Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

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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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Oct 8 2014

Stats & Facts From City Of Philadelphia Controller's Report

On September 9, 2014, the Office of the Controller released An Analysis of Philadelphia’s Destination Marketing Infrastructure and Its Role in the Hospitality Industry. In the report, Controller Alan Butkovitz praised the work of VISIT PHILADELPHIA, an organization founded in 1996 to build Greater Philadelphia’s image and attract leisure visitors to the region.

Below are excerpts directly from the report that are related to VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s work and mission. Read the full report here.

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Marketing:

  • “Much of [leisure tourism] growth can be attributed to the promotional strategies of Visit Philadelphia.”
  • “In 2013, Center City
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Oct 8 2014

Summer Brings In Big Business For Philadelphia Hotels

Saturday Night Occupancy At Center City Hotels Tops Previous Years

This summer brought in big business for Center City, Philadelphia hotels, with overall occupancy topping out at 79.5%—the highest it has been since 2008. And weekend occupancy, a heavy travel time for leisure visitors, continues to soar. Hotels enjoyed record occupancy on Saturday nights (90.9%), and Friday occupancy (82.6%) matched last summer, showing that travelers are eager to get their weekends started.

“Many people thought that hotel occupancy would be down in Philadelphia this summer because we didn’t have major events like the U.S. Open golf tournament,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “But we

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Oct 7 2014

What's In The Graduate Hospital Neighborhood?

Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Shops, Boutiques & Public Space In The Graduate Hospital 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.

Restaurants & Bars:

  • Bob & Barbara’s Lounge – The Philly Special—a shot of Jim Beam and a can of
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Oct 7 2014

Visit Philly Makes Top 10 List For Destinations On Social Media

Visit Philly Is The Top-Ranked U.S. Destination In Skift Article

Visit Philly made Skift’s list of the “Top 10 Travel Destinations on Social Media for September 2014,” released on October 1, 2014. Coming in fifth on the list, Visit Philly was the highest-ranked U.S. destination marketing organization, following Tourism and Events Queensland, Walt Disney World Resorts (the park system), Tourism Australia and Travel Alberta.

Visit Philly counts 650,000 fans and followers on a dozen accounts. To come up with the rankings, the travel intelligence company Skift quantifies social media effectiveness by examining “performance on an absolute basis, as well as relative to within a company’s specific industry.”

“Social

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Oct 3 2014

17 Reasons Philly's Dining Scene Rocks

Chef-Owned BYOBs, Global Cuisine, Pennsylvania Dutch Traditions & Vegetarian Fare Stir Up Philadelphia Restaurants

A richly textured, wonderfully layered dining scene combines history and growth, innovation and tradition, local and global influences. Philadelphia has all of these attributes and more: homegrown bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spots redrafting the rules of elegant eating; a distinctly local sensibility informed by a fertile food shed; a wildly diverse array of ethnic eats; a nationally lauded vegetarian and vegan culture; and much more. Here are 17 reasons why Philly food scene rocks:

  1. Just Bring It: The BYOB Phenomenon

Though the bring-your-own-bottle restaurant first emerged in Philly more than a decade ago, a steady stream of brilliant chefs with a do-it-yourself

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Oct 1 2014

Philadelphia And The Countryside® Calendar Of Events

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

The Calendar of Events is organized as follows:

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

OCTOBER 2014

Through October 12, 2014
ROUNDING THIRD. Act II Playhouse
in Ambler presents a comedy by Richard Dresser about two mismatched little league coaches as they interact in this modern-day Odd Couple. (215) 654-0200, act2.org

Through October 17, 2014
THAT’S SO GAY: OUTING EARLY AMERICA.
The Library Company of Philadelphia presents a compelling look into the history of America’s LGBT community by presenting LGBT historical figures and

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Sep 30 2014

Major Philadelphia Art Exhibitions For Fall 2014 & Beyond

Lynch, Glackens, Strand, Pippin & Plenty Of Impressionists Take The Spotlight

With a lineup of landmark exhibitions coming to the Philadelphia region’s museums in fall 2014 and beyond, art lovers have even more reasons to explore the art-filled city. Whether it’s the gauzy beauty of impressionism in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, the offbeat stylings showcased in David Lynch: The Unified Field at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts or the gentle but powerful images on display in the masterful retrospective Horace Pippin: The Way I See It at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, the upcoming season is full of

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Sep 25 2014

Philadelphia Marks 2015 With New Exhibits, Anniversaries & More

Tall Ships, World Meeting Of Families, Alice In Wonderland & Other Events Dot The Calendar

With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, only-in-Philly projects, exhibitions, anniversaries and celebrations will give first-time visitors incentives to make that return trip and return visitors reasons to come back yet again.

So what’s on the calendar? The Tall Ships Challenge Philadelphia Camden 2015, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River Waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring more than 80 works by a who’s who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and a special exhibition at The Rosenbach of the Free

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Sep 23 2014

Carl M. Buchholz Joins VISIT PHILADELPHIA™ Board Of Directors

VISIT PHILADELPHIA announced today that Carl M. Buchholz will join its board of directors, effective immediately. The managing partner of DLA Piper (US) LLP in Philadelphia, Buchholz concentrates his practice in complex commercial litigation and government relations.

“Carl’s commitment to moving Philadelphia forward and his extensive knowledge about city interests will help shape VISIT PHILADELPHIA strategies,” said Manuel Stamatakis, VISIT PHILADELPHIA board chairman. “I look forward to welcoming him to the board and incorporating his ideas.”

Buchholz formerly served as a special assistant for Homeland Security to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002. During that time, he

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Sep 23 2014

Everything's Coming Up Modern In Philadelphia

From European Impressionism To American Avant-Garde, America’s Most Historic City Doesn’t Shy Away From The New

With one of the largest collections of public art in the country, a wide sampling of great buildings from virtually every contemporary architectural style and an unparalleled assemblage of art museums, Philadelphia shines as a key player in the contemporary art scene. A stellar lineup of galleries, centers and artists’ studios completes the picture. Here are highlights:

Museums:

  • The French impressionists are widely considered the forebearers of modern art, and the new Barnes Foundation, housing one of the world’s premier collections of Renoirs, Matisses, Picassos and Cézannes, is a fitting celebration of their innovation. Designed by the husband-and-wife team
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Tagged: Arts & Culture
Sep 22 2014

It's The Year Of Urban Public Spaces In Philadelphia

Reclaimed Outdoor Spaces Invigorate The City & Offer Modern Opportunities For Leisure

Philadelphia’s residents and visitors are heading outdoors in huge numbers thanks to the activation of many under-utilized spaces in recent years. Lively urban parks, reimagined recreational landscapes and spirited pop-up gardens have taken over once-overlooked patches of land and water. These transformations have the city’s civic planners reclaiming inactive riverbanks, surplus lots and forlorn rail lines while stimulating a fun and festive sense of community pride.

Much of the action can be spotted in Center City and on Philadelphia’s two rivers: the quiet, beautiful Schuylkill to the west and the shipping waterway of the Delaware 30 blocks to the east.

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Sep 18 2014

Philadelphia's Literary Legacy Makes For A Novel Visit

Visitors Can Get Their Read On At Authors’ Homes, Independent Book Stores & During The 150th Anniversary Celebration Of Alice In Wonderland

Literary roots run deep in Philadelphia, a city that has inspired countless authors and continues to nurture their legacies. Throughout the region, lovers of literature can connect with such classic authors as Poe, Whitman and Michener in the places where they lived, worked and created some of their most celebrated works. And with so many libraries, book collections and indie bookstores, literature lovers can delve deeper into the collected works of these and other favorite authors.

Of special note, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary since Alice first fell down the rabbit hole. To mark the sesquicentennial of Lewis Carroll’s

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