MEALS, LODGING AND TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AND AMENITIES:
A FRIENDS OF THE WANAMAKER ORGAN INFORMAL FRIENDLY GUIDE
Macy's has rest rooms on the Third Floor, Central, along the 13th Street side. The Marriott at 12th and Market has restrooms for patrons that are behind a partition that is opposite their front desk.
The expansion of the Philadelphia Convention center has led to a glut of rooms and an underutilized facility. This plays into the hands of visitors looking for a great getaway at a reasonable price. For the budget minded, we suggest checking online resources such as Orbitz or Hotels.com or Priceline.com, etc., for rooms. Some of our guests have enjoyed staying at the nearby Alexander Inn or the Holiday Inn Express Midtown, which has a fabulous free breakfast buffet the last time we checked. Also nearby are several Marriott Hotels, the Loews Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn and other hostelries.
One option that can save a lot of money when in-town rates are high is to stay at the Philadelphia airport. A commuter train from the terminals stops right at the Market Street East station near Macy's, and shuttles from the airport hotels connect directly with the commuter train stops at the airport terminals. Often the Airport Hotels are the best bargains. Reportedly, a taxi ride to Center City is a flat $25.
Often booking a hotel or motel room just a short car ride outside of town can save significantly on city hotel taxes, overnight parking, city per-drink taxes and other urban expenses, leaving a bigger vacation budget for amusements and recreation. The Radnor Hotel near Wayne, Pa., is about an eighth of a mile from the Radnor train station, on the R5 Paoli Local line going into the city.
Many hotels in the King of Prussia area offer great deals, and a trip to the Store simply means a drive into town on the Schuylkill Expressway.
People with smartphones can use the free Google, Waze and Mapquest Applications to get verbal directions as they drive by plugging in the Store's address: 1300 Market Street, Philadelphia PA 19107. Other smartphone Aps such as CooCooFree give instant timetables for the SEPTA public transit system.
Restaurants within a block or two include Chili's, Maggiano's, The Olive Garden, McGillin's Olde Ale House, Fratelli's Italian Bistro, a Beergarden, Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse (in the palatial former Caldwells' Jewelry Store showroom next door to Macy's - not inexpensive), IHOP (Walnut Street), McCormick & Schmick seafood, the Capital Grille (pricey) and a grocery store and buffet/salad bar (Chestnut and Juniper). Members tell us to avoid the Maggianos family-style option for large parties as it can substantially affect the cost of a meal. McGillins is better for lunch than dinner, when it becomes very noisy.
Numerous fancy and some less formal restaurants are on South Broad Street. There are limitless breakfast and lunch opportunities at the Reading Terminal Market and perhaps 100 Asian restaurants in Philadelphia's Chinatown in the blocks North and East of the Store.
There are restaurants of all descriptions on Chestnut and Walnut Streets from Broad Street to the Delaware River. Also most hotels, including the Marriott diagonal to the Store, have dining options and/or bars.
Macy's no longer maintains a restaurant, although it does house a Starbuck's on Chestnut Street at 13th. There is a Dunkin Donuts across Market Street. Several celebrated Italian restaurants are in South Philadelphia. An internet guide is located here.
Let us know what your favorites are and we will include them. A church directory is here. Parking ideas may be found here.
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Attractions near the Store include Independence Hall, the Masonic Temple, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, City Hall Tower, the Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Reading Terminal Market, the Society Hill Colonial neighborhoods, the Rodin Museum, the Fairmount Park houses and Please Touch Museum.
Also consider the Penn's Landing riverfront area, Laurel Hill Cemetery, the Rosenbach Museum and Library, the Barnes Museum (reservations required), the Mutter medical museum, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Eastern State Penitentiary museum, theatres and nightclubs, and numerous other attractions.
Check the visitphilly.com site for more ideas, although not all attractions presented there are convenient to downtown Philadelphia.