Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

May 25 2016

Philadelphia Launches Campaign To Promote Its Original City

Marketing Effort Calls For People To See & Do More In Area Now Dubbed Historic Philadelphia

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 to Lombard Streets—Philadelphia’s original city.

The Historic Philadelphia initiative is led by Drexel University’s Center for Cultural Partnerships and VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, in collaboration with Historic Philadelphia stakeholders. With funding from H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, the $2 million effort brings new programming to Historic Philadelphia and uses VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s powerful branding, advertising, public relations, websites ( and and social media channels to increase visitation in and around the neighborhoods and get people to see and do more while they’re here. The campaign will run through 2017, when the new Museum of the American Revolution, now rising on 3rd Street, opens.

In 2015, 4.3 million people visited Independence National Historical Park and spent $247 million, according to the National Park Service, but a study by Drexel University students in 2014 revealed that the majority limited their visits to the Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall and the Independence Visitor Center.

“We want to change this pattern,” said Rosalind Remer, vice provost and Lenfest executive director for the Center for Cultural Partnerships. “This campaign encourages people to explore and appreciate the hidden jewels that Historic Philadelphia has to offer.”

“I am proud that the Historic Philadelphia campaign showcases the wonderful place where the United States itself was conceived,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. “The Greater Philadelphia region continues to be a major force in the tourism industry, generating hundreds of millions in revenue for the city and state. This will be a great addition to the rich tourism product in the area.”

“With the new Historic Philadelphia campaign, we’re encouraging visitors to tour iconic sites such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and then go beyond to experience the restaurants, beer gardens, shops, galleries and museums in the very place where our extraordinary country was founded,”
Meryl Levitz, president & CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA.

“The Historic Philadelphia campaign spotlights America’s first hub of innovation and first World Heritage City, where the spirit of independence still thrives today,” said City of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “Fortunately, the city’s innovative approach and revolutionary thinking goes well beyond the neighborhoods of Old City, Society Hill and the Delaware River Waterfront, leaving plenty of ground for visitors to cover while they’re exploring our great city.”

New Programs & Offerings:
Part of the grant funding goes to enlivening and activating the district. Here’s what residents and visitors can expect to see and do in Historic Philadelphia over the next two summers:

  • Enhanced Programming: Historic Philadelphia, Inc. is adding new programming to its already robust summer schedule. That means additional storytelling benches throughout Independence National Historical Park, the return of a popular puppet show, colonial crafting and gaming, meet-and-greets with History Makers and other activities.
  • Historic Philadelphia Trail: VISIT PHILADELPHIA created a 24-stop Historic Philadelphia Trail to guide visitors to the essential historic and cultural sites and attractions that tell the stories of the nation’s founding and of the people who have made Philadelphia—and the nation—what it is today. The self-guided trail is available on and in the Where magazine map. See bullet below for more details.
  • Printed Maps & Guides: Historic Philadelphia is featured in 225,000 copies of the Where magazine map distributed at 48 hotels, the Independence Visitor Center (IVC) and attractions in 2016 and 2017. The special 10-panel section features the 24-stop Historic Philadelphia Trail, practical advice for touring the area, nighttime fun, seasonal delights and more. The programming is also featured in the Historic Philadelphia Gazette, distributed at the IVC and around Independence National Historical Park.
  • Historic Philadelphia Pass: For the 2016 season, this discounted pass gives purchasers one-time admission to the National Constitution Center, Betsy Ross House and Christ Church Burial Ground, along with two days of rides on the PHLASH Downtown Loop. The pass is $18 for adults ($37 value) and $13 for children ($27 value). It’s valid for two days and can be purchased beginning May 25 at the Independence Visitor Center or at

The Marketing:
VISIT PHILADELPHIA will bring its destination marketing muscle to the project, leveraging its award-winning and powerful branding, advertising, public relations, websites and social media channels:

  • Branding: The new logo features a custom-illustrated Liberty Bell that exhibits a playful quality, along with the words Historic Philadelphia in a hand-drawn typeface, displaying youthfulness and energy. The colors were chosen as a fresh and modern alternative to the traditional red, white and blue commonly associated with U.S. history.
  • Advertising: VISIT PHILADELPHIA is using its beloved With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® campaign to promote Historic Philadelphia. The media buy includes outdoor, online and radio placements primarily in the Philadelphia DMA.
  • Public Relations: Robust content is at the heart of all of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s PR efforts, and the media relations team is using it to pitch the media on many Historic Philadelphia stories. In addition, the team will host press events and invite journalists to experience the area on individual and group press trips throughout the year.
  • & The mobile-friendly sites, which together welcomed
    18.7 million visits in 2015, are packed with information that helps visitors plan their Historic Philadelphia days and nights, including themed trails and articles geared toward different ages and interests. Examples include: Must-see Historic Attractions, Photo Opps, Great Hotels and Nighttime Offerings.
  • Social Media: Nine Visit Philly channels (with one million fans and followers) are distributing original and user-generated history-themed content and engage with fans through organic and paid measures. All social efforts encourage the use of the #historicphilly hashtag as a way to identify traffic online and direct traffic on the ground in real time.

In spring 2016, Drexel University and VISIT PHILADELPHIA® launched a new campaign—Historic Philadelphia—to celebrate America’s most historic square mile in the country’s first World Heritage City, as designated by the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Focusing on the attractions and neighborhoods of Old City, Society Hill and the Delaware River Waterfront, the campaign celebrates Philadelphia’s incomparable place in early American history and the vibrant original city neighborhoods.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, visitors can engage with costumed history makers, hear stories of the real people of independence and take part in colonial reenactments. And every day of the year, they can tour, shop, dine and drink in the area just like the founding fathers and mothers once did. For more information about all there is to see and do in Historic Philadelphia, go to and

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Related Releases

Mar 10 2017

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Debuts 360-Degree Photo, Video & Virtual Reality Experience

New Digital Content Showcases Philadelphia Before Visitors Arrive

Philadelphia fans and potential visitors can now see the city in a new way before they arrive thanks to VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s 360-degree photography and video with virtual-reality capabilities. Visitors to will be able to explore 25 panoramic, 360-degree photos; watch a three-minute, 360-degree video; and view that video in virtual reality (VR)—as an immersive tour on a VR headset.

“Every day we give online visitors compelling reasons to plan a trip to Philadelphia, and we believe this new view of the city will give the 20 million people who use and each year even more reasons to

Dec 14 2017

Philadelphia’s Historic District Brings Outlander To Life

Storied Philly Blocks Reveal Historic Locations Used In Diana Gabaldon’s Popular Novels

What’s Philadelphia’s Historic District got to do with Outlander, author Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling eight-book (and-counting) series—now also a hit TV series on Starz—about a World War II British army nurse who travels through time to meet an 18th-century Scottish Highlander? Plenty. Protagonists Claire and Jamie Fraser are at the heart of Outlander’s heady romance and historic fantasy. In the book series’ last two editions—which are not yet televised—the Frasers bring that romance and fantasy to the heart of Philadelphia’s Historic District.

Revolutionary War-era Philadelphia sets the scene for Gabaldon’s most recent novels, An Echo in the Bone and

Oct 30 2017

An Essential Guide To Philadelphia For LGBT Visitors

Must-Dos Include Historic Sites, Popular Neighborhoods, Top Restaurants & Buzzed-About Bars

Philadelphia, the United States’ birthplace, is proud of the roles it has played—and plays still—in the founding, furtherance and celebration of the LGBT civil rights movement. The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection has more nationally significant historic markers than any other city in the nation, with two recent additions: the AIDS Library, formed as a resource during the peak period of the U.S. HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s, and a marker just outside the Pennsylvania Historical Society, home of the collection of John Fryer, a Temple University psychology professor who submitted testimony that aided in declassifying homosexuality as

Jun 20 2017

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Philly In Top Three On Best Places To Visit In The USA List

City Also Lands On Best Historic Destinations List

U.S. News & World Report today released its Best Rankings, and Philadelphia ranked #2 on two key travel lists: Best Places to Visit in the USA and Best Historic Destinations in the USA—great timing as travelers prepare to make their summer travel plans. The rankings are based on an analysis of expert and consumer opinions.

The Best Places to Visit in the USA list features New York City, Philadelphia and Honolulu in the top three spots, while the Best Historic Destinations list includes New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco highest in its ranking.

“Everyone should have Philadelphia, New

Jun 19 2017

A First-Timer's Guide To Philadelphia

Iconic Sites & Bites Give Visitors An Experience That’s Distinctly Philly

From its fascinating museums and vibrant parks to its national historic sites and famous (and delicious) food, Philadelphia offers plenty to see, do and taste. First-time visitors need to do some planning to fully experience what the City of Brotherly Love is all about. Here’s the ultimate guide for those who are new to the country’s first World Heritage City:

Historical Hotspots:

  • 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. Eleven
Jun 16 2017

30 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions

Fact Sheet

* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2016. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.

Historical Sites & Attractions:
1. African American Museum in Philadelphia* – Founded in 1976, the museum 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

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.

May 3 2017

Philadelphia's Historic District Gears Up For A Revolutionary Summer

New Museum, New Hotel & New Concert Make The Original City A Must This Summer

The just-opened Museum of the American Revolution brings the United States’ war for independence into today’s consciousness, using rarely seen relics, the original George Washington Headquarters Tent, dozens of arms, uniforms, artifacts, documents and historical vignettes of ordinary Americans to tell the extraordinary story of the nation’s founding. But the new museum isn’t the only reason to visit Philadelphia’s Historic District this summer. The Historic District consists of the Old City, Society Hill and Delaware River Waterfront neighborhoods, extending from the Delaware River to 7th Street and Vine Street to Lombard Street.

The District’s summer lineup of must-do events

May 3 2017

VISIT PHILADELPHIA's Historic District Campaign Enters Year Two

Visitors Go Beyond The Bell & The Hall To Discover More History, More Fun

The recent opening of the Museum of the American Revolution, art-centric and community-minded programming and an integrated marketing campaign are the highlights of year two of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s efforts to promote Philadelphia’s Historic District, a vibrant neighborhood that attracts approximately four million visitors annually.

Philadelphia’s Historic District—the original city in the 17th and 18th century—extends from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. Home to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell new and long-established museums, historic houses and interactive storytelling benches, the District is also where America’s founding generation ate, drank,