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Just near the renowned institutions that line the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s Fairmount and Spring Garden neighborhoods are often lumped together and dubbed the “Art Museum area,” but the personalities of these laid-back districts separate them from nearby Center City.
Fairmount easily stands on its own as a destination in Philadelphia. Despite its proximity to downtown, the residential neighborhood is considered a sort of urban suburb, thanks to the friendly residents and atmosphere. What to do here? Eat, drink and tour the former prison-turned-attraction. Wedged between the cultural powerhouses of the Parkway and the better-known Fairmount, Spring Garden distinguishes itself...
Steps away from the most historic square mile in America, the Market East neighborhood serves as a gateway to the city’s business, shopping and entertainment district. Originally known as High Street, what is now called Market Street is a busy boulevard, particularly during the daytime as shoppers, workers and visitors fill the streets.
Bordered by Old City to the east, Chinatown to the north and Washington Square West to the south and dominated by Philadelphia’s elaborately embellished City Hall, the Market East neighborhood is largely commercial with boundaries that stretch roughly from 7th to 15th Streets and Chestnut...
Three neighborhoods in one: That’s the perfect way to describe Washington Square West, a thriving enclave that also includes Midtown Village and the Gayborhood. Running roughly from 7th to Broad streets and Chestnut to South streets, the buzzed-about ’hood is increasingly a go-to spot for trendy restaurants and owner-operated boutiques.
Midtown Village maintains its own personality thanks to a small-business boom concentrated on the 13th Street corridor, where power couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran preside over a handful of restaurants and shops. The Gayborhood sets itself apart with dozens of rainbow street signs, along with many restaurants...
Romance reigns in the Towns of the Philadelphia Countryside, where lovers can reenergize their relationships at charming B&Bs, cozy restaurants, sophisticated galleries and picturesque parks on or near quaint main streets, all within a short drive of Center City.
Here are some suggestions for those eager to embrace the region’s lovely side:
- New Hope’s unbeatable combination of history, art and country charm are enough to jump start any love connection. While gallery hopping along Main Street, it’s easy to find a token of one’s affection at A Mano Gallery, Exquisite Earth and The Jonathan Rice Collection. Come
Through November 2, 2014
THE ADDAMS FAMILY. This musical comedy at the Media Theatre is based on the Charles Addams comic strip about a family who adores the macabre. (610) 891-0100, mediatheatre.org
Through November 2, 2014
ARCADIA. Lantern Theatre Company brings to life this thrilling masterpiece, a tale of two centuries. The comedy and heartbreaking romance explores the mysteries of history, art and science. (215) 829-0395,
One of the most delicious exhibitions ever to hit Philadelphia is tempting taste buds all around town. Chocolate: The Exhibition, on view at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University through January 24, 2015, uses interactive displays, special programs and tasting events to trace chocolate beginning with its rainforest origins. After learning the backstory on chocolate, visitors can sample the many ways that Philadelphia chocolatiers, mixologists, pâtissiers and others have transformed the cocoa bean into a delight for the senses.
- Those who share chocolatier Gail Warren’s philosophy that chocolate is a “necessary luxury” frequent Bridge Street
The winner of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s summertime photo contest receives her larger-than-life prize this week: a billboard on I-95 sporting her original photo.
Wynnewood’s Vikki Sloviter paired her photo of a young dancer on the top of the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art steps with the line “Run the steps like nobody’s watching.” She beat out 3,000 entries to win the Phillyosophy® billboard contest. The public voted for the five finalists 11,000 times in one week.
“As a Philly native and lifelong supporter of the arts, especially ballet, I thought my photo of a dancer at the top of the Art...
Every resident knows (and secretly loves) Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air lyric “In West Philadelphia, born and raised … ” Not obvious from the 1990s theme song is the dynamic culture that thrives inside the large area—due to historic characteristics, large educational and research institutions and new developments and residents.
Separated from Center City by the Schuylkill River, West Philadelphia resembles a microcosm of the city itself, with a number of smaller, distinct neighborhoods inside it. Many of its attractions and events—community gardens, Ethiopian restaurants, offbeat performances and the like—were created to benefit the people living in the...
Philadelphia’s Bike Share program, to begin in spring 2015, is just the latest news in the city’s eco-friendly efforts. Long a pioneer in the environmental movement, Philadelphia is attracting increasing global attention for efforts to become a leader in urban sustainability. Attractions, organizations and the city itself hold prestigious designations, including a major award from the Environmental Protection Agency. Not to be outdone, the region’s service amenities and modes of transportation are also advancing the green revolution.
Here’s a look at Philadelphia’s green cred:
- The Clean Air Council’s 5K Run for Clean Air is Philadelphia’s largest Earth Day
With a lineup of landmark exhibitions coming to the Philadelphia region’s museums in fall 2014 and beyond, art lovers have even more reasons to explore the art-filled city. Whether it’s the gauzy beauty of impressionism in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, the offbeat stylings showcased in David Lynch: The Unified Field at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts or the gentle but powerful images on display in the masterful retrospective Horace Pippin: The Way I See It at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, the upcoming season is full of...
With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, only-in-Philly projects, exhibitions, anniversaries and celebrations will give first-time visitors incentives to make that return trip and return visitors reasons to come back yet again.
So what’s on the calendar? The Tall Ships Challenge Philadelphia Camden 2015, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River Waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring more than 80 works by a who’s who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and a special exhibition at The Rosenbach of the Free...
With one of the largest collections of public art in the country, a wide sampling of great buildings from virtually every contemporary architectural style and an unparalleled assemblage of art museums, Philadelphia shines as a key player in the contemporary art scene. A stellar lineup of galleries, centers and artists’ studios completes the picture. Here are highlights:
- The French impressionists are widely considered the forebearers of modern art, and the new Barnes Foundation, housing one of the world’s premier collections of Renoirs, Matisses, Picassos and Cézannes, is a fitting celebration of their innovation. Designed by the husband-and-wife team
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 the 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.
Of special note, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary since Alice first fell down the rabbit hole. To mark the sesquicentennial of Lewis Carroll’s...
In summer 2015, after stints at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris and the National Gallery in London, an even larger version of the Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting exhibition will make its way to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for its only U.S. showing. On display from June through September 2015, this groundbreaking exhibit will showcase more than 80 impressionist works by some of the genre’s most significant artists: Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas and Alfred Sisley, all supported by the Parisian art dealer Durand-Ruel. While Discovering the Impressionists is...
Beyond the colorful Friendship Arch at 10th and Arch Streets lives Philly’s vibrant Asian enclave, settled in the mid-19th century by Cantonese immigrants. Stretching from Vine to Arch Streets between 9th and 12th Streets, the neighborhood is packed end to end with restaurants and stores that represent Hong Kong, Cantonese, Fujianese, Northern Sichuan and Taiwanese cultures, with a sprinkling of Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Burmese, Vietnamese and hipster thrown in for good measure. On any given day or night, Chinatown bustles with activity and authenticity, from the steaming platters of hand-stretched noodles to the seasonal street festivals...
When it comes to combining culture and retail, there’s no matching the selection at the museum shops of Philadelphia and The Countryside®. Just beyond the main galleries and halls of some of the most venerable institutions of Center City, Bucks County and the Brandywine Valley, in-house boutiques sell creations that could compete with the exhibitions. Artisan-made jewelry and ceramics, carefully crafted home and personal accessories, fairly traded goods and endlessly educational tomes are among the finds for shoppers. Keep in mind: Most museums promote seasonal deals on annual memberships that offer both free admission and discounts on merchandise....
Festivals, athletic events, art shows, parades and cultural events keeps art lovers, garden enthusiasts, film connoisseurs, music aficionados and sports fans keep coming back to Philadelphia year after year. Here’s what’s going on in the region in 2015:
- Thousands of decorative strutters kick off the New Year by marching along Broad Street in the festive daylong Mummers Parade. One of the five Mummers divisions, the Fancy Brigades put on two elaborate Broadway-style performances for ticket holders at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. January 1. phillymummers.com
- The region gets revved for the Philadelphia Auto Show. The Pennsylvania Convention
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—especially in Philly, where iconic traditions and new festivities add sparkle to the season. Highlights: Last year’s blockbuster attraction, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, returns to Penn’s Landing for an extended run; a new alfresco ice skating rink enters the scene at Dilworth Park; and the famous Mummers Parade tries out a new, spectator-friendly route. Of course, the calendar is packed with favorites such as Macy’s Christmas Light Show and New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront.
Find top holiday events, a holiday lights roundup, New Year’s Eve and Day guides and more at...
Philadelphia residents and fans have cast their votes and selected the winner of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s Phillyosophy® billboard contest. The winning photo by Wynnewood’s Vikki Sloviter features a dancer on the top of the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art steps. Sloviter’s photo will appear on I-95 billboard this fall.
“As a Philly native and lifelong supporter of the arts, especially ballet, I thought my photo of a dancer at the top of the Art Museum steps, with the iconic William Penn statue on City Hall in the background, would be a great way to welcome visitors to and help promote the...
While rumors persist year-round of real ghosts and goblins inhabiting some of Philadelphia’s most historic sites, it’s during Halloween season when other-worldly creatures emerge from all corners of the region to make it a happily haunted time of year. Families with wee ones get gentle thrills at the Philadelphia Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo and Morris Arboretum’s Scarecrow Walk. And for serious thrill-seekers, several of the area’s haunted houses (think Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary) have earned acclaim for their Hollywood-quality special effects, animatronics, pyrotechnics and teams of horrifically talented professional actors.
Here are some spots that...