Most of the hotels in this guide have been notable because of their long histories and many of them date back to the Colonial days. But while the Gables is also historic, it's a straight-up Victorian mansion. Owned by everyone from the Catholic church to a 1950s women's group called The Grail, this house has had quite the fascinating couple of centuries. When the Jesuits took it over in the 60s, they decided to "modernize," which somehow meant painting over all the woodworking and adding fluorescent lights? Since then it's been restored though, so your stay will be distinctly transformative.
Now owned by a collective of six friends, this lovely old house is just the place to stay slightly off the beaten path in Philly. Located in University City, right by the University of Pennsylvania, it's easy to get to all the big tourist attractions via public transit. But if you don't feel like leaving, you can hang out on the porch, grab a snack from the pantry, or relax in your room with one of the many DVDs from the B&B's library. Want to snag a look inside? In true Victorian style, the B&B gets decorated every Halloween. Check it out in this video from The Gables YouTube channel.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, The Gables gets stellar reviews from visitors. The hosts (and their cute dogs) are raved about, the breakfast is not just served hot every morning, but is apparently "superb" and has an amazing 89% approval rating on TripAdvisor. Maybe you want to skip the bells and whistles of a fancy hotel?
Cover Photo Credit: Michael Garlick