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A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to check out Philly and the Philadelphia Outfest – the world’s largest National Coming Out Day festival!
Philly is only about an hour and half away by train from NYC’s Penn Station. It’s super easy to get there and is perfect for a weekend getaway.
Did you know Philly is home to the Liberty Bell – an iconic symbol of American independence? And that it is also where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed? Philly has a rich history, so if this is your first time visiting, you should make sure to check out all the historic sites, including the Bell and Independence Hall.
We visited the Reading Terminal Market, the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market. And OMG! The food options were amazing there. They have everything from gator gumbo to the famous Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.
We also checked out the Magic Garden – an outdoor gallery created by mosaic artist Isaiah Zager. It’s an interesting art piece that is made up of everything from kitchen tiles to bike wheels. It’s great for Instagram photos, but it is quite busy so make sure you buy tickets in advance or you may end up waiting outside. It is also smaller than I thought so we were not actually in there for too long.
That evening, we went up to the One Liberty Observation Deck – located on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place – to check out the city views.
During the weekend I visited, there were 3 festivals!
Midtown Village Fall Festival – held every fall, it features hours of yummy food stands, drinks, shopping, and live entertainment on a few stages located throughout the festival. It was fun trying all the different drinks offered by the local restaurants! Pineapple cocktail, anyone?
Old City Festival – this street festival in Philadelphia’s historic district showcases local designers, creative firms, restaurants, retailers, galleries and theaters, as well as the neighborhood’s culture, history and architecture. This festival was more family-oriented compared to the Midtown Village Fall Festival.
Outfest – this festival happens every fall in the gay village in the midtown area of the city. It is basically a large outdoor block party with lots of drinks, drag shows, and music. Philly was the first city in the U.S. to host an annual National Coming Out Day event. It was similar to Pride, but with a more wholesome and down to earth feeling where everyone was super friendly. Woody’s, one of Philly’s oldest and most popular bars/clubs, is located right at the heart of the festival. They hosted a large outdoor bar area and dance party. It had great energy and I loved the vibe.
If you are planning a trip to Philly, make sure you check out the Gayborhood neighborhood of Philadelphia – even if it’s not Outfest. It has some of the best restaurants and nightlife!