I’ve found Pennsylvania and Philadelphia to be a good destination for a day-trip, especially since I live in New York. Also, the fact that it’s right between New York and Washington DC makes it easy for travelers to stop-in while traveling. I usually take one of the many choices of buses because they can be super cheap, but for those willing to spend a bit more Amtrak is another, slightly more comfortable, option. I haven’t done some of the main tourist sights in Philadelphia but I have meandered around downtown when visiting friends who live in the city.
Personally I found the public transportation slightly confusing because they use different payment methods and because they seem to be run by different companies, meaning they don’t necessarily link together well. I’m usually good about figuring out city buses and trains but for some reason Philadelphia still confuses me sometimes. So, I have mainly stuck to walking in Philadelphia, and it helps that the streets are easy enough to navigate, especially since downtown isn’t so large that it takes a long time to get to different areas. However, in the winter I did take the bus to South Street for shopping, because it can get very snowy and cold, which makes walking a bit tougher.
Another thing that was really fun and where I had my first official Philly Cheese-steak Sandwich was Reading Terminal Market. I love browsing markets in new cities, to see what is popular there and to see all the fresh produce. These kind of markets also almost always have places to purchase really good and fresh food.
I plan to go back to Philadelphia again to explore more, and I also recommend it as a fun stop for anyone traveling in the area as well.