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Many Of Philly's Finest Attractions Are Free–Or Almost
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.
- On 5th Street, snuggled behind the east wing of Independence Hall, is Philosophical Hall. Erected in the late 1780s for the American Philosophical Society, it functioned as the nation’s first museum, national
Philly Galleries Set The Scene For Picture-Perfect Gardens
Throughout the Philadelphia region, art spills out of galleries and into the great outdoors. Many of the region’s galleries and museums sit amid colorful gardens, quiet woodlands or serene meadows that accentuate the art found on the walls. Here’s a look at some of the Philadelphia region galleries that celebrate beauty inside and out:
- When there isn’t a festival, concert or film series in the 27-acre Sculpture Park at the Abington Art Center, visitors can claim a quiet bench under the Katasura trees to contemplate the 24 environmentally themed semi-permanent and temporary sculptures by artists such as Ursula von Rydingsvard,
Philadelphia And The Countryside® Calendar Of Events
Through February 7, 2016
NATURAL SELECTIONS: ANDREW WYETH PLANT STUDIES. A selection of Andrew Wyeth’s watercolor and pencil studies at the Brandywine Museum of Art highlights the beauty and intricacy of nature’s designs in segmented forms. (610) 388-2700, brandywine.org/museum
Through February 28, 2016
EXIT STRATEGY. At the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, the Philadelphia Theatre Company presents a thrilling play about a public school in Chicago targeted for
25 Philadelphia Dates For Under $25
Love doesn’t always wait for payday to roll around, and that’s okay because Philadelphia has lots of ways to woo a loved one on Valentine’s Day—or any day, really—without dipping deeply into the bank account. Couples can settle in for a free afternoon hang at Winterfest, ignite a spark while enjoying a glowing sunset and happy hour-priced drinks at R2L, catch up-and-coming stars during a concert at the Curtis Institute of Music or pay a few bucks for a game of ten-pins at North Bowl. Here are 25 fun finds for daters that ring up at $25 or less:
2016 Annual Events In Philadelphia
There’s a reason so many folks add Philadelphia to their must-do calendars. The city’s festivals, athletic events, art shows, parades and cultural events keep art lovers, garden enthusiasts, film connoisseurs, music aficionados and sports fans keep coming back to Philadelphia year after year. Here’s what’s going on in the Philadelphia region in 2016:
- Every winter, the region gets revved up for the Philadelphia Auto Show. The Pennsylvania Convention Center transforms into a car lover’s dream, with 700 pre-production, hot-production, classic and green vehicles from a range of manufacturers. January 30-February 7. phillyautoshow.com
- Called “one of the
10 Things You (Probably) Don't Know About The 2016 DNC Host City, Philadelphia
The 2016 Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia, the birthplace of America and the country’s first World Heritage City, July 25-28, 2016. The city has enough history, art, culture, food, vibrant neighborhoods, parks and political landmarks to fill web, newspaper and magazine pages from now until the convention.
Here are 10 things people might not know about the host city, plus key resources for convention and destination coverage.
10 Philly Facts You (Probably) Don’t Know:
- One-quarter of the U.S. population lives within a five-hour drive of Philadelphia.
- The fast-growing Indego bike-share program launched in spring 2015 and
What's In The Old City Neighborhood?
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, boundary-pushing theaters and vibrant nightlife. Especially popular are First...
Big Events Make For A Big 2016 In Philadelphia
Recently named the first World Heritage City in the United States, Philadelphia looks forward to an action-packed 2016 filled with attraction openings and expansions, only-in-Philly events and don’t-miss exhibitions—all happenings that will complement the immensely walkable city’s buzzed-about dining scene, vibrant art offerings, plentiful parks and public spaces and history galore.
2016 is a year that will see Broad Street turned into a sprawling street festival for the return of the PIFA (Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts) and roaring animatronic dinosaurs lumber into The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. On the anniversary front, the Philadelphia Flower Show...
Rocky's Legendary Philly Weekend
After captivating the hearts of millions of film fans, the fictional character Rocky Balboa makes his return to the big screen once again, this time with Creed, premiering just before Thanksgiving Day 2015. It’s easy for Rocky fans to explore the boxer’s beloved city of Philadelphia, which plays a key role in all of the films, thanks to this two-day, two-night itinerary—available on visitphilly.com/rocky and featuring highlights of the Academy-Award winning film and its six sequels:
Having fun and living like a legend—that’s what this weekend is all about, right? Don’t waste any time getting the festivities started.
What's In The Washington Square West Neighborhood?
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 forged its personality thanks to a small-business boom concentrated along 13th Street, where power couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran preside over a handful of restaurants and shops. The Gayborhood sets itself apart with restaurants and bars catering to an LGBT-friendly clientele, along with rainbow crosswalks...
What's In The Rittenhouse Square Neighborhood?
Long-considered one of the toniest neighborhoods in the city, Rittenhouse Square isn’t just an enviable address. It’s a lifestyle. And since it’s home to a number of hotels, the neighborhood remains an out-of-towner favorite.
Along the Rittenhouse 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; theaters and entertainment; cafes; beer, wine and cocktail bars; and restaurants of all kinds. The neighborhood buzzes with activity all year long.
The one-square-block park that gives the neighborhood its name is more popular with sunbathers, readers, families, artists...
Bucks County: Bristol
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. Two other important figures for the town: textile-milling tycoon Joseph R. Grundy and his sister and library advocate Margaret
Montgomery County: Jenkintown
One of the oldest boroughs in Montgomery County, Jenkintown brims with historical interest and secret finds. In this residential community, visitors find National Landmarks, an active art scene and shops and restaurants.
Settled by William Jenkins in 1697, Jenkintown was incorporated in 1874. Among the quirkier holdovers from older days are the two fire companies founded in the 19th century. Both continue to serve the half-mile area today. Like many of the suburbs that surround Philadelphia, Jenkintown had its first heyday in the 19th and 20th centuries. A downtown revival in the 2000s, with the renovation of the
Montgomery County: Skippack
Quaint to its floorboards, Skippack embraces its historic appeal. Amid the covered bridge and old-fashioned lampposts, however, visitors find stylish gift stores and galleries and buzzing restaurants and bars that speak to a modern-day audience. With a mixture of European charm and hippie ease, this shopping-centric town has evolved through the years to become a popular tourist destination.
Skippack’s origins date back to 1683, when German settlers overran Germantown and moved by boat up the Perkiomen Creek to a place where the shallow water prohibited farther travel. There they stayed and named the land “Schippach.” In 1795, Jacob
T.G.I.O. (Thank Goodness It's October) In Philadelphia
October in Philadelphia delivers a feast of festivals that focus on art, design, autumn and family fun.
The aesthetically inclined can indulge in The Philadelphia Collection, DesignPhiladelphia and two weekends of Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. Wizards and muggles will rub elbows at the magical Harry Potter Festival, while scream queens and kings can get their scare on at Eastern State Penitentiary’s lauded Terror Behind the Walls and Laurel Hill Cemetery’s True Tales from the Tomb. Even the city’s beloved culinary invention gets its very own salute in the first-ever Philadelphia Cheesesteak Festival.
Here are the highlights of five October weekends...
Philadelphia's Best Vantage Points
- South Street Bridge: Skyline view from west, over the Schuylkill River and Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk. South Street near 26th Street
- Belmont Plateau: Skyline view from 10 minutes west of Center City. Take Schuylkill Expressway west to Montgomery Avenue and turn right onto Belmont Avenue. This shot only works during clear weather.
- Top of the Tower: Dramatic skyline view from inside 51-story building and balcony access for 360-degree view. Potential fee depending on how much staff time is involved to fulfill request. 1717 Arch Street, (215) 567-8787, topofthetower.com
- City Hall Observation Deck: At the top of City
Montgomery County: Ardmore
As the largest and most diverse town on the ritzy Main Line stretch of suburbs, Ardmore has a distinctly double character: It’s residential yet urban, independent yet central, historic yet forward-facing. Even the community itself straddles two counties (Ardmore is seated in Montgomery County, while South Ardmore is in Delaware County). Add to that some of the area’s best shopping, dining and nightlife, and visiting Ardmore is a multidimensional experience.
Once known as Athensville, the town was rechristened “Ardmore” by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1873. The railroad also lent the town its transportation hub, and gave the “Main
Montgomery County: Ambler
The definition of a small town, Ambler covers less than one square mile. Despite its diminutive size, it’s amazingly complete, with a host of shops, restaurants, bars and special events that keep the streets bustling. Unassuming and unpretentious, Ambler has retained an historic gentility and independent spirit that are the pride of this tightly knit community.
Originally known as the Village of Wissahickon, Ambler was renamed in 1869 in honor of Mary Johnson Ambler, a Quaker resident who helped lead rescue efforts during the Great Train Wreck of 1856. The town served as a manufacturing hub in the
Pope And Pilgrims Find A Bit Of Home In Philadelphia
Being far from home can make even a pope yearn for a little bit of the old country. When Pope Francis visits Philadelphia this September, the pontiff can assuage homesick pangs with food, drinks and activities popular in his birth country (Argentina) and current home (Vatican City surrounded by Rome, Italy). The city’s tight-knit Italian-American community and growing Hispanic population has spurred an abundance of delectable treats, traditional family activities and familiar places of worship. And just for the month of September, Pizzeria Vetri will serve a special “Il Papa” pie just for the pope after hearing how much he...
Philadelphia County: Mt. Airy
Sometimes a name so perfectly defines a neighborhood that it creates a pretty accurate mental image. That’s Mt. Airy. Gently rising from the banks of the Wissahickon Creek, Mt. Airy, which is only 20 minutes from Center City, combines dense leafy park land, miles of multi-use trails, tree-lined streets and a historic cobblestoned business corridor that attracts aspiring entrepreneurs.
Mt. Airy’s varied architecture recounts its historic roots. Structures dating back to the 18th century sit alongside Victorian and 20th-century homes. The community’s Quaker roots might be one reason that Mt. Airy became a model of successful integration early...