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Rocky: Forty & Fabulous
Rocky’s 40th Anniversary Is The Perfect Time To Visit Iconic Philly Sites
Forty years ago next month, the world witnessed the set-in-Philly birth of the ultimate, all-American underdog flick. On November 21, 1976, Rocky brought to life the glorious grit of Philadelphia’s favorite fictional son. But Rocky Balboa won more than the hearts of filmgoers: Sylvester Stallone’s creation earned 10 Academy Award nominations—and ultimately won three, including Best Film and Best Director—led to six sequels, grossed more than $1 billion dollars and showed off a tough-love side of Philly whose legend has persisted to this day. Sure, the city’s skyline, cultural scene, restaurants and reputation have dramatically evolved since Rocky’s debut—but Philadelphia still offers plenty of real experiences evocative of the spirit of the original “Rock.”
Here are some essential sites to see and only-in-Philly experiences to have in honor of Rocky’s 40th anniversary. For more, check out Visit Philly's Quintessential Rocky Tour.
- The Rocky steps – Seventy-two treads lead art aficionados, exercise enthusiasts and millions of film buffs up to the East Entrance of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s esteemed Philadelphia Museum of Art. On any given day, Balboa wannabes jog to the top, raise their fists in the air and, on occasion, belt out “Gonna Fly Now.” Fun fact: This dolomite staircase was featured in every Rocky film except Rocky IV. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
- The Rocky statue – Originally commissioned for Rocky III, sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg’s larger-than-life interpretation of the triumphant boxer stands on a stretch of grass just north of the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Previously located at the Spectrum Arena (now Wells Fargo Center), the statue was installed at the museum in 2006. Sylvester Stallone himself presided over the rededication ceremony. Today, visitors still line up for photographs alongside their hero. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (609) 468-4660, rockystatue.com
- Rocky Run – Just past dawn, thousands of runners and walkers will gather outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art for 5K and 10-mile treks along the Schuylkill River and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. Runners who want to test their stamina can enlist in the “Italian Stallion Challenge,” tackling both races in one day—and taking home three medals instead of one. November 12. rockybalboarun.com
- The 39.3 Rocky Challenge – Super fans who happen to be super runners can sign up for Philadelphia’s inaugural 39.3 (mile) Rocky Challenge: a back-to-back half marathon (13.1 miles) on November 19 followed by a full marathon (26.2 miles) on November 20. Those who double-down on the races will follow courses that wind through the streets of Philly—and finish the weekend with three medals. Shorter-distance participants can take part in an 8K and kids’ fun run, both on November 19. November 19-20. philadelphiamarathon.com
- The Yo, Philly! Rocky Film Tour – In a town of Rocky impersonators, Mike Kunda is one of the most dedicated. His popular three-hour tour takes fans through Philly to every important stop from Rocky to Creed. theyorockyfilmtour.net
Rocky’s Favorite Hangs:
- 9th Street Italian Market – During the famous training scenes in Rocky and Rocky II, Balboa jubilantly jogs past vendors in Philadelphia’s iconic 9th Street Italian Market. Today, butcher shops, produce stands, cheese purveyors—and, in recent decades, taquerias and bistros—comprise the nation’s oldest and largest working outdoor market. Plus, the stretch looks almost exactly the same as it did in 1976. 9th Street between Fitzwater & Wharton Streets; Italian Market Visitor Center, 919 S. 9th Street, (215) 278-2903, italianmarketphilly.org
- Laurel Hill Cemetery – East Fall’s historic cemetery is a National Historic Landmark—and the site of two of the series’ most touching moments, when Rocky visits Adrian’s grave in both Rocky Balboa and Creed. The headstone used in the film was just a prop, but throughout the 78-acre, still-active venue, elaborate mausoleums serve as the final resting place for a number of Philadelphia’s wealthiest citizens and celebrities. Self-guided tours are available every day. Special events run year-round. 3822 Ridge Avenue, (215) 228-8200, thelaurelhillcemetery.org
- Johnny Brenda’s – Bianca (Tessa Johnson), the love interest of Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) in Creed, performs at this popular 250-person bar, restaurant and performance space in the city’s Fishtown section. Downstairs, patrons enjoy seasonal American plates, local craft brews and pool. Upstairs, it’s all about the live music. 1201 Frankford Avenue, (215) 739-9684, johnnybrendas.com
- Victor Cafe – This circa 1933 South Philly spot stood in as “Adrian’s,” the restaurant owned and operated by Rocky in Rocky Balboa and Creed. In reality, the Victor is known for fine Italian cuisine and a waitstaff who performs operatic arias during every dinner service.
1303 Dickinson Street, (215) 468-3040, victorcafe.com
- Philadelphia Zoo – America’s first zoo is the scene of Rocky and Adrian’s engagement in Rocky II. Rocky memorably proposed in the snow-blanketed zoo in front of the tiger exhibit. Today, tigers and other big cats roam freely through Big Cat Crossing, an overhead mesh pathway that’s part of Zoo360, a first-in-the-world system of trails that encourage the animals to explore and travel throughout the Zoo. 3400 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org
- Max’s Steaks – Located in North Philadelphia, this cheesesteak stand—rated best in the city by Playboy magazine—had a star turn in Creed, serving as the go-to spot for Philly’s famous sandwich. In the film, Adonis, who is new to Philly, comes here to get his steak on during his first date with Bianca. 3653 Germantown Avenue, (215) 229-9048
- Penn’s Landing – Diehard Philadelphians noticed decades ago that the iconic training runs in the first two Rocky films didn’t exactly follow a logical path. Instead, the routes took him from waterfront to waterfront, spanning Center City, the Italian Market and featuring Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River waterfront. Today, Penn’s Landing, no longer an industrial tract, is home to pop-up beer gardens, outdoor concerts, new parks and plenty of exercise enthusiasts. Columbus Boulevard, between Market Street & Lombard Street, (215) 922-2386, delawareriverwaterfront.com
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.
On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, 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.
2017 Flower Show And More Are Dutch In Philly
When 250,000 people attend the world’s largest indoor flower show in Philadelphia from March 11-19, 2017, they’ll visit the Netherlands too. The Philadelphia Flower Show attracts enthusiasts and experts in horticulture for competitions, workshops, celebrations, planted installations and, this year only, a vibrant sampling of the famously lush landscapes and plantings of the Dutch countryside. “Holland: Flowering the World” features the country’s eco-design, modern greening—and traditional windmills, wooden shoes and tulips. Beyond the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Flower Show patrons can experience Philadelphia’s Dutch connections.
- Noord eetcafe – The city’s first Dutch-inspired dining room belongs to a chef whose parents came
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
A Spectacular September Weekend Awaits Arts Lovers In Philadelphia
September is shaping up to be a spectacular one for arts lovers in Philadelphia. During the weekend of September 14, fans of the fine and performing arts have a slew of exhibits, performances and first-in-Philly happenings from which to choose: Opera Philadelphia’s inaugural opera festival O17; the groundbreaking moving art exhibition Fireflies—part of Parkway 100, the 15-month-long centennial celebration of the city’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway; and Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Monument Lab, an eight-week public art and history exhibit that spans the city. Add to that the always outrageous Fringe Festival and the last weekend for Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect...
What's in the Callowhill 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 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...
New Museum Of The American Revolution To Open In Philadelphia, The Headquarters Of The Revolution
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
Alexander Hamilton's Legacy Remains Strong In Philadelphia's Historic District
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.
Here are more...
16 Razones Espectaculares Para Visitar Filadelfia En El 2017
Parece que el 2017 será otro año de éxitos para Filadelfia al ofrecer a las personas muchas razones para visitar y explorar esta ciudad tan elogiada. Aún llena de energía por la visita del papa Francisco en el 2015 y la Convención Nacional Democrática en 2016, Filadelfia continuará disfrutando de la atención nacional con el NFL Draft (Selección de la NFL), la apertura del nuevo Museum of the American Revolution (Museo de la Revolución Estadounidense) y el debut del festival anual de ópera O17. Los eventos más destacados del año incluyen la Semana Mexicana (que coincide con el Cinco de...
What's In The Fishtown Neighborhood?
Like its hip neighbor Northern Liberties, Fishtown has quickly become one of the coolest sections of Philadelphia, thanks to an influx of quality restaurants, inventive bars, impressive music venues and forward-thinking art galleries.
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, drink craft beer while playing Tetris, eat stellar Yugoslavian food, sample Philly-made craft whiskeys and visit the world’s only pizza museum. Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue...
Seven Things to Know: Latino Philadelphia
Strength In Numbers:
- The 2010 U.S. Census reported 187,611—that’s 12.3%—of Philadelphians are Latino.
• 121,643 Philadelphians are Puerto Rican or of Puerto Rican descent.
• 15,531 Philadelphians are Mexican or of Mexican descent.
• 3,930 Philadelphians are Cuban or of Cuban descent.
• 46,507 Philadelphians are of other Hispanic descent.
- El Centro de Oro, centered at 5th Street and Lehigh Avenues in Fairhill, is the city’s hub of Latino culture. It’s home to residents from almost every Latin American country, a strong concentration of Puerto Rican families, non-profit organizations and Latino-owned businesses.
- Each year, more than two