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

Mar 3 2017

The African-American Story From Its Beginnings In Philadelphia's Historic District

True Stories Of Black Lives & Achievements Told Throughout America’s Most Historic Square Mile

Philadelphia’s Historic District, the site of the original city and often called America’s most historic square mile, reveals early chapters in the nation’s history, including the challenges, injustices, accomplishments and contributions of Africans and African-Americans.

This year, the Historic District’s African American Museum in Philadelphia celebrates its 40th anniversary. The groundbreaking institution hosts two temporary exhibitions through April 2, 2017. Shawn Theodore’s Church of Broken Pieces explores the translocation of black America through photography. Dawoud Bey’s Harlem, USA resurrects the photographer’s iconic 1979 portraits of residents of one of the country’s most diverse neighborhoods. The district is also home

Feb 21 2017

New Museum Of The American Revolution To Open In Philadelphia, The Headquarters Of The Revolution

Sites Throughout The Region Recount America’s Fight For Independence

Long before the first musket shot was fired in Lexington in 1775, the seeds of the American Revolution were taking root in Philadelphia as colonists declared their independence and began preparing for war. With the April 19, 2017 opening of the Museum of the American Revolution, visitors will discover the complex and sometimes painful path to independence—a story that’s told both within the museum’s walls and at sites and attractions scattered throughout Philadelphia, the headquarters of the Revolution, and its surrounding countryside.
For visitors eager to delve into this tumultuous time in history, the Museum of the American Revolution—located in

Feb 16 2017

Alexander Hamilton's Legacy Remains Strong In Philadelphia's Historic District

Visitors Can Go Beyond Broadway & Follow Hamilton’s Philadelphia Footsteps

Freedom fighter, statesman, financial genius, adulterer. Fans of the blockbuster hit Hamilton know some of the story of Alexander Hamilton’s life, but there is plenty more to discover in Philadelphia’s Historic District. The new Museum of the American Revolution, opening on April 19, 2017, will offer a glimpse into the Hamilton-Washington bro-mance. A tale debuting this summer from the Once Upon A Nation storytellers will get to the root of the fatal Hamilton-Burr duel. And in Independence Hall, National Park Service rangers often regale visitors with accounts of heated debates Hamilton engaged in about the U.S. Constitution. Just beyond the

Oct 6 2016

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 hosted the country’s first major demonstration for LGBT rights, the Annual Reminders, in 1965. Today, visitors to Philly can easily explore sites where LGBT history was made and where queer life continues to thrive.

To see and do it all, visitors need to spend at least a couple of nights, and that’s made easy with the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package®, offering free parking

Sep 12 2016

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Announces $2 Million Grant From The Pew Charitable Trusts

Funds Will Go Toward Expanded Marketing Campaign For The City’s Prized Historic District

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® today announced a two-year, $2 million grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts that will enable the tourism marketing organization to increase its promotion of Historic Philadelphia, an area that encompasses the Delaware River waterfront, Old City, Society Hill and Independence National Historical Park. VISIT PHILADELPHIA will use a mix of branding, advertising, public relations and web and social media marketing to increase visitation to the area and to get people to see and do more while they’re in the historic neighborhood.

The Pew grant enables VISIT PHILADELPHIA to expand the Historic Philadelphia campaign launched in summer 2016

Jul 8 2016

16 Things To Know: African-American Philadelphia

From Colonial Through Modern Days In The City Of Brotherly Love & Sisterly Affection

Strength In Numbers:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
Jul 5 2016

A First-Timer's Guide To Philadelphia

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

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:

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.
Jun 16 2016

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:

  1. 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