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Posted: 3/13/2021 9:08:23 PM EDT
My kids are wanting to check out the historical area around Independence hall/liberty bell, etc. How is crime in this area, safe for families, etc? We would be coming up from the DC area for a day. Any concerns about parking? I drive a full size conversion van, and it can get a little tight sometimes in urban environments.
Link Posted: 3/13/2021 11:20:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2021 11:21:23 PM EDT by DrRemulak]
Plenty of parking lots. Area is very safe. Enjoy some cheesesteaks.
Link Posted: 3/14/2021 1:01:53 AM EDT
Parking is actually very tough in that area.  You’ll likely only find a surface lot or a garage and you’re probably looking at $30.00+ 2 hours of parking.

I wouldn’t call it ‘very safe’ as your in the center of one of the largest cities in the country. Enough homeless, drugged out crazies, and plenty of tourists that you’ll want to pay attention but should be ok during the day.

That area will remind you of the tourist sections of DC.
Link Posted: 3/14/2021 2:41:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mohawk17:
We would be coming up from the DC area for a day. Any concerns about parking? I drive a full size conversion van, and it can get a little tight sometimes in urban environments.
View Quote

You might find it easier to take the train.  Greater Philadelphia is rather well served.
Link Posted: 3/14/2021 3:59:07 PM EDT
Far from what I'd call safe
Philly is not the place it once was. If your in town and your kids are old enough drive through Kensington with them. Will be a real eye opener so they can see first hand what drugs actually do to people. Zombies walking
Link Posted: 3/14/2021 9:44:11 PM EDT
Very safe area, active federal and PD all around.  Parking garages are abound and you'll be fine.  For food in that area... cheesesteaks at Jim's, 4th & South... pork sandwich ar Denic's in the Reading Terminal Market.  I'm in that area a lot, happy to provide more details and recommendations.
Link Posted: 3/15/2021 12:33:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2021 12:35:15 AM EDT by stockshift]
I've been in Philly longer than I care to admit (came here in the early 90s) and it has certainly changed quite a bit for the better.  I will say that Covid has changed the course significantly so it is wise to be cautious as certain areas which were considered semi-safe are no longer that way.  

The area around Independence Hall should be ok.  As mentioned it is near the federal courthouse and the Philly police HQ, and as a large tourist zone is usually safe.  Seeing as you are "new" to Philly I'd suggest not going south of South Street and north of Spring Garden Street but otherwise in that area you should be ok to wander about.

The only area of "concern" close to Independence Hall in Center City was The Gallery (as with many malls in this day and age).  The Gallery was closed many years ago and is now being transformed into the so-called Fashion District.  I haven't been there since it re-opened (if it has done so) but given its former character I'd stay away from going into that place for now.  If you want to shop there are better places in Philly anyway.

You may encounter homeless but that's normal for any big city.  Having volunteered in a soup kitchen for several years in West Philadelphia (which is significantly worse than the area around Independence Hall), I can say that they are not generally aggressive so if you are approached you can just decline to give them anything and they will move on.  Keep your wits about you as with any big city.  

As for parking you should assume that you'll be using a commercial parking lot and have to pay for the privilege.  You are correct to wonder about tight parking in Philly, even in commercial parking lots.  Spaces tend to be much smaller and tighter (if anyone wants a good example, try parking at Methodist Hospital in South Philly -- even with a small 2-door coupe it was tight quarters).  If possible don't leave anything of value in open view of your van.  There has been an uptick in the theft of catalytic converters but I don't recall seeing vans on the "preferred" hit list.  

If you are so inclined you may want to pop over to the Independence Seaport Museum to take the tour of the USS Olympia, which is the last surviving warship from the Spanish-American War.  She may be scrapped soon and we will lose a big piece of history when that happens.  

Hope you have a good visit!

Link Posted: 3/16/2021 12:59:18 AM EDT
Independence mall area is the safest part of town due to government buildings and national parks staffed by park service. There's a lot to see there and make a day out of it. The surrounding areas are decent too it's not like you're going to stumble into the ghetto on foot.

There's plenty of surface parking in the area Google maps now calls "society hill" and it's generally a decent place. Anywhere between walnut and south street, front and 9th streets you should have better luck with street parking. There are a number of small surface parking lots as well. You will pay to park but could be worth it not to deal with the hassle.
Link Posted: 3/16/2021 6:41:26 AM EDT
Thanks for all the info!
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