Every 15 minutes, the Temple shuttle leaves campus to bring students to the Best Western Center City Hotel.
Many students that live on campus take no interest in these shuttles or where they are going – but maybe they should.
The Best Western Hotel (501 N 22nd Street) is located only blocks from some of the best museums and study spots Philadelphia has to offer.
The only remaining question is, why pay $2.60 for a ride on the loud, smelly subway when you have a free ride right here?
The Best Western shuttle stop is located three blocks from the famous “Rocky Steps” of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Admission is a little steep ($7.00 after you flash your student ID), but the good people at the museum give poor college students more than enough opportunities to bring some culture into their lives.
For instance, Sundays are advertised as “pay as you wish.”
When it’s nice out, don’t forget to stop by Azalea Gardens, located behind the museum.
It’s a cute area surrounded by trees, so the noise from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is kept to a minimum.
Bring a blanket and a book and, weather permitting, you’ve got a nice day in the park planned.
Three blocks in the opposite direction lies the Franklin Institute Science Museum.
Check out the giant walk-through heart; it’s a definite crowd-pleaser.
Though this museum is one of the pricier ones (admission ranges from $12.75 to $16.75), it is worth it.
In addition to the basic tour of over 15 permanent eaxhibits, the museum boasts a state-of-the-art IMAX theater (a must for someone who has never been) and the newly renovated Fels Planetarium.
Located on the 1900 block of the parkway is the oldest science research institute in the Western Hemisphere: the Academy of Natural Sciences.
The museum houses 17 million specimens of plants, animals and other organisms, including the first dinosaur skeleton found in North America.
One of the most well known exhibits here is “Butterflies,” a display that allows you to walk through a live habitat of farm-raised butterfiles.
This trip will cost you $9.00.
If you’re feeling discouraged by the admission prices at these museums, there are a few places out there a little more wallet friendly.
Just around the corner from the Best Western sits The Rodin Museum, a tribute to the late Auguste Rodin.
A bargain at $3.00 per person, the museum houses 124 sculptures, including a bronze cast of the artist’s most well known work, “The Thinker.”
Overlooking Logan Square is the Free Library of Philadelphia, a good place to be aware of, especially around finals time when there isn’t an open spot to be found in Paley.
The Central Branch is located at 1901 Vine Street, just a couple of blocks from our starting point.
The library is open seven days a week, and has everything you could possibly need, including hard-to-find movies and CDs that you can check-out with your library card.
Borrowers beware: make use of the shuttle at least twice so you return your items on time, otherwise the fines can pile-up.
(I speak from experience.)
So there you have it, just a few suggestions on the ways you can take advantage of free transportation.
Next time you have an open afternoon, hop on the shuttle and enjoy the art and culture of our fair city.
Michelle Nicoletto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.