Morimoto

Stephen Starr creative Japanese restaurant has garnered all kinds of national and international attention since opening a few years back. Located a block from Independence Hall on Chestnut Street, Morimoto has an interior – awash in glass and colors – that is both striking and serene in its design.

The restaurant´s namesake and head chef, Morimoto (of Food Network´s Iron Chef fame), has created a menu offering the very best in contemporary Japanese cusine. While regulars flock here for the exquisitely prepared sushi, Morimoto offers diners a broad spectrum of flavors that delve beyond nigiri and sashimi.

In recent years, the restaurant has made it onto Gourmet magazine´s “Best Restaurants in America” list and Conde Nast Traveler magazine 50 Hot Tables in America. Today Morimoto remains one of the hottest spots to dine in Center City and continues to receive rave reviews from regulars and first-timers alike.

That said, be sure to call ahead for reservations.

Insider Tip

The mezzanine level lounge is a great spot to have a pre-meal cocktail while waiting for your table. You can enjoy a sake or try a “Sakura” – a cosmo made with Sake – in the sleek space that overlooks the brilliant restaurant below.

Percy Street Barbecue

Percy Street Barbecue sees the South Street debut of restaurateurs Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov (Zahav, Xochitl).

Serving a straightforward selection of slowly smoked meats and homey side dishes alongside craft beers and tasty cocktails, Percy Street is an ideal venue for Chef Erin OShea much-lauded Southern cooking, and is on its way to become the city top spot for barbecue.

Working with J&R smokers sourced from Texas, Chef O´shea and her crack team of barbecue wizards headed down to Texas – tested no fewer than 20 beef briskets – as they perfected the ideal balance of salt, smoke and seasoning. Check out this video about their culinary field trip to the Lone Star State.

The Eats

That Brisket which is Percy Street´s signature dish, served – as is the custom in Texas – by the half pound or pound, in three distinct cuts: Moist, Lean and Burnt Ends.

Other menu items include: Spare Ribs; house-made Sausage; half or whole Chicken; and Pork Belly, all slowly smoked and served with white bread and pickles. Sides, available small or large, include: Pinto Beans; Green Bean Casserole, Root beer Chili, Coleslaw; Collard Greens; Macaroni and Cheese; and Vegan Chili.

The Drinks

In keeping with their bare-bones, Texas-frontier aesthetic, Percy Street´s craft beers are served exclusively on draft at the poured concrete bar, lit from above by illuminated green glass beer growlers. Beers include Sly Fox Rauchbier (available in Pennsylvania exclusively at the restaurant) as well as a hand-crafted Root Beer from Yard´s Brewing Company.

Cocktails include: FM 423, with Tito handmade vodka, peach juice and sweet tea; Jack & Ginger, with Jack Daniels, Canton ginger liqueur, lime cordial and ginger ale; and Cherry Cola, with Beam rye, cherry Heering, DiSaronno and cola.

Atmosphere

Percy Street´s simple, rustic decor was created by Elisabeth Knapp, who also designed Cook and Solomonov Xochitl and Zahav restaurants.

Her frontier-influenced design focuses on the fire engine red smokers, visible through a window in the dining room and bar area. The restaurant features light wood floors, weathered red paint, a working jukebox and custom “blackboard walls,” large panels of schoolhouse blackboards that can be rearranged to create private dining areas throughout the 80-seat space.

Seating in the form of repurposed church pews, and bare light bulbs overhead in the dining room lend to the restaurant Texas-esque aesthetic.

Village Whiskey

Located in a Rittenhouse Square space evoking the free-wheeling spirit of a speakeasy, Village Whiskey is prolific Chef Jose Garces’ intimate, 30-seat tribute to the time-honored liquor.

In fact, Village Whiskey features a veritable library of 80-100 varieties of whiskey, bourbon, rye and scotch from Scotland, Canada, Ireland, United States and even Japan.

Much as Village Whiskey could be a scene for toasting and roasting, it also comes from the culinary imagination of Jose Garces (of Amada, Tinto, Distrito and Chifa fame), meaning the food is no less than outstanding.

Cuisine

Village Whiskey´s specialty from the kitchen is “bar snacks,” but that doesn´t mean a bowl of cashews. Rather, it means deviled eggs, spicy popcorn shrimp, soft pretzels and an à la carte raw bar, all treated with the culinary care that made Jose Garces a finalist on The Next Iron Chef.

Perhaps you seek something heartier. The lobster roll, raw bar selections and Kentucky fried quail are standouts, but you’d really ought to order the Whiskey King: a 10 oz patty of ground-to-order sustainable angus topped with maple bourbon glazed cipollini, Rogue blue cheese, applewood smoked bacon and foie gras. Bring your appetite.

Cocktails

Whiskey-based cocktails are divided into two categories: Prohibition (classic cocktails) and Repeal (more contemporary, modern takes). Meanwhile, the venerable Manhattan is a mainstay, mixed using house-made bitters.

Prohibition cocktails include: Old Fashioned (Bottle in Bond Bourbon and house bitters); Aviation (Creme de Violette and gin); and Philadelphia Fish House Punch (dark rum, peach brandy and tea). Repeal cocktails include: APA (hops-infused vodka, ginger and egg white); De Riguer (rye, aperol, grapefruit and mint); and Horse With No Name (scotch, Stone Pine Liqueur and pineapple).

Atmosphere

The speakeasy atmosphere is accomplished through dim lighting, posters for various alcohols, a tin ceiling and antique mirrors. Black-and-white white tiled floors, marble topped tables and wooden drink rails add to the traditional bar decor.

Behind the pewter bar, whiskies are proudly displayed like leather-bound books.

During the warmer months, diners can sit at large, wooden tables placed along Sansom Street for whiskey alfresco.

Chestnut Hill Hotel

The Chestnut Hill Hotel is located in the historic community of Chestnut Hill, approximately nine miles northwest from Center City Philadelphia. Although Chestnut Hill is close to Center City by today´s standards, it was originally a distant “suburb” on the outskirts of the Philadelphia countryside.

Today, it is one of the region´s most charming neighborhoods. Tree-lined streets and grand estates surround its main street, Germantown Avenue, where you can stroll and shop at more than 200 specialty shops and restaurants, along with trendy salons and other modern boutiques.

The Chestnut Hill Hotel fits perfectly in this setting – the hotel´s 36 rooms and suites, decorated in an 18th-century style, hold the hotel to its boutique roots. It´s a perfect place at which to enjoy a romantic getaway in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown

Get ready to stay and play at the new aloft Philadelphia Airport!

This incredibly modern hotel is located just five minutes from Philadelphia International Airport, offering a great convenience to travelers looking for fresh and fun accommodations.

Guest Rooms

The hotel´s spacious guest rooms make you feel right at home with extra large windows, iPod docking stations, high-speed wireless internet, 42” LCD televisions and king- or queen-sized beds. Like the rest of the hotel, the guest rooms feature ultra-modern touches and a fun, energetic design.

Things to Do

Want to socialize? That´s easy at aloft – just step into the re:mix lobby to relax and chat, work on your laptop or shoot a few games of pool. Ready for cocktail hour? The w xyz bar has great drink specials and tasty bar fare. Time for a snack? The re:fuel shop offers self-serve bites like sandwiches, salads and fresh fruit.

The Splash indoor pool and re:charge fitness center complete your overnight experience. And lucky for you – self check-in kiosks allow you to print out your next flight´s boarding pass! Talk about convenient.

Re:Fuel

Just off the plane and craving something to nibble? Thanks to Aloft Philadelphia Airport´s innovative eating options, you don´t have to make do with bland in-flight meals or unhealthy airport fare. Enticing edibles are here, from sweet treats to healthy eats and more.

There is something to please your palate at any hour. Help yourself at the 24-7 re:fuel by Aloft(SM) for a quick bite whenever hunger strikes. Or mix and mingle with a drink and snack at the w xyz(SM) bar.

Fun

For the traveler open to possibilities, Aloft Philadelphia Airport is a fresh, fun, forward-thinking alternative. Breeze into a hotel that offers more than a comfy bed and a friendly smile, and enjoy a whole new travel experience. Energy flows and personalities mingle in a setting that combines urban-influenced design, accessible technology, and a social scene that´s always abuzz.

Energizing public spaces draw you from your room to socialize, or just enjoy the hum of activity as you do your own thing. Sip a drink, read the paper, or work on your laptop in the re:mix(SM) lounge or w xyz(SM) bar, where lighting and music change throughout the day to set the perfect mood.

The hotel´s open flow of features and help-yourself services inspire you to step outside the one-size-fits-all travel routine. Customize your stay and celebrate your style in a place where anything can happen.

Aahh…breathe deep at Aloft. This hotel is smoke-free.

Loews Philadelphia Hotel

OVERVIEW

One of the most important architectural works of the 20th Century, the PSFS (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society) Building has been converted into the new 585-room Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Designed by George Howe and William Lescaze, the building was erected in 1932 and was the first international style, modernist high-rise building.

Today, the building retains period details, such as Cartier clocks, bank vault doors and polished granite, as well as modern amenities such as a full service health spa, business center, spinning room, lap pool and over 40,000 square feet of multi-purpose space, including three ballrooms.

THE HOTEL

Loews Hotels is proud to have restored the landmark PSFS Building to its original grandeur, while transforming it into a hotel that people from all over the world can experience and enjoy.

The hotel takes full advantage of the building´s historical features. The three-story former banking room has been preserved as Millennium Hall, a dramatic banquet space. The historic, rooftop boardroom has been converted to a spectacular setting for catered events.

The building retains period details, such as Cartier clocks, bank vault doors and polished granite, as well as modern amenities such as a full service health spa, business center, spinning room, lap pool and over 40,000 square feet of multi-purpose space, including three ballrooms.

Feel the comforts of home in accommodations that perfectly balance the contemporary with the elegant. Where every detail from the lofty ten-foot ceilings to the miles of spectacular views is designed to serve one purpose – yours. Whether you´re working hard or playing hard, you can always rest easy.

The Loews is perfect for families. The hotel offers special kid-friendly programs and features dedicated to the principle: “the family that stays together plays together” (and that includes four-legged family members too).

Learn more about Loews Signature Family Travel Benefits.
DINING AT THE HOTEL

Solefood

SoleFood is a fusion of seafood and cutting edge culinary expertise, offering seafood inspired dishes at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guests can enjoy a cozy table for two or make new friends at one of the communal tables featuring a center display of river rocks and candles.

In order to create a memorable culinary experience in an upscale, hip environment which mixes eclectic cool with classic style, Solefood Restaurant continues to create exciting food and drinks that are mixed with just the right amount of attitude. SoleFood has received local and regional accolades from the media including 2008 Best of Philadelphia Award, Philadelphia City Paper Best Bar and Best Seafood restaurant.

SoleFood features hard to find wines, served by the glass, bottle and half bottle for when a bottle is too much and a glass is too little.

Special Prix Fixe Dinner Offer

SoleFood is offering a special “Diversify your Palate” prix-fixe dinner menu through 2010. For $29, you get to choose an entree and two “investments,” which can be an appetizer, a glass of wine, a cocktail, a dessert or a draft beer.

To make a reservation at SoleFood restaurant please call (215) 231-7300 or visit opentable.com

Hours:

Breakfast: Daily, 6:30 am – 11:00 am
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday,11:30 am – 2:00 pm
Lunch: Monday – Friday, 11:30 am – 2:00 pm
Dinner: Daily, 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm

SoleFood Lounge & Happy Hour

SoleFood Lounge provides one of the best happy hour options in the city. Gather with your friends and take advantage of some great specials, including hors d’oeuvres, wines by the glass, draft beer, and a wide selection of martinis from 5 to 7 p.m. daily. The lounge is the perfect place to meet up with old friends and make new ones.

SoleFood Lounge has earned recognition for its creative bar menu that includes a wide array of signature drinks and one of the best martinis in Philly.

Solefood Lounge Hours: Daily, 11:30 am – 2:00 am
Lounge Menu is offered daily: 11:00 am – 12:00 am

Solstice and SoleFood Special Events & Private Parties

Solstice and SoleFood provide fabulous settings for receptions, private parties and meetings. Solstice Private Dining Room is a great place to host cocktails receptions, dinners and meetings.

SoleFood is available for private parties and events. The main dining room can accommodate up to 85 people; each of the two communal tables seats 16; The Bar and Lounge at SoleFood with its luxe decor and inviting banquettes and white leather chairs can accommodate 200 for cocktails.

Menus can be customized to meet your needs, including family-style.

Starbucks Morning Coffee Bar

Daily, 6:30 am – 10:30 am

SoleFood Restaurant is proud to be serving Starbucks. Come in and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee during your morning rush. The Coffee Bar also offer small breakfast items for your enjoyment.

The Liberty Bell Center

The Experience

The Liberty Bell has a new home, and it is as powerful and dramatic as the Bell itself. Throughout the expansive, light-filled Center, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images explore the facts and the myths surrounding the Bell.

X-rays give an insider´s view, literally, of the Bell´s crack and inner-workings. In quiet alcoves, a short History Channel film, available in English and eight other languages, traces how abolitionists, suffragists and other groups adopted the Bell as its symbol of freedom.

Other exhibits show how the Bell´s image was used on everything from ice cream molds to wind chimes. Keep your camera handy. Soaring glass walls offer dramatic and powerful views of both the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, just a few steps away.

History

The bell now called the Liberty Bell was cast in the Whitechapel Foundry in the East End of London and sent to the building currently known as Independence Hall, then the Pennsylvania State House, in 1753.

It was an impressive looking object, 12 feet in circumference around the lip with a 44-pound clapper. Inscribed at the top was part of a Biblical verse from Leviticus, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof.”

Unfortunately, the clapper cracked the bell on its first use. A couple of local artisans, John Pass and John Stow, recast the bell twice, once adding more copper to make it less brittle and then adding silver to sweeten its tone. No one was quite satisfied, but it was put in the tower of the State House anyway.

Fast Facts

The Liberty Bell is composed of approximately 70 percent copper, 25 percent tin and traces of lead, zinc, arsenic, gold and silver.

The Bell is suspended from what is believed to be its original yoke, made of American elm.

The Liberty Bell weighs 2,080 pounds. The yoke weighs about 100 pounds.

National Constitution Center

The Experience

It only four pages long, but the U.S. Constitution is among the most influential and important documents in the history of the world.

The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center explores and explains this amazing document through high-tech exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. The Kimmel Theater, a 350-seat star-shaped theater, features Freedom Rising, a multimedia production combining film, a live actor and video projection on a 360° screen to tell the stirring story of We the people.

Then experience it yourself: don judicial robes to render your opinion on key Supreme Court cases, then take the Presidential oath of the office.

In Signers Hall, where life-size bronze figures of the Constitution´s signers and dissenters are displayed, visitors can choose to sign or dissent.

One of the rare original public copies of the Constitution is on display.

History

Freedom of speech, protection from unlawful search and seizure, and other individual rights were not part of the original Constitution. Recognizing its imperfections, the authors built in a mechanism to amend the Constitution, making it adaptable for unknown eventualities.

The first ten amendments guaranteeing numerous personal freedoms – The Bill of Rights – were not ratified until 1791.

Insider Tip

While the Center hosts amazing evergreen presentations, take a look at the Events Calendar for the latest premiere or traveling exhibit.

Kids Stuff

The Center frequently hosts special events with a focus on children that include informative and engaging hands-on activities. For specific information, check out the Center website.

Please Touch Museum

New Location!

Who doesn´t love the Please Touch Museum? And now, taking kids to the Museum is better than ever. The nation´s premier children´s museum – which has been a beloved landmark since it opened in 1976 – has a new home in Fairmount Park, opening its doors to a world of educational, hands-on fun.

The new location in Memorial Hall – a National Historic Landmark built in 1876 for the Centennial Exhibition celebrating the country´s 100th birthday – will boast three times more space for exhibitions and programs.

Just outside the museum, kids and adults will also delight in riding the meticulously restored 1908 Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel, built in Philadelphia for a now-defunct amusement park 10 blocks from Memorial Hall.

Visit The Please Touch Museum for more info!

The Experience

The city´s award-winning children´s museum is fun-filled, totally hands-on, and so delightful that adults are entertained, too. Each nook and cranny has a different theme – from the fantastic to the practical. In Alice´s Adventures in Wonderland, kids can play croquet with the Queen and sip tea with the Mad Hatter; nearby, oversized props bring Maurice Sendak´s classics to life.

Kids can take the wheel of a real bus and sail a boat on a mini-Delaware River; in “Nature´s Pond,” the youngest visitors (age 3 and under) can discover animals nestled among high grass and a lily pond, or enjoy stories and nursery rhymes in “Fairytale Garden.” Please Touch is also a first live theater experience for young children – Please Touch Playhouse performances are original and interactive and take place daily!

Please Touch Museum tends to be busier on rainy days. You may want to schedule your visit on fair weather days. Mornings are also a busy time with most school groups visiting during this time. Afternoons are a great time to visit the museum as well as Mondays when groups are not scheduled.

History

One of the lasting museums from the tourist upgrade of Philadelphia that coincided with the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, Please Touch Museum® filled a gap in the city´s cultural scene. Other museums in the area certainly have sections for children, but Please Touch Museum´s new home not only offers three toddler areas, but also exciting exhibit components for older siblings (for ages 7 and up).

Visiting Tips

Please Touch Museum tends to be busier on rainy days. You may want to schedule your visit on fair weather days. Mornings are also a busy time with most school groups visiting during this time. Afternoons are a great time to visit the museum as well as Mondays when groups are not scheduled.

Insider Tip

The museum has a full schedule of craft activities and music, dance and storytelling performances, which are entertaining for both kids and adults.

Great Kids’ Stuff

In The Supermarket, kids take control: They can stock the shelves, load their cart and ring up the order.
Buy Tickets Online In Advance

You can buy admission tickets to the Please Touch Museum online through our partners at the Independence Visitor Center. Just click the button below.

Franklin Square


Location

6th and Race Streets in Historic Philadelphia

The Experience

One of Philadelphia´s newest historic attractions is also one of its oldest.

Franklin Square, one of the five public squares that William Penn laid out in his original plan for the city, has undergone a dramatic renovation.

The park now boasts several all new, family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, a classic carousel, storytelling benches, a picnic area and more.

Mini Golf

At Philly Mini Golf, an 18-hole miniature golf course decorated with some of Philadelphia´s favorite icons, play a round of putt-putt and learn a little history at the same time.

Carousel

Close your eyes and take a nostalgic ride on the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel, a classic tribute to Philadelphia´s great heritage of carousel-making. It´s sure to be a instant kid favorite.
Storytelling Benches

Then catch up on your history at one of the storytelling benches located throughout the park, where you can hear tales of Franklin Square´s past, or learn about the many communities touched by the Square, courtesy of the friendly storytellers of Once Upon a Nation.

Fountain

And emanating from the corners of the historic park, four new herringbone brick walking paths with nighttime lighting bring even more charm to the Square after dark. The paths lead to the centerpiece of the Square, the Franklin Square Fountain, a marble masterpiece built in 1838 surrounded by wrought iron fences, which is currently still going under cosmetic restoration.

The History

Originally named “North East Publick Square,” the 7.5-acre green is one of five original squares that William Penn laid out in his original plan of the city in 1682. The Square was renamed in honor of Benjamin Franklin in 1825.

Over the years, the area has been used as a cattle pasture, a horse and cattle market, a burial ground, a drill and parade ground for the American military during the War of 1812 and, finally, a city park.

In 1837, the city made Franklin Square into a public park and an elegant fountain was constructed in its center, a fountain thought to be the oldest surviving fountain in William Penn´s five historic squares. The others are Rittenhouse, Washington, Logan and Center Square, where City Hall is now located.

SquareBurger

Just in time for summer, Franklin Square has opened SquareBurger, a Stephen Starr-run “burger shack” selling summer staples: hot dogs, fries, milkshakes (made with Tasty Kakes) and, of course, hamburgers and cheeseburgers.

SquareBurger is open until October – perfect for a couple bites between rounds of miniature golf!