I started with the pioneer in the fried chicken and donut craze--Federal Donuts. I rolled up to the Center City location and ordered a sticky bun donut and honey-ginger wings. My health conscious friend tagged along and wanted no parts of my sugary dessert. I steered him to Hip City Veg and he sucked down a green smoothie. Next, I fed my inner historian with a stop at National Constitution Center.

I queued up my morning music and gave the doorman of the 107-year-old landmark building known as The Latham Hotel a lively greeting. Every historic structure from Mother Bethel AME Church to the Philadelphia Museum of Art put an inspiring pep in my step. Walking down Fairmount Ave, I stumbled into Bookhaven a bibliophile heaven.

Lunch plans? No one visits the nation’s first capital without dining at a Stephen Starr Restaurant. Parc Bistro & Cafe, overlooking Rittenhouse Square was the perfect spot to feel fancy and French.

Finally, I partake in an iconic fare. I chose a mediocre classic cheesesteak and kicked myself for not going back to Tommy DicNic’s at Reading Terminal Market--the best traditional roast pork and broccoli rabe sandwich on the planet. The rum cocktails and head bopping at Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. bar made up for the misstep--a perfect ending to exploring the blossoming and the past.

Nicole A. Taylor @foodculturist (every social platform), foodculturist.com --this piece orginally appeared on my personal blog