Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jan 31 2014

New Look, New Features For Two Major Philadelphia Attractions

Franklin Institute & Philadelphia Zoo Complete Major Renovations In Time For Summer Season

Two of Philadelphia’s most popular attractions, The Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Zoo, are undergoing massive renovations and will unveil dramatic new looks just in time for the busy summer travel season.

Philadelphia’s big cats will soon have an overhead outdoor trail system at the Philadelphia Zoo. When the see-through mesh trail system, called Big Cat Crossing, is complete in April 2014, visitors will be able to see lions, tigers, jaguars and other large felines roam 14-feet above the ground of America’s first zoo. This innovative, first-in-the-world campus-wide trail system, designed for a wide variety of species, is revolutionizing the zoo experience for animals as well as visitors. Smaller primates are moving through Treetop Trail, the first trail of the zoo’s three-tiered exploration system, which opened in 2011 and expanded in 2013 to include KidZooU. And larger primates such as orangutans and white-handed gibbons are moving through the Great Ape Trail, which opened in 2012.

Slated to open on June 14, the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion will add a 53,000-square-foot wing to The Franklin Institute, one of the nation’s first hands-on science museums. The massive new space will complete the original 1930s vision for the building and bring with it permanent and temporary exhibition space and educational facilities. The centerpiece of the new wing: Your Brain, an interactive exhibit that delves into a range of topics in neuroscience and psychology. Visitors can climb through giant neurons to learn how the brain functions, test their brains with interactive teasers that demonstrate why seeing isn’t always believing and participate in other activities that reveal the inner workings of human gray matter.

The Franklin expansion will also include a rain garden and a larger exhibition space for traveling engagements. First up: Circus! Science Under the Big Top (June 14-September 1) and 101 Inventions That Changed the World (June 14-October 26). Outside, a Shimmer Wall, created by internationally renowned artist Ned Kahn and comprised of 12,500 clear anodized aluminum squares, will create an ever-changing work of public art that changes in response to the wind.

Visit Philadelphia, formerly known as Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.

Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and make up the most-visited website network out of the 10 biggest U.S. cities. Visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

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Related Releases

Mar 6 2018

Aspiring Citizens Get Study Help On Philadelphia's New Americans Trail

Candidates For Citizenship Boost Their Knowledge By Touring Philadelphia’s Historic District

Prepping for the U.S. citizenship test is no small task, but Philadelphia’s self-guided New Americans Tour makes learning easier—and a whole lot more fun. The city contains approximately half the answers to the 100-question citizenship test study. This means aspiring citizens and others students of U.S. history can gain the knowledge they seek simply by visiting Philly’s historic sites and attractions. Best place to start: Philadelphia’s Historic District, the original city—and a very pedestrian-friendly one at that. The trail is available at

Here’s a look at the 20 tour spots:

  1. The African American Museum in Philadelphia, exploring the
Mar 2 2018

Quirky, Nerdy & Creepy Fun Await In Philadelphia

Beyond The Region’s Best-Known Attractions Lurk Fantastically Wacky Finds: Preserved Brains, Live Bugs, Old Trees & New Science

Beneath the surface of the eminently historic, emergently hip, eternally proud Philadelphia region, a trove of fantastic weirdness thrives. Visitors can satisfy cravings for quirky, nerdy, creepy and otherwise out-there interests via the country’s largest pizza memorabilia collection (Pizza Brain); oldest hospital, replete with surgical amphitheater (Pennsylvania Hospital); picnic-friendly urban cemetery (Laurel Hill Cemetery); oldest gingko tree (Bartram’s Garden); and only brick-and-mortar homage to the Philadelphia Mummers (Mummers Museum), to name a few. Here’s a look at some of the all-American city’s wonderfully odd attractions—336 years in the making.


May 10 2017

What's In Old City And Along The Delaware River Waterfront?

Two Historic District Neighborhoods Offer Restaurants, Art Galleries, Nightlife, Shopping—And History

Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City, part of Philadelphia’s Historic District, boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.

Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries, boundary-pushing theaters and vibrant nightlife.

Apr 24 2017

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

Also 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, 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
Nov 16 2016

What's In the Chestnut Hill, Germantown & Mount Airy Neighborhoods?

Restaurants, Cafes, Markets, Shops, Arts and Attractions

Diverse and historic, Chestnut Hill, Germantown and Mount Airy are urban neighborhoods in northwest Philadelphia. Each enclave has a distinctive style, feel and highlights that represent the communities’ past and present. All are worth day trips, and fortunately, getting there is a cinch via SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transportation system. Check bus and regional rail schedules at before heading off to explore these vibrant neighborhoods.

Chestnut Hill (via the Chestnut Hill East/West train lines or the #23 Bus):
With a higher elevation than the rest of the city, Chestnut Hill, a National Register Historic District, was once a vacation

Mar 12 2018

Philadelphia's Top Spots For Souvenirs

Where To Shop For Gifts, Home Décor, Jewelry, Clothes & Culinary Treats With A Philly Flair

Visitors seeking a tricorn hat, feather quill pen or mini-Rocky can certainly find such souvenirs in and around Philadelphia’s best-known historical and cultural sites. Then again, those who prefer artisan-made goods and foods, cool T-shirts or locally made jewelry can stop into stylish shops all over the city to pick up unexpected Philly memorabilia. Here are some of the city’s best places to scoop up merchandise and more:

Fashion-Forward Finds:

  • Cheesesteaktees specializes in fun, cheeky Philly-themed tees, hoodies and decals. Patrons can pick up an iconic “illadelph” decal or go for a sports team raglan emblazoned with Sixers great
Mar 8 2018

What’s In The Neighborhood?


Dubbed the “Loft District” by real estate developers and “The Eraser ’Hood” by locals referencing the once-dark landscape that inspired former resident David Lynch’s 1977 cult classic Eraserhead, Callowhill is something between these two extremes. The stylish-yet-still-transforming neighborhood attracts both young professionals who enjoy its high-end condos and close proximity to Center City and artists looking for affordable studio and gallery spaces. The formerly industrial neighborhood charms with a rich stock of large, urban buildings, remnants of cobblestone streets, edgy rock clubs, emerging galleries and hidden cultural gems.

Just north of Center City, Callowhill’s boundaries run from 8th to Broad

Feb 26 2018

Philly Galleries Set The Scene For Picture-Perfect Gardens

Art Often Comes With A Side Of Floral Beauty In Philadelphia

Throughout the Philadelphia region, art galleries and museums sit amid colorful gardens, quiet woodlands and serene meadows that accentuate the art found in both indoor and outdoor galleries. Here’s a look at some of the region’s museums and attractions that celebrate beauty inside and out:

  • Abington Art Center – This vibrant cultural organization, known for its summer concert series, occupies part of the 27 acres of historic Alverthorpe Manor in Montgomery County. Inside, three galleries show as many as six regional and national art exhibitions annually. Outside, Katasura trees dot a meandering walkway through Sculpture Park, which is open and
Feb 7 2018

What's In The Neighborhood?

Fishtown And The River Wards

Northeast of Center City, Philadelphia’s Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond—collectively known as the River Wards—are some of the city’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods. An influx of restaurants, bars, music venues, art galleries and residents are quickly transforming the makeup of these formerly working-class sections along the Delaware River.

Philadelphians have found new and innovative uses for Fishtown ever since William Penn made peace with the Lenape Indians in what’s now Penn Treaty Park. It’s the only place in the city where, in the same evening, someone can buy a custom-made guitar (DiPinto Guitars), drink craft beer while playing