to get the most of your Philadelphia excursion, with the least amount of stress.
Photo by M. Edlow for IVCC | phlvisitorcenter.com
Travel – There are many different ways of getting into the city as well as ways to get around once you’re there. Below are just a few of my favorites and I hope you find them helpful too!
PATCO – If you’re traveling from South Jersey, the PATCO Speedline is a convenient alternative to driving in the city. There are six suburban PATCO stations in New Jersey, plus three in Camden city. You can view a complete list here. When you arrive in Philadelphia, you can choose to either pursue your destination on foot, or continue to take advantage of Philly’s many public transportation options.
Walk Philly – According to Visitphilly.com, Philadelphia has been rated one of the best walking cities in America. Philadelphia is also easy to navigate, thanks to its convenient grid-system design. There are 25 blocks in between the Schuylkill and the Delaware River that make up Philadelphia’s Center City. Streets running North/South are numbered and streets running East/West are named mostly after trees. Check out this handy street map for a detailed visual aid.
Philly Phlash – The Philly Phlash is a seasonal Trolley/Bus system that brings tourists and visitors throughout Philadelphia in a short amount of time (hence the name). There are 22 stops to choose from, with service every 15 minutes. Keep in mind, this service is seasonal with daily service in the summer and Friday-Sunday service in the spring and fall. If you choose to go with this option, be sure to check ahead of time to make sure the Phlash is running. With spring just around the corner, this is a convenient travel option for your upcoming Philly day trips. Service will resume in 2017 on March 23.
Parking – Most museums offer on-site parking, which is conveniently located and usually comes at a discounted price for members. For those of you who prefer something more flexible, try street parking or a parking garage. Although parking costs in the city can quickly add up, here are some options to make parking more affordable:
Meter Up – Meter Up is a great tool for staying on top of meter fees without ever needing to leave the museum. The smartphone app deducts meter fees directly from your credit or debit card. A great feature of Meter Up is that it notifies you 7 minutes prior to the end of your parking session. Once notified, you can either choose to extend your time or head back to your car. Meter Up is available through both the Apple store and the Google Play store.
Spot Hero – Like Meter Up, Spot Hero is an app that helps you monitor parking from the convenience of your smartphone. Spot Hero is essentially a parking reservation app. It helps you find, book and navigate spots near your destination, in advance, so you don’t have to worry about searching for a spot once you get there. This is ideal if you’re attending an event or a museum where there is an expected high volume of attendees. Spot Hero also partners with parking garages to offer discounted prices. Lastly, cancellation is free up to the minute your reservation begins. If for whatever reason you need to cancel your reservation, simply notify Spot Hero through the app or call their customer service number. Spot Hero parking is available in most major cities, Philadelphia included.
I hope you find this helpful! I’d love to hear about your experience with Philadelphia’s travel options as well! Feel free to comment below with some of your favorites.