Tips for newcomers to the Philadelphia area

August 27, 2013 3:47:11 AM PDT
This is probably the time of year when the tri-state region welcomes more new residents than any other. With almost 100 degree-granting institutions locally, most of them are bringing in a new class of students.

Most will be Philadelphians for at least a year or two. Many will stay here for life. But virtually all the out-of-towners will need a hand settling in.

Their campus will be home base, but sooner or later, they'll want to venture out for other experiences.

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation posts resources online to help.

GPTMC is the author and maintainer of visitphilly.com, a master website aimed mainly at tourists. But one of its pages launched recently provides guides to 14 distinct neighborhoods outside Center City, each with its own character and attractions.

You can see that at Philadelphia neighborhoods.

If your campus isn't in one of them, you'll still find things worthy of your attention there. Specifically launched to interest young adults, uwishunu.com provides a searchable database for all sorts of activities.

One of its most popular features will tell you what's happening in the weekend ahead. You may see that here: uwishunu.com.

Chances are, there'll be literature about activities of interest available on your campus. But if you want to see more, consider a stop at the Independence Visitors Center at 6th and Market Streets, opposite the Liberty Bell Pavilion. It's right in the heart of the tourist district.

Popular bike rental and Segway tour businesses are based there. The Market Street Subwa, also known as the Blue Line stops nearby.

GPTMC's student-friendly websites pay a lot of attention to dining opportunities, specifically affordable adventures along Baltimore Avenue in University City and East Passyunk Avenue in south Philadelphia, recently rated one of the best "foodie" streets in the land by Food and Wine Magazine.

Also think about those proliferating food trucks, a staple on campuses for decades but now diversifying cuisine-wise and showing up all over the place. Their low overhead translates into lower prices for you.

Another popular web destination for young adults new in town is Campus Philly.

It even has pages where you'll find discount deals, and a database of available jobs.

Finally, if you're of age, Philadelphia Magazine relationship expert Monica Mandell says you shouldn't overlook a sports bar as a place to meet people.

The atmosphere itself diffuses tension, and everyone there will start with something in common. These are also a great place to graze on "finger foods" which young adults tend to enjoy.


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