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Long known as the edgiest street in Philadelphia, South Street welcomes more than just hippies these days. Shoppers searching for a statement-making look, visitors hungry for a real Philly cheesesteak and music lovers who want to catch an up-and-coming band head to the storied boulevard. Ethnically diverse restaurants, bars that keep the party going long after dessert and galleries and performance spaces help make South Street the place where everyone meets. Over the past decade, the development of South Street’s east side has spread west of Broad Street, but the traditional definition of the district (depending on who you ask)...
Spanish-speaking visitors to Philadelphia can feel truly welcomed at many of the region’s tourist attractions, thanks to a wealth of bilingual docents, translated audio guides and multi-lingual written materials. Each year, more than one million domestic visitors to Greater Philadelphia are of Hispanic origin. Because of this influx, the region’s historical and cultural sites are busy making accommodations so that their Spanish-speaking guests don’t have to miss out on a thing.
- The best place to launch a visit to Philadelphia is at the Independence Visitor Center (IVC), where multilingual concierge staff can assist with all of a
Fun, food, arts and cultural activities highlight this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) festivities in Philadelphia. Chocolate lovers can barter cacao seeds in an Aztec Market at the Academy of Natural Sciences, while revelers can catch the celebratory spirit at Penn’s Landing’s Mexican Independence Day Festival and the Puerto Rican Day Parade on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For event updates, follow @PhillyTeAma on Twitter for all of Philly’s Hispanic Heritage Month happenings.
Festivals & Parades:
- Fiesta en la Calle 9 (Party on 9th Street) brings flavor, music and vibrant colors to the East Passyunk section of
The hub of Latino culture and life in Philadelphia, El Centro de Oro is home to international non-profit organizations, many third- and fourth-generation family-owned businesses and residents descending from almost every Latino country. Visitors to this lively enclave—just a short cab ride from Center City Philadelphia—can feast on authentic Latin/Caribbean dishes at Isla Verde, find inspiration in the work of Puerto Rican artists at Taller Puertorriqueño or feel their way through a flamenco dance lesson at Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas. Here are some ways to get a taste of the Latin flavor in El Centro de Oro and beyond:
Fascinated with fine art? Curious about cars? Want to know more about mummies? Visitors to Philadelphia can see dozens of collections large and small—from rare books to Renoir masterpieces to throwback toys—at some of city’s most renowned museums. The result of a penchant for collecting through Colonial, Victorian and more modern times, each one of the depositories listed below offers great artistic, historic and/or cultural value, and all are open to the public.
- More than 200 galleries and 226,000 works comprise the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), one of the largest museums in the United States. Inside
* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2014. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.
Historical Sites & Attractions:
- While exploring the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial, visitors can enjoy exhibitions that display artifacts from the ship’s past and play an interactive role as they follow the tour route. A walk down Broadway, the longest and most impressive passageway on the battleship, is available as part of a guided tour. America’s most decorated battleship also hosts special events and overnight encampments. 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ, (866) 877-6262, battleshipnewjersey.org
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. From the historic Liberty Bell to the deliciously indulgent cheesesteak, here’s a look at Philly 101:
- 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 years later, representatives from a dozen
Through July 4, 2014
WAWA WELCOME AMERICA! This multi-day party celebrates the nation’s birthday with free events for all ages throughout the city—including concerts, a parade and fireworks. welcomeamerica.com
Through July 13, 2014
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING. At the Walnut Street Theatre, this musical satire of 1960s big business follows the rise of J. Pierrepont Finch, who uses a little handbook
This summer, the venerable venues lining Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway shed their serious sides and get seriously kid-friendly. The Parkway, a Champs-Élysées-inspired boulevard, extends from City Hall to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and is a destination within a destination.
Among its landmarks are Eakins Oval, which temporarily transforms into an urban beachscape with food trucks, family fests and larger-than-life games. Kids can “Meet the Masterpieces” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which serves up an encore of its popular Art Splash program. The thoroughfare’s historically youth-centered educational institutions, The Franklin Institute and The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel...
VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s newest marketing effort—entitled Towns of the Philadelphia Countryside—encourages locals and visitors to explore 15 of the quaint neighborhoods and towns dotting the five-county region, and there’s no better time to explore these towns than during festival season. Some of these events are quirky—think tens of thousands of folks coming together to honor the mushroom. Others celebrate 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 festivals are a great way...
Historical Sites & Attractions:
- Wannabe sailors can visit the nation’s most decorated battleship, the Battleship New Jersey, and take tours of the ship, ride the 4-D flight simulator, climb into the onboard helicopter and sleep in the sailors’ bunks as part of its award-winning Overnight Encampment program. 62 Battleship Place, Camden, (856) 966-1652, battleshipnewjersey.org
- America’s most famous flag maker greets guests in her interactive 18th-century upholstery shop at the Betsy Ross House. Visitors learn about Betsy’s life and legend from the lady herself. Summer brings a weeklong, annual Flag Fest celebration with free events every day. Also,
Every day is geek day in Philadelphia. Brainiac activity abounds in University City, a vibrant section of West Philadelphia that boasts numerous institutions of higher learning, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, along with 51,000 college students and groundbreaking advances. Outside of the classroom and on the other side of the city, startups and co-working spaces dot North 3rd Street between Old City and Northern Liberties, earning the corridor an amusing and appropriate nickname, N3RD Street (read: “nerd street”).
Bucking stereotypes, Philadelphia’s nerd population is social, creative and downright fun, following the example of the original Philly...
Philadelphia, the birthplace of independence, is celebrating the Fourth of July in a big way. From the start of the annual Wawa Welcome America! celebration on June 28 to the Independence National Historical Park Service’s reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, events celebrating America’s birthday will light up the streets, the skies and the stages from the waterfront at Penn’s Landing to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on the other side of town.
Visitors who book the Philly Overnight® Hotel Package for the long Fourth of July weekend not only get to celebrate America’s birthday in America’s...
Founded in 1681, the town of Bristol, Pennsylvania boasts a long and proud history. Located on the banks of the Delaware River, Bristol served an important role in both the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and at one time it was a major textile-milling center. The old-world influence still exists today, as evidenced by the town’s many antique shops, historic mansions and significant landmarks.
Along the riverfront, several statues pay tribute to such icons as Christopher Columbus and Harriet Tubman. Another important figure, textile-milling tycoon Joseph R. Grundy, lends his name to many establishments around town, including the Margaret
When Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter traveled to The Vatican to visit Pope Francis, he presented the pontiff with a gift: a set of handcrafted Mercer tiles from Doylestown. The mayor is one of many who have discovered Doylestown through the legacy of Henry Mercer. The
19th-century archeologist and industrialist built the cheerful borough its three most striking landmarks: Fonthill, a sprawling 44-room concrete palace; the Mercer Museum, a six-story Gothic and Byzantine historical repository for pieces of early Americana that Mercer collected; and Moravian Pottery & Tile Works, where employees preserve fading methods of production.
At the intersection of the Schuylkill River and French Creek, Phoenixville blends historic charm with a modern mindset. Originally known as Manavon, it adopted its current name in 1849; at the time, the town’s biggest employer was the Phoenix Iron Company, a major manufacturer of nails, rails, structural steel and weapons. Today, Phoenixville boasts an artsy, low-key vibe that attracts visitors craving a relaxing day with a creative twist.
Occupying the former Phoenix Iron Company Foundry, the Schuylkill River Heritage Center offers a multi-media glimpse into the history of the local area. The museum’s exhibits focus on the
Home to West Chester University, this quaint town in the Brandywine Valley exudes an energetic, young vibe. In the bustling downtown area, casual eateries and food-centric events satiate hungry palates, and throngs of charming shops line the streets.
As Chester County’s county seat, West Chester has a strong political history. The first biography of Abraham Lincoln, which was instrumental in his eventual election to the presidency, was published in The Lincoln Building on West Market Street in 1860. Downtown West Chester has since been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as a Distinctive Destination
There’s likely nowhere else in the country that can claim New Hope’s special blend of quirkiness, history, joviality, an abundance of art galleries, sophisticated dining, eclectic shopping and a lively theater scene. This riverside town boasts a strong gay community, a concentration of artistic talent and a past as a player in the East Coast shipping trade.
Together with Lambertville, New Jersey, a more compact but equally adorable town connected by a pedestrian bridge, New Hope’s commercial district nurtures a business community with wide-ranging tastes. On Main Street alone, dozens of shops offer a variety of goods—from art and women’s...
Dubbed the Mushroom Capital of the World, Kennett Square sits in the heart of the lush Brandywine Valley. In the center of town, locals gather to shop and dine, while further out, the surrounding farms produce roughly 60% of the country’s mushrooms, earning the area its well-deserved nickname.
Originally occupied by Lenape Native Americans, the area known as Kennett Square served an important role in the nation’s history. British soldiers camped here during the Revolutionary War, the town served as a military encampment during the War of 1812 and many prominent Kennett Square citizens helped slaves escape as
At less than one square mile, Media may be compact, but the county seat of Delaware County, located 12 miles southwest of Philadelphia, is quite multi-faceted. Not only does it carry the nickname “Everybody’s Hometown” for its stated commitment to diversity and neighborliness, it also holds the distinction as America’s original Fair Trade town, marking its public support of businesses that make sure workers receive a fair price for their products and labor. The feeling of community is palpable on State Street, where shopkeepers tend lovingly to stores situated in buildings older than the town itself, and acquaintances greet one...