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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:
- The third annual Center City Jazz Festival, which celebrates the past, present and future of jazz in Philadelphia, is
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....
Warmer, drier weather is near, a perfect excuse for winter-weary travelers to take advantage of the newly renamed and always affordable Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package™. The offer includes a two-night stay for any two consecutive nights of the week at 20 hotels, a welcome gift and free hotel parking (up to a $100 value at Center City hotels)—a hard-to-resist perk for those traveling from the Philadelphia suburbs, New Jersey, New York, Washington, DC and other nearby destinations. The package will be offered by hotels—based upon availability—all year long. Booking information is available at visitphilly.com/overnight.
Although technically named Broad Street, the center of Philadelphia’s performing arts community—stretching from City Hall to Lombard Street—has earned the nickname Avenue of the Arts. And for good reason. Stroll along the Avenue of the Arts and the buzz of energy is contagious as theater-goers, orchestra fans, opera lovers, dance aficionados, artists and others spill out onto the street to mix with the locals who live, work and dine on the storied street.
Home to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the legendary Academy of Music, The Wilma Theater, Merriam Theater, University of the Arts, Arts Bank and other...
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...
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...
LOCATION: Center City, South Philadelphia and East Falls
TRANSPORTATION: On foot or by trolley, taxi or car
DURATION: Two nights and two days
After captivating the hearts of millions of film fans, Rocky Balboa is about to score a TKO on Broadway. The musical production of Rocky das Musical delighted critics in Hamburg, Germany, and now it’s crossing the Atlantic, bringing the fictional character who is so synonymous with Philadelphia to New York City. The stage production closely follows the original movie plot, inspiring fans to explore the boxer’s beloved city of Philadelphia. Here’s a two-day, two night itinerary that...
Logan Square’s personality defies a single definition. Corporate and municipal office buildings cover swaths of wide streets, creating the bustle of daily commerce. Luxury high-rises and modern and historic houses line leafy side streets. The museums that border the broad, tree-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway add yet another dimension. Green spaces—including the square that gives the area its name—provide spots for relaxation, reflection and fun.
The center of the city government’s daily business, City Hall is a natural focal point. Its elaborate architecture and ornamentation makes people stop and take notice—and photos. The architectural equivalent of a wedding cake, the sprawling...
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, if not thousands, of beer lovers. Here’s a selection of some of the oldest, largest, quirkiest and most popular celebrations of the artisanal sud:
- With the season of Christmas beers passed, roasty stouts and porters—especially those aged in bourbon barrels—warm up beer drinkers in February. The inaugural Winterfest 2014, The Great Philadelphia Winter Craft Beer Festival emphasizes these malty brews by
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...
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 freshest new flavors in Philly’s restaurant scene in 2014? Market culture, replete with artisan goods, eat-in cafes and exclusive dinners at communal tables, for starters. In a town that owns Italian cooking, French cuisine resurges with more chefs turning to classic techniques and traditions. Jewish food in all of its international variations continues to be reinvented in exciting new ways. Meanwhile, the juice bar may well be the new coffee bar, and home-style desserts trump cupcakes. Here’s a look at some trends to watch in 2014:
Philadelphians love high-quality, high-end ingredients, and an emerging crop of
Philadelphia’s vast and vibrant art scene boasts daily, weekly, monthly and annual events that keep the culture calendar packed. Here are some of the recurring events making Philly a year-round visual arts destination:
- The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program offers a variety of tours of the city’s more than 3,600 indoor and outdoor murals. People see the city’s colorful walls during a guided walking tour of Center City, trolley tours through diverse neighborhoods and the Love Letter tour, which uses the SEPTA Market-Frankford Line as its mode of transportation—just to name a few. Most tours depart
With dozens of venues cultivating and showcasing live music throughout Philadelphia, it’s no wonder that Jay-Z chose Philadelphia as the location for his two-day Made In America music festival in summer 2012 and 2013. The city has played host to major music festivals in the past, including Live Aid in 1985 and Live 8 in 2005. And it has produced major artists such as Chubby Checker, Hall & Oates and Patti LaBelle, and more recently, The Roots, Will Smith, Pink, Circa Survive, The Dead Milkmen, Chill Moody and Kurt Vile. Here’s a look at where these musicians are getting their...
The United States now has more breweries than at any time in its history, and Philadelphia-area entrepreneurs are helping to lead the way by opening even more breweries at a rapid pace. According to the Brewers Association, a craft beer industry trade group, the U.S. was home to only eight craft breweries in 1980, 537 in 1994 and more than 2,500 today. Regionally, craft brewers are opening locations in every county—from Victory Brewing in Kennett Square to Broken Goblet Brewery in Bristol—and more are working hard to secure licenses and locations before 2015. Here’s a look at more than a...
Little by little, Philly’s turned into a bona fide taco town. Between the mom-and-pop taquerias of South Philly, tried-and-true tequila bars, a roving pack of lunch trucks and the newest crop of gringo-owned joints, there’s truly a taco for everyone and their hermano. Here’s where the hungry masses can get their tacos on:
- Fishtown’s divey Loco Pez found its inspiration in L.A.’s fusion-y taco trucks, and the result is a mix-and-match menu of fun and sometimes unexpected flavors. There’s the Gabacho (ground beef in a crispy shell), for instance, or a seitan-and-spinach combo for the vegan crowd.
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...
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 Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package™ comes with two nights and free hotel parking.
Here are a few suggestions for embracing the region’s romantic side:
A View To Remember:
- The culinary delights served at Lacroix are rivaled only by the picturesque view of Rittenhouse Square outside the glass windows
After receiving a perfect score on the Human Right Campaign’s Municipality Index for two years running, Philadelphia continues to prove that it’s still one of the best destinations for LGBT travelers to get their history straight and their nightlife gay.
With weekly parties, annual gay pride events, eye-popping art exhibitions and celebrity-studded film and theater festivals, visitors are attracted to every corner of the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. Here’s a look at the best events by the night, week, month and year:
LGBT Annual Events:
- Pink Pub Crawl guides participants to some of the Gayborhood’s favorite
Sure, Philadelphia is an exciting place to visit on the weekends, but it’s also a happening spot Monday through Thursday. Visitors can dig into a great meal, catch a concert at a major music venue, dance it up at a club or watch one of the hometown teams do their thing in South Philly. They can also opt for something a little more off-the-beaten path: happy hours at museums, open-mic nights, poetry readings, cooking classes, dance lessons, drag shows and more. In fact, there’s so much to do, visitors will want to book a hotel deal at visitphilly.com/hotels, and stay...