Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jul 5 2016

15 Things To Know: LGBT Philadelphia

From Civil Rights Movement To Modern Living In City of Brotherly Love & Sisterly Affection

Marks Of Pride:

  1. On July 4, 1965, Independence Hall was the site of the United States’ first major LGBT rights demonstration. A state historical marker at 6th and Chestnut Streets commemorates this peaceful protest and the four that followed each July 4 through 1969, known collectively as the Annual Reminders.,
  2. Nearly 70 rainbow street signs proudly adorn the Gayborhood, a Center City neighborhood of LGBT restaurants, bars, businesses and homes spanning 11th to Broad Streets and Pine to Chestnut Streets. Another neighborhood notable: rainbow crosswalks, at 13th and Locust Streets.
  3. Giovanni’s Room is the longest continuously running LGBT bookstore in the U.S. Opened in 1973, the store served as a refuge and cultural center at the onset of the modern LGBT civil rights movement. Today, a state historical marker honors the landmark. 12th & Pine Streets,
  4. A Philadelphian since age 18, the late Barbara Gittings, considered the mother of the LGBT rights movement, and partner Kaya Tobin Lahusen lived in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse neighborhood while doing their seminal work. One of the picketers at Independence Hall in 1965, Gittings was instrumental in having homosexuality removed from its classification as a mental illness and promoting the inclusion of gay publications in libraries. A state historical marker in her honor is planned near Gittings’ onetime home at 21st and Locust Streets. July 26, 11 a.m.,,
  5. In February 1979, Arch Street Friends, a Quaker meetinghouse in Historic Philadelphia, hosted 300 activists to plan the first national demonstration of lesbian and gay rights in Washington, DC, an October march that attracted 100,000 demonstrators. During the DNC, the city will dedicate a historic marker to honor this meeting. July 27, 11 a.m. 320 Arch Street,
  6. Among the 3,800-some murals created through the city’s acclaimed Mural Arts Program, of special pride in the LGBT community are Pride & Progress at Juniper and Spruce Streets and Tribute to Gloria Casarez at 12th and Locust Streets.

Events & Festivals:

  1. This year, Philadelphia’s Equality Forum, the nation’s oldest summit devoted to LGBT civil rights, takes place July 25-28, to coincide with the DNC. The free, four-day event—the first of its kind for a national political convention—features panels on law, politics and the future of the movement and a ceremony honoring advocates.
  2. OutFest, the country’s largest National Coming Out Day event, takes place each fall in Philadelphia on 10 blocks filled with drag shows, pet contests, bar crawls, live music, dancing and shopping. October 9, 2016. Other annual events include:

Pride Day LGBT Parade and Festival – A weekend to commemorate and celebrate self and community. Early June.

Philadelphia Black Pride Celebration – Pioneering multi-day gathering of people of different races, ethnicities and sexual orientations. Late April/early May.

qFLIX – Dozens of movie premieres of indie LGBT films in a six-day festival.

Food & Fun:

  1. Favorite Gayborhood after dark hangouts include Woody’s, a bar, coffee shop, nightclub—and requisite first stop on a night out. Sports fans gather to watch games at Tabu. Piano people raise their voices and glasses at Tavern on Camac and Knock. Late-night partyers head to Voyeur, a 20,000-square-foot, multi-level space to dance. Other places to party: Boxers PHL, The Bike Stop, Stir Lounge, U Bar and, just across Broad Street, Bob and Barbara’s.
  2. Gayborhood dining hot spots include Valanni for Medi-Latin dishes, El Vez for guac and margaritas, Lolita for new Mexican fare (and more margaritas), Mixto for Caribbean and Latin-American cuisine, Tria for wine, beer and great cheese-accented plates, Bud & Marilyn’s for American classics, Amîs for esteemed Roman delights, Vedge and Charlie was a sinner for vegan fare, Double Knot for coffee, cocktails and ikzakaya (depending on the time of day), More Than Just Ice Cream for more than just ice cream, Sampan for noodles galore, Zavino for pizza, Barbuzzo for modern Mediterranean, Franky Bradley’s for dinner with a side of dancing, Little Nonna’s for red-sauce Italian and Tredici for refined Italian.

Philly Firsts & Fun Facts:

  1. The Independence Branch Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia houses the Barbara Gittings Collection of 2,000 books dedicated to gay and lesbian issues, the second-largest such book collection in the U.S. 18 S. 7th Street,
  2. Philadelphia also claims the nation’s oldest LGBT weekly in the Philadelphia Gay News, founded in 1976 by publisher Mark Segal.
  3. LGBT city leaders include Amber Hikes, director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, and State Representative Brian Sims, the first openly gay member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.,
  4. In 2004, Philadelphia became the first destination in the world to air a gay-themed television commercial, part of VISIT PHILADELPHIA®’s campaign, Philadelphia—Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay®. The resulting Daily Show With Jon Stewart segment is worth the four and a half minutes.
  5. Fun fact: Elton John’s hit Philadelphia Freedom is a tribute to tennis great Billie Jean King and her team, World Team Tennis’ Philadelphia Freedoms.

Destination Resources For Media:

Convention Resource For Media:

  • For all official Democratic National Convention coverage and information

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

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Related Releases

Feb 7 2018

What's In The Neighborhood?

Fishtown And The River Wards

Northeast of Center City, Philadelphia’s Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond—collectively known as the River Wards—are some of the city’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods. An influx of restaurants, bars, music venues, art galleries and residents are quickly transforming the makeup of these formerly working-class sections along the Delaware River.

Philadelphians have found new and innovative uses for Fishtown ever since William Penn made peace with the Lenape Indians in what’s now Penn Treaty Park. It’s the only place in the city where, in the same evening, someone can buy a custom-made guitar (DiPinto Guitars), drink craft beer while playing

Dec 21 2017

What’s In The Neighborhood?

Washington Square West

Washington Square West is a historic Center City neighborhood named for a 17th-century park and including the vibrant enclaves of Midtown Village and the Gayborhood. Named “Southeast Square” in 1682, Washington Square originally served as a grazing pasture, potter’s field and gathering spot for early African-Americans—who dubbed the park “Congo Square”—on the edge of the original city of Philadelphia. Today, modern residences surround the park, now home to the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, a sycamore moon tree and a steady stream of visitors. To Washington Square’s north are the 150 jewelry merchants of Jewelers’ Row.

Dec 5 2017

What's In The Neighborhood?

Fairmount & Spring Garden

Because of their proximity to the renowned arts and cultural institutions along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s Fairmount and Spring Garden neighborhoods are often referred to as the “Art Museum area.” But the personalities of these historic, laid-back, diverse communities are distinct in their own right.

Fairmount stands on its own as a destination in Philadelphia. The residential neighborhood is considered a sort of urban suburb, thanks to friendly residents and atmosphere. What’s a visitor to do here? Eat, drink and tour the former prison-turned-museum, Eastern State Penitentiary.

Wedged between the cultural powerhouses of the Parkway and better-known Fairmount, Spring

May 10 2017

What's In Old City And Along The Delaware River Waterfront?

Two Historic District Neighborhoods Offer Restaurants, Art Galleries, Nightlife, Shopping—And History

Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City, part of Philadelphia’s Historic District, boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.

Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries, boundary-pushing theaters and vibrant nightlife.

May 1 2017

The Greater Philadelphia Region: Fast Facts


There are more than 4 million people residing in the five-county region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) and more than 1.5 million in Philadelphia, making it the second-largest city on the East Coast and the sixth-largest city in the country.


Philadelphia is a two-hour drive from New York City, two-and-a-half hours from Washington, DC and 45 minutes from Atlantic City, with convenient access to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-76, I-95 and the New Jersey Turnpike. One-quarter of the U.S. population lives within a five-hour drive of Center City Philadelphia.

The city is a 90-minute flight or a

Dec 29 2016

What's In The Logan Square Neighborhood?

Restaurants, Cafes, Shops, Theaters and More

Logan Square’s personality defies a single definition. What’s there? Corporate and municipal office buildings; the museum-packed Benjamin Franklin Parkway; and green spaces, including the square that gives the area its name. Once called Northwest Square, Logan Square—one of the city’s original five squares—was renamed to honor 18th-century mayor James Logan.

City Hall is a natural focal point of the Logan Square neighborhood. Its elaborate architecture and ornamentation makes people stop and take notice—and photos. The sprawling building is adorned with carvings of allegorical figures and is capped off with a massive statue of William Penn, all of which was designed

Nov 16 2016

What's In the Chestnut Hill, Germantown & Mount Airy Neighborhoods?

Restaurants, Cafes, Markets, Shops, Arts and Attractions

Diverse and historic, Chestnut Hill, Germantown and Mount Airy are urban neighborhoods in northwest Philadelphia. Each enclave has a distinctive style, feel and highlights that represent the communities’ past and present. All are worth day trips, and fortunately, getting there is a cinch via SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transportation system. Check bus and regional rail schedules at before heading off to explore these vibrant neighborhoods.

Chestnut Hill (via the Chestnut Hill East/West train lines or the #23 Bus):
With a higher elevation than the rest of the city, Chestnut Hill, a National Register Historic District, was once a vacation

Aug 29 2016

Philadelphia Fetes Community And Culture This Fall

Major Art Exhibitions, Street Festivals, Dinosaurs, Murals and More Invigorate The Season

With the opening of a new center for Latino arts and culture (El Corazόn Cultural Center), a day of car-free city streets (Philly Free Streets) and oodles of festivals celebrating everything from fungi to films to first-person storytelling, Philadelphia coasts into autumn with a calendar chock full of fun.

More time to stay means more time to play. To maximize the season’s offerings, visitors can book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, featuring free hotel parking, at

What’s New:

  • Urban Axes introduces the newest craze from Canada to Philadelphia with the opening of the nation’s first indoor
Aug 11 2016

Graduate Hospital

What's In The Neighborhood

Graduate Hospital goes by many names (Center City South, South of South, G-Ho), which is fitting for a neighborhood that draws its personality from the people inside it: young transplants, born-and-raised neighbors, hip urban professionals, craft beer crowds and more. In recent years, the area stretching from Lombard Street to Washington Avenue and from Broad Street to Gray’s Ferry Avenue has accumulated a healthy dose of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and markets that reflect the area’s residential and cool vibe.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has picked this ’hood for its summertime PHS Pop Up Garden three years in a