Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

All Releases (Newest First)

Nov 19 2014

What's In The Fairmount and Spring Garden Neighborhoods?

Restaurants, Shops, Bars & Coffee Shops In The Fairmount & Spring Garden Neighborhoods

Just near the renowned institutions that line the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s Fairmount and Spring Garden neighborhoods are often lumped together and dubbed the “Art Museum area,” but the personalities of these laid-back districts separate them from nearby Center City.

Fairmount easily stands on its own as a destination in Philadelphia. Despite its proximity to downtown, the residential neighborhood is considered a sort of urban suburb, thanks to the friendly residents and atmosphere. What to do here? Eat, drink and tour the former prison-turned-attraction. Wedged between the cultural powerhouses of the Parkway and the better-known Fairmount, Spring Garden distinguishes itself

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Nov 16 2014

What's In The Market East Neighborhood?

Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Shops, Art & Culture In Philadelphia's Market East Neighborhood

Steps away from the most historic square mile in America, the Market East neighborhood serves as a gateway to the city’s business, shopping and entertainment district. Originally known as High Street, what is now called Market Street is a busy boulevard, particularly during the daytime as shoppers, workers and visitors fill the streets.

Bordered by Old City to the east, Chinatown to the north and Washington Square West to the south and dominated by Philadelphia’s elaborately embellished City Hall, the Market East neighborhood is largely commercial with boundaries that stretch roughly from 7th to 15th Streets and Chestnut

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Nov 16 2014

What's In The Washington Square West Neighborhood?

Restaurants, Bars, Shops, Galleries & Theaters In Washington Square West, Midtown Village & The Gayborhood

Three neighborhoods in one: That’s the perfect way to describe Washington Square West, a thriving enclave that also includes Midtown Village and the Gayborhood. Running roughly from 7th to Broad streets and Chestnut to South streets, the buzzed-about ’hood is increasingly a go-to spot for trendy restaurants and owner-operated boutiques.

Midtown Village maintains its own personality thanks to a small-business boom concentrated on the 13th Street corridor, where power couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran preside over a handful of restaurants and shops. The Gayborhood sets itself apart with dozens of rainbow street signs, along with many restaurants

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Nov 14 2014

Philadelphia's New Americans Tour Launches

Candidates For Citizenship Can Boost Their Knowledge In The Places Where It All Happened

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant & Multicultural Affairs (MOIMA) today announced the launch of Philadelphia’s New Americans Tour, a self-guided excursion for new citizens and those studying to be citizens through the sites and attractions that tell the story of the nation’s founding. The tour is available in English at visitphilly.com/newamericans and in several other languages, including Spanish, French and Mandarin at phila.gov/ima. To promote the tour, VISIT PHILADELPHIA, the region’s tourism promotion agency, will host journalists and social media influencers, give a popular Instagrammer the reins of its account to show off the

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Nov 14 2014

Philadelphia’s New Americans Tour Resource Guide

Fast Facts About The Citizenship Process:

  • The study guide for the U.S. citizenship test includes 100 questions. More than half of the questions are related to events that happened in Philadelphia. For a complete list of the questions, contact Adriana Arvizo or Cara Schneider (see above).
  • The U.S. citizenship test is an oral exam given to the applicant by an immigration officer. It consists of 10 random questions from the study guide.
  • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services hosts an average of 20 naturalization ceremonies each month (sometimes even more) in the Philadelphia area. They also conduct special ceremonies
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Nov 3 2014

Make A Date For Romance In The Towns Of The Philadelphia Countryside

Couples Find Lots To Fancy At The Region’s Restaurants, Galleries, Parks & Museums

Romance reigns in the Towns of the Philadelphia Countryside, where lovers can reenergize their relationships at charming B&Bs, cozy restaurants, sophisticated galleries and picturesque parks on or near quaint main streets, all within a short drive of Center City.

Here are some suggestions for those eager to embrace the region’s lovely side:

Bucks County:

  1. New Hope’s unbeatable combination of history, art and country charm are enough to jump start any love connection. While gallery hopping along Main Street, it’s easy to find a token of one’s affection at A Mano Gallery, Exquisite Earth and The Jonathan Rice Collection. Come
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Nov 3 2014

Philly's Signature Sandwiches: Cheesesteaks & Hoagies

Here in Philly, cheesesteaks and hoagies are civic icons, tourist draws and cultural obsessions. Often imitated around the world, the sandwiches are rarely duplicated successfully outside of Philadelphia. Get the lowdown on the cheesesteak and the hoagie at visitphilly.com/cheesesteaks and visitphilly.com/hoagies.

What Is A Cheesesteak?:
A cheesesteak is a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed ribeye beef and melted cheese. Generally, the cheese of choice is Cheez Whiz®, but American and provolone are common substitutions. The art of cheesesteak preparation lies in the balance of flavors, textures and what is often referred to as

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Nov 1 2014

Philadelphia And The Countryside® Calendar Of Events

Festivals, Exhibitions And Events In The Greater Philadelphia Region November 2014 Through October 2015

The Calendar of Events is organized as follows:

November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015

NOVEMBER 2014

Through November 2, 2014
THE ADDAMS FAMILY.
This musical comedy at the Media Theatre is based on the Charles Addams comic strip about a family who adores the macabre. (610) 891-0100, mediatheatre.org

Through November 2, 2014
ARCADIA. Lantern Theatre Company
brings to life this thrilling masterpiece, a tale of two centuries. The comedy and heartbreaking romance explores the mysteries of history, art and science. (215) 829-0395,

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Oct 31 2014

Craft Distilleries Revive Pennsylvania's Pre-Prohibition Tradition

After A Nearly 100-Year Absence, Small-Batch Distilling Has Returned To The Philadelphia Area

In just over two years, craft distilling has boomed in the Philadelphia region, helping to restore Pennsylvania to its once-prominent place in the national distilling conversation. Until Prohibition wiped out the state’s distilling industry, Pennsylvania housed the country’s densest cluster of homespun and commercial whiskey producers, beginning with some of the country’s earliest settlers.

In 2011, Pennsylvania’s government passed reforms that allowed distillers to offer tours, samples and sales on-site. These new laws opened up the craft to would-be distillers who now proudly produce and sell small-batch spirits from Philadelphia. Here’s a look at the region’s distilling pioneers:

Distilleries Open

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Oct 31 2014

How To Celebrate The Holidays In Philadelphia

New Attractions, A Festive Phlash Route & Tax-Free Shopping, For Starters

There’s plenty to do in Philadelphia from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day—both traditional favorites such as the Macy’s Christmas Light Show and fun new additions like the skating rink at City Hall’s Dilworth Park. Add in great new shops and tax-free shopping, a new nighttime shuttle service to popular holiday attractions and the in-demand Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package (car stays free) for a holiday experience that’s sure to leave lasting memories.

Here’s how to do the holidays in Philadelphia and The Countryside®:

What To Do: New & Classic Musts:
Philadelphia is adding plenty of sparkle to this year’s

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Oct 29 2014

Backgrounder: Spas & Salons

An Abundance Of Day Spas & Salons Make Philadelphia A Relaxing Refuge

A vacation isn’t a vacation without at least an hour or two of pampering built in. Philadelphia day spas and salons are equipped to answer the call, offering clients a variety of luxurious customized services to refresh both body and spirit. They feature the latest in body treatments, relaxation therapy and beauty services—from the most basic of mani-pedis to deeply transformative Thai yoga massages to rejuvenating facials.

Spas/Salons:

  • Sleek and serene, Adolf Biecker Spa/Salon offers a full menu of hair, nail, facial and body-care services and packages like “The Energizer,” including a Swedish massage, customized facial and lunch. The
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Oct 27 2014

Mummers 101: The Scoop On Philly's New Year's Day Tradition

New Route, New Direction, New Judging, Same Awesome Time

New Year’s Day is about celebrating, and there’s no better place to fete than at Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade, a 115-year-old tradition in which 10,000 men, women and children dressed in colorfully lavish costumes twirl, sashay, pirouette and strut down one of the city’s main streets. This year, the Mummers are making some changes to the nation’s oldest folk parade. That means a shorter route, marching in a different direction (north to south), judging at the start of the parade instead of at the end and performances that run the length of the route and not just in certain locations. Parade

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Oct 22 2014

Philadelphia's Chocolate Exhibit Unwraps The Treat's Origins

Patisseries, Chocolate Shops & More Round Out Philly’s Sweet Side

One of the most delicious exhibitions ever to hit Philadelphia is tempting taste buds all around town. Chocolate: The Exhibition, on view at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University through January 24, 2015, uses interactive displays, special programs and tasting events to trace chocolate beginning with its rainforest origins. After learning the backstory on chocolate, visitors can sample the many ways that Philadelphia chocolatiers, mixologists, pâtissiers and others have transformed the cocoa bean into a delight for the senses.

Chocolate Shops:

  • Those who share chocolatier Gail Warren’s philosophy that chocolate is a “necessary luxury” frequent Bridge Street
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Oct 22 2014

New Beer Trail Highlights The Craft Brewing Tradition In Philadelphia, America’s Best Beer-Drinking City

Roundup Of Greater Philadelphia Breweries

One hundred years ago, Philadelphia was known as the greatest brewing city in the Western Hemisphere, or the “Cradle of American Libation,” according to food critic Craig LaBan of The Philadelphia Inquirer. In fact, it was in Philadelphia taverns that the American Revolution took hold.

In the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries, more than 90 breweries operated in Philadelphia proper, and another 100 operated in the city’s environs. One area northwest of Philly, located on the banks of the Schuylkill River near the Girard Avenue Bridge, became known as Brewerytown. As Brewerytown grew, area producers of German-style

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Oct 20 2014

I-95 Billboard Sports Winner Of VISIT PHILADELPHIA® Photo Contest

Striking Image Of Dancer On Art Museum Steps Wows Drivers

The winner of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s summertime photo contest receives her larger-than-life prize this week: a billboard on I-95 sporting her original photo.

Wynnewood’s Vikki Sloviter paired her photo of a young dancer on the top of the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art steps with the line “Run the steps like nobody’s watching.” She beat out 3,000 entries to win the Phillyosophy® billboard contest. The public voted for the five finalists 11,000 times in one week.

“As a Philly native and lifelong supporter of the arts, especially ballet, I thought my photo of a dancer at the top of the Art

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Oct 20 2014

Hospitality Veteran Joins VISIT PHILADELPHIA® Board Of Directors

Kevin Murnane Brings 35 Years Of Hotel Management Experience To Board

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® announced today that Kevin Murnane will join its board of directors, effective immediately. The general manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City, Murnane has held that position at Hilton Hotels Worldwide in Phoenix, Tucson, Houston, Albuquerque and New York City.

“Kevin’s extensive knowledge about hotel operations and his familiarity with other destinations will help shape VISIT PHILADELPHIA strategies,” said Manuel Stamatakis, VISIT PHILADELPHIA board chairman. “Equally impressive is his commitment to the hospitality experience; he knows the value of travel.”

Before moving to Philadelphia, Murnane was the general manager of the 399-room DoubleTree by Hilton

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Oct 20 2014

The Towns Of The Philadelphia Countryside Celebrate The Holiday Season In Style

Light Displays, Decorated Gardens & Family Activities Help Make Seasonal Memories

The Towns of the Philadelphia Countryside sparkle with seasonal events and activities—from the glittering lights at Longwood Gardens to North Pole-themed rides on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. Add in elegantly decorated historic houses, winter festivals and seasonal performances for a memory-filled holiday season.

Find top holiday events, a holiday lights roundup, New Year’s Eve and Day guides and more at visitphilly.com/holidays.

Lovely Lights & Dazzling Displays:

  • While holiday shopping at Peddler’s Village, visitors can check out the Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Display. Participants compete in a variety of categories, including traditional and authentic reproduction of
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Oct 17 2014

What's In The West Philly Neighborhood?

Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Shops & Galleries In University City, Powelton Village, Spruce Hill & Cedar Park

Every resident knows (and secretly loves) Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air lyric “In West Philadelphia, born and raised … ” Not obvious from the 1990s theme song is the dynamic culture that thrives inside the large area—due to historic characteristics, large educational and research institutions and new developments and residents.

Separated from Center City by the Schuylkill River, West Philadelphia resembles a microcosm of the city itself, with a number of smaller, distinct neighborhoods inside it. Many of its attractions and events—community gardens, Ethiopian restaurants, offbeat performances and the like—were created to benefit the people living in the

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Oct 16 2014

Backgrounder: Eco-friendly Philadelphia

Obsession For The Environment Takes Over The City Of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia’s Bike Share program, to begin in spring 2015, is just the latest news in the city’s eco-friendly efforts. Long a pioneer in the environmental movement, Philadelphia is attracting increasing global attention for efforts to become a leader in urban sustainability. Attractions, organizations and the city itself hold prestigious designations, including a major award from the Environmental Protection Agency. Not to be outdone, the region’s service amenities and modes of transportation are also advancing the green revolution.

Here’s a look at Philadelphia’s green cred:

Eco-Events:

  • The Clean Air Council’s 5K Run for Clean Air is Philadelphia’s largest Earth Day
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Oct 15 2014

Passion For The Pie: Philly's Pizza Secrets Revealed

Local Pizzerias Go Above & Beyond The “Plain”

A pizza museum; a heart-shaped pie; Sicilian water-moistened dough—and that’s just the tip of the crust, as it were. There’s a world of pizza secrets to explore in the Philadelphia region, from a suburban “speakeasy” to some rightfully picky pizza makers to dough-throwing classes in chefs’ open kitchens. Here are just a few ways to take passion for the pie even deeper:

Quirky Spots & Slices:

  • Neapolitan pizza is more than a hobby in Italy—it’s the law. Chef-Owner Joe Cicala of Le Virtù hopes to bring true, certified pies to Philadelphia at his new Brigantessa. He even went to
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