Hotel at a Glance: The Independent Hotel – Philadelphia
With just 24 rooms, The Independent Hotel – Philadelphia gives guests an intimate boutique-hotel experience in the city’s trendy Midtown Village. In the four-story lobby atrium, a glittering chandelier shines on a 30-foot watercolor painting by a local muralist. The fully restored Georgian Revival building is located on the outskirts of Center City, less than a 20-minute walk from the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and Rittenhouse Square.
- Sophisticated design: Guest rooms feature natural hardwood floors and New Zealand wool area rugs.
- What the press says: Fodor’s likes the “tasteful, warm decor [that] makes you feel like you’re staying with friends.”
- Start the day right with a complimentary breakfast basket, hand delivered to your door at your requested time.
- Where to eat: Sample locally sourced pasta and sausage at Little Nonna’s, the onsite casual Italian restaurant, which sources ingredients from Philadelphia’s Italian Market.
- Free perks: WiFi throughout the hotel, a wine hour Monday–Thursday evenings, and passes to the 12th Street Gym
- Notable award: 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia’s Center City: Historic Landmarks and Museums
The historic Center City neighborhood, also known as downtown Philadelphia, dates back to the city’s founding in 1682. Today, Center City is Philadelphia’s central business district, with several skyscrapers and high-profile museums. The neighborhood is also home to Independence National Historical Park, whose high concentration of notable landmarks make it America’s most historic square mile. While you’re here, visit Independence Hall—birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution—or head to the Liberty Bell Center to see the approximately 2,000-pound bell that Martha Washington famously rang to let George know when supper was ready. At the north end of the park, the National Constitution Center features a multimedia presentation on the country’s founding displayed on a 360-degree domed ceiling, as well as galleries of artifacts, including a rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The shops of Historic Antique Row are less than a mile from here. The small, locally owned shops stock everything from oriental rugs to vintage clothing. Head about 15 minutes northwest to scale the famous steps outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Rocky Balboa once pumped his fists victoriously. Inside, the massive museum’s holdings range from ancient Chinese art to famous paintings from Claude Monet, Salvador Dalí, and Vincent van Gogh.