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Philly Tours Explore History, Art, Food, Bridges & the Supernatural
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
New–Lots New–This Summer In Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s summer is jam-packed with things to do, thanks to new attractions, limited-time displays, major exhibitions and the seasonal happenings that locals and visitors cherish. Highlights: just-opened Museum of the American Revolution and the nation’s most playful LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, an indoor snow playground called Winter: Exclusively at Philadelphia Zoo, a high-tech, $19 million renovation of Longwood Gardens’ main fountains and a concert and festival curated and headlined by Philly’s own Hall & Oates.
- LEGOLAND® Discovery Center – Millions of LEGO bricks build the foundation for this creative and fun destination. Perfect for ages 3
In Philly, Spring Kicks Off With Pride
In Philadelphia, warmer temperatures bring more than outdoor life: They also bring new life to the LGBT scene. The year’s LGBT festival season kicks off with Philadelphia Black Pride in April and continues with New Hope Celebrates Pride in one of Bucks County’s gay-friendliest boroughs. Much-anticipated LGBT-centric theater performances include Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Forrest Theatre, and the poignant The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey at Philadelphia Theatre Company. Lovers of visual art and travel can whet both appetites at The Journeys of John Laub: Fire Island and Beyond, an exhibition of works by the late, out...
Aspiring Citizens Get Study Help With New Americans Trail
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 glean the knowledge they seek simply by paying visits to Philly’s historic sites and attractions. Best place to start: the Historic District, the original city—and a very pedestrian-friendly one at that. The trail is available at visitphilly.com/newamericans.
Here’s a look at the 16 tour spots:
- Betsy Ross House,
The African-American Story From Its Beginnings In Philadelphia's Historic District
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...
Black-Owned Shops, Restaurants, Day Spas & More Boom In Philadelphia
Shops, restaurants, galleries and bars owned and operated by African-Americans are abundant in Philadelphia. Among Philly’s destination-worthy black-owned businesses: high-end lingerie boutique Coeur, nerdy-cool hangout Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, healthful juice and açai bowls bar Stripp’d Juice, top-shelf nightclub Reserve, and and West Philadelphia’s inimitable arts space, the Tiberino Museum.
Here’s a traveler-tailored list of some of the city’s standout black-owned businesses.
- Amazulu Collections – Charita Powell, owner. Seven days a week and for more than 25 years, this popular Reading Terminal Market stand has represented artists from all over the world and lived the motto, “where cultures meet.”
African-American History Thrives in Philadelphia
Just as U.S. history is African-American history, Philadelphia history is African-American history. The nation’s birthplace and first World Heritage City is home to the founding church of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination (201-year-old Mother Bethel A.M.E.) and the country’s first major museum devoted to black American history (African American Museum in Philadelphia). Landmarks in Philadelphia’s Historic District, from the Liberty Bell to street-side Historical Markers, tell of the successes, struggles and contributions of African-Americans through the centuries. Beyond the original city, Philadelphia’s vibrant neighborhoods offer glimpses into the pasts of African-American whose impacts live on today (...
What's In the Chestnut Hill, Germantown & Mount Airy Neighborhoods?
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 septa.org 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
2017 Annual Events In Philadelphia
There’s a reason Philadelphia is on so many people’s list of must-see cities for 2017. A jam-packed schedule of fireworks, festivals, parades, shows and more keep folks coming back to Philadelphia year after year.
Here’s a look at what’s going on in the Philadelphia region in 2017:
- During the 120th edition of the Mummers Parade, 10,000 men, women and children dressed in colorfully lavish costumes twirl, sashay, pirouette and strut down one of the city’s main streets. The troupes in the String Band division entertain crowds with musical numbers and choreographed dances, and the Fancy Brigades stage two
'Tis The Season: Holiday Happenings In Philadelphia
Twinkling lights, the echo of carols and a nip in the air all bring a sprinkle of seasonal magic to Philadelphia. This year the festivities get an extra touch of sparkle with the launch of the Philly Holiday Festival, the city’s colorful, seven-week holiday gift to locals and visitors, featuring a new spectacularly lit tree and America’s Garden Capital Maze in Dilworth Park, parades, light shows and two fireworks displays along the Delaware River. Beyond the festivals, revelers can enjoy all of their regional favorites, including the dazzling Longwood Gardens Christmas display and Washington’s annual Crossing of the Delaware River...
Philadelphia's Literary Legacy Makes For A Novel Visit
Literary roots run deep in Philadelphia, a city that has inspired countless authors and continues to nurture their legacies. Throughout the region, lovers of literature can connect with such classic authors as Poe, Whitman and Michener in places where they lived, worked and created some of their most celebrated works. And with so many libraries, book collections and indie bookstores, literature lovers can delve deeper into the collected works of these and other favorite authors.
Here’s a look at some of the region’s literary locales and independently owned booksellers:
Attention On The Author:
- The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic
Dinosaurs, Lights, Hogwarts & More Fun Await Families In Philly This Fall
For most kids, fall means homework. But for kids in Philly, the new season also means fun. From September through November, families in Philadelphia and the Countryside® can revel in epic exhibitions (Jurassic World, Longwood Gardens’ Nightscapes), essential art displays (Creative Africa, Get the Picture!) and exciting outdoor adventures (Dragon Boat Races, Philly Free Streets).
To maximize the fall fun, families can book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, featuring free hotel parking, at visitphilly.com. Here are autumn’s must-dos for the school-age-and-under set:
Exhibitions That Excite:
- Creative Africa – This lauded
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
Philly Offers A Fresh Update On Old-School Barbershops
Used to be when a guy needed a shave or a haircut, he had to choose: Book an appointment at a unisex salon or take his chances at a grandfatherly barbershop. That’s not the case anymore—at least not for guys in Philly. These days, the city is full of tonsorialists—that’s vintage speak for barbers—who pull off skillful styles in old-fashioned shops. Execs seeking subtle shags, students going for a clean crop and grooms getting their first straight-razor shave can all rest easy, knowing they have a bevy of awesome Philly barbers from which to choose. Here’s where to start:
16 Things To Know: African-American Philadelphia
Strength In Numbers:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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:
- 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
Fact Sheet: Historic Philadelphia Trail
The birthplace of the nation is rich in history—and plenty of it. Philadelphia's Historic District Trail guides visitors to 24 essential sites in the area, which spans from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. This is the original city. It boasts serious historical cred, but it’s also home to buzzed-about restaurants and beer gardens, owner-operated boutiques and pushing-the boundaries art galleries.
Here is the 24-stop essential guide, available at visitphilly.com/historic:
- Visitors can head to the Independence Visitor Center to pick up their timed tickets to Independence Hall and get expert Philly tips.
Historic Philadelphia Timeline, 1681 To 1801
- King Charles II grants William Penn the Charter of Pennsylvania, which includes an immense tract of land as settlement of a debt owed to Penn’s father, Admiral William Penn. The King names the colony Pennsylvania in honor of Admiral Penn. William Penn begins plans for his “holy experiment” and hopes it will be the “seed of a nation.” His Commonwealth will assure religious tolerance, fair trials, freedom of speech and enlightened laws.
- William Penn leaves England, sets sail across the Atlantic and arrives in Philadelphia, his “City of Brotherly Love.” Find more information at the Philadelphia History Museum,
Major Philadelphia Art Exhibitions For Summer 2016 & Beyond
Long known as a hub for creativity and artistic expression, Philadelphia is slated to showcase a blockbuster lineup of art exhibitions this spring and beyond. At museums throughout the region, visitors can experience themes of all kinds: Mexican modernism in Paint the Revolution at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, world conflict in World War I and American Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, mixed media works of love in Dear Julia at the Philadelphia Magic Gardens and the beauty of the ailing body in La Maladie at the Mütter Museum.
Here’s a look at what art fans...
40+ Of Philadelphia's Best Vantage Points
Filled with sensational skyline views, beautiful vistas and stunning street scenes, Philadelphia is easy on the eyes—and the lenses. Photographers and videographers covering Philadelphia for a quick news story, a full-length feature or just because have no shortage of vantage points to choose from in this city between two rivers—the Delaware on the east and the Schuylkill on the west. Here are more than 40 VISIT PHILADELPHIA-approved vantage points and insider tips for capturing just the right angle at each of them.
*Also good for man-on-the-street interviews
In Center City:
- One Liberty Observation Deck: New attraction, 883 feet