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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...
With longer days here, there are more hours to enjoy the fine array of new restaurants in Philadelphia. This spring, the lineup includes an exciting new trend—restaurants with an aim of social justice, including a cafe that employs foster children (The Monkey and the Elephant) and a burger joint that donates proceeds to hungry children (Hunger Burger). Add to that an eclectic mix of Asian snacks, edgy tacos, hybrid dinner/entertainment venues and neighborhood spots serving creative fare, and the upcoming eating season looks incredibly fresh. Here’s a look at some of the newcomers:
Notable New Entrées:
- There’s always room
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. An audio tour caters to four-to-eight-year-olds, offering lessons in Colonial life and the opportunity
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is helping travelers plan their Philadelphia trips with a new itinerary that’s based on the spectacular press coverage the city has enjoyed in early 2015. On visitphilly.com, 22 Philadelphia Attractions Making Headlines in 2015 includes a customizable Google map and descriptions of each buzz-worthy spot.
“Word-of-mouth and third-party endorsements are incredibly important to travelers,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “We know that travelers trust the recommendations from these national publications, so we’re promoting these suggestions—we agree with them, after all.”
Highlights of the itinerary: outdoor spaces such as Spruce Street Harbor Park...
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...
For years, insiders have flocked to South Philadelphia’s East Passyunk Avenue for its restaurants, particularly its red-gravy Italian spots. The neighborhood surrounding the avenue—a diagonal interruption to Philadelphia’s grid layout—has enjoyed revitalizations in recent years, creating a sort of renaissance for the thoroughfare itself.
Visitors who stroll down Passyunk (pronounced pashunk by those in the know) find eclectic boutiques, coffee shops, gastropubs, excellent Mexican and sushi fare, as well as the amazing Italian eateries that first made this street famous—not to mention the two across-the-street cheesesteak rivals, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. Generally, the area known as East...
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 there 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 and visit the world’s only pizza museum. Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor serves...
Once considered Philadelphia’s favorite up-and-coming neighborhood, Northern Liberties has officially arrived, evidenced by the international restaurants, respected gastropubs and trendy boutiques—all this while maintaining the artistic vibe that made it so cool in the first place.
The warehouses that populate the former manufacturing district found new life as condos, galleries, stores and restaurants, and along with newly designed buildings, the area enjoys a pleasant mix of older functional and modern design. Two shopping/dining/art/entertainment plazas helped make Northern Liberties an accessible and thriving area: Liberties Walk and The Piazza at Schmidts.
The neighborhood lies north of Old City, and its borders...
Weekends were made for brunching—chatting with friends, digging into a stack of syrupy pancakes, lingering over a cup of a coffee and/or a Bloody Mary. No one knows this better than Philadelphians, who have a wide array of fantastic brunch options to choose from every Saturday and Sunday. Whether the craving is for a prix-fixe menu offering foie gras and lobster (Lacroix), a Latin feast of plantains and agua fresca cocktails (Rosa Blanca) or fresh granola and locally grown berries (Talula’s Daily), Philadelphia foodies have plenty of go-to spots for a late-morning or early-afternoon...
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 in 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-yet-expansive studio and gallery spaces. It’s a formerly industrial neighborhood that charms with a rich stock of large, urban buildings, remnants of cobblestone streets, edgy rock clubs, emerging galleries and the kind of hidden cultural gems that intrigue visitors and residents alike....
On top of spaghetti, covered with cheese, tucked into a roll, grilled on a skewer—meatballs in all forms abound in Philadelphia, and not just in South Philly, the city’s largely Italian enclave. There are traditional Italian versions with gravy (Villa di Roma, for starters), Vietnamese pork balls in noodle soup (Vietnam), vegetarian tofu-ball sandwiches (Magic Carpet) and luxuriant rounds of short-rib hand-rolled by celebrity chefs (Barbuzzo). Here’s a look at some of the most memorable meatballs in the region:
- Repeat winner of the Golden Meatball Challenge between South Philadelphia and
As home to the world’s original and biggest craft beer week—Philly Beer Week—Philadelphia sets a high bar for beer events. In the city and suburbs, beerific happenings take place all year long that draw hundreds and thousands of beer lovers. Here’s a look at some of the oldest, largest, quirkiest and most popular celebrations of artisanal suds slated for 2015:
- Called “one of the top 10 beer festivals in America” by Forbes Traveler, the Philly Craft Beer Festival returns under tents at the Philadelphia Navy Yard with more than 75 national and international breweries, food trucks
Once considered working-class suburbs, the tree-lined South Philadelphia neighborhoods of Queen Village and Bella Vista have spent the past decade establishing themselves as some of the city’s most stable and vibrant places to live, work, dine and shop. Small, mostly historic townhouses and a mix of new and well-established businesses make up these side-by-side neighborhoods. Residents both new and old are passionate about maintaining pocket parks and patronizing independent merchants and restaurants. The districts’ busiest byways include the open-air Italian Market on South 9th Street and the mini neighborhood of west-to-east-running South Street.
Directly south of Old City and...
Multiple waves of immigration have left an indelible German influence on the Philly area. The multi-venue Celebration of Pennsylvania German Art, beginning in early 2015, will explore this legacy through traditional Pennsylvania German (a.k.a. Pennsylvania Dutch) art forms such as fraktur, letters and documents embellished with motifs such as birds and flowers.
These exhibitions are just the beginning of the Pennsylvania German experience. Visitors can find a rich store of German culture in the Philadelphia region: the customs of the Amish, the historic grounds in Germantown and top restaurants serving bratwurst.
Here are just a few suggestions for a German-themed...
Having already given the city their brilliant talents, several of Philadelphia’s restaurateurs and food purveyors also give back for the greater good of the community. And while Jose Garces and Marc Vetri have both established foundations that make an impact, Philadelphia diners have a chance to show their generosity as well. At Rosa’s Pizza, for example, patrons can pay an extra dollar for a slice of pizza for someone less fortunate. This pay-it-forward approach even caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, who recently featured the shop on her show.
Here’s the scoop on those in the Philly food scene paying...
There’s a non-stop fiesta happening in Philadelphia, where Latin dance is hot, hot, hot. Throughout the city, dancers are heating up the floor with their sultry and steamy dance moves as live bands and DJs pump out the evening’s sound track. And with classes led by talented instructors, even newbies can salsa, samba, tango, cha-cha and more before the last note fades.
Here’s a look at spots where everyone from bachata beginners to merengue masters can get their Latin groove on:
Nightclubs & Restaurants:
- Almost every night is dance night at Brasil’s Nightclub and Restaurant in Old City. Every
Logan Square’s personality defies a single definition. What’s there? Corporate and municipal office buildings; the museum-packed Benjamin Franklin Parkway; and green spaces, including the square that gives the area its name. Once called Northwest Square, Logan Square—one of the city’s original five squares—was renamed to honor 18th-century mayor James Logan.
City Hall is a natural focal point of the Logan Square neighborhood. Its elaborate architecture and ornamentation makes people stop and take notice—and photos. The architectural equivalent of a wedding cake, the sprawling building is adorned with carvings of allegorical figures and is capped off with a massive...
Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City still boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.
Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries and theaters and vibrant nightlife. Especially popular are First...
With its cobblestone streets and original 18th- and 19th-century buildings that line the streets from the Delaware River to 7th Street and Walnut to Lombard Streets, Philadelphia’s quaint Society Hill neighborhood remains as picture-perfect today as it was hundreds of years ago. Its proximity to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Independence Visitor Center make it hard for visitors and locals to resist the appeal of walking the same streets the nation’s founders once strolled.
Following an era when the neighborhood was home to a number of luminaries—Samuel Powel, the first mayor of the...
The coldest cold front can’t quell the fires burning in Philadelphia’s newest kitchens, churning out exciting and inventive new flavors this winter. Some of the latest additions include an ’80s-themed bistro from a Top Chef (Juniper Commons); a vegan bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot (Flora); a French rotisserie (Petit Rôti); and a spate of quirky restaurant mash-ups. Here are just a few great reasons to check out Philly dining this winter:
Notable New Entrées:
- After making a name for himself on the Jersey Shore, Chef Luke Palladino presents his first Philly venture with the eponymous Palladino’s