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Concierge of The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia shares his tips on how to make the best of a summer in the city

PHILADELPHIA,PA. (May 2016) – With new restaurants, parks and a myriad of performances and pop-ups,, there’s no shortage of things to do this summer in Philadelphia. With 14-plus years of experience, The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia’s head concierge James Portner shares the “ins and outs” of exploring the city like a local.

The food scene in the City of Brotherly Love does not disappoint: Portner recommends Double Knot, which serves as a café during the day with a secret izakaya in the basement, offering sushi and robatayaki meats at night. Or, visit Michael Schulson’s chef demonstration on al fresco imbibing and summer beer pairings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  For Italian fare, stop by Wm. Mulherin’s Sons in one of Philadelphia’s hottest neighborhoods, Fishtown, for a slice of pizza. For dinner with a side of history join an Independence After Hours tour, which includes a three-course meal at historic City Tavern served by wait staff in colonial garb., One of the most notable restaurant openings this summer is Richard Sandoval’s newest restaurant, Aqimero, at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia. The restaurant features a wood-burning grill and small plates focusing on sustainable seafood and steaks.

For active travelers, Portner recommends hiking the Schuylkill River Trail, or visiting at night with a moonlight kayak tour along the river. Portner also recommends checking out one of the many beer gardens opening for the summer, including Spruce Street Harbor Park, the floating beer garden (featuring a private, reservable hammock lounge), Independence Beer Garden, or the Oval, which features a public artwork installation in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Rent one of the city’s Indego bikes and stop by Dilworth Park’s weekly farmers market or the light and sound installation after dark at Longwood Gardens.

“This year, Philadelphia’s summer concert lineup is one for the books,” says Porter.  The schedule includes performers like Beyoncé, Paul McCartney, Dave Matthews Band, Billy Joel and Guns and Roses. Several festivals will be held throughout the summer as well, including the Manyunk Arts Fest, The Italian Market Festival and the 20th Annual Fringe Festival, with more than 1,000 dance, visual arts and musical performances.

Visitors can also celebrate Independence Day early, with Philadelphia’s eight-day festival, Welcome America, leading up to the 4th of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks.

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