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When it comes to historic houses and buildings, there is a lot to see in Philadelphia--history was indeed made here, and Philadelphia's colonial past is on proud display throughout many of its neighborhoods. This list takes a selective historic tour through the city, starting in West Philadelphia, heading east, and taking time out for shopping and coffee!
Nestled in a side street that straddles the campuses of Penn and Drexel, the White Dog is a West Philadelphia institution, renowned for putting on a stellar brunch. The atmosphere is cozy, warm, and intimate, and most importantly, the food is great.
Work off your brunch with a stroll through Penn's gorgeous, sprawling campus, and if you're in a museum mood, hit Penn's Archaeology Museum or the Furness Library with its fine arts collection.
Still in a walking mood? Grab a nearby trolley and head out to Bartram's Garden, located in northwest Philadelphia. Located in an unlikely industrialized neighborhood, this garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in the country, and includes the oldest building in the city: the home of 18th-century botanist John Bartram. A must see in the spring.
After exploring West Philly, head into the heart of Center City and onto Pine Street. You'll avoid the touristy, mainstream vibe of South Street while getting in some quality shopping and people watching in this quiet, lovely residential part of the city.
If it's time to rest those feet, drag yourself up to Ray's Café in Chinatown, where you can get the best cup of coffee in the city, rivaled only by local favorite La Columbe, which is located near Rittenhouse Square.
Philadelphia's Chinatown is cheek to cheek with the Old City neighborhood, which is chock-a-block with galleries and boutiques, all within the cobblestone haven that is the oldest part of the city.
Also located in Old City is this colonial historic house, once the home of Philadelpha mayor Samuel Powel.
Founded in 1695, this church is a marvelous example of colonial architecture. Famous members of its congregation include Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross.
One of Philly's best Italian restaurants. Great wine selection, romantic, and well worth the price.
Nothing is more perfect than watching the sun set over the Delaware River before going home.