Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jan 27 2017

Backgrounder: What's The Deal In Philly?

Background On Philadelphia’s History, Art & Culture, Food, Neighborhoods, Sports, Beer & More

Philadelphia hosts the NFL Draft, April 27-29, 2017—and this city has plenty of stories to tell. Here’s a brief lowdown on the city’s history, food, neighborhoods, sports, beer and other key areas of interest:

History:
Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States and the country’s first World Heritage City. Our Founding Fathers met, discussed, debated and formed a new country in Philadelphia. The two most important documents in our history, the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, were drafted and signed here. Independence Hall, one of only 20 World Heritage sites in the country, stands just steps away from the mighty Liberty Bell, a symbol of the abolitionist movement.

The independent streak that forged a new nation lives on today. It’s a distinctly Philly attitude and a forward-looking promise that’s obvious in the city’s independent shops, owner-run restaurants, artist collaboratives and grassroots innovation and tech movements.

Art & Culture:
Philadelphia bursts with beauty inside and out. The region is home to one of the country’s top five art museums (Philadelphia Museum of Art); the world’s greatest collection of impressionist, post-impressionist and modern works (Barnes Foundation); an internationally lauded public arts initiative (Mural Arts Philadelphia); and under-the-radar gems.

Museums and institutions house collections devoted to science, animals, literature, African-American culture, Jewish-American history, chemistry and even medical oddities.

Food:
There should be a championship event just for Philadelphia’s food. Chefs choose Philadelphia for their passion projects; it’s where they can run their (usually small) restaurants and fully commit to their vision. As such, there’s a lot of good food to eat here, and there’s a story behind every dish.

What makes up Philly’s diverse dining scene? Street food, 300+ bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) restaurants, sidewalk seating reminiscent of European cities, bars with great food, craft pizza spots, vegetarian and vegan eateries (that aren’t just for vegetarians and vegans) and the storied Reading Terminal Market and Italian Market. And, of course, cheesesteaks.

Neighborhoods:
Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods—personality-packed districts inside and surrounding Center City. Each neighborhood has its own history, storied streets, buzzed-about restaurants, artistic expressions, parks and festivals.

In 1998, the Rittenhouse neighborhood saw Philly’s first restaurant with sidewalk seating (Rouge), a trend that’s now ubiquitous, with nearly 400 alfresco establishments across town. Old City’s success story began nearly 20 years ago when Ellen Yin opened Fork just a couple blocks away from America’s most historic square mile. Midtown Village, which includes the Gayborhood, forged its personality thanks to a small-business influx along 13th Street. South Philly’s restaurant-packed East Passyunk and north-of-Center City’s Fishtown have become destinations all their own for families, professionals, artists. Graduate Hospital experienced a similar boom, with most of its public and retail space along South Street.

Recently, Kensington and Point Breeze have grown into newer development stories thanks to the momentum from neighboring Fishtown and Graduate Hospital, respectively.

Sports:
Philadelphia fans have known joy and heartache, anger and exultation in their 100-plus years of living with professional sports teams. “Philadelphia is the most sophisticated, knowledgeable sports town in America. The fans don’t expect you to win all the time, but they demand you play hard,” said Bill Campbell, the “Dean” of Philadelphia sports, who broadcast the Phillies, Eagles, 76ers and “Big Five” basketball during his 50-year career.

Philadelphia is one of the few cities with a professional franchise in five major league sports. Most of Philadelphia’s pro teams play within a few miles of Center City at the Wells Fargo Center (76ers basketball and Flyers ice hockey), Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles football) and Citizens Bank Park (Phillies baseball). The Philadelphia Union soccer team plays at the Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia.

Parks & Public Spaces:
Residents and visitors are heading outdoors in huge numbers thanks to the activation of many under-utilized spaces in recent years—think Schuylkill River Trail, Dilworth Park, Race Street Pier, The Porch at 30th Street Station and Spruce Street Harbor Park. Much of the development action can be spotted in Center City and on Philadelphia’s two rivers, the Schuylkill and Delaware.

Started in 2015, Indego bike share further boosted Philadelphia’s reputation as a bicycle-friendly city, where a grid layout, mostly flat terrain and 435 miles of bike lanes make it ideal for two wheels.

Beer:
It was in Philadelphia taverns that the American Revolution took hold (see City Tavern for proof), and 100 years ago, Philadelphia was known as the greatest brewing city in the Western Hemisphere, or the “Cradle of American Libation.” In the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries, 90 breweries operated in Philadelphia proper, and another 100 operated in its environs. Prohibition in 1920 brought the brewery boom to an end, and the decline—and near demise—of virtually all of Philadelphia’s beer producers.

Today, craft breweries have reclaimed the region’s reputation by brewing some of the world’s best beer. Victory, Sly Fox and Yards produce and distribute some of the Philadelphia region’s most well-known and accessible craft beers, and in recent years, they’ve been joined by newer microbreweries and brewpubs, such as Tired Hands, Forest & Main and Round Guys, along with spectacular craft distillers.

In the warmer months, beer lovers head outside. The seasonal Independence Beer Garden offers a beer break right on Independence Mall, while Spruce Street Harbor Park and Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest attract people to the Delaware River waterfront with food, beer, hammocks, games and a roller-skating rink. Pop-ups including The Oval and the PHS Pop Up Gardens activate underused spaces, much to the delight of beer fans and urban dwellers.

Music:

There would have been no 1970s soul, no R&B, no disco, without Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the inventors of the Sound of Philadelphia. One of the most important moves Gamble and Huff made was to differentiate their sound from Motown’s by incorporating strings, horns and harps—courtesy of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the world’s greatest classical music organizations and one of the most prolific recording acts in history.

Other major music names have hailed from Philadelphia. Think Chubby Checker, Hall & Oates and Patti LaBelle, and more recently, The Roots, Will Smith, Pink, The Dead Milkmen, Chill Moody and
Kurt Vile.

The city also has played host to big music events in the past, including Live Aid in 1985 and Live 8 in 2005. Today, artists of all genres entertain crowds at large and intimate venues and during music events, such as the Roots Picnic, Made in America and Wawa Welcome America’s free Fourth of July concert.
 

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, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, 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.

Contact(s):
  • E-mail

Related Releases

Jun 19 2017

A First-Timer's Guide To Philadelphia

Iconic Sites & Bites Give Visitors An Experience That’s Distinctly Philly

From its fascinating museums and vibrant parks to its national historic sites and famous (and delicious) food, Philadelphia offers plenty to see, do and taste. First-time visitors need to do some planning to fully experience what the City of Brotherly Love is all about. Here’s the ultimate guide for those who are new to the country’s first World Heritage City:

Historical Hotspots:

  • Independence Hall – While historical attractions abound in Philly, Independence Hall has particular significance to the development of the nation. In this building in 1776, the Founding Fathers came together to sign the Declaration of Independence. Eleven
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Jun 16 2017

30 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions

Fact Sheet

* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2016. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.

Historical Sites & Attractions:
1. African American Museum in Philadelphia* – Founded in 1976, the museum is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The museum takes a fresh and bold look at the stories of African-Americans and their role in the founding of the nation through the core exhibit Audacious Freedom. Other exhibits and programs explore the history, stories and

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Jun 14 2017

What's In The Society Hill Neighborhood?

Restuarants, Bars, Cafes, Shops, Entertainment, Historic Attractions, Parks And More

With its cobblestone streets and original 18th- and 19th-century buildings from the Delaware River to 7th Street and Walnut to Lombard Streets, Philadelphia’s quaint Society Hill neighborhood remains as picture-perfect today as it was hundreds of years ago. Its proximity to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Independence Visitor Center make it hard for people to resist the appeal of walking the same streets the nation’s founders once did.

Following an era when the neighborhood was home to a number of luminaries—Samuel Powel, the first mayor of the city after independence was declared, future

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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.

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May 1 2017

The Greater Philadelphia Region: Fast Facts

Population:

There are 2.5 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.

Location:

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 one-day drive

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Apr 24 2017

Philly Tours Explore History, Art, Food, Bridges & the Supernatural

Also Explore The Region By Foot, Trolley, Horse Or Smartphone

Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from an assortment of options to explore the region, including those of the air, automotive, audio, culinary, self-guided and water-based varieties. And the sightseeing fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Those who come out at night can join tours that feature behind-the-scenes action and, if so desired, spirits from beyond. Here’s a selection of tours available throughout the region:

History Lessons By Day & Night:

  • Bow Tie Tours – Learning about Philadelphia’s—and America’s—history through the true tales of real-life characters who walked the city’s streets is the secret to the success of
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Feb 21 2017

New Museum Of The American Revolution To Open In Philadelphia, The Headquarters Of The Revolution

Sites Throughout The Region Recount America’s Fight For Independence

Long before the first musket shot was fired in Lexington in 1775, the seeds of the American Revolution were taking root in Philadelphia as colonists declared their independence and began preparing for war. With the April 19, 2017 opening of the Museum of the American Revolution, visitors will discover the complex and sometimes painful path to independence—a story that’s told both within the museum’s walls and at sites and attractions scattered throughout Philadelphia, the headquarters of the Revolution, and its surrounding countryside.
For visitors eager to delve into this tumultuous time in history, the Museum of the American Revolution—located in

...
Feb 16 2017

Alexander Hamilton's Legacy Remains Strong In Philadelphia's Historic District

Visitors Can Go Beyond Broadway & Follow Hamilton’s Philadelphia Footsteps

Freedom fighter, statesman, financial genius, adulterer. Fans of the blockbuster hit Hamilton know some of the story of Alexander Hamilton’s life, but there is plenty more to discover in Philadelphia’s Historic District. The new Museum of the American Revolution, opening on April 19, 2017, will offer a glimpse into the Hamilton-Washington bro-mance. A tale debuting this summer from the Once Upon A Nation storytellers will get to the root of the fatal Hamilton-Burr duel. And in Independence Hall, National Park Service rangers often regale visitors with accounts of heated debates Hamilton engaged in about the U.S. Constitution. Just beyond the

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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. nps.gov/inde, phmc.state.pa.us
  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
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