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From sport fishing to swimming and boating to booze cruises, visitors and residents fall hook, line and sinker for the many ways to enjoy life on the water in the Philadelphia region. In Philadelphia proper, new waterfront parks and public projects can be spotted on the quiet, beautiful Schuylkill River to the west and the shipping waterway of the Delaware River 30 blocks to the east. Outside the city, lakes and rivers provide serene spots for enjoying the warm summer sunshine.
Here are some of the region’s top spots for fishing, boating, swimming and enjoying the river views:
Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk (Manayunk Arts Festival), a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street (Odunde), a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue (Italian Festival and Craft Beer Day), a weekend celebrating all-things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill (Harry Potter Festival) or a gathering of would-be scientists at multiple neighborhoods throughout the city (Philadelphia Science Festival). Philly’s neighborhoods make merry all year long with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for...
When Fourth of July rolls around, Philadelphia—America’s birthplace—paints the town red, white and blue thanks to eight days of music, exhibitions, Colonial characters and re-enactments, patriotic ceremonies and fireworks. This year, the city amps up the revelry surrounding the annual Wawa Welcome America! festivities with Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden, the largest sailing event in North America; and a citywide celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement.
Here are a few highlights of Philadelphia’s patriotic party:
- The billowing sails of more than a dozen majestic vessels mark the arrival of the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden festival. Docked
As families around the globe prepare for their pilgrimage of faith to the eighth World Meeting of Families (WMOF), taking place in Philadelphia September 22-25, 2015, the city is preparing to welcome them to this landmark event, which culminates on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with the Festival of Families on September 26 and a public mass celebrated by Pope Francis on September 27. Visitors in town for the week-long event will find a city with a rich history of religious freedom and a strong Catholic heritage, a wide range of affordable attractions for all ages and services and resources that...
Through April 5, 2015
DIRTY DANCING. Based on the beloved 1987 movie featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, this worldwide smash hit at the Academy of Music tells the story of Baby and Johnny. The two fiercely independent teenagers from different worlds come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. (215) 893-1999, kimmelcenter.org
Through April 5, 2015
What are some other words for summer fun? Tall Ships. Fireworks. Festivals. Beer gardens. Pop-up parks. Philadelphia. This summer will go down as a season of non-stop, pull-out-all-the-stops fun in the city that scored a #3 placement on The New York Times’ influential “52 Places to Go in 2015” list.
Some of the summer highlights include the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden festival; the launch of Indego, Philadelphia’s bike-sharing program; the eagerly awaited return of the acclaimed Spruce Street Harbor Park; and the season-long showing of Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art....
With longer days here, there are more hours to enjoy the fine array of new restaurants in Philadelphia. This spring, the lineup includes an exciting new trend—restaurants with an aim of social justice, including a cafe that employs foster children (The Monkey and the Elephant) and a burger joint that donates proceeds to hungry children (Hunger Burger). Add to that an eclectic mix of Asian snacks, edgy tacos, hybrid dinner/entertainment venues and neighborhood spots serving creative fare, and the upcoming eating season looks incredibly fresh. Here’s a look at some of the newcomers:
Notable New Entrées:
- There’s always room
Historical Sites & Attractions:
- Wannabe sailors can visit the nation’s most decorated battleship, the Battleship New Jersey, and take tours of the ship, ride the 4-D flight simulator, climb into the onboard helicopter and sleep in the sailors’ bunks as part of its award-winning Overnight Encampment program. 62 Battleship Place, Camden, (856) 966-1652, battleshipnewjersey.org
- America’s most famous flag maker greets guests in her interactive 18th-century upholstery shop at the Betsy Ross House. Visitors learn about Betsy’s life and legend from the lady herself. An audio tour caters to four-to-eight-year-olds, offering lessons in Colonial life and the opportunity
The sound of ringing bicycle bells is constant in Philadelphia, where a grid layout, mostly flat terrain and 435 miles of bike lanes make it ideal for cyclists, whether they prefer mountain bikes, fixed-gears or classic cruisers. With the late April launch of Indego, the city’s first bike-share program, even more riders can explore Philadelphia’s great outdoors and fantastic attractions—from historic sites to beautiful riverside trails.
Here are 10 reasons Philly’s bike scene is taking off:
- Indego: Everybody Rides
In 1776, Philadelphia became the birthplace of a nation. This April, democracy takes to the streets with the launch of Indego...
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® was an early adopter of social media, signing on in 2007, and today the company’s social media accounts—known by fans and followers as Visit Philly—rank #3 in terms of engagement (liking, sharing or commenting on posts) among 13 cities included in a study done by independent social media agency Sparkloft Media.
“Our 15 social media accounts reach nearly 800,000 people, and we’re committed to ensuring that these platforms provide compelling and useful information to locals and visitors,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “This study shows that our significant investment keeps us right up there...
This year presents the ideal opportunity to explore Philadelphia’s sacred side: The city will host the eighth World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis himself. A long list of sacred places, thanks to their history, architecture or emotional resonance, make Greater Philadelphia an awe-inspiring place to visit all the time—even when the pope is home in the Vatican. Around the region, new sites rise next to centuries-old houses of worship. Together, they provide physical testaments to the indomitable spirit of people who made great sacrifices for the liberty to worship as they please.
Here’s a look at the region’s old...
Just as school is letting out for the summer, Philadelphia is ushering in a season of new family-friendly activities and exhibitions. Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden unites two waterfronts with an exciting display of 15 majestic ships from around the world. If it’s icky and stinky, it’s a topic of great interest for kids at Animal Grossology at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. And the magic behind the new light show at Longwood Gardens will have everyone ooohing and aaahing. Here’s a look at what families should add to their summer must-do lists:
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is helping travelers plan their Philadelphia trips with a new itinerary that’s based on the spectacular press coverage the city has enjoyed in early 2015. On visitphilly.com, 22 Philadelphia Attractions Making Headlines in 2015 includes a customizable Google map and descriptions of each buzz-worthy spot.
“Word-of-mouth and third-party endorsements are incredibly important to travelers,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “We know that travelers trust the recommendations from these national publications, so we’re promoting these suggestions—we agree with them, after all.”
Highlights of the itinerary: outdoor spaces such as Spruce Street Harbor Park...
With just the turn of the ignition key and within less than an hour, visitors to Philadelphia can explore the region’s quaint towns and charming settings. And what better way to discover them than with the homegrown festivals and events that celebrate their distinct personalities. Some festivities are quirky—think tens of thousands of folks coming together to pay tribute to the mushroom. Others honor the culinary talents of their hometown chefs or the creative handiwork of local artisans. While still others harken back to the town’s proud role in American history. Whatever the topic or the time of year, local...
Philadelphia celebrates five decades of political progress with the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement. Commemorative exhibitions at major institutions and a moving re-enactment of the original Fourth of July demonstration honor the milestone year.
Now one of the country’s leading gay-friendly destinations, the City of Brotherly Love played a pivotal role in the earliest days of the American gay-rights movement. The first major U.S. protest for LGBT equality took place in front of Independence Hall on July 4, 1965. Coordinated by Philadelphia resident Barbara Gittings and Washingtonian Frank Kameny, now known as the mother and father of...
Earning a perfect score on the Human Right Campaign’s Municipality Index for three years running, Philadelphia continues to prove that it’s still one of the best destinations for LGBT travelers to get their history straight and their nightlife gay.
In 2015, Philadelphia marks the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement with a year of commemorative exhibitions at major institutions and a Fourth of July weekend full of special events, including a re-enactment of the first “Annual Reminder,” which took place in front of Independence Hall on July 4, 1965.
Add to that landmark celebration a calendar of weekly...
For years, insiders have flocked to South Philadelphia’s East Passyunk Avenue for its restaurants, particularly its red-gravy Italian spots. The neighborhood surrounding the avenue—a diagonal interruption to Philadelphia’s grid layout—has enjoyed revitalizations in recent years, creating a sort of renaissance for the thoroughfare itself.
Visitors who stroll down Passyunk (pronounced pashunk by those in the know) find eclectic boutiques, coffee shops, gastropubs, excellent Mexican and sushi fare, as well as the amazing Italian eateries that first made this street famous—not to mention the two across-the-street cheesesteak rivals, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. Generally, the area known as East...
Like its hip neighbor Northern Liberties, Fishtown has quickly become one of the coolest sections of Philadelphia, thanks to an influx of quality restaurants, inventive bars, impressive music venues and forward-thinking art galleries.
Philadelphians have found new and innovative uses for Fishtown ever since William Penn made peace with the Lenape Indians there 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, drink craft beer while playing Tetris, eat stellar Yugoslavian food and visit the world’s only pizza museum. Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor serves...
Once considered Philadelphia’s favorite up-and-coming neighborhood, Northern Liberties has officially arrived, evidenced by the international restaurants, respected gastropubs and trendy boutiques—all this while maintaining the artistic vibe that made it so cool in the first place.
The warehouses that populate the former manufacturing district found new life as condos, galleries, stores and restaurants, and along with newly designed buildings, the area enjoys a pleasant mix of older functional and modern design. Two shopping/dining/art/entertainment plazas helped make Northern Liberties an accessible and thriving area: Liberties Walk and The Piazza at Schmidts.
The neighborhood lies north of Old City, and its borders...
When it comes to visiting Philadelphia, some of the best things to see and do are free—or close to it. For families and budget-conscious travelers eager to explore the region, that’s great news. Check out the city’s many low-cost or no-cost attractions, including historic Independence Hall, student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music and the high-tech production line of Herr’s Potato Chip Factory.
- Snuggled behind the east wing of Independence Hall is Philosophical Hall, a brick building erected in the late 1780s that was the nation’s first museum, national library and academy of science. Today, the