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South Philadelphia

Douglas Merriam
Join the hustle and bustle in the hub of town

This lively area begins at South Street, which is lined with funky boutiques and galleries. Beat the heat with "water ice"--syrup-drenched ice granules in a paper cone. Lemon is the classic, but fans of Rita's Water Ice (239 South St.; 215-629-3910) deem mango the best.

Food is the focus of South Philly. Succumb to Philly's favorite fast food at Cheesesteak Corner (Ninth Street and Passyunk Avenue), where Geno's Steaks (215-389-0659) and Pat's King of Steaks (215-468-1546) compete around the clock.

Vendors vie for attention beneath the sidewalk awnings of Italian Market on Ninth Street, especially on Saturdays. Fante's Kitchen Wares Shop (1006 S. Ninth St.; 215-922-5557, proffers the culinary equipment of your dreams, including ravioli presses, cannoli forms, and house-brand German cutlery.

Citizens Bank Park (Pattison Avenue between 11th and Darien streets; 215-463-1000, is home to the Phillies baseball team. Skyline views are terrific, and a neon Liberty Bell rings every time a Philly player hits a home run.