I wake up every morning between 6 and 6:30 a.m. If I don’t have a physical activity planned for the day, I try to get one in before work. Then I get ready, read, and do some emails before I head to Pure Fare for my morning smoothie — usually the Avocado Key Lime. Read more »
Nov. 4, 5, 11 and 12
Lagos Sample Sale
Shop sparkly baubles at 50 percent off during this highly anticipated annual sale. Pro tip: Arrive at least two hours early (doors open at noon on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday) to snag a good spot in line; once inside, make a beeline for diamond-dotted rings. 441 North 5th Street, fourth floor, Callowhill. Read more »
For Dinnerware: Scarlett Alley
Supplement your existing tableware arsenal at this Old City boutique, which stocks a comprehensive assortment of table necessities ranging from tortoiseshell flatware and eclectic glasses to serving dishes and dessert stands. They even have a surprisingly style-forward selection of melamine, that virtually unbreakable material ideal for raucous guests or rambunctious little ones. Read more »
There’s never been a shortage of charm on most small-town Main Streets, but thanks to an influx of cool shops and eateries, our region’s main drags are busier, buzzier and better than ever. Here, the standout spots to visit now.
Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill
Best for: A day of boutique-hopping
Best bets: A longtime standout thanks to its top-notch storefronts, Chestnut Hill’s main drag is a destination worthy of a day-long trek. Start near the Regional Rail stop at the top of the hill and head east toward rustic home shop Isabella Sparrow to scoop up farmhouse-worthy wares like dangling wooden light fixtures and antique serving dishes. A block away is Style Camp, a women’s boutique stocked with covetable accessories, nubby knits and tricky-to-find labels. Break for lunch on the outdoor patio at Mexican cantina El Poquito. Order the street tacos (they offer banh mi, brussels sprout and Korean BBQ varieties), decadent churros and a tequila flight. Don’t leave without a bouquet from one of the street’s duo of respected florists — Robertson’s Flowers and Rothe Florists — both of which can whip up a fall-ready assortment of blooms in a snap.
Lancaster Avenue, Wayne
Best for: Holing up in cozy spots
Best bets: Once a buttoned-up enclave of the Main Line, Wayne’s commercial corridor has shed its stuffy stereotype. First, duck around the corner to North Wayne Avenue, where you’ll find Main Point Books; prod the friendly owner, Cathy Fiebach, for her favorite page-turners. Afterward, head back to Lancaster and hunker down with your new reading material at Gryphon Cafe. It’s home to a cast of regulars you’ll find nursing the cafe’s specialty, Sean’s Latte (a caramel and vanilla sip), and whatever’s on tap (usually kombucha) from weighty patterned mugs. Grab a late lunch at Cornerstone Cheese & Charcuterie, tucked on West Avenue. The BYO posts its happy-hour menu and wine- and beer-pairing suggestions online, so diners can come prepared. (There’s a Fine Wine & Good Spirits store within walking distance.)
Broadway, Jim Thorpe
Best for: Old-school charm (and a bit of adventure)
Best bets: It’s an hour and a half from Philly, but Jim Thorpe’s main thoroughfare — dotted with old stone buildings and hordes of historic markers — feels like it’s been plucked from a Hollywood back lot. The retail lineup lacks some of the refined merchandising of its Philly counterparts, but it’s no less of a treasure trove. Peruse Sellers Books & Fine Art for affordable books; Soundcheck Records for used vinyl and music miscellany; Somersault Letterpress for paper goods; and the Vintagerie for small antiques. Wind down at Stone Row Pub and Eatery (the building’s been there since the 19th century) or American restaurant Moya on Race Street, only steps away. Beyond shops, Broadway is also home to the Jim Thorpe eXperience, an adventure service that lets you choose from a slew of guided trips — from waterfall hikes to nighttime snowshoe treks. Before you set out, grab a to-go sandwich (available to order online) at Through the Looking Glass, the quirky Carrollian restaurant that anchors Broadway.
State Street, Doylestown
Best for: Kid-friendly entertainment
Best bets: A tree-lined one-way dotted with boutiques and eateries, State Street is the pulse of this picturesque suburb. Take little ones to famed children’s bookstore Booktenders Secret Garden, where there’s a lively story time and organized crafts conducted by former teacher and owner Ellen Mager. Reward their creativity at old-timey Sweet Pea Ice Cream with a cone of the seasonal special, pumpkin with gingersnaps, and a scoop of pistachio and wildflower honey for yourself. Let the sugar rush subside and then swing through Estate, a luxe boutique that stocks men’s and women’s collections from a roster of designers like Gant, Ulla Johnson and The Kooples. Insider tip: Before you go, be sure to check out the Doylestown Township Parks & Recreation calendar of events for fun offerings like a kids’ supper club that schools fledgling foodies in the preparation of spaghetti and meatballs, while parents can sneak out for date night. (We suggest catching a foreign flick at the County Theater — just look for the old-school marquee — and enjoy a bucket of its perfectly salted popcorn.)
Baltimore Avenue, West Philly
Best for: A surprisingly wallet-friendly gastronomic tour
Best bets: Eating your way through any neighborhood is often the best way to become acquainted with it, and the variety of fare on Baltimore Avenue is perhaps its strongest suit. Begin your day at Dottie’s Donuts on Springfield Avenue, where you’ll find a bakery case full of vegan doughnuts in flavors like matcha cacao, Thai tea and, for the purist, Boston cream. (Go early; popular flavors sell fast.) For lunch, ethnic foods reign supreme: Enjoy African cuisine at Youma, Thai and Laotian at Vientiane, and Ethiopian and Eritrean at Dahlak. Don’t miss seeing a production at Curio Theatre Company, an offbeat ensemble-based theater company. When it’s over, stroll to family-friendly Clarkville for fried chicken and beer, or, for an elevated dining experience, Marigold Kitchen and its lauded $90-a-head tasting menu.
This article first appeared as “Day-Tripping” in Philadelphia magazine’s October 2016 issue.
The B&B: The Gables // The French influence is strong in this renovated five-room Victorian, thanks to toile bed linens, gilded furniture in the library, and a proper garden dining area. Reserve the Bailey Lloyd room; it’s not the swankiest (that’s the Victoria & Albert), but its sloping walls, cherry red claw-foot tub and iron stove exude coziness. For dinner, nab one of the courtyard or porch tables — the chef changes up the seafood-heavy menu daily. // Starting at $180 per night; 212 Centre Street, Beach Haven.
A longtime trove for all things textile, Fabric Row has evolved in recent years, welcoming a slew of new stops — beyond fabric outposts — ideal for a weekend jaunt. Here, eight standout eateries, shops and spots to hit next time you visit the Queen Village thoroughfare. Read more »
Although winter’s chill has well overstayed its welcome, we want to happily remind you that it’s May, people! Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s almost time for backyard barbecues, happy hours on the patio, and little ones running through the front yard sprinklers. It’s time to get your outdoor spaces in tip-top shape, and we’ve found the best local garden shops to get the job done—plus, they’re absolutely beautiful. Read more »
Forget surface-level spring cleaning. To really start the season out on the right foot, it’s time to consider everything else in your life that might need detoxing (your greasy winter diet and maxed-out budget, perhaps?).
To help you detox, declutter and decompress, we’ve sleuthed out eight easy tips, tricks, pros to know and places to visit to purify, purge, and banish toxins for good. Welcome to spring. Read more »
Bookstores — specifically those of the indie variety — have come to represent something quite different in the age of “140 characters or less” and “TL;DR.” But before you cast them off as a You’ve Got Mail-era relic, consider this: Independent bookstores are more than an ode to nostalgia and much-needed tactility — they also often boast the smartest literati as shopkeepers and the most inviting (and weather-proofed) hangouts you can find in/around Philly. So the next time your eyes start to blur after thumbing your four-inch screen for a couple hours, you can come up for air and head to one of these 15 brick-and-mortar independent bookstores. Read more »
Attention, would-be romancers: You’ve got two weeks until Valentine’s Day, which means there is still time (though, it’s quickly dwindling!) to nab coveted reservations at restaurants, theaters and hotels. As for the latter, we’ve rounded up the 10 swankiest, sexiest spots to spend a romantic weekend. From top-notch pampering to room service worth ordering, consider this your guide to getting away, if only for a night. (Sorry, you’re on your own for the babysitter.) Read more »