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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

GETTING THERE: Philadelphia is a 135-mile drive from Washington. Take Interstate 95 north through Maryland and Delaware. Follow signs for Central Philadelphia, then signs for Independence Mall, then turn left at the end of the exit ramp onto Second Street. Turn right on Arch Street.

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ARCH STREET MEETING: The Quaker meetinghouse is at 320 Arch St., at Fourth Street (215-627-2667, http://www.archstreetfriends.org), near Independence Mall State Park. Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A donation is requested.

WHERE TO STAY: Holiday Inn Historic District (400 Arch St., 215-923-8660, http://www.holidayinn.com) is across the street from the Arch Street Meeting. Standard double rooms start at $189.95, and on-site parking is $20 daily. A 10-minute walk away is the Apple Hostel Philadelphia (32 S. Bank St., 215-922-0222, http://www.bankstreethostel.com), where beds in men's and women's dorms starts at $29 per night.

WHERE TO EAT: There are thousands of restaurants and places to eat in Philadelphia, at all price and refinement levels. Start looking at http://www.philadelphiarestaurants.com, but consider such touristy standbys as: Isgro Pasticceria (1009 Christian St., 215-923-3092, http://www.isgropastries.com), an Italian pastry shop in the same family for more than 100 years, in an old storefront in South Philadelphia; Pat's King of Steaks (1237 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-468-1547, http://www.patskingofsteaks.com), which claims its founder, Pat Olivieri, invented the Philly cheese steak sandwich in 1930; and, across the street, Geno's Steaks (1219 S. Ninth St., 215-389-0659, http://www.genosteaks.com). Try both and decide which is better.

WHAT TO SEE: Philadelphia's main sites are near the Arch Street Meeting, including the Betsy Ross House (239 Arch St., 215-686-1252, http://www.betsyrosshouse.org), the Founding Fathers' Christ Church (Second and Market streets, 215-922-1695), Liberty Bell Center (Market Street between Fifth and Sixth, http://www.nps.gov/inde/liberty-bell-center.htm), National Constitution Center (525 Arch St., 215-409-6600, http://constitutioncenter.org) and Independence Hall (Chestnut Street between Sixth and Eighth, 877-444-6777, http://www.nps.gov/inde).

-- R.M.L.


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