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A First-Timer's Guide To Philadelphia
While Philadelphia offers a variety of authentic and top-notch attractions, exploring this vibrant city takes some planning—especially for first-time visitors. With so much to see, do and taste, it’s challenging for a novice to know where to begin in the country’s first World Heritage City. From the historic Liberty Bell to the deliciously indulgent cheesesteak, here’s a look at Philly 101:
- Independence Hall – While historical attractions abound in Philly, Independence Hall has particular significance to the development of the nation. In this building in 1776, the Founding Fathers came together to sign the Declaration of Independence.
15 Things To Know: LGBT Philadelphia
Marks Of Pride:
- On July 4, 1965, Independence Hall was the site of the United States’ first major LGBT rights demonstration. A state historical marker at 6th and Chestnut Streets commemorates this peaceful protest and the four that followed each July 4 through 1969, known collectively as the Annual Reminders. nps.gov/inde, phmc.state.pa.us
- Nearly 70 rainbow street signs proudly adorn the Gayborhood, a Center City neighborhood of LGBT restaurants, bars, businesses and homes spanning 11th to Broad Streets and Pine to Chestnut Streets. Another neighborhood notable: rainbow crosswalks, at 13th and Locust Streets.
- Giovanni’s Room is
A Robust Selection Of Wineries Entice Visitors To Philadelphia's Countryside
With geography, climate and growing conditions that mirror those of the Bordeaux Region in France, southeastern Pennsylvania continues to emerge as a major force in America’s wine industry. In fact, Pennsylvania wines as a whole are making steady gains in quality, quantity and recognition.
The Commonwealth ranks seventh in the nation for number of wineries—more than 220—and produces more than one million gallons of wine per year. Pennsylvania vintners have won awards at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, International Women’s Wine Competition, San Diego International Wine Competition, International Eastern Wine Competition, Florida State Fair International Wine Competition, Finger Lakes...
Philly 101: The How-Tos For Navigating Philadelphia
Every year, 41 million travelers get to know Philadelphia’s layout, customs, food and dialect during their visits. First-timers may wonder: What’s the best way to get around (walk); why do so many restaurants refuse to serve alcohol (BYOBs); where are all the bagels (pretzels for breakfast); is that Ben Franklin on the top of that building (no); and is wooder ice really that big of a deal (yes)?
The reasons to visit the country’s first World Heritage City have been well-covered in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Travel + Leisure and Rolling Stone—and that’s just the recent...
Play And Stay Hotel Package = Family Fun In Philadelphia
Little ones can have big fun this summer with the Please Touch Museum’s Play and Stay Hotel Package, bookable at visitphilly.com. Available through September 30, 2016, the offer includes hotel parking and four tickets to the Please Touch Museum®, where kids can explore two full floors of hands-on displays and enjoy the popular Curious George: Let’s Get Curious exhibit, on view through September 5.
“The Please Touch Museum is one of the top children’s museums in the country,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®. “The Play and Stay Hotel Package gives families a...
Fact Sheet: 31 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions
* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2015. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.
Historical Sites & Attractions:
- The African American Museum in Philadelphia*, founded in 1976, is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The museum takes a fresh and bold look at the stories of African-Americans and their role in the founding of the nation through the core exhibit Audacious Freedom. Other exhibits and programs explore the history, stories and cultures of those of African
VISIT PHILADELPHIA Recruiting Locals For Photo & Video Shoots
VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, responsible for driving visitation to the five-county region, is on the search for real-life Philadelphians to model in upcoming photo and video shoots. The tourism-marketing agency will use the resulting images to promote Philadelphia in advertising, on its websites (visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com) and social media channels, in visitor guides and in other marketing materials.
WHO: VISIT PHILADELPHIA is looking for all ages, races and genders, and they encourage people to apply as singles or in groups: couples, families and friends. If models know the people they’re being photographed with, they’re more comfortable, and the...
VISIT PHILADELPHIA Reports Record Visitation To Region In 2015
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® today announced the sixth straight year for record visitation to the five-county region: 41 million domestic visitors in 2015, with 88% here for a leisure purpose. The year also brought record highs for tourism’s economic impact, which came in at $10.7 billion for the year.
“Each year, more people visit Philadelphia, more people stay overnight and more people find reasons to visit every month of the year, not just during the warm-weather months or for big events,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “They’re also spending more while they’re here, and that’s a major plus...
Philadelphia Food Trucks Satisfy
Say it five times fast: Philly’s fallen for food trucks. From Temple University’s campus to South Philly, the beyond-fun dining craze continues to rage. If a diner craves something, chances are he or she can source it on wheels: brick-oven soppressata pizza (Pitruco Pizza), green-tea macaroons (Sugar Philly), gourmet mac and cheese (Mac Mart), sweet-cream ice cream (Zsa’s Ice Cream), pour-over coffee (Cloud Coffee). That’s not even mentioning staples such as soul food, cheesesteaks, crepes and falafel.
Lunch seekers can find trucks all over the city, especially near universities, but...
Five Fireworks Shows Add Up To A Blockbuster Fourth Of July Weekend In Philadelphia
There’s a mega dose of Fourth of July flash and fun this year in Philadelphia thanks to five major fireworks shows taking place over the long holiday weekend, July 1-4. The three Wawa Welcome America! shows will be bigger—and earlier—than last year and all will take place after free concerts. Add in two pyrotechnic displays following Phillies baseball games for glittering and glowing Philadelphia skies all weekend long.
To join in the patriotic festivities, visitors can go to visitphilly.com/hotels to book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, which includes free parking.
Here’s a look at five fantastic shows:
Memorial Day Weekend Breaks Records For Center City Hotels
Center City hotels were full this Memorial Day weekend with both Saturday and Sunday seeing the highest occupancies for those nights in at least a decade.
Overall Weekend Hotel Occupancy:
- Friday: 82.8% (+5% from 2015 when occupancy was at 78.5%, source: Smith Travel Research)
- Saturday: 98.0% (+1.4% from 2015 when occupancy was at 96%, source: Smith Travel)
- Sunday 93.4% (+21.1% from 2015 when occupancy was at 77%, source: Travel Click 2016)
“Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer tourism season, and what a great one it was for Philadelphia thanks to so many factors in Historic Philadelphia and...
Beer Gardens & Outdoor Drinking Spaces Bloom In Philly
There’s only one place for beer lovers to be this summer, and that’s Philadelphia, where beer gardens abound and where craft beer is king. In past years, the city earned countless awards and glowing reviews for its outdoor drinking spaces. This year, these warm-weather venues are back—better, bigger and more numerous than ever. Among the most attention-grabbing: Spruce Street Harbor Park, a bustling oasis celebrating its third year on the Delaware River, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Gardens, located in two different spots this year, and the highly anticipated SkyGarten, an alfresco German beer hall 51 stories up.
25 Philadelphia Dates For Under $25
Love doesn’t always wait for payday to roll around, and that’s okay, because Philadelphia has loads of ways to woo a lover on a spring or summer day—or any day or night, really—without dipping deeply into the joint bank account. Sweethearts can settle in for a free afternoon hang at Spruce Street Harbor Park, ignite a spark while enjoying a glowing sunset (and happy hour-priced drinks) at R2L, spend a night under the stars with movie stars at Penn’s Landing’s Screenings Under the Stars free film series or enjoy a day of no-pay play while exploring America’s past in Historic...
Every Day Is A Good Day To Shop At Farmers' Markets In Philly
Surrounded by richly fertile farmland and home to innovative urban growing projects, Philadelphia is a market-goer’s dream. Year-round and seasonally, open-air stalls dot the city and countryside, from the bustling indoor Reading Terminal Market to the gingham-clothed tables of the Phoenixville Market, collectively connecting consumers to freshly grown and produced food every day of the week. With many accepting electronic payments, Philly’s growing roster of farmers’ markets has made eating fresh, local food an easy way of life.
Here are just some of the places to find seasonal goodies while supporting area farms:
- The only farmers’ market
Philadelphia Launches Campaign To Promote Its Original City
On Memorial Day weekend 2016, Philadelphia will kick off its busy summer tourism season by launching a new campaign that redefines and renames the city’s prized historic district, to be called Historic Philadelphia. The marketing effort touts the area’s powerful place in the country’s founding while also showcasing the restaurants, bars, shops, galleries and attractions that make it appealing to 21st-century residents and visitors, day into night. Historic Philadelphia encompasses the Delaware River waterfront, Old City, Society Hill and Independence National Historical Park, with the official boundaries running from the river to 7th Street and from Vine...
Fact Sheet: Historic Philadelphia Campaign
CAMPAIGN NAME: Historic Philadelphia
- Increase visitation in and around Historic Philadelphia
- Increase engagement among those who visit the area, so they will stay overnight, do more and spend more
DURATION: May 2016 through 2017
The campaign redefines and renames Historic Philadelphia, an area that runs from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets—Philadelphia’s original city. It encompasses the following areas:
- Delaware River waterfront
- Old City
- Society Hill
- Independence National Historical Park
BUDGET: $2 million
- H. F. (Gerry) Lenfest
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development
Fact Sheet: Historic Philadelphia Trail
The birthplace of the nation is rich in history—and plenty of it. This Historic Philadelphia Trail guides visitors to 24 essential sites in the area, which spans from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. This is the original city. It boasts serious historical cred, but it’s also home to buzzed-about restaurants and beer gardens, owner-operated boutiques and pushing-the boundaries art galleries.
Here is the 24-stop essential guide, available at visitphilly.com/historic:
- Visitors can head to the Independence Visitor Center to pick up their timed tickets to Independence Hall and get expert Philly tips.
New Reasons To Visit Historic Philadelphia This Summer
Philadelphia’s historic district—now called Historic Philadelphia—simmers with summer excitement as the city’s oldest neighborhood debuts new activities and exhibitions. Visitors launch their very own presidential campaigns in Headed to the White House at the National Constitution Center, and the Independence Seaport Museum mischievously observes sailors’ lives from the 20th century through today. Along popular Penn’s Landing, outdoor hangouts Summerfest and Spruce Street Harbor Park promise more fun than ever, and Fourth of July bash Wawa Welcome America injects fresh components to a good old-fashioned block party.
A two-day Historic Philadelphia Pass makes the must-dos even easier—and more affordable. The pass,...
Scandal, Sex & The (Colonial) City In 18th-Century Philadelphia
Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States. It’s where the Declaration of Independence was written and where the U.S. Constitution was signed. But Historic Philadelphia has many more tales to tell. The 18th-century metropolis was a hotbed of extramarital affairs, excommunications, elopements and blowout bashes—all resulting in rampant gossip. A visit to Historic Philadelphia reveals it was 18th century America’s original Sin City.
Here are some true stories of prominent Colonial Philadelphians’ gasp-worthy goings-on—and a list of sites to revisit their oft-salacious private lives.
- Historians debate whether Betsy Ross stitched the first flag, but there is
Nighttime Is The Right Time To Return To Historic Philadelphia
As day turns to dusk and museums and landmarks close for the night, Historic Philadelphia is just gearing up for a night of fun. Theaters, play places and ghost tours keep youngsters amused until pajama time, while beer gardens, dance clubs and live music venues entertain the over-21 crowd well into the wee hours.
Here’s how Historic Philadelphia buzzes with activity long after the clock strikes 5 p.m.:
End-of-day play at Franklin Square includes an award-winning playground, eclectic carousel and 18-hole mini-golf course with scale versions of iconic Philadelphia landmarks (open until 9 or 10 p.m., depending