Exploring South Street

Philadelphia’s South Street is one of the most cultural and artistic places in the entire city. With over 100 bars and restaurants and a multitude of shops and galleries, South Street is definitely worth exploring. There are countless places worth checking out on South Street, but here are a few of the most popular venues that can’t be missed.

First, make sure to visit Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on your trip to the city, and make sure to bring a camera! This art gallery is located at 1020 South Street and features both indoor and outdoor works of mosaic art. The artist, Isaiah Zagar, continually adds more art to this location. He works with mosaics not only in the Magic Gardens location, but all around the city; he has done over 100 projects all over Philadelphia. Zagar’s art is influenced by the people that he met during his three years in the Peace Corps. Magic Gardens is open all year round, with fall and winter hours from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday-Thursday. The entrance fee is $5 per person, which includes viewing of both the inside and courtyard art. Magic Gardens is one of South Street’s hot spots you won’t want to miss.

If you’re looking for a good show, look no further than the Theater of the Living Arts (TLA), located at 334 South Street. The small concert venue was converted from a single-screen movie theater. The theater has been in the concert business for 21 years now, and the venue holds about 1,000 people. Well-known as well as local musical artists play at the TLA. The price of tickets varies depending on who’s playing. Tickets can be purchased online or on the spot, so feel free to stop by any day of the week and listen to some great music.

Another great stop on your exploration of South Street is Philly Aids Thrift, a thrift store on 710 South 5th Street. The store is a non-profit business where all proceeds from items sold are distributed to local organizations fighting against HIV/AIDS. AIDS Fund is one of the beneficiaries and works with 29 AIDS agencies in the Philadelphia area. The store features an abundance of items-from clothing to furniture- and any gently used donations are welcome. Items are always on sale as differentiated by colored tags. Store hours are Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Not only can you find some really great décor for your dorm room, but you can help make a difference to people with HIV/AIDS all over the city!

After a long day of gazing at art, listening to some music, and doing some great shopping, swing by Jim’s Steaks for a delicious steak sandwich. Jim’s Steaks has been in business since 1939 and is one of the most beloved cheese steak joints in the city. Located at 400 South Street, Jim’s menu features steaks and hoagies, selected beverages and even breakfast sandwiches. Jim’s has three other locations as well, in West Philly, Northeast Philly, and Springfield. Hours range from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., so stop for a morning breakfast sandwich or a late night snack any day of the week.
Philadelphia’s South Street is full of art, great food, and interesting shops. It’ll take more than just one day to adequately explore South Street, so map out a plan of places to check out and enjoy another day in the city.


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