Things to do in Philly and after DC

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by sayhello, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    Hmmmmm... how do you feel about somebody tagging along for some of this? :flower3:

    I am SO looking forward to taking an ABD that *does not* involve jet lag!!!

    Sayhello
     
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  3. familygoboston

    familygoboston Mouseketeer

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    Say Hello- the ABD Galapagos trip didn't involve jet lag for we east coasters either, which was so nice! We had to go hour back to EST from DLST, (you dont need to save daylight when you have the same amount every day at the equator;)) but that only made the early mornings easier! It seemed weird to go so far and not have jet lag!
     
  4. glassslipper2004

    glassslipper2004 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Sayhello! I don't have a ton of time to post right now, but will think about what info I can pass on. We traveled to Philly and Williamsberg two spring breaks ago, and DC last spring break, and had absolutely awesome times on both trips. I loved Williamsberg and definitely think you can find things to do for two days- we were there three, plus one at Busch Gardens. The speakers (people acting in historical roles, like John Adams) were wonderful and only show up a few times each day, in different places, so if you can catch a few of those they were a real highlight for us. Similarly, they do some short plays about the time period, on location, very well done. And there are colonial style restaurants and shops, along with nearby cute shops, and then of course premium outlets. Also right nearby is historic Jamestowne, including the real site which they are excavating, and the part they have built to look like it may have looked like. I have a good friend who is a historian working on the real site who I can get some info from if you want.

    Guess I kept writing longer than I thought I would but have to run now, will post more later. There's a great restaurant called Marrakesh in Philly, and we loved the Spy Museum in DC, also look to see if you can get tickets for the Capital Steps in DC, a very amusing group who sings political satire, they perform weekly.
     
  5. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    Thanks, glassslipper! This is great. I'm a big fan of the colonial period, and Williamsburg sounds like something I'd enjoy. As does Jamestowne! I'd love it if you could get me more info about the "real site"!

    Sayhello
     
  6. Mary Jo

    Mary Jo Techarita Moderator

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    I hadn't thought about Jamestown. Now, that would be another interesting place to visit. :)
     
  7. LionKingRules84

    LionKingRules84 Mouseketeer

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    Funny you should mention this, this was the restaurant I was at a few friday nights ago on South Street. I always crave this place every once in awhile it's very similar to the Marrakesh in Epcot but A LOT more food! My husband and I were treating friends of ours and since we went on a friday night they had belly dancers! They had me and the 8 year old we were treating to dinner dancing, I had enjoyed a little to much of their house wine or I probably wouldn't have joined in! :joker: It's a nice place and I recommend their Spicy chicken and Honey Lamb option when ordering. I still say they have the best baklava ever!

    Yes they do have the cinnamon and powder sugar meat pie but it's chicken and egg not beef like the one in Epcot. It's one of my favorite courses there next to the spicy chicken and baklava for desert.
     
  8. nordkin

    nordkin DIS Veteran

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    Since I live 3 miles from DC I can answer any questions you have about it. Let me know what type things interest you and I can make recommendations. I will look at what is included with the trip and go from there. Will post more later tonight when I get home from work.
     
  9. mom2cookies

    mom2cookies DIS Veteran

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    As a born and raised PHiladelphian, my suggestions mimic those above minus the shopping malls. King of Prussia is way over priced imo. Longwood Gardens imo isn't Philadelphia but it is beautiful and it is an all day thing. Definitely agree with the Art Museum, Franklin Institute, Camden Aquarium (yes i know not Philly either), Philadelphia Zoo, and Reading Market. If you don't visit them with your brother, the historical sites like Elfriths Alley and Betsy Ross house, INdependence Hall, and other such places are really interesting. MOst of these places are within walking distance of each other.
     
  10. serene56

    serene56 DIS Veteran

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    dead sea scrolls exhibit is there now- but in May it will be a Titanic exhibit.
    We usually go on a sunday morning and stay til around noon when we have the place all to ouselves
     
  11. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    Thanks, nordkin! :thumbsup2 I do love my History, but I'm a fan of most kind of museums. I'm hoping to make it to the Holocaust museum at some point. Any other must sees?

    I am also a fan of interesting architecture. I don't know how much I actually know about it, but I really appreciate it!

    If I stay in DC after the trip, where would be a good place to stay? The ABD stays at the Mayflower, but they aren't doing post-days there. Should I just stay put, or can you recommend a different hotel that's nice & well located?

    Any must-do restaurants?

    Thanks!

    mom2cookies, I'm staying in Philly prior to joining an ABD (Adventures by Disney) tour there. The tour does all the touristy things like Betsy Ross's house, Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell, etc. I'm trying to come up with interesting things to do with my Brother & his family and to do during some time on my own before the tour starts. Everything you mention sounds great. Except, what is Elfriths Alley?

    Ooo, I'm a big Titanic fan. I'll have to check that out. I'll be on the ABD by the time Sunday rolls around, so no leisurely visit for me. But I still will check it out!

    Thanks, all!
    Sayhello
     
  12. Mary Jo

    Mary Jo Techarita Moderator

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    It looks like we won't have much time in Philadelphia once the tour starts, but we have Wednesday evening and all day Thursday to do stuff. These ideas are helping me, too, so thank you everyone. I like the idea of the Franklin Institute and the Titanic exhibit.

    I also would like to know if there are interesting buildings, as I like architecture, too. Hopefully my travelling buddy does, too.

    In DC we're staying at the Mayflower for the nights after, and checking out on Sunday... just a thought, sayhello. :)
     
  13. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Tobi, et al.

    I can't help on the front end of this trip but as far as things to do in DC goes, there is so much that you won't be at a loss. Val & I visit DC probably once a year and in fact went there 3 times this year. We love the history of the place and never get tired of it.

    We did a very unique thing in July. On Friday evenings in the summer (not sure when this starts) the Marine Barracks at 8th & I (SE) has a free "evening parade" that is very moving. Here is a link to the Marine Corps page with info on this.

    What else to do in DC? It kind of depends on what is included by ABD but some musts include: Arlington Cemetery, all of the Smithsonian buildings (there are probably 10 of them) on the mall, touring the monuments at night, seeing all the various memorials on the mall (the wall is particularly moving), seeing the Capital building, and the National Cathedral. Also think about wandering around some of the neighborhoods like Georgetown and Chinatown as well as taking a boat ride along the Potomac.
     
  14. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Forgot to mention the National Archives, where you will see the actual Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Also, the National Gallery of Art on the Mall, which is not a Smithsonian museum, is also a good take if you are into art.
     
  15. nordkin

    nordkin DIS Veteran

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    In DC, get in touch with your Congress person and arrange tickets for the tour of the Capital building. The Library of Congress is a must for architecture as well as the reading room. The Botanic Gardens are a block from the Library of Congress. There is also a little know museum across the street from Union Station. It is the Postal Museum and takes about an hour or so to go through. The monuments at night is a must and the Martin Luther King memorial is better at night. In my opinion a must do restaurant is located in the American Indian Museum on the mall. Very different foods from different Indian Tribes.

    The Holocaust Museum is difficult to get into unless you get tickets prior to your visit. Here is the link. http://www.ushmm.org/visit/

    I do not know which airport you are leaving from, but if it Reagan National I would stay in a hotel in Crystal City, VA. The subway is right there and it is a lot cheaper than the DC hotels. Most of them have free shuttles to the airport. Crystal City is also full of restaurants from locally owned to chains.

    If I think of anything else I will post again.
     
  16. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    We actually have most of the day on Friday, also. The ABD won't start until late afternoon/early evening with the Welcome Dinner. I'll check out staying at the Mayflower. It certainly would be more convenient. Did you book through their website? I *thought* I had booked a pretty good rate there for 2 nights, but it turned out it was the wrong Renaissance in Washington DC...

    Oooo, the actual Declaration & Constitution! That sounds very cool. I must check that out. And we're taking (sort of) a boat ride on the Potomac as a part of the ABD (kayaking!).

    Oh, trying to get tickets for the Capitol sounds like a good idea! I will check into that. And I have heard the monuments are pretty spectacular at night. And that American Indian restaurant sounds intriguing.

    I knew you need to get tickets to the Holocaust museum ahead of time (hence why I did not make it when I was in DC for one day!) I checked recently, and they didn't have a way to order tickets for May right now. I sent them a message to see when they might be available, and haven't heard back.

    I've never heard of Crystal City. I'll check that out. :thumbsup2

    Thanks, all! Such wonderful information & suggestions! Keep 'em coming!

    Sayhello
     
  17. Mary Jo

    Mary Jo Techarita Moderator

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    Good thing to know about Friday. :) I booked the Mayflower via their website.

    Ditto ::yes::
     
  18. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

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    Another vote here for the Mutter Museum, Franklin Institute, Longwood Gardens, Adventure Aquarium, & Battleship NJ. We also enjoy the Academy of Natural Science in Philly. :thumbsup2
    If you do take the ferry to the NJ waterfront area for AA or Battleship (both are very nice) I wouldn't walk beyond there. Camden, though small for a city, is one of the worst cities ever. With a car, it becomes normal suburbs about 5 miles east of the Delaware River but I would not be walking around Camden, day or night. (Really, we wouldn't mind if it floated out to sea!):rolleyes:

    Also a vote here for Jamestown for Williamsburg area visitors. We loved it! It's so amazing to see how people lived in those days.
     
  19. alorac

    alorac Earning My Ears

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    I cant do anything but agree with ^^^ all of that ^^^

    Personally, I LOVE the Academy of Natural Sciences. I was surprised it wasn't mentioned as much already. The art museum also really is a spectacular place to visit. The waterworks area behind it is a beautiful and fun place to wander around down by the river and take in views of the famous boathouse row.

    I don't think I saw anyone else mention it yet... but I would look into purchasing a City Pass (http://www.citypass.com/philadelphia) its a great deal if you are planning on doing a lot of that stuff.

    Also... if you enjoy a good beer, visiting Yards Brewery is a must. Very cool brewpub.

    I will also add a vote for visiting Reading Terminal Market. Keep in mind that the Pennsylvania Dutch section isn't open sun-tuesday so make sure you go there Wed-Sat to get the full experience.

    Oh... last but not least... do NOT go to Jim's steaks on South Street! haha I do not like the way they cook their meat (all in a big pile causing it to dry out quite a bit).

    As some have mentioned... Valley Forge is also a great option as well as some of the historical things in the Brandywine Valley.
     
  20. familygoboston

    familygoboston Mouseketeer

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    If you think you might do the monuments at night (I agree with the poster above, it's so amazing!) one way to cut down on the walking is to do "Bike the Sites". It's a top rate outfit, check them out on line. Once booked, you go to their storefront get geared up and then a guide takes you from site to site on a bikes. It's super easy flat peddling, mostly on big wide walkways away from traffic (once you navigate the block or two to the mall from the shop). I'm an avid biker, but this was easy enough for our young kids to do and probably a lot easier than walking the whole circuit! We had several who hadn't ridden bikes in years in our group, they were fine! (it's like riding a bike:rotfl:)
     
  21. PAcpl

    PAcpl The more you like yourself, the less you are like

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    I was reading this thread and wasn't sure if i should post this, until I read your thread. There is an absolutely amazing landmark in Philly called Eastern State Penitentiary. The architect (John Haviland) was incredible. It was a MAXIMUM security prison, so you can only imagine the story. Here is a photo of the prison and a little exert:

    [​IMG]
     

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