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Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City still boasts charming cobblestoned 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 Ben 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...
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,
One hundred years ago, Philadelphia was known as the greatest brewing city in the Western Hemisphere, or the “Cradle of American Libation,” according to food critic Craig LaBan of The Philadelphia Inquirer. In fact, it was in Philadelphia taverns that the American Revolution took hold. Today, area craft breweries have reclaimed the region’s reputation by brewing some of the world’s best beer and earning the recognition as Maxim’s “favorite beer burg” and one of the “The 5 Best Beer Cities in America” according to GQ, among other notable designations assigned by the national press. Visitors can tour the facilities, sample...
Spring in Philadelphia means more than baseball and cherry blossoms: It also means brand-new BYOBs, gastropubs, a biergarten, a raw bar, a noodle bar and the list goes on. Among the crowd of culinary creators are a number of second, third and beyond acts by some of the region’s hottest restaurateurs. And, as is appropriate in the warm weather, there’s news on the ice cream front too. Here’s what’s cooking in Philly this spring:
- Northern European cuisine, including smoked fish, smørrebrød, bitterballen and lots of beets, get their day in the sun thanks to Chef Joncarl Lachman’s
Spanning from Broad to 10th Streets and from Market to Pine Streets, Midtown Village is the lively center of downtown Philadelphia. Other neighborhoods converge here, but Midtown Village—a new but buzzing city enclave—maintains a distinct personality thanks to a business boom that includes independent shops and restaurants, small cafes, alfresco tables along every sidewalk and a rainbow street sign-lined Gayborhood. On the neighborhood’s western border lies a district appropriately named for its place as Philadelphia’s performance hub: the Avenue of the Arts, which runs along Broad Street from City Hall to Lombard Street. The wide stretch is home to...
As the birthplace or temporary home of such noted jazz figures as Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Bessie Smith, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, Philadelphia plays an important role in the history of the art form. But it’s not all about history. Concerts and events make the city a jazz hotspot even today. As acclaimed bassist Warren Oree said, “There’s another ‘Sound of Philadelphia’—the sound of Philadelphia’s jazz.” Here’s where people can hear it all year long.
Festivals & Events:
- After a successful fundraising campaign, the second annual Center City Jazz Festival is a go. With a mission to introduce
Graduate Hospital goes by many names (Center City South, South of South, G-Ho), which is fitting for a neighborhood that draws its personality from the people inside it: young transplants, born-and-raised neighbors, hip urban professionals, craft beer crowds and more. In recent years, the area stretching from Lombard Street to Washington Avenue and from Broad Street to Gray’s Ferry Avenue has accumulated a healthy dose of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and markets that reflect the area’s residential and cool vibe.
Restaurants & Bars:
- Balkan Express Restaurant – This family-run bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot serves up Mediterranean fare that’s both wallet-friendly
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 even spirits from beyond. Here’s a selection of tours available throughout the region:
History Lessons By Day & Night:
- The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia – Visitors get an up-close look at history during this 75-minute walking tour to more than 20 sites. It runs daily from April
Already sampled Philly’s iconic cheesesteaks, hoagies and pretzels? Then go beyond these local delicacies to sample some of the city’s lesser-known culinary treasures. From the signature bloody beet “steak” at The Farm and Fisherman and the plantain-crusted fish tacos at La Calaca Feliz to the twice-fried chicken at Resurrection House and the butterscotch budino at Barbuzzo, flavor-seekers will find plenty to explore in the Philadelphia region. Here are 30 dishes and drinks for any visitor’s must-try list:
- Not many American cities can boast a Burmese restaurant, but Chinatown’s Rangoon has been going strong for 20 years with authentic
Philly may be best known as the City of Brotherly Love, but sisters from Center City to New Hope have plenty of reasons to celebrate the LGBT-friendly nightlife scene. Women’s parties and exclusive nightclubs have put Philly on the map for lesbian life after dark. Here’s a look at where the girls eat, drink and party:
Bars & Nightclubs:
- Sisters – Philadelphia’s longtime lesbian nightclub attracts women of all ages Tuesday through Sunday with live entertainment, DJs, Thursday night karaoke and some of the best happy hour specials in the Gayborhood. The tri-level club features three bars, a restaurant
Long-considered one of the toniest neighborhoods in the city, Rittenhouse Square isn’t just an enviable address. Along its sidewalks—many of which boast seating for alfresco dining and drinking in the warm months—residents and visitors find high-end stores; locally owned boutiques; small galleries; renowned museums; cafes; beer, wine and cocktail bars; and restaurants of all kinds. And, of course, the one-block Rittenhouse Square is more popular with sunbathers, readers, families, artists and even dogs than city founder William Penn ever could have imagined. With a number of hotels also in the area, this neighborhood remains an out-of-towner favorite.
Restaurants, Bars &...
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...
Weekends were made for brunching—chatting with friends, digging into a stack of syrupy pancakes, lingering over a cup of a coffee and a few refills. 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 five-star buffet with caviar, a Latin feast of plantains and agua fresca cocktails or fresh granola and locally grown blueberries, Philadelphia foodies have plenty of go-to spots for a late morning or early afternoon meal. Here’s a look at some of the region’s best brunch options:...
After receiving a perfect score on the Human Right Campaign’s first-ever Municipality Index, Philadelphia continues to prove that it’s still one of the best destinations for LGBT travelers looking to get their history straight and nightlife gay.
“The heart of Philly’s Gayborhood may be centered on 13th and Locust Streets, but there are plenty of LGBT-friendly reasons to visit throughout the region,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), which in 2013 will commemorate the 10th anniversary of its groundbreaking LGBT advertising campaign with the memorable tagline Philadelphia – Get Your History Straight And Your...
Pet lovers are crazy about their animal companions and spend more than $50 billion a year in the U.S. on pet services and accoutrements to prove it. For those who love to spoil their pet but hate to leave him behind while traveling, the Philadelphia region proves to be the “purr-fect” getaway. Pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and retail shops welcome visitors and their animal companions in all sections of the city and its suburbs. From canine-friendly parks to VIP (Very Important Pet) hotel programs, the Philadelphia region makes it easy for visitors to bring their furry friends along for the ride....
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....
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, shop—and generally hang out. 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 are the open-air Italian Market on South 9th Street and the west-to-east-running South Street, which needs its own neighborhood overview.
Anglophiles rejoice: Brilliant!: The 2013 PHS Flower Show will be on view at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from March 2-10, 2013, and the best of Britain doesn’t end with the show’s exquisite themed garden displays, on view for two full weekends for the first time ever. English culture remains alive and well across the Philadelphia region, with historic sites, top-notch museum collections, pubs, tearooms, theaters and sporting events. This season makes the perfect time to explore Philly’s British treasures, and the following are just a few places to start:
Ace Sights: History & Art:
- Independence National Historical Park –
Philadelphia, aptly dubbed the City of Brotherly Love, caters to lovers looking to reenergize their relationships at cultural sites, romantic eateries, outdoor attractions and other swoon-worthy spots. Couples can make it a weekend—or longer—by booking special hotel packages, some of which are romantically themed, on visitphilly.com/hotels. One popular deal, the Philly Overnight® Hotel Package comes with two nights and free hotel parking.
Here are a few suggestions for embracing the region’s romantic side:
- After a day in the Chester County countryside, foodies favor the Birchrunville Store Café, a bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot known for its contemporary French-Italian
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 the Fishtown section of the city 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...