Mel Bae Travels

My First Philadelphia SOLO Trip x Mel Bae

Ever needed a quick getaway, without breaking your pockets? That was my energy at 3 am on a Friday night as I randomly decided I need a change of scenery real quick. So what did I do to cure my spontaneous itch? Purchase a round-trip bus ticket to the city of “brotherly love”… Philadelphia!

Personally one of my goals this year and every year is to travel more. I already frequently travel but I’ve realized that I barely show any love to the cities around me! Taking a quick trip out of town to a city nearby is the perfect option for travel newbies, people on a budget or even solo travelers not quite sure if they want to go halfway across the world on their own, yet.

So at 3am, I looked up bus tickets (saw it would only cost me $20 RT), clicked  that purchase button and boom, PHILLY I’m coming for ya! My first solo adventure in the city and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve always talked about solo traveling but never really took the steps to do it! But right now I’m currently in a point in my life where nothing makes me happier more than my own solitude, the experiences I live on my own always teach me so much about myself & well I just have more fun doing whatever I want, so these moves are being made. Let’s get into my trip!

Now I’ve been to Philadelphia literally once, turnt as hell at Made In America, so am I counting that as a real visit? No, I didn’t get to see the actual city. This time I’m going to see what the city is all about. So here’s where I went during my Philly Daycation!

First Stop: Reading Terminal Market

Once getting off the bus to Philadelphia, the Reading Terminal Market is a two minute walk away. So if you’re anything like me and your first thought is “Where the food at?” this is the place for you! The Reading Terminal Market is filled with TONS of food options, from Asian food to Greek to Mexican and of course Philly cheese steaks. Now i know what you’re thinking… get what Philly’s known for, but instead I opted for fish tacos at 12th Street Cantina.

Listen, the taco life choose me, I didn’t choose it. I have no regrets (and got my Philly cheese steak fix later)

Second Stop: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

And the award for the “Dopest Art Museum I’ve Ever Been To” definitely goes to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. The whole building itself is art and it’s pretty hard to miss. Both it’s outdoor and indoor area is made from tiles, mirrors, bottles and more miscellaneous objects from top to bottom. The term “Magic Garden” fits it perfectly you will feel like goddess/god walking throughout the museum and if you haven’t checked out my Instagram already, completely instagramable. Also fun fact: The art done by Philly’s very own Isaiah Zagar, can be found all over the city randomly! After visiting Philadelphia’s Magic Garden’s you’ll notice when you see a piece of his. Tickets to enter the museum are $10 for adults & $8 for students!

Third Stop: Electric Street/Percy Street Project

Randomly lurking through Instagram the night before my trip, I spotted a few Philly residents taking pictures next to this art installation, but barely any deets on where to find it! After some lurking through the city your girl found it! The neon mural done by local artists David Guinn and Drew Billiau can be found By Percy Street & 9th, you could say it’s “in the cut” but if you’re in the area you’ll spot that pop of color easily! I would say to visit the area in the late afternoon/night hours to truly see the neon colors at it’s best!

Fourth Stop: Geno’s Steaks

I knew I couldn’t left Philly without having an obligatory Philly cheese steak, so EVEN THOUGH I wasn’t in the mood for one. Geno’s was right by Electric Street and it was smelling good af. Headed over there and the employees were SUPER nice, I told them I just wanted the best Philly cheese steak I’ve ever had and GODDAMN did they make one I’ll never forget. Definitely going back when I’m in Philadelphia again! Please note: There is no seating area indoors, but there are seats outside or of course you can take it “to go” also Geno’s is open 24 hours.

Fifth Stop & Sixth Stops: Liberty Bell Philadelphia Museum Of Art / Rocky Steps

I stopped by after the Liberty Bell exhibit after it officially closed so I wasn’t really able to bask in it’s presence much. But it was dope to see something I’ve only really seen in my text books back in the day and that’s a part of American history right in front of me! By the way it totally looks way smaller in person and it’s crack, gives it some character. And last but not least I stopped by the Rocky Steps, I totally gave my attempt at running up those stairs and you know what… we’re going to have to save that for a Philadelphia part two trip. It was getting super cold & honestly I was not with it LOL but it was so cute watching everyone pull out their inner Rocky and make their way up the stairs.

Overall the vibe and energy of Philadelphia is totally underrated! Would I come back here? Most definitely – the city is the perfect combination of cozy yet still busy and fast paced. And on every block you get a sense of history whether it’s a building or house’s aesthetics or random colorful art in the city’s walkways you know there’s a story behind it all.


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  • Reply Alexis

    These pictures! I’m so inspired. I wanted to take a staycation or daycation for my birthday here in Georgia. But I’m set on it now.

    January 14, 2018 at 7:59 pm
    • Reply withmelbae

      Ahh so happy to inspire you! YES do it. I had more fun on my solo trip than I have traveling with others. If you do it please update me on how your trip is, I’d love to hear <3

      January 15, 2018 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply Ashleigh

    LOVE this and LOVE the pictures! I’ve been to Philly a few times but like you said before, haven’t really explored the city. I’m so stealing this trip!

    January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm
  • Reply With Mel Bae - Los Angeles SOLO Trip x Mel Bae | With Mel Bae

    […] my last post I took my first ever solo trip to Philadelphia! Which was a nice little warm up to the beginning of my solo adventures this year but I knew I was […]

    February 1, 2018 at 2:16 pm
  • Reply Prince

    As an amateur solo traveler really inspirational to see you make domestic travel look so much fun. People tend to think travel means planes, passports and resorts not realizing the gems and explorations a few hours away.

    February 1, 2018 at 3:30 pm
    • Reply withmelbae

      So glad you enjoyed! I feel like alot of us sleep on taking advantage of the places we can visit right next to us! I completely agree there are gems in every city we just have to be open minded that not every getaway is a resort – I’ll be doing more domestic trips to show that <3

      February 2, 2018 at 2:16 pm

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