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An Essential Guide To Philadelphia For LGBT Visitors
Philadelphia, the United States’ birthplace, is proud of the roles it has played—and plays still—in the founding, furtherance and celebration of the LGBT civil rights movement. The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection hosted the country’s first major demonstration for LGBT rights, the Annual Reminders, in 1965. Today, visitors to Philly can easily explore sites where LGBT history was made and where queer life continues to thrive.
To see and do it all, visitors need to spend at least a couple of nights, and that’s made easy with the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package®, offering free parking...
What's In The Chinatown Neighborhood?
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...
Go Beyond The Gayborhood To Explore Philadelphia's Other Options For Nightlife, The Arts & Drag Shows
It’s no secret that Philadelphia is one of the LGBT-friendliest cities in the country, but Philly pride extends past the rainbow flag-adorned Gayborhood. Neighborhoods throughout the city offer endless options for queer folks looking for a gay old time. Groups QOTA (Queers on the Avenue) and OUT in Fishtown welcome partygoers south and north of Center City, respectively, for monthly happy hours, food and fun. LGBT-owned hangouts Menagerie Coffee and The Victoria Freehouse satisfy cravings for caffeine, cocktails and culture in Historic Philadelphia. South Street’s iconic dive bar Bob and Barbara’s Lounge hosts the city’s longest-running drag show.
Pet lovers are crazy about their animal companions—and, according to the American Pet Products Association, they spend nearly $63 billion a year in the U.S. on pet services and accouterments to prove it. For those who love to spoil their pet but hate to leave him or her behind while traveling, the Philadelphia region proves to be the “purr-fect” getaway. Pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, shops and parks welcome visitors and their animals, so it’s easy to bring furry friends along for the ride.
- Delaware County’s Brandywine River Hotel welcomes dogs in pet-friendly rooms for a $25-per-dog-per-night fee for
Graduate Hospital goes by many names (Center City South, South of South, G-Ho), which is fitting for a neighborhood that draws its personality from the people inside it: young transplants, born-and-raised neighbors, hip urban professionals, craft beer crowds and more. In recent years, the area stretching from Lombard Street to Washington Avenue and from Broad Street to Gray’s Ferry Avenue has accumulated a healthy dose of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and markets that reflect the area’s residential and cool vibe.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has picked this ’hood for its summertime PHS Pop Up Garden three years in a...
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. Also lining South are ethnically diverse restaurants, bars that keep the party going long after dessert, galleries and performance spaces.
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 on who you ask) spans up to 14 blocks: Front...
Philly's Top Spots for DNC Souvenirs
Donkey charms, donkey ceramics, donkey scarves, donkey soaps, donkey everything and anything: These are just some of the Philly-designed finds for sale around town during the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Year round, visitors to the city stock up on tricorn hats, feather quill pens and miniature Rocky statues, but July 25 through 28 will be the time to scoop up memorabilia to mark a milestone in U.S. history.
Here are some Philly stores selling souvenirs worthy of delegates’ suitcase space:
Official DNC Merchandise:
- Two types of pop-up shops dot the city and region during the DNC. Both sets of
Philly Offers A Fresh Update On Old-School Barbershops
Used to be when a guy needed a shave or a haircut, he had to choose: Book an appointment at a unisex salon or take his chances at a grandfatherly barbershop. That’s not the case anymore—at least not for guys in Philly. These days, the city is full of tonsorialists—that’s vintage speak for barbers—who pull off skillful styles in old-fashioned shops. Execs seeking subtle shags, students going for a clean crop and grooms getting their first straight-razor shave can all rest easy, knowing they have a bevy of awesome Philly barbers from which to choose. Here’s where to start:
Every Day Is A Good Day To Shop At Farmers' Markets In Philly
Surrounded by richly fertile farmland and home to innovative urban growing projects, Philadelphia is a market-goer’s dream. Year-round and seasonally, open-air stalls dot the city and countryside, from the bustling indoor Reading Terminal Market to the gingham-clothed tables of the Phoenixville Market, collectively connecting consumers to freshly grown and produced food every day of the week. With many accepting electronic payments, Philly’s growing roster of farmers’ markets has made eating fresh, local food an easy way of life.
Here are just some of the places to find seasonal goodies while supporting area farms:
- The only farmers’ market
What's In The Society Hill Neighborhood?
With its cobblestone streets and original 18th- and 19th-century buildings 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 people to resist the appeal of walking the same streets the nation’s founders once did.
Following an era when the neighborhood was home to a number of luminaries—Samuel Powel, the first mayor of the city after independence was declared, future first...
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, Historic Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood 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...
What's In The Bella Vista And Queen Village Neighborhoods?
Once considered working-class suburbs, the tree-lined South Philadelphia neighborhoods of Queen Village and Bella Vista have spent the past decade establishing themselves as some of the city’s most stable and vibrant places to live, work, dine and shop. Small, mostly historic townhouses and a mix of new and well-established businesses make up these side-by-side neighborhoods. Residents both new and old are passionate about maintaining pocket parks and patronizing independent merchants and restaurants. The districts’ busiest byways include the open-air Italian Market on South 9th Street and the mini neighborhood of west-to-east-running South Street.
Directly south of Old City and Society...
Philadelphia's Top Spots For Souvenirs
Visitors seeking a tricorn hat, feather quill pen or mini-Rocky can certainly find such souvenirs in and around Philadelphia’s best-known historical and cultural sites. Then again, those who prefer artisan-made goods and foods, cool T-shirts or locally made jewelry can stop into stylish shops all over the city to pick up unexpected Philly memorabilia.
In preparation for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, July 25-28, Philadelphia shops are planning their patriotic and collectible merchandise. Think donkey and elephant jewelry charms and political bobbleheads.
- Cheesesteaktees lets its shirts do the talking. The online shop specializes in fun, cheeky Philly-themed
What's In The Northern Liberties Neighborhood?
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 Schmidts Commons.
The neighborhood lies north of Old City, and its borders (depends...
What's In The Fishtown Neighborhood?
Like its hip neighbor Northern Liberties, Fishtown has quickly become one of the coolest sections of Philadelphia, thanks to an influx of quality restaurants, inventive bars, impressive music venues and forward-thinking art galleries.
Philadelphians have found new and innovative uses for Fishtown ever since William Penn made peace with the Lenape Indians in what’s now Penn Treaty Park. It’s the only place in the city where, in the same evening, someone can buy a custom-made guitar, drink craft beer while playing Tetris, eat stellar Yugoslavian food and visit the world’s only pizza museum. Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor serves as...
What's In the Callowhill Neighborhood?
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.
The Philadelphia Museum Of Art's Mexican Modernism Exhibit Gives Visitors Reasons To Explore City's Mexican Connections
Art lovers are saying viva el arte to the eagerly anticipated exhibition Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism: 1910-1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from October 25, 2016 through January 8, 2017. A first-of-its-kind collaboration between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Mexico City’s Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, this large-scale show features paintings, prints, books, broadsheets and many works relating to major mural projects—perfect for Philadelphia, boasting more than 3,800 murals on walls all over the city. The show includes pieces from legends Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and important contemporaries such as Dr. Atl (Gerardo Murillo) and...
What's In The Pennsport & East Passyunk Neighborhoods?
For decades, 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, especially on the food front, with many new restaurants opening and gaining enormous acclaim from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia magazine and Eater, an influential online outlet that put East Passyunk eateries in nine of the top 10 spots on the winter 2016 edition of its Eater 38 list of essential Philadelphia’s restaurants.
Visitors who stroll down Passyunk (pronounced pashunk by those in the know) find...
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
What's On The Avenue Of The Arts?
Although technically named South 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. The energy is contagious as theatergoers, orchestra fans, opera lovers, dance aficionados and artists spill onto the street to mix with the locals who live, work and dine on the storied thoroughfare.
Home to the striking Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the legendary Academy of Music, The Wilma Theater, Merriam Theater, University of the Arts, Arts Bank and other cultural landmarks, the Avenue of the Arts has earned its...