It's time for Second Half Rally to extend our range of meetup destinations with a fun day trip to Philadelphia on Amtrak. Our excursion and walking tour will include Philly's Little Italy, Chinatown, Reading Market, and the Independence Mall area, as well as two impressive train stations that represent the golden era of passenger travel by train in America.
RSVP's for this event will close at 9:00 am on Saturday, March 30, so I can make a reservation with the tour company telling them how many people will be there. I will remove anyone who doesn't have an Amtrak ticket.
Agenda for the Philly Day Trip
After meeting at Washington's historic Union Station, we'll enjoy a relaxing 2-hour train ride to Philly's 30th Street Station. Both stations have been updated and restored to their glorious past. From 30th Street Station, our group can catch the subway to the City Hall area and Independence Mall.
The subway ride takes about 15 minutes and costs $2.00 cash each way. EXACT CHANGE ONLY, SO BRING SOME DOLLAR BILLS FOR THE SUBWAY.
We'll spend the afternoon taking an entertaining walking tour called "Real Philadelphia". The tour starts at 1:00 pm and lasts 4 hours as the guides lead us on a 3-mile adventure while telling stories about the historic and offbeat parts of Philadelphia.
The route takes us through the cool neighborhoods of downtown, and also gives us opportunities to try some of the famous Philly food and drink available in Little Italy and Chinatown.
Bring cash to make our market stall transactions speedy, and also a bag if you want to carry anything home on the train.
The "Real Philadelphia" tour is advertised to be "free", but the guides work hard for tips. Although there is no set amount, each person should plan to tip the guide $20.00 for providing us with four hours of afternoon adventure and entertainment. That's a fair price which is just a little more than going to a movie. It should be a lot of fun!
We'll need to get back to 30th Street Station for the return journey by 6:00 pm. The Amtrak train arrives back at Union Station in Washington at 8:30 pm.
Here is the "Real Philadelphia" tour description:
Join Free Tours by Foot - Philadelphia on this 4 hour adventure. There are plenty of opportunities to snap photos of this picturesque city and get a taste of the distinctive Philly phlavor. Tour includes several food/refreshment breaks. Guests will have the opportunity to sample various items at the Reading and Italian Markets, such as fresh baked soft pretzels, cheesteaks, sticky buns, sweets and more.
For more information, please visit http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com/philadelphia/real-philadelphia.asp.
Taking Amtrak to Philadelphia
The total roundtrip cost for our day trip from Washington to Philadelphia is $70.00. Here is the information you need to purchase your tickets at Amtrak.com. You can print out an E-ticket that you give to the conductor on the train. You will also need a photo ID to board an Amtrak train.
Washington to Philadelphia
Train #164 Northeast Regional departs Union Station at 9:25 am. Adult fare is $35.00 one way. Arrives at 30th Street Station at 11:16 am. The same train departs Baltimore's Penn Station at 10:10 am. Adult fare is $32.00 one way.
Philadelphia to Washington
Train #159 Northeast Regional departs 30th Street Station at 6:32 pm. Adult fare is $35.00 one way to Washington, and $32.00 to Baltimore. Arrives at Baltimore's Penn Station at 7:41 pm, and at Washington's Union Station at 8:29 pm.
Buy your Amtrak tickets here: http://www.amtrak.com/home
This event will go rain or shine since we'll already have our paid Amtrak tickets and we can walk around dowtown Philly with no problems.
Contact Jake at[masked] with questions or to find us on the train or in Philadelphia. I'm really looking forward to having a terrific time riding the train and touring the history and cool neighborhoods of Philly.
I hope to see you there!