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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...
Three neighborhoods in one: That’s the perfect way to describe Washington Square West, a thriving enclave that also includes Midtown Village and the Gayborhood. Running roughly from 7th to Broad Streets and Chestnut to South Streets, the buzzed-about ’hood is increasingly a go-to spot for trendy restaurants and owner-operated boutiques.
Midtown Village maintains its own personality thanks to a small-business boom concentrated on the
13th Street corridor, where power couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran preside over a handful of popular restaurants and shops. The Gayborhood sets itself apart with dozens of rainbow street signs that adorn poles
Steps away from the most historic square mile in America, the Market East neighborhood serves as a gateway to the city’s business, shopping and entertainment district. Originally known as High Street, what is now called Market Street is a busy boulevard, particularly during the daytime as shoppers, workers and visitors fill the street.
Bordered by Old City to the east, Chinatown to the north and Washington Square West to the south and dominated by Philadelphia’s elaborately embellished City Hall, the Market East neighborhood is largely commercial with boundaries that stretch roughly from 7th to 15th Streets and Chestnut...
Long known as the edgiest street in Philadelphia, South Street welcomes more than just hippies these days. Shoppers searching for a statement-making look, visitors hungry for a real Philly cheesesteak and music lovers who want to catch an up-and-coming band head to the storied boulevard. Ethnically diverse restaurants, bars that keep the party going long after dessert and galleries and performance spaces help make South Street the place where everyone meets. Over the past decade, the development of South Street’s east side has spread west of Broad Street, but the traditional definition of the district (depending who you ask) spans...
Fall brings a colorful slate of restaurant openings to Philadelphia. On the list are new locations for local quick spots Plenty and HipCityVeg, along with a contemporary reboot of Fork’s next door café and several Euro-centric bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spots. Here are just a few of the region’s autumnal additions, arriving just in time for turtleneck season:
- Long-running casual market-cafe Fork:etc. was recently reborn as High Street on Market, showcasing chef Eli Kulp’s creative cookery in the form of delicious pastries and breads and inventive salads, pasta dishes and sandwiches by day and contemporary American cuisine focused on
Beyond the colorful Friendship Arch at 10th and Arch Streets lives Philly’s vibrant Asian enclave, settled in the mid-19th century by Cantonese immigrants. Stretching from Vine to Arch Streets between 9th and 12th Streets, the neighborhood is packed end to end with restaurants and stores that represent Hong Kong, Cantonese, Fujianese, Northern Sichuan and Taiwanese cultures, with a sprinkling of Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Burmese, Vietnamese and hipster thrown in for good measure. On any given day or night, Chinatown bustles with activity and authenticity, from the steaming platters of hand-stretched noodles to the seasonal street festivals...
Art lovers, garden enthusiasts, film connoisseurs and sports fans keep coming back to Philadelphia year after year for festivals, athletic events, art shows, parades and cultural events galore. Here’s what’s going on in the region in 2014:
- Thousands of decorative strutters kick off the New Year by marching up Broad Street in the festive day-long Mummers Parade that ends with the Fancy Brigade Finale at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. January 1. phillymummers.com
- The region gets revved up in 2014, thanks to the Philadelphia Auto Show. The Pennsylvania Convention Center transforms into a car lover’s dream, with
LOCATION: Historic District, Center City and University City
TRANSPORTATION: By foot in Historic District, by taxi or Septa for locations beyond
TIME: Three days, two nights
SUMMARY: Featured on visitphilly.com/itineraries, this exploration beckons visitors to follow Benjamin Franklin through the streets of his adopted city, where he invented many institutions and products still in use today and where later generations have created many attractions that honor his legacy. The itinerary starts at the newly renovated Benjamin Franklin Museum, full of Franklin’s possessions, inventions and interactive games to help visitors better understand one of history’s most prolific men.
Philadelphia’s Latin flair extends well past the boundaries of Center City and the city’s traditional Hispanic neighborhood, El Centro de Oro. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, from 2000-2010, the Hispanic population grew 46% in Philadelphia, representing 12.3% of the city’s total population. Latin restaurants, galleries and attractions have grown with the trend, popping up in ethnically diverse neighborhoods—much to the delight to residents and visitors of all backgrounds. Here are some places that put the amor in the City of Brotherly Love’s neighborhoods.
For more about Philadelphia’s thriving Latino culture, follow @PhillyTeAma on Twitter.
Fishtown & Nearby:
Tucked inside the larger Midtown Village neighborhood, The Gayborhood has always been known as an enclave for lively nightspots and excellent restaurants. Now, with a new wave of openings, including chi-chi taverns, a biergarten/wursthouse, a second location for a popular Indian restaurant and the latest from 13th Street powerhouse couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, the dining and drinking scene here tastes better than ever. Here’s a look at some of the newest spots in the area where locals and visitor can get their food and drink on:
- In August, Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran are
There’s only one place for beer lovers to be this summer, and that’s Philadelphia, where beer gardens abound and where craft beers are king. The two newest additions to the city’s beer garden scene are limited-run only spots: the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Garden, a beautifully landscaped lot that’s home to a beer shack serving local brews; and The Oval, the Eakins Oval-transformed oasis that turns into a beer garden and entertainment hotspot on Thursday nights in summer.
Here’s a look at the city’s beer gardens—all places where suds devotees can enjoy warm temps and laid-back vibes, along with...
Philadelphia has been recognized as the country’s best beer city by publications from Maxim to GQ, and every month brings news of the opening of a bar/restaurant that specializes in craft beer. Though Philly has held a prominent place in the hearts of Belgian brewers for many years, other international craft beer brewers are now finding ready audiences in the city of brotherly suds. Stalwarts like Monk’s Café and relative newcomers like Brauhaus Schmitz have established such tight relationships with foreign brewers that they import beers that no other American bars can access. Similarly, several revered American breweries—think Russian River,...
When it opens in July, a.bar in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood will join Philadelphia’s lively hotel happy hour scene. Stylish and relaxing vibes and wallet-friendly deals entice residents and visitors to kick back and take in the scene at Center City hotels. Craft beers, award-winning wines and delicious bites are among the feel-good specials. Here’s a look at some hotels making people happy:
- Opening on July 9, 2013, a.bar at the swanky AKA Rittenhouse Square will shuck up an oyster happy hour seven days a week from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Every oyster on the menu will go for just $1.50 each
- 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
Inspired by Philly Beer Week, kicking off today, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) polled the newly created Philly Friends opinion panel about the city’s beer scene. The findings are mouthwatering.
Question #1: What do you think makes Philly’s beer scene so impressive? (Select all that apply.)
- Beer-centric pubs & bars – 76%
- Quality breweries – 69%
- Beer gardens – 54%
- Philly Beer Week – 43%
- Bartenders who know their stuff – 37%
- Home-brewing scene – 19%
- Other – 7%
Question #2: What is your favorite place in Philadelphia to enjoy beer on a hot summer day?...
The hub of Latino culture and life in Philadelphia, El Centro de Oro is home to international non-profit organizations, many third- and fourth-generation family-owned businesses and residents descending from almost every Latino country. Visitors to this lively enclave—just a short cab ride from Center City Philadelphia—can feast on authentic Latin/Caribbean dishes at Isla Verde, find inspiration in the work of Puerto Rican artists at Taller Puertorriqueño or feel their way through a flamenco dance lesson at Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas. Here are some ways to get a taste of the Latin flavor in El Centro de Oro and beyond:
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...
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...
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