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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
When it comes to celebrating America’s birthday, nobody rocks it like Philadelphia, America’s birthplace, and 2013—the country’s 237th birthday—will be no exception thanks to festive happenings before, during and after the Fourth of July. From July 1-7, Wawa Welcome America! hosts a week-long celebration filled with festive events, including the largest free concert in America starring Philly hometown heroes and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon house band The Roots. Add to that two major fireworks shows, more concerts, movie screenings and food-focused events—all of which are free—for a Fourth of July weekend that’s sure to go down in history....
Through June 2, 2013
ANNUAL STUDENT EXHIBITION. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the country’s oldest and largest art museum and school, previews the works of third- and fourth-year art students during this 112th annual exhibition. (215) 972-7600, pafa.org
Through June 2, 2013
DEVON HORSE SHOW AND COUNTRY FAIR. The country’s oldest and largest event of its kind features hunters, jumpers, Saddlebreds, four-in-hand coaching,
Fore! For the first time in 32 years, Philadelphia will host one of golf’s four major tournaments when the U.S. Open takes over Ardmore’s Merion Golf Club for the fifth time from June 10-16, 2013. This monumental event will draw approximately 25,000 spectators each day, who will gather to witness golf superstars like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and defending U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson compete for their shares of the $8,000,000 purse. Those without tickets to the week-long competition can still experience the excitement of the event at The U.S. Open Experience, taking place on June 10-16 on Independence Mall....
- Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2013. 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. America’s most decorated battleship also hosts special events and overnight encampments. 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ, (866) 877-6262, battleshipnewjersey.org
- While historians debate Betsy Ross’ role in making the first American flag, the Betsy Ross House offers an excellent portrayal of a
Philadelphia’s concert schedule gets a boost this spring and summer thanks to the addition of several concerts headlined by Latino artists. Scheduled to perform in the coming months: Prince Royce, Juanes and Miguel, to name a few. Here’s a look at how Latin rhythms will liven up Philadelphia’s stages:
Festivals & Concerts:
- Latino artist Prince Royce promises to attract a wide audience to the EL ZOL Concert at Penn’s Landing. That’s because the triple-platinum-selling vocalist’s sweet version of “Stand by Me” is the first bachata song ever to be played on mainstream American radio. Opening for Prince Royce will
GORUCK CHALLENGE. For those adventure seekers who wish to recreate the experience of participating in urban military combat, this 15- to 20-mile overnight challenge sends teams across the city to navigate a course while wearing backpacks stuffed with bricks. The challenges are led by Green Berets, and a portion of every entry fee benefits the Green Beret Foundation. goruck.com
BLUE CROSS BROAD STREET RUN. The largest and one of the fastest 10-mile runs in the nation goes from North Philadelphia down the length of Broad Street to The Navy Yard to raise money for
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
From spring until fall, Philadelphia hosts a variety of festivals that music fans and culture vultures will consider must-dos, must-sees and must-hears. For music fans, there’s the second-annual Budweiser Made In America concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, headlined by Beyonce. Literature lovers will swoon over the Celebration of Black Writing, one of the oldest African-American literary events in the nation. And for movie buffs, the sophomore BlackStar Film Festival, a unique gathering of filmmakers and storytellers of the African diaspora, will be a two-thumbs-up experience. Here are six sizzling festivals worth attending in Philly this spring and beyond:
Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15 through October 15, but Philadelphia celebrates the rich culture all year long with festivals, art exhibitions, sporting events and more. There’s even more on the calendar in 2013 thanks to the citywide, month-long Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), which includes several new collaborations and artistic performances.
Here’s a look at some of the happenings taking place this spring and summer:
- South Philly has become the hub of Mexican immigration in the region, especially for those from Puebla, Mexico. Folks dressed in bearded masks, capes, headdresses and other
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares in West Philadelphia, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille in Fairmount, there’s always a reason to celebrate in the authentically Philly neighborhoods outside of Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Fishtown & Northern Liberties:
- Lining the cobblestone street with artists of all stripes and genres, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival includes the storied Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a quirky competition for the most
The perfect girls’ getaway awaits mothers, daughters and granddaughters in the Philadelphia region this fall—From Philadelphia To Monaco: Grace Kelly, An American Icon, on view at the James A. Michener Art Museum from October 28, 2013 through January 26, 2014.
Grace Kelly may be the closest America has ever come to having a princess, and her too-short life captivates people as much today as it did when she hit the silver screen and later married the prince of Monaco. The Bucks County museum will be the first American venue to host the comprehensive exhibition, which illustrates the fairytale—Philadelphia girl...
When the Philadelphia Zoo launches its brand new KidZooU this spring, kids and their families can study wildlife like scientists, learn more about conservation and explore a brand new habitat. And when the Benjamin Franklin Museum opens its doors, children can explore the Founding Father’s life with the help of Skuggs the Squirrel and plenty of hands-on components. Couple these adventures with a troll through the tree houses at Longwood Gardens and a shark-touching expedition at the Adventure Aquarium, and it’s easy to see that Philadelphia provides an educational playground for its youngest visitors. Here are some of the area’s...
The warm-weather months sizzle with fun, exploration and intrigue in Philadelphia thanks to a slew of new exhibitions, museum openings and special events on tap for summer 2013. Visitors can discover the new and super green KidZooU at the Philadelphia Zoo, unravel the secret world of espionage while touring Spy: The Secret World of Espionage at The Franklin Institute and admire the work of contemporary artist Ellsworth Kelly at the year-old Barnes Foundation.
Here’s a look at what’s new and notable in Philly this summer:
New & Renewed Attractions:
- Ben is back. After an 18-month revitalization, the new Benjamin
This week, March Madness kicks off sports-filled seasons in Philadelphia, which is playing host to some big events in spring and summer. Fans traveling to the region to watch their favorite teams—or just get in on the fun—will round out their trips with food, museums, art, nightlife and history.
“We’re thrilled to see more of these sporting events coming to Philadelphia,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of GPTMC, which markets to leisure travelers. “New visitors experiencing the city for the first time find reasons to come back again, and repeat visitors take in their favorite sites and add a...
Every day is geek day in Philadelphia. Braniac 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. The people behind these organizations—though that seems too formal a word for these collaborative groups—are pushing a grassroots branding campaign to call the corridor N3RD Street (read: “nerd street”).
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
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares on Penn’s Landing, a celebration of the fall season in Midtown Village, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street or a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue, there’s always a reason to celebrate in neighborhoods in and around Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
- For the third year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival will unleash 10 days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures, debates and hands-on activities on campuses, museums and other venues around the city, culminating
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...
Philadelphia recognizes its distinct African-American culture through this year’s celebration of Black History Month. Highlights include culturally significant exhibitions such as Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection at The African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Theatre Company’s performance of The Mountaintop, inspired by the last night of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, and African-American art tours led by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
Here are some of the Black History Month highlights in Philadelphia in 2013:
Exciting Exhibitions & Collections:
- The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent celebrates