Philadelphia’s true charm does not end with its vibrant culture and art: Its best-kept secret remains in the architecture of the historic houses built during the 18th century. The city is home to historical properties that are carefully preserved and converted into bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) with a modern touch.
Image via Flickr by Maciek Lulko
Thomas Bond House Bed & Breakfast
In 1769, Thomas Bond, the co-founder of Pennsylvania Hospital, built a Georgian-style residence which was later purchased and restored by the National Park Service. The charming townhouse boasts 12 rooms furnished in a Federal style, named after the friends and relatives of Thomas Bond. In 2007, the property underwent a meticulous restoration from wall moldings to sconces to rooms, being furnished with four-poster beds and a marble fireplace.
The inn offers continental breakfast during weekdays and a full breakfast on weekends. If you feel like staying in for a laid-back evening, you’ll love the wine and cheese hour held each night by the Rumford fireplace. This four-story B&B facing Delaware River is the only lodging option in the Independence National Historical Park.
Spruce Hill Manor
Known around the neighborhood for its hospitality, the Spruce Hill Manor offers six deluxe suites, each featuring unique furnishings and a fireplace, kitchenette, sitting area, and bathroom. Like hotels in Philadelphia, the Spruce Hill offers modern amenities like Wi-Fi, 24-hour concierge service, and laundry service, but here you’ll get to indulge in a more homey experience. The friendly innkeeper earns the property such high recognition that visitors tend to return. Be sure to try the complimentary wine and beer while you admire the Victorian architecture. The manor is just walking distance from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel.
Cornerstone Bed & Breakfast
Cornerstone Bed & Breakfast is restored from a church-stone mansion built in the 1870s. In 2008, the owners renovated the house and converted it into a modern Victorian mansion, while maintaining its classic appearance. The inn features inlaid oak flooring and mahogany staircase, but what really stands out are the stained-glass windows that turn the visible sunlight into a prism of colors.
This cozy urban inn is perfect for visitors seeking a quiet neighborhood in the bustling city of Philadelphia. Situated close to Market Street, the B&B mostly attracts families of students from the university center, which is just 15 minutes away. If you want to explore the city, the B&B offers a complimentary sightseeing tour ticket to some of Philadelphia’s historic buildings.
Villa Anna Bed & Breakfast
For an affordable home-away-from-home, head to West Germantown and stay at Villa Anna. This historic 20-room home, built in 1857, was once the residence of the mayor of Philadelphia. The rooms are equipped with air conditioners, Keurig coffee makers, refrigerators, and microwaves — convenient amenities for a comfortable stay.
Guests can easily commute without a car, as the property is located just a few blocks from the train station. Even if you’re arriving by car, there is a huge backyard for free parking. Be sure to take a walk and enjoy the lush foliage in the beautiful Wissahickon Valley Park, which is just a mile from Villa Anna.
Most restaurants and cafes are in proximity to the historic landmarks in Old City. But for those who like to explore off the beaten path, the city offers an excellent transit system for an easy commute.
Check out the ultimate guide I wrote on how to land cheap accommodations and places to visit in Philadelphia.
This article is published as part of the Hipmunk #CityLove Project.