Travel Guide: Frolicking Around Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

This past weekend, we headed up to Philly for a couple days in the city of Brotherly Love. It’s just 2.5 hours north of Washington, yet I’d never been there…I actually had no idea it was a. so close, and b. right up 95 North. Apparently I am (or was) completely ignorant to the geography of Pennsylvania. Now that I know, however, you can guarantee it’ll be worked into my regular rotation of easy weekend trips from DC. 

We spent the weekend with family checking out Reading Terminal Market (Amish donuts), exploring history at the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, dining at Morimoto (get the rock shrimp tempura, you will not regret it), and taste testing cheesesteaks. Before leaving town, however, we decided to see what else there might be to do in Philly. 


I’d heard there’s a great art scene, but that hadn’t been on our agenda for the weekend so I hadn’t looked into it prior to our visit. A quick google search turned up Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a visionary art installation that we found expands far beyond the walls of the actual gallery space into the surrounding community. Mosaics are hiding around every corner in the South Street Neighborhood, and their home base is this sprawling art installation that will leave you wondering how on earth it all came together. Pieces of glass, ceramics, mirrors, sculpture…it’s remarkable how many tiny parts make up this cohesive, if a bit crazy, Magic Garden.


And, because this is also a style post, this leopard sweater is one of my all time favorites from J.Crew Factory. It’s a three season sweater that looks awesome with white jeans, shorts, normal jeans, the list goes on. I found this vintage Coach purse in a store off South Congress in Austin, and much to my delight, it fits my camera with its giant, brand new lens. You can find similar purses on Etsy — here’s one option and another. The trench cape is J.Crew from a couple years ago, but Banana Republic has a strikingly similar version this season. Or, just opt for a swingy trench.

So, now I’m planning my next trip to Philly…maybe just a Saturday to Sunday in the spring? I want to dive into more of the history and the museums. Any recommendations on where to stay, what to do, and what to eat? 


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