All About Philadelphia  

22 May, 2019

 

Fall in love with Philadelphia, the first World Heritage City in the U.S and second-largest city on the East Coast. Visit Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Liberty Bell, two of 67 National Historical Landmarks in a walkable, charming, colonial neighborhood with cobblestone streets.

 

Renowned for its arts and culture, Philadelphia is a city for art lovers. Don't miss The Barnes Foundation, the world's largest private collection of post-impressionist art, more than 200 galleries within the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the first and oldest art museum and art school in the United States, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

 

Enjoy the urban outdoors in Philadelphia's lively and walkable Center City District by joining a walking tour of many of the almost 4,000 murals in this city, known as the Mural Capital of the World.

While in Philadelphia, do not miss the famous Philly cheesesteak or explore the city's dynamic dining scene offering more than 1,000 restaurants and bars in Center City to whet any appetite.

 

Take advantage of great shopping, as Philadelphia offers tax-free shopping on all clothes and shoes, making it more affordable than any other large city.

 

Philadelphia's rich history and modern energy make it the perfect destination for visitors from across the world. Easy to get to and affordable - with something for everyone.

 

Make Philadelphia a part of your next American adventure. #discoverPHL

 

Location

With non-stop flights from many locations, Philadelphia is easy to get to, affordable, and offers so much to do. Philadelphia's central, East Coast location (1.5 hours from NYC or 2 hours from Washington, D.C.) and green, walkable downtown makes the city the perfect place for your next great American adventure. Philadelphia is welcoming with its mix of historic architecture, arts and culture, tax-free shopping, award-winning restaurants, outdoor art, prestigious universities, and much more.   Stroll the city's charming streets lined with historical landmarks, bountiful outdoor art, and numerous sightseeing attractions for all ages and see why GQ named Philadelphia the “City of the Year.” 

 

Birthplace of America

Stand in Independence Hall – a UNESCO World Heritage Site - where the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were debated and adopted. The Liberty Bell, the symbol of American independence that cracked when rung upon arrival in Philadelphia, was once located in the steeple of Independence Hall. Nearby is Carpenters' Hall, meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774, where the seeds of the American Revolution were planted.  George Washington and John Adams spent most of their presidencies at the President's House before the White House was built in Washington, D.C.  Christ Church, founded in 1695, was attended by many of the founding fathers and Benjamin Franklin's tomb can be found in the church's burial ground.  Stroll Elfreth's Alley, the oldest continuously-inhabited street in America - one of Philadelphia's most Instagram-worthy spots.  Experience what it was like for the Continental Army on the front lines, climb aboard a full-scale replica of a privateer ship and see General George Washington's original tent at the Museum of the American

 

 

Revolution, a museum that brings American colonists' struggle for independence to life with movies, hands-on exhibits and high-tech displays.

 

City of Firsts

While Philadelphia was fertile ground for revolution, it was also ripe with ideas and endeavors, and was the site where many of the new nation's institutions were invented.  Founding Father Benjamin Franklin created the country's first successful lending library in 1731.  The Library Company of Philadelphia has accumulated one of the most significant collections of historically valuable manuscripts and printed material in the United States.  Franklin also founded the first hospital in 1751.  Pennsylvania Hospital offers tours of the historic Pine Building with stops at a 13,000-volume library (home to a preserved seven-pound tumor!) and the oldest surgical amphitheater in the country.  When Franklin was appointed to the post of United States Postmaster General in 1775, he went on to create what became known as the United States Postal Service.  Visit the B. Free Franklin post office and then step out back to explore the Benjamin Franklin Museum.  With interactive displays, artifacts and computer animations, discover all there is to know about the famous author, politician, inventor, scientist and visionary who made such an imprint on the society that America would become.  Philadelphia is also home to the first botanical garden, Bartram's Garden, and the first zoo.  With all of these impressive accomplishments, Philadelphia has earned the distinction of America's first World Heritage City, joining a select group of cities around the world.

 

World Renowned Arts and Culture

In addition to extensive opportunities to explore the city's history, Philadelphia has top-notch art museums and cultural offerings.  The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was founded in 1805 by Charles Wilson Peale and is the first and oldest art museum and art school in the United States.  PAFA houses a renowned collection of American paintings from the 1760s to the present.  The Barnes Foundation houses the world's finest private collections of early French-Modern and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world. The collection (more than 4,000 objects) also includes pieces of antique furniture, pottery and African sculptures. The world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art is known for extraordinary American painting, sculpture, furniture, silver, and ceramics, including the creations of the Shakers and Pennsylvania Germans, reflecting Philadelphia's central role in American history.  Also on view are outstanding Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including works by Cézanne, van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, and more including the largest collection of Marcel Duchamp's artwork in the world. Exit the east entrance of the museum to the steps made famous by Philadelphia's beloved fictional son, Rocky Balboa, whose statue stands tall on the edge of the museum's grounds. The Fabric Workshop and Museum boasts more than 5,600 objects from contemporary artists in its permanent collection.  Founded in 1977, the free museum encourages groundbreaking work in new and traditional materials including sculpture, installations, video, painting, ceramics and architecture.  Eastern State Penitentiary, once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, was home to gangster Al Capone and bank robber Slick Willie Sutton.  Kept in "preserved ruin," the National Historic Landmark is open for tours and offers its annual “Terror Behind the Walls,” ranked among the top haunted attractions in the country.  Philadelphia has grown to be an international leader with nearly 4,000 works of community-based public art. Take a tour and find out why the city is called the 'Mural Capital of the World.' Choose from ballet, theater, orchestra and much more and discover why Philadelphia is consistently cited for its cultural offerings.

 

Tax-Free Shopping

 

Compared to other large cities, Philadelphia is a bargain with tax-free purchases of clothing and shoes. Pack an extra suitcase and get ready to shop Rittenhouse Row, the Chestnut Hill Business District, King of Prussia Mall, the Philadelphia Premium Outlets and more. Philadelphia offers the biggest name brands as well as independent boutiques.

 

Outdoor Adventures

As the 2nd largest city on the east coast, Philadelphia offers numerous outdoor adventures, including outdoor cultural festivals on the waterfront, seasonal pop up events, and hiking and biking opportunities.  As soon as the weather warms up, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's pop up parks and beer gardens spring up around the city in temporary and unexpected spaces.  Check out Parks on Tap, the beer garden that activates a different city park each week from spring to fall, and hike one of our hundreds of trails in Fairmount Park.  The popular Spruce Street Harbor Park, situated atop several floating barges, features hammocks and lounge chairs, LED lights, with food and drinks available.  Roller skate at the outdoor Blue Cross River Rink on the waterfront at Penn's Landing.  In the winter, the roller rink transitions to ice skating with Winterfest, featuring holiday trees, fire pits, light shows, and more.  Additional opportunities for ice skating are available adjacent to Philadelphia's City Hall at Wintergarden, Dilworth Park's Rothman ice rink.

 

With the largest city-owned urban park system in the world, Philadelphia is the greenest city in America. The city's 10,000-acre park system features winding creeks, green meadows and over 270 miles of hiking and biking trails with early American mansions, historic landmarks, outdoor sculptures and open-air theatres.  Philadelphia's Fairmount Park is an urban mountain biking destination with winding tracks in Belmont Plateau and Wissahickon Valley Park's blend of hills and flats, ranging from beginner to advanced.  Several highlights of the park include the Philadelphia Zoo, America's first zoo with more than 1,300 animals from around the world, picturesque gardens, outstanding art and historical architecture. The Zoo features Zoo360, elevated see-through mesh trails throughout the zoo that allow the animals to roam throughout the park.  Another gem of Fairmount Park is the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.  Built in Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques and materials and moved to Philadelphia on the site of several previous Japanese structures, the site has been continuously maintained since the 1876 Centennial Exposition, the first major World's Fair in the United States. The traditional-style house with hinoki roof is the only one of its kind outside of Japan.  The house can be toured, along with the gardens, koi pond and island.  The museum is decorated with 20 full-scale murals installed on decorative paper sliding doors by Japanese contemporary artist Hiroshi Senju.  Attend a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, led by members from the Chado Urasenke Tankokai Philadelphia Association (headquartered in Kyoto, Japan) and practiced for more than 450 years.

 

Distinctive Tours

From the ghosts of historic Philadelphia's past, to the thousands of beautiful murals lining the city's lively neighborhoods, to tasting decadent delights all day long, there are many unique things to see and do in Philadelphia. For first-timers, the best way to discover the city's attractions is by taking a hop-on, hop-off bus. Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure offers self-guided tours year-round that are available from any smart phone, solving clues and completing challenges while learning Philadelphia's history.  Philly Tour Hub, whose office is located in the heart of the historic district, provides a choose-your-own-adventure style game that lets you compete against family and friends in different types of challenges.  Every game is a private group and all games can be customized. 

 

 

 

Philadelphia also offers experiences like ghost tours, playing off of the city's history and there's even a tour for Rocky fans.  Philadelphia is also one of the best beer drinking cities in America and offers great local beer tours too.  For foodies, there is a Taste of Philadelphia Food tour focusing on some of Philadelphia's iconic foods such as cheesesteaks, and of course there are numerous walking, biking and Segway tours.  The Indego bike share program supplies hundreds of bikes for use all day, every day, with kiosks around the city.

 

A popular and unique outdoor adventure is the Mural Arts tour.  Philadelphia is known as the Mural Capital of the World.  Mural Arts Philadelphia began over 30 years ago as an anti-graffiti program and has grown to be an international public art leader with over 4,000 works.  Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces throughout the city.  There are a variety of tour options including both self-guided and guide-led tours.  The experience gives visitors an opportunity to really see a wide variety of Philadelphia neighborhoods through the lens of community-based public art.

 

Fabulous Food

Center City Philadelphia has over 1,000 restaurants and over 430 outdoor cafes.  Dining options include countless outdoor cafes, bars, beer gardens and restaurants with Iron Chefs, Top Chefs and more in a melting pot of global, gourmet cuisines. Visit historic spots like Reading Terminal Market, one of the nation's oldest working farmers markets, and McGillin's Olde Ale House or head to East Passyunk Avenue, dubbed a 'Top 10 Foodie Street in America' to enjoy a classic Philly cheesesteak. Explore the Italian Market, the oldest outdoor market in the U.S. in South Philadelphia.  The market began in the mid-to-late 1880s and eventually formed the largest, outdoor, continuous market in the country with butcher shops offering high quality cuts of meats, cheese shops, restaurants, bakeries, along with merchants selling fresh fish, fruit and vegetables.  Take a tour of the Italian Market with Taste 4 Travel and Chef Jacquie, your guide, a South Philadelphia native, born and raised just two blocks from the Italian Market, and a professional chef who grew up with most of the shop owners on 9th Street.  Learn the history of local food favorites like cheesesteaks, hoagies and pretzels and the Reading Terminal Market, at 12th and Arch Streets, during a 75-minute, food-writer-led walking Taste of Philly Food Tour.  The public market opened in 1893 in the train shed of the Reading Railroad Company and is renowned for its international and local specialties - including Pennsylvania Dutch goodies.  The marketplace is a great sampling of Philadelphia flavors with over 80 merchants selling food, groceries, gifts and more.  

 

Inclusive City

Named by its founder, William Penn, Philadelphia translates from Greek to 'City of Brotherly Love.' Penn envisioned a city of tolerance and Philadelphia is welcoming and inclusive. Take a picture with the iconic LOVE sculpture, designed by Robert Indiana, in LOVE Park.

 

Family Friendly

In addition to offering countless opportunities to explore the city's history, Philadelphia has top-notch art and science museums and hands-on opportunities for fun at unique and educational destinations that are perfect for children of all ages.

 

Learn about the history and ongoing impact of the United States Constitution at the National Constitution Center.  The museum of “We the People” features hundreds of interactive exhibits, theatrical performances and authentic, original documents dating back to the American Revolution.  Stand with life-sized bronze statues of the Founding Fathers in Signers' Hall and view the first public

 

printing of the Constitution from September 19, 1787.  George Washington first proclaimed Thanksgiving an American holiday and during that weekend, take part in special activities exploring the roots of the American holiday.  Christmas week, find out what life was like for a typical infantryman in the American Continental Army in December 1776 during the turning point of the American Revolution.  Enrich your child's understanding of African-American history and culture at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.  The museum's permanent exhibit, Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776-1876, caters to kids with its Children's Corner, a hands-on installation that helps to envision the lives of children during that period.  The display also includes a narrated timeline and full-sized video projections of 18th century trailblazers sharing their stories.

 

The Franklin Institute, one of the oldest and premier centers of science education and development in the United States, was founded in 1824 and was designed to inspire a passion for science in the spirit and honor of American scientist, Benjamin Franklin.  Featuring 12 permanent exhibits (including Your Brain), the Fels Planetarium, an IMAX Theater, and much more, the popular museum provides hands-on learning experiences that introduce and reinforce key science concepts in creative and engaging ways. Dig for fossils at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, marvel at the impressive T-Rex in Dinosaur Hall and get immersed in a lush tropical garden that's home to over 100 butterflies (20 to 40 different species). Penn Museum transports you to ancient Egypt, the Bible Lands, Mesopotamia, the Greco-Roman World, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.  The world-renowned museum of archaeology and anthropology – and largest university museum in the United States - offers three gallery floors of remarkable art and artifacts including mummies.  The Science History Institute holds an outstanding collection of chemistry-related objects, artwork, photographs, and books, illustrating the impact these materials have had on the modern world.  Through extensive exhibits, learn about creative computers and imagine a future without carbon. 

 

Located in the historic area of Philadelphia, Franklin Square Park offers family entertainment with the Parx Liberty Carousel, Philadelphia-themed miniature golf course, and playgrounds.  Sesame Place, America's only theme park based entirely on the PBS program Sesame Street®, is located just outside Philadelphia in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.  Enjoy fun rides, sing and dance along with the daily Neighborhood Street Party Parade. Hersheypark, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the "The Sweetest Place on Earth," was opened in 1907 by Milton S. Hershey, founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, and has evolved to be one of the top amusement parks in the United States, touting itself as the roller coaster capital of the world (with the first looping roller coaster on the East Coast), and Chocolate World, featuring a chocolate factory-themed tour ride, shops and restaurants.  See how crayons are made in a live manufacturing show at the Crayola Experience, near Philadelphia in Easton, Pennsylvania, and star in your very own coloring page, name and wrap your very own Crayola crayon, and take a 4-D coloring adventure at the world headquarters for the famous crayon.  The Herr's Snack Factory Tour offers potato chip samples and guided tours of the operations with little-known facts like what makes a great chipping potato.  Herr's was started in 1946 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Visit Strasburg Railroad, also in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and travel through Pennsylvania Dutch Country on an authentic steam locomotive.  Have lunch or dinner on board the Dining Car, ride the miniature steam train, and visit the shops.  Day Out with Thomas events offers children and their grownups the opportunity to ride with classic storybook friend Thomas the Tank Engine. 

 

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For further press information please contact:

 

Kimberly Barrett, International Communications Manager

T: +1 (215) 636-3416

E: kimberly@discoverPHL.com

 

Anthony Stipa, Communications Manager

T: +1 (215) 636-3412

E: anthony@discoverPHL.com

 

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About Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), a private non-profit, membership corporation, is the official tourism promotion agency for the City of Philadelphia globally, and the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The PHLCVB is an economic engine for the city – creating jobs and fueling economic growth by encouraging overseas visitation and by bringing ethnically diverse regional, national and international meetings, conventions and sporting events to Philadelphia.