As anyone from New Jersey can tell you, the state is divided into three distinct parts.
Growing up, I was a Central Jersey girl. My city was New York, my town was filled with BMWs and Lexuses, and if someone held the door for you after they went through, you were having a good day. I kid, I kid. Sorta.
College brought me to South Jersey and I’ve lived here for the better part of twenty years. My city is now Philly (although I do still adore New York, for the record). So when Jenn and Cam told me that they’d like to visit Old City in Philadelphia, I naturally knew all the places to go and what to do. Right?
Nope (with a pop of the P).
I realized just how lacking I was in the historical department of Philadelphia. I mean, I sort of knew where the Liberty Bell was because I’ve run past in during numerous races. I kind of knew how to get there. I think?
Bound and determined, I visited Groupon, knowing that they’d have my back. I get approximately 10 emails a week and I always, without fail, see Philly tours.
When choosing our tour, I considered the audience. Which is us. Which is to say we are loud and like to do our own thing. Having a tour guide and a group wouldn’t be fair to the tour guide or the group.
Because we are loud.
Very loud. And inappropriate. And curse a lot when not near children.
Stray Boots to the rescue! For an very affordable $8 (thanks Groupon) we purchased a tour of Old City. Stray Boots has 4 Philly tours, as well as tours in cities all the country. The app starts you at point A and brings you on a walking tour around the area of your choice. Ours was about 2 miles and we landed right back at point A.
Certain clues (particularly the first one) were a bit tricky for us but they give you a hint, if you ask for it. It’s a scavenger hunt through the destination of your choosing with extra information after each answer so you can learn more history about the location and the people of Philadelphia.
One clue was a no-go because the building we were supposed to go into was under construction. However we were able to figure out the clue from a sign on the street and a little Google sleuthing. There’s an option to let the app makers know if something like that has happened.
And, of course, there are a couple of questions where you get to interact with people working in gift shops and stores. A tip from us? Don’t just ask them the answer to the scavenger hunt question. They are a fount of knowledge and more than happy to share!
Also awesome? Since you’re doing the tour on your own time, you can stop if you want to buy things or have lunch. We walked right past the Continental and doubled back for lunch!
We saw at least five properties that we dreamed about owning. We wandered back alleys that reminded me of Spain and listened in on a few of the walking tours that were near us.
Now of course, I’m not going to tell you all the clues, in case you plan on visiting Old City. But I will say this, we all agreed that this was the best $8 we spent!
It was the perfect way to spend a day taking in the sights, while still resting before our half marathon the next day. Good times and good friends. Nothing better!
Have you ever done a Stray Boots tour or something like it? What is your can’t miss spot in your town? Have you ever been a tourist in your own city?