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As families around the globe prepare for their pilgrimage of faith to the eighth World Meeting of Families (WMF), taking place in Philadelphia September 22-25, 2015, the city is preparing to welcome them to this landmark event, which culminates on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with the Festival of Families on September 26 and a public mass celebrated by Pope Francis on September 27. Visitors in town for the week-long event will find a city with a rich history of religious freedom and a strong Catholic heritage, a wide range of affordable attractions for all ages and services and resources that...
What are some other words for summer fun? Tall Ships. Fireworks. Festivals. Beer gardens. Pop-up parks. Philadelphia. This summer will go down as a season of non-stop, pull-out-all-the-stops fun in the city that scored a #3 placement on The New York Times’ influential “52 Places to Go in 2015” list.
Some of the summer highlights include the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden festival; the launch of Indego, Philadelphia’s bike-sharing program; the eagerly awaited return of the acclaimed Spruce Street Harbor Park; and the season-long showing of Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art....
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
Philadelphia celebrates five decades of political progress with the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement. Commemorative exhibitions at major institutions and a moving re-enactment of the original Fourth of July demonstration honor the milestone year.
Now one of the country’s leading gay-friendly destinations, the City of Brotherly Love played a pivotal role in the earliest days of the American gay-rights movement. The first major U.S. protest for LGBT equality took place in front of Independence Hall on July 4, 1965. Coordinated by Philadelphia resident Barbara Gittings and Washingtonian Frank Kameny, now known as the mother and father of...
When it comes to visiting Philadelphia, some of the best things to see and do are free—or close to it. For families and budget-conscious travelers eager to explore the region, that’s great news. Check out the city’s many low-cost or no-cost attractions, including historic Independence Hall, student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music and the high-tech production line of Herr’s Potato Chip Factory.
- Snuggled behind the east wing of Independence Hall is Philosophical Hall, a brick building erected in the late 1780s that was the nation’s first museum, national library and academy of science. Today, the
The Gardens and Galleries Trail of Greater Philadelphia
Visitors can use The Gardens and Galleries Trail of Greater Philadelphia on visitphilly.com to plan their trips to the beautiful gardens of the Philadelphia region. In addition to Mother Nature’s artwork, the trail highlights historic galleries and museums that feature artistic interpretations of the local landscape.
Arboretums For Pleasure, Education & Inspiration
In part because the Quakers who settled in Pennsylvania were meticulous about identifying and cataloguing the forms of natural life they discovered here, the Philadelphia region is internationally recognized for its wealth of arboretums. Chestnut Hill’s Morris Arboretum of the
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...
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant & Multicultural Affairs (MOIMA) recently launched Philadelphia’s New Americans Tour, a self-guided walking tour for new citizens and those studying to be citizens through the sites and attractions that tell the story of the nation’s founding. About half of the answers to the 100-question citizenship test study guide can be found in Philadelphia, where so many key historic events took place. The tour is available in English at visitphilly.com/newamericans and in Spanish, French and Mandarin at phila.gov/ima. There is also a free scavenger hunt version of the tour available on the...
So far this year, Philadelphia has appeared on many national best-of lists.
“This good press is a good example of the city’s momentum. It goes with the story that’s unfolding right now—the new restaurants, more outdoor dining, throngs of people on Independence Mall and all over the city, more people visiting and visiting for longer periods of time,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA™. “Philadelphia is a premier destination, and the place to be. VISIT PHILADELPHIA is happy to be the promotion agency for a city that over-delivers.”
Here’s just a sample of what people have been...
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
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
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...
In 1940, movie director George Cukor set his Oscar-winning film The Philadelphia Story in the prosperous enclave of Wayne, selecting it to depict high-society America. With such distinction to its name along with a location on Philadelphia’s clubby Main Line, Wayne carries itself with an elegant grace while maintaining a down-to-earth spirit. Sure, some of downtown’s boutiques set the standard for trendy women’s fashions and many restaurants set their tables with crystal stemware, but it’s clear from one step inside the bohemian Gryphon Coffee or Teresa’s Next Door Belgian beer bar that Wayne never loses its genuine sense of welcome...