Shut Up and DigUncategorized Garden Show Survival Strategies By Amy Stewart - February 10, 2011 11 Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp How I “Do” the Philadelphia Flower Show For an outsider the transportation and housing issues may seem complex but there is an easy way to get from point A to point B without too much hassle. First of all I take the Amtrak train up from Raleigh. A round trip ticket costs the same as the cheapest flight but you can take along a backpack of food and you can haul home all the flower show treasures you can carry onto the train (I’ve brought home bushes before). It takes the same amount of time to ride the rails as it does to drive up I-95 and costs the same unless you split the gas costs with others – don’t forget the $15 worth of tolls along the way north. The Amtrak station is the big 30th Street Station in downtown Philadelphia and my train gets there around 3:30pm. From there I walk around to the side of the station and catch the local rail SEPTA to the Market Street station – with my Amtrak ticket stub this ride is free. The Market Street station is underneath the downtown buildings and is connected to a shopping mall, fancy hotels & restaurants and the convention center where the Flower Show is held. Up on street level the convention center is next to the Reading Terminal Market – a wonderful farmer’s market kind of place with food, groceries and gifts (most of the vendors are gone by the afternoon). Across the street in another direction is China Town, a great place to wander and eat. When you want to leave downtown the cheap hotels are out by the airport, a 30 minute train ride from Market Street. Most of the trains run every 30 minutes and cost about $6. The hotels are nearby and have shuttles. Each wing of the airport has a small train station. The trains only go from the airport to downtown so you can’t get on the wrong train. For food I like to eat at any of the food vendors inside the Reading Terminal Market or walk around China Town. There is fast food in the food court of the mall and restaurants at street level all around the convention center. Rest on the train because you will be walking and walking while downtown – there are few places to sit down. Don’t bother bringing along a fancy camera – the convention center is very dim and without a tripod and strobe your photos aren’t going to be very crisp. A “real” Philly Cheese Steak has cheese whiz on it – fun, but there are better things available. This year’s theme is Paris, so expect French food and gifts available at the convention center. Oui oui!