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Old City/Society Hill

This bustling neighborhood comprises the city's best-known historic sites, quiet residential streets, the Delaware riverfront, great nightlife, and busy art galleries.

Best for: Philadelphia first-timers and families who'd like to be able to leave the car in the garage and walk to the sights.

Drawbacks: Friday and Saturday nights can get a bit hectic around 2nd and 3rd streets.

Convention Center/City Hall Area

The blocks just east of city-bisecting Broad Street have seen a renaissance in the past few years, and offer proximity to the heart of the city, the Gayborhood, and the just-expanded convention center. Hotels here tend range from corporate to boutique.

Best for: Conventiongoers and business types, gay travelers, and visitors who'd like proximity to both Old City and Rittenhouse Square.

Drawbacks: This neighborhood is convenient, but not necessarily picturesque.

Rittenhouse Square/West of Broad Street

This retail-rich, skyscraper-dotted section boasts Center City's most expensive hotels, and some of its best restaurants.

Best for: Business travel, special-occasion stays, regatta or race weekends, and walks to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes, and Franklin Institute.

Drawbacks: Old City and Society Hill are within walking distance, but not exactly close.

University City/West Philadelphia

As its name suggests, this student-rich, west-of-the-Schuylkill section of the city centers around the ivy-covered University of Pennsylvania and burgeoning and modern Drexel University.

Best for: Parents' weekends, academic conferences, and visits to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Drawbacks: You'll have to cross the river -- via busy bridges, or on the subway -- to get to the history, museums, dining, nightlife, and shopping of Center City.

Near the Airport

Moderately priced, somewhat generic hotels cluster in this industrial area, located a few miles south of the city near Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

Best for: Travelers with early flights; road trippers who require an overnight pit stop along I-95.

Drawbacks: If you want to be close to the city -- and if you are at all into good dining -- don't stay near the airport.

City Line & Northeast

Just off the Schuylkill Expressway, shopping center and office park-dotted City Line Avenue (Rte. 1) borders the western suburbs, the Philadelphia Zoo, Fairmount Park, and the river drives, and has comfortable national chain hotels.

Try these options: Homewood Suites Philadelphia, 4200 City Line Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19131 (tel. 800/362-2779 or 215/966-3000); Holiday Inn City Line, 4100 Presidential Blvd. (City Line Ave. at I-76), Philadelphia, PA 19131 (tel. 800/465-4329 or 215/477-0200); the renovated Hilton City Line, 4200 City Line Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19131 (tel. 800/445-8667 or 215/879-4000); and the Best Western Philadelphia Northeast, 11580 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19116 (tel. 800/528-1234 or 215/464-9500).

Best for: Travelers with business in or near the Main Line or Northeast Philadelphia.

Drawbacks: Like the airport hotels, these places are far from attractions and the personality of the city.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.