Whether you want a date or just some friends with alfresco interests, the Philly branch of the social networking group Urban Escapes organizes trips for young -professionals generally between the ages of 25 and 35 to the Poconos for whitewater rafting, to Bucks County for a wine tasting, or even to the Yucatan Peninsula for snorkeling. Each itinerary has one goal: to get you out of the city bubble and in with a crew of new faces. Good luck finding that on Match.com. 269 South 10th Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107, .
Head to Franklin Square (historicphiladelphia.org/day/franklin-square) for a round of mini golf (about $30 for a family of four), a spin on the carousel (about $10 for a family of four), and some free-play (literally, free) on the playground and around the fountain. Warning: If your tykes are geocoding-savvy and figure out the Franklin Fountain (116 Market Street, 215-627-1899, franklinfountain.com) is nearby, you might go over budget. 6th and Race Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106, historicphiladelphia.org/franklin-square/what-to-see.
When Somerton’s Michael “Gagz” Gagliardi set out to run the perimeter of Philadelphia, he was just looking to keep himself busy during stay-at-home orders. But he mapped his route turn by turn, then released those directions publicly (find ’em at phillymag.com/fourcornersrun), thereby setting a new, extremely hype running goal for every Philly runner out there, the likes of which Philly’s fitness community hasn’t seen since the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run. phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2020/04/27/perimeter-of-philadelphia-run.
Thanks to a brand-new $2 million restaurant, bar and concert-venue development at the Cape May ferry terminal (where you can hop a boat to Lewes, Delaware), New Jersey’s southernmost shore has had some much-needed new life breathed in. At Ferry Park, get cocktails at Boat Drinks, brews and casual fare at Exit Zero, and steaks and seafood (and peerless views) at the Lookout. When it’s time for bed or just relaxing by the pool or sea, stay at La Mer Beachfront Resort for the most fashionable oceanfront suites in town. Before you head back home, kick it old-school at the Lobster House’s locals-heavy breakfast counter — if you can get a stool.
This no-frills shop is the place to buy, trade and repair Remingtons, Royals, Olympias and Smith Coronas – or to indulge in the sweet, simple thrill of click-clacking on some old-school keys. 1439 East Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147, phillytypewriter.com.
The Brownsville Antique Centre
Exploring this rambling old house might actually feel as if you’re on an archaeological dig – you have to sift through a lot of kitsch before you get to the good stuff. But the treasures you’ll eventually unearth, like a 1930s barrister’s cabinet, vintage Louis Vuitton luggage, and a Victorian marble-topped table, make the hunt more than worth it. 1918 Brownsville Road, Trevose, PA 19053, brownsvilleantiques.com/index.html.
The tchotchkes here — German handbemalt candles, a Mork & Mindy doll, a taxidermied raccoon, a ceramic turtle ashtray — may be a random mishmash, but they’ll add gravitas to your bookshelves in a way nothing from Target ever could. 2441 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, instagram.com/thunderbirdsalvage.
DIY workshops at Karen Singer Tileworks
At this master tile artist’s workshops, you can craft your own address plate, in your choice of styles and colors, so you get exactly what your house longs for. 90 East Church Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19144, karensinger.com.
There’s something to be said about a tiny cafe and micro-roastery that can look a seething global pandemic right in the eye and not so much as flinch at the idea of going toe-to-toe with it. There’s even more to be said about the creativity it takes to completely transform, to wholly rebrand, to expand in ways nobody expects, at a time when fear and tragedy can be so debilitating. Herman’s did both. Owners Matt Falco and Amy Strauss were able to turn their converted-auto-repair-shop cafe into a pop-up hub for aspiring chefs and business owners in need of a home, a retail pop-up outlet for vintage brands and plant shops, and a boutique market with an enviable collection of imported pastas, tinned seafood, chocolates, and more food-things you never knew you ever wanted, let alone needed. When the pandemic forced so much of Philly to become less, Herman’s became more, for the neighborhood it’s in and for all of us who needed some inspiration, hope and delicious things in especially trying times. 1313 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, hermanscoffee.com.
Casablanca Moroccan Cuisine
Big tables, belly dancing, and large platters of family-style Moroccan food that keep coming and coming from the kitchen for the unreasonably low price of $25 per person. And it’s BYOB. 1047 West Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010, casablancamainline.com.
La Cabra Brewing
The peeps at La Cabra pay as much attention to what’s coming out of the kitchen as to what’s coming out of the kegs, so you can score crispy pork belly with chipotle honey along with that Atlas double IPA. 642 Lancaster Avenue, Berwyn, PA 19312, lacabrabrewing.com.
The best pizzas often come from bread nerds, and owner-pizzaiolo Danny DiGiampietro is a bona fide geek when it comes to his dough. A long fermentation process results in ultra-bubbly crusts and a chewy center tinged with sourdough sweetness. 122 North Haddon Avenue, Haddonfield, NJ 08033, angeloshaddonfield.com.
You can come to him or he'll come to you—so there goes your "I'm too busy to work out today" excuse. And with Maher's tailored-to-you workouts and solid diet and nutrition know-how, you may even—gasp!—look forward to your gym time. 1429 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, phillypersonaltraining.com.
Once you eat Jennifer Zavala’s crisp-edged, dripping birria tacos, you’ll think of them weekly. These beefy pockets don’t come cheap — an order of three costs $21 — but knowing the staff is being well-paid for its labor, plus the exceptional quality of the food, should be enough to keep you coming back time after time. 1941 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148, juana-tamale.square.site.
Kheli French at Le Pink Champu
When a Vera Wang model needs an updo, a Victoria's Secret catwalker requires blowing-out, or Lil' Kim, Anita Baker, Selita Ebanks or Lauryn Hill needs natural-looking extensions, a splash of color or an amazing cut, they come to Kheli (or Kheli comes to them). No wonder: From her salon's two-year-old Manayunk location, she modestly works magic on any kind of hair that walks through the door. That is, when she's back from Fashion Week. 4205 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127, styleseat.com/lepinkchampusalon.