Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Oct 20 2016

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.

Rocky Icons:

  • 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 Experiences:

  • 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.
 

Contact(s):
  • E-mail

Related Releases

May 1 2017

The Greater Philadelphia Region: Fast Facts

Population:

There are 2.5 million people residing in the five-county region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) and more than 1.5 million in Philadelphia, making it the second-largest city on the East Coast and the sixth-largest city in the country.

Location:

Philadelphia is a two-hour drive from New York City, two-and-a-half hours from Washington, DC and 45 minutes from Atlantic City, with convenient access to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-76, I-95 and the New Jersey Turnpike. One-quarter of the U.S. population lives within a five-hour drive of Center City Philadelphia.

The city is a 90-minute flight or a one-day drive

...
Feb 14 2017

2017 Flower Show And More Are Dutch In Philly

Beyond The World’s Largest Flower Show, Visitors Can Explore Philly’s Dutch Connections

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
...
Aug 29 2016

Philadelphia Fetes Community And Culture This Fall

Major Art Exhibitions, Street Festivals, Dinosaurs, Murals and More Invigorate The Season

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.

What’s New:

  • Urban Axes introduces the newest craze from Canada to Philadelphia with the opening of the nation’s first indoor
...
Jul 11 2016

Only in Philly, Only During the DNC

The DNC Host City Casts A Vote For Fun With Political-Themed Activities & Exhibitions

Philadelphia, the country’s first World Heritage City, is all in for the Democratic National Convention. Museums and attractions around the city are getting in the red, white and blue spirit with political-themed events, exhibitions and specials. As convention delegates head to the Wells Fargo Center to cast their votes for a nominee, here are 19 ways locals and visitors can cast their votes for fun: 

Exciting Exhibitions:

1. The National Constitution Center’s timely Headed to the White House gives people the scoop on the electoral process, from the moment a candidate announces his/her campaign to the presidential swearing-in ceremony.

...
Btn_espanol

En Español

Feb 29 2016

The Philadelphia Museum Of Art's Mexican Modernism Exhibit Gives Visitors Reasons To Explore City's Mexican Connections

Art Galleries, Restaurants & Special Events Showcase The Wonders Of Mexico

Art lovers are saying viva el arte to the eagerly anticipated exhibition Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism: 1910-1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from October 25, 2016 through January 8, 2017. A first-of-its-kind collaboration between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Mexico City’s Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, this large-scale show features paintings, prints, books, broadsheets and many works relating to major mural projects—perfect for Philadelphia, boasting more than 3,800 murals on walls all over the city. The show includes pieces from legends Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and important contemporaries such as Dr. Atl (Gerardo Murillo) and

...
Sep 28 2015

T.G.I.O. (Thank Goodness It's October) In Philadelphia

20+ Big Festivals, Exhibit Openings And Frightful Celebrations Make For Five Awesome Weekends

October in Philadelphia delivers a feast of festivals that focus on art, design, autumn and family fun.

The aesthetically inclined can indulge in The Philadelphia Collection, DesignPhiladelphia and two weekends of Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. Wizards and muggles will rub elbows at the magical Harry Potter Festival, while scream queens and kings can get their scare on at Eastern State Penitentiary’s lauded Terror Behind the Walls and Laurel Hill Cemetery’s True Tales from the Tomb. Even the city’s beloved culinary invention gets its very own salute in the first-ever Philadelphia Cheesesteak Festival.

Here are the highlights of five October weekends

...
Apr 8 2015

Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long

Books, Beer, Arts, America, Music, Movies & More Inspire Festivities

Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk (Manayunk Arts Festival), a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street (Odunde), a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue (Italian Festival and Craft Beer Day), a weekend celebrating all-things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill (Harry Potter Festival) or a gathering of would-be scientists at multiple neighborhoods throughout the city (Philadelphia Science Festival). Philly’s neighborhoods make merry all year long with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for

...
Mar 6 2015

Philly Region Festivals Celebrate Art, Music, Mushrooms & More

In The Towns Of The Philadelphia Countryside, There’s Always Something To Celebrate In 2015

With just the turn of the ignition key and within less than an hour, visitors to Philadelphia can explore the region’s quaint towns and charming settings. And what better way to discover them than with the homegrown festivals and events that celebrate their distinct personalities. Some festivities are quirky—think tens of thousands of folks coming together to pay tribute to the mushroom. Others honor the culinary talents of their hometown chefs or the creative handiwork of local artisans. While still others harken back to the town’s proud role in American history. Whatever the topic or the time of year, local

...
Mar 19 2014

Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long

Books, Beer, Arts, America, Music, Movies & More Inspire Festivities

Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair or zombies taking over South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a weekend celebrating all things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill. Throughout the year, Philly’s neighborhoods make merry with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for 2014:

CENTER CITY

Benjamin Franklin Parkway:

  • For the fourth year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival unleashes nine days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures,
...