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VISIT PHILADELPHIA Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Twenty years ago, a few civic-minded leaders believed Philadelphia could become a competitive leisure destination and created the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) to make that vision a reality. This year, the organization that began as a three-year experiment, now known as VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, celebrates its 20th anniversary with an annual report that validates the vision of 1996 and shows that 41 million people visited the region in 2015—a 54% increase over 1997.
For two decades now, VISIT PHILADELPHIA has built the brand of the region and driven visitation with memorable advertising campaigns such as With...
Go Beyond The Gayborhood To Explore Philadelphia's Other Options For Nightlife, The Arts & Drag Shows
It’s no secret that Philadelphia is one of the LGBT-friendliest cities in the country, but Philly pride extends past the rainbow flag-adorned Gayborhood. Neighborhoods throughout the city offer endless options for queer folks looking for a gay old time. Groups QOTA (Queers on the Avenue) and OUT in Fishtown welcome partygoers south and north of Center City, respectively, for monthly happy hours, food and fun. LGBT-owned hangouts Menagerie Coffee and The Victoria Freehouse satisfy cravings for caffeine, cocktails and culture in Historic Philadelphia. South Street’s iconic dive bar Bob and Barbara’s Lounge hosts the city’s longest-running drag show.
Hispanic Heritage Month 2016
September 15 through October 15, 2016, Philadelphia honors Hispanic Heritage Month with food, fun and fiestas. Revelers can catch the Latino spirit at the Mexican Independence Day Festival on Penn’s Landing and the Puerto Rican Day Parade on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. When the month ends, arts and culture lovers have more to look forward to: the opening of the El Corazon Cultural Center in El Centro de Oro and the North American debut of the exhibition Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Festivals, Food & Fun:
- Did someone say fiesta? Look no
Dinosaurs, Lights, Hogwarts & More Fun Await Families In Philly This Fall
For most kids, fall means homework. But for kids in Philly, the new season also means fun. From September through November, families in Philadelphia and the Countryside® can revel in epic exhibitions (Jurassic World, Longwood Gardens’ Nightscapes), essential art displays (Creative Africa, Get the Picture!) and exciting outdoor adventures (Dragon Boat Races, Philly Free Streets).
To maximize the fall fun, families can book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, featuring free hotel parking, at visitphilly.com. Here are autumn’s must-dos for the school-age-and-under set:
Exhibitions That Excite:
- Creative Africa – This lauded
Fall Means Cutting-Edge Theater, Cabaret, Outfest & More In Philly
Fall in Philadelphia is always a thrill: Theaters debut productions. Festivals invigorate city streets. Charitable events unite the city. This year, autumn’s arrival offers even more for LGBT visitors. The season begins with it the Fringe Festival, a 17-day citywide bonanza of cutting-edge contemporary live arts—many of which spotlight the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender experience. From September to December, Bearded Ladies Cabaret artistic director John Jarboe resurrects his irreverent and bawdy cabaret series Get Pegged. And that’s just on the stages. Come October, Philadelphia will host the nation’s largest coming out party in OutFest and put on the city’s...
Pet lovers are crazy about their animal companions—and, according to the American Pet Products Association, they spend nearly $63 billion a year in the U.S. on pet services and accouterments to prove it. For those who love to spoil their pet but hate to leave him or her behind while traveling, the Philadelphia region proves to be the “purr-fect” getaway. Pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, shops and parks welcome visitors and their animals, so it’s easy to bring furry friends along for the ride.
- Delaware County’s Brandywine River Hotel welcomes dogs in pet-friendly rooms for a $25-per-dog-per-night fee for
Philadelphia Fetes Community And Culture This Fall
With the opening of a new center for Latino arts and culture (El Corazόn Cultural Center), a day of car-free city streets (Philly Free Streets) and oodles of festivals celebrating everything from fungi to films to first-person storytelling, Philadelphia coasts into autumn with a calendar chock full of fun.
More time to stay means more time to play. To maximize the season’s offerings, visitors can book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, featuring free hotel parking, at visitphilly.com.
- Urban Axes introduces the newest craze from Canada to Philadelphia with the opening of the nation’s first indoor
Philly Tours Explore History, Art, Food, Bridges & The Supernatural
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
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.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has picked this ’hood for its summertime PHS Pop Up Garden three years in a...
Philly's El Centro De Oro Neighborhood Radiates Latino Flavor & Culture
The hub of Latino culture and life in Philadelphia, El Centro de Oro (“The Golden Block”) is home to international non-profit organizations, many third- and fourth-generation family-owned businesses and residents descending from almost every Latino country. Visitors to this lively enclave—just a short cab ride from Center City Philadelphia—can feast on authentic Latin/Caribbean dishes at Isla Verde, find inspiration in the work of Puerto Rican artists at Taller Puertorriqueño or feel their way through a flamenco dance lesson at Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas.
Here are some ways to experience Latino culture and flavors in El Centro de Oro and beyond:
Craft Distilleries Revive Pennsylvania's Pre-Prohibition Tradition
In just over four years, the number of craft distilleries in the Philadelphia region has increased by more than a dozen, helping to restore Pennsylvania to its once-prominent place in the national distilling conversation. Until Prohibition wiped out the state’s 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 onsite sales. These new laws opened up the craft to would-be distillers who now proudly produce and sell small-batch spirits in Philadelphia. In a sign...
Long known as the edgiest street in Philadelphia, South Street welcomes more than just hippies these days. Shoppers searching for a statement-making look, visitors hungry for a real Philly cheesesteak and music lovers who want to catch an up-and-coming band head to the storied boulevard. Also lining South are ethnically diverse restaurants, bars that keep the party going long after dessert, galleries and performance spaces.
Over the past decade, the development of South Street’s east side has spread west of Broad Street, but the traditional definition of the district (depending on who you ask) spans up to 14 blocks: Front...
How Is Visit Philly Supporting the DNC?
Philadelphia is ready to welcome the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) to town from July 25-28, 2016—and with it, the eyes of the world. As the five-county region’s official destination-marketing organization, VISIT PHILADELPHIA® has been working for more than a year to ensure that the region is a star, not a backdrop, through media relations, web and social media promotion, advertisements and collateral.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA worked on the bid, presented to the site-selection committee, served on committees, delivered speeches, sat on panels and conducted interviews about Philadelphia’s major role in the DNC—and that’s just the beginning. Here’s a look...
Philadelphia's Vast Collection Of Historical Artifacts Wins Over Political Junkies
Before and during the festive nominating sessions, motivating speeches and nighttime celebrations, delegates, party operatives, campaign staffers and volunteers for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, July 25-28, can discover items that document the history of politics and government in this country. As the birthplace of the nation and the country’s first and only World Heritage City, Philadelphia is home to institutions that work political artifacts into their missions and others that are planning special exhibitions especially for this occasion.
- Inspired by FanFest, PoliticalFest brings political entertainment to the people—right in the birthplace of American democracy.
Philly's Top Spots for DNC Souvenirs
Donkey charms, donkey ceramics, donkey scarves, donkey soaps, donkey everything and anything: These are just some of the Philly-designed finds for sale around town during the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Year round, visitors to the city stock up on tricorn hats, feather quill pens and miniature Rocky statues, but July 25 through 28 will be the time to scoop up memorabilia to mark a milestone in U.S. history.
Here are some Philly stores selling souvenirs worthy of delegates’ suitcase space:
Official DNC Merchandise:
- Two types of pop-up shops dot the city and region during the DNC. Both sets of
Philly Offers A Fresh Update On Old-School Barbershops
Used to be when a guy needed a shave or a haircut, he had to choose: Book an appointment at a unisex salon or take his chances at a grandfatherly barbershop. That’s not the case anymore—at least not for guys in Philly. These days, the city is full of tonsorialists—that’s vintage speak for barbers—who pull off skillful styles in old-fashioned shops. Execs seeking subtle shags, students going for a clean crop and grooms getting their first straight-razor shave can all rest easy, knowing they have a bevy of awesome Philly barbers from which to choose. Here’s where to start:
Only in Philly, Only During the DNC
Philadelphia, the country’s first World Heritage City, is all in for the Democratic National Convention. Museums and attractions around the city are getting in the red, white and blue spirit with political-themed events, exhibitions and specials. As convention delegates head to the Wells Fargo Center to cast their votes for a nominee, here are 19 ways locals and visitors can cast their votes for fun:
1. The National Constitution Center’s timely Headed to the White House gives people the scoop on the electoral process, from the moment a candidate announces his/her campaign to the presidential swearing-in ceremony.
16 Things To Know: African-American Philadelphia
Strength In Numbers:
- The 2010 U.S. Census reported 661,839—that’s 43.37%—of Philadelphians are African-American, the city’s second largest ethnic demographic. More recent estimates show this population has increased by approximately 1% in the past six years.
- The largest concentration—82%—of African-American Philadelphians live in North Philadelphia west of Germantown Avenue, Point Breeze in South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia and in parts of Southwest Philadelphia.
- Important African-American business corridors include 52nd Street between Walnut and
Arch Streets and Baltimore Avenue between 40th and 52nd Streets, both in West Philadelphia; and Stenton Avenue between Broad Street and Walnut Lane and Ogontz
Beer Trail Highlights The Craft Brewing Tradition In Philadelphia, America's Best Beer-Drinking City
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, Philadelphia taverns were, arguably, the true birthplace of the American Revolution.
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...
New LGBT Historic Markers, Equality Forum & The Democratic National Convention Make For A Historic July In Philadelphia
July 2016 is shaping up to be a monumental month for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) residents and visitors in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. Philly kicks off the month by loving freedom during the weeklong Independence Day celebration Wawa Welcome America. Next comes qFLIX, a festival of groundbreaking homegrown and international films. And later in the month, the Democratic National Convention (DNC), welcomes the largest-ever group of LGBT convention delegates to Philadelphia, which coincides with dedication ceremonies for two historical markers honoring LGBT pioneers and Equality Forum, the nation’s oldest LGBT rights summit.