Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

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May 20 2015

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

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 even spirits from beyond. Here’s a selection of tours available throughout the region:

History Lessons By Day & Night:

  • The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia – Visitors get an up-close look at historic sites such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall during this 75-minute walking tour. It
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May 15 2015

Tourism: Philadelphia's $10.4 Billion Industry

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® Annual Report Shows Record Visitation Numbers

Released today, the VISIT PHILADELPHIA® annual report demonstrates the importance of the region’s travel and tourism industry, responsible for $10.4 billion in economic impact in 2014 alone. The report is downloadable at visitphilly.com/annualreport.

“Greater Philadelphia’s tourism industry is strong and getting stronger each year,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “The leisure segment has been particularly successful. It’s increased 90% since 1997, making it the fastest growing segment of all.”

2014 Numbers:

  • Greater Philadelphia welcomed a record 39.7 million day and overnight visitors.
  • Visitor spending in Greater Philadelphia:
    • Generated $10.4 billion in economic impact—or
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May 14 2015

Veg Out: Many Philly-Area Eateries Make Vegans, Vegetarians & Gluten-Free Diners Feel Right At Home

The Region Offers Numerous Culinary Options For Those With Special Diets

Over the past decade, the number of vegetarians in the U.S. has increased from about one in 100 to nearly one in 30, according to polls from the Vegetarian Resource Group and the Vegetarian Times. Veg-loving visitors to Philly have plenty of options from which to choose—upscale white tablecloth restaurants dishing out inventive vegetable creations to casual spots serving up raw foods and gluten-free dishes. Here are some spots worth checking out:

Destination Dining:

  • Vegetable lovers head to Bucks County, where Mike Jackson’s Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille turns out creative, big-portioned vegetarian food (no meat substitutes) in a cozy,
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May 14 2015

Every Day Is A Good Day To Shop At Farmers' Markets In Philly

Philadelphia’s Markets Make Fresh, Local Food More Accessible Than Ever

Situated amidst richly fertile farmland and home to innovative urban growing projects, Philadelphia is a market-goer’s dream. The open-air stalls dotting the city and countryside—from the bustling energy of the indoor Reading Terminal Market to the gingham-clothed tables of the Phoenixville Market—collectively connect consumers to freshly grown and produced food every day of the week. With many now accepting electronic payments, Philly’s growing roster of markets has made eating fresh, local food a way of life for its residents. Here are just some of the places to find seasonal goodies and support area farms:

Year-Round Markets:

  • The only
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May 6 2015

New Philly Hotel Deal Offers VIP Access To Must-See Impressionism Exhibit At The Philadelphia Museum Of Art This Summer

Major Perk: Visit-Anytime Tickets For Discovering The Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel And The New Painting

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has partnered with 15 area hotels to offer a one-night Discovering the Impressionists Hotel Package, which includes two visit-anytime tickets for its summer exhibition, Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, on view from June 24 through September 13, 2015. Philadelphia is the only U.S. city to showcase the blockbuster show, featuring nearly 100 works by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas, Manet, Cassatt and others.

In addition to the one-night hotel stay and two VIP tickets for the exhibit, the package includes special discounts for select museum gift shops and a complimentary dessert with

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May 1 2015

Philadelphia And The Countryside® Calendar Of Events

Festivals, Exhibitions And Events In The Greater Philadelphia Region May 2015 Through April 2016

The Calendar of Events is organized as follows:

May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016

MAY 2015

Through May 2, 2015
PHILADELPHIA SCIENCE FESTIVAL.
With hands-on events for kids, sophisticated activities for adults and a carnival that takes place along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Philadelphia Science Festival takes science out of the lab and demonstrates the role it plays in everyday life. (215) 448-1200, philasciencefestival.org

Through May 10, 2015
INK AND GOLD: ART OF THE KANO.
Japan’s remarkable painters, The Kano Family,

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Apr 28 2015

Iconic Landmarks Recount Philadelphia's Political History

Independence Hall, Carpenter’s Hall & Other Locations Provide The Backdrop For The 2016 Democratic National Convention

When delegates gather in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention in summer 2016, all eyes will be on the nation’s birthplace. Having hosted numerous political conventions, including the 2000 Republican gathering and the 1948 conventions for all three parties (Democratic, Republican and Progressive), Philadelphia is used to being in the political spotlight. It was here where disgruntled colonists created a new form of government, and today many of the places where those meetings, debates and activities took place still stand. Here are a few iconic locations with deeply rooted connections to the American political process:

Declaring Independence:

  • The first
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Apr 24 2015

Visitors Discover Inner Secrets At Philly's Museums & Attractions

Behind-the-Scenes Tours Offer Glimpses Of Off-Limits Areas & Rarely Seen Treasures

The only thing better than checking out the scenes at Philadelphia’s attractions is checking out what goes on behind them. Many of the region’s most popular museums, attractions, historic sites and sports venues take visitors beyond the main exhibition space for behind-the-scenes tours that allow access to laboratories, archives and other off-limits areas. Inquisitive science lovers can peer into the labs at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, history buffs can poke around the engine rooms of the Olympia and Battleship New Jersey and sports fans can check out players’ locker rooms and tour the dugouts at Citizens

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Apr 15 2015

How To Get On The Water In Philadelphia

Rivers, Lakes & Pools Set The Scene For The Region’s Many Fun Water Activities

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:

DELAWARE RIVER

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Apr 8 2015

Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long

Books, Beer, Arts, America, Music, Movies & More Inspire Festivities

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

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Apr 3 2015

Philly Celebrates The Fourth Of July In Star-Spangled Style

Tall Ships, Gay Rights Celebrations & Fireworks Highlight Eight Days Of Family-Friendly Fun

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
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Apr 3 2015

World Meeting Of Families 2015 Philadelphia: What's The Story?

Catholicism In Philly, Religious Freedom & The Destination Itself

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

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Apr 1 2015

Summer 2015: A Blockbuster Season Of Fun In Philly

In Store: Tall Ships, Bike Share, Beer Gardens, Impressionists, Pop-up Parks & Festivals Galore

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.

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Mar 31 2015

New Philly Restaurants Blossom This Spring

Budding New Dim Sum Parlors, Mission-Driven Restaurants & Taco Joints Highlight A Season Of New Eats

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
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Mar 26 2015

Fact Sheet: Family Fun In Philadelphia

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
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Mar 19 2015

10 Reasons Biking In Philadelphia Is On A Roll

New Bike Share, Thriving Biking Culture & Miles Of Trails & Lanes Make Philadelphia A Cycling Destination

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:

  1. Indego: Everybody Rides

In 1776, Philadelphia became the birthplace of a nation. This April, democracy takes to the streets with the launch of Indego

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Mar 19 2015

Visit Philly Ranks #3 On List Of Top U.S. Cities On Social Media

Sparkloft Study Shows That Visit Philly’s Fans Are Highly Engaged With The Brand On Social Media

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

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Mar 18 2015

Ready For The Pope? Philadelphia's Sacred Sites Reveal The City's Religious Stories

From Shrines to Synagogues, The City of Brotherly Love Has Spirit

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

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Mar 12 2015

Philly Revs Up For Summer Family Fun With New Attractions & Exhibits

Must-Dos Include: Tall Ships, LEGO® Art, Sesame Place & Longwood Gardens

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:

Exciting Exhibits:

  • It
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Mar 12 2015

Itinerary Highlights Philly Spots That National Media Love

22 Philly Locations Impressed The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, GQ & Condé Nast

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

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