AFTER A WHIRLWIND FEW years of hosting Pope Francis in 2015, the Democratic National Convention in 2016, the NFL Draft in 2017 and even the city’s first-ever Super Bowl win followed by an epic parade in 2018, it’s no wonder Philadelphia earned GQ’s City of the Year, 2018 title. With such an exciting ascension, it seems “trust the process” isn’t just for the 76ers basketball team — it’s for the whole city.
Between Philadelphia’s rich American history, inspiring present and skyis- the-limit future, this city is having a moment, and nowhere more so than in South Philadelphia. Possibly the largest neighborhood in the city, South Philadelphia boasts culture, international flair and authentic neighborhood personality.
A bit of advice to travelers: Come hungry and keep heading south.
Start at the Italian Market, then head to the Latin section, boasting the now-famous Mexican restaurant South Philly Barbacoa, located just around the corner from Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks — the famous cheesesteak rivalry-turned-obligatory tourist visit.
The established but somehow still-growing foodie scene along Passyunk Avenue represents the neighborhood well, as it cuts through the city’s gridorganized streets in a diagonal line, commanding your attention. Walk south along East Passyunk Avenue, exploring the upwards of 20 restaurants consistently making Philadelphia Magazine’s Best Restaurants list; unique stores; and rotating, year-round outdoor festivals and events.
Dozens of local boutiques and quirky shops line the avenue, including The Singing Fountain, surrounded by fresh produce during farmers markets in the summer and Christmas carolers in the winter.
The farther south you go, the more mom-and-pop eateries, dress shops, men’s tailors, vintage shops and dive bars you’ll find, but for something uniquely South Philadelphia yet modern and swanky, the famous Bok Building offers a bit of everything.
Built in 1936, Edward W. Bok Technical High School — or Bok Vocational High School — welcomed students across a plethora of studies, from welding and auto mechanics to culinary arts. In 2013 the historic building went up for public auction and now boasts some of the most exciting restaurants, event spaces, homemade boutiques and rooftop bars in the area.
A local favorite gaining city-wide popularity, Bok Bar’s seasonal rooftop bar boasts one of the best views in the city. The former high school, now community space, is located in a residential area, offering an unobstructed city view and far less street noise than Center City’s rooftop locales. A newer resident in the building, Irwin’s was affectionately named for the building’s architect and boasts Mediterranean-inspired small plates with a twist, cocktails and sweeping views from the terrace.
Attend seasonal fitness classes on the rooftop or in the high school gym and tenant studios. Keep an eye out for local events like movie nights and tours through the local businesses housed in the building.
The South Philadelphia streets are lined with homes where residents sit outside chatting and people-watching. The region’s strong Italian heritage is palpable, but the neighborhood is definitely diverse. With so many old, new and up-and-coming local businesses and community events, South Philadelphia offers a blend of thriving cultures.
My husband and I arrived to The Water Club Hotel at the Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for our two-night stay and drove directly to valet parking. After the swift drop-off process, we took the escalator to the lobby to check in. With no one ahead of us in line, we were checked in and on our way to our room on the 30th floor in no time.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
Spirit Airlines recently announced new service between Oakland (OAK), California, and Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Florida, scheduled to launch April 1. The service is the only non-stop flight between the two destinations.
SkyTeam added a 147-seat lounge at the new Istanbul Airport. The airline alliance’s newest lounge spans more than 6,000 square feet and is open all day.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Animals taking to the sky are getting a more comfortable journey thanks to a new innovation from Delta Air Lines.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises recently unveiled details regarding its new $5 million art collection, which will find a permanent home aboard Seven Seas Splendor, launching next month. The collection was curated over two years and contains 300 pieces.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
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