Shippen Way Inn, inexpensive to moderate, (215) 627-7266. Philadelphia is steeped in so much history, we thought this cozy Colonial inn dating back to 1750 (but recently renovated) would be an ideal home base near Penn's Landing. And it was, from the charming innkeepers and ivy-covered garden to the working fireplace and four-poster bed in our room.
Haru, moderate, (215) 861-8990. Haru means "spring" in Japanese, so May is an ideal month to visit this new outpost of the famed NYC sushi joint. But you'll come to love executive chef Shingo Inoue's creative combinations (succulent lobster rolls with avocado, cucumber, mango, and caviar, anyone?) no matter the season.
Sweet Lucy's Smokehouse, moderate, (215) 331-3112, www.sweetlucys.com. Feeding the whole family? Or taking your entire team out after clinching that big contract? Consider this northeast barbecue spot, whose Pig Out platters fill a famished clan for a lot less than you might think. For instance, for $66.95, you get a meal for six, including rotisserie chicken, two pounds of meat, one and a half racks of ribs, three pints of sides, and a pint of barbecue sauce. A sweet deal, indeed.
Eastern State Penitentiary, (215) 236-3300, www.easternstate.org. The world's first penitentiary, Eastern State dates back to 1829. A tour of the site includes a look into Al Capone's former cell (he spent eight months there in 1929) as well as at a newly discovered secret tunnel through which a dozen prisoners escaped some 60 years ago. Note: No children under seven allowed.
Wharton Esherick Museum, (610) 644-5822. If you’re trekking the 20 or so miles to visit Valley Forge, make a point to stop into this little-known treasure. Esherick, originally a painter, was one of the twentieth century’s greatest woodworkers, as displayed in his hillside home turned museum. Reservations are required for Saturday or Sunday group tours.