As Pennsylvania’s largest and most historic city, Philadelphia is a cultural haven. William Penn (who still sits above City Hall) founded the city in 1682 and since then, Philly has become a national landmark. As the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, there is no shortage of history, monuments and significant sites to see. And while the city may look very different from the one our forefathers lived in, it is still home to some of the most important places and documents our country has—and if you’re lucky, you may even spot Benjamin Franklin walking around Independence Mall or grabbing a drink at the iconic City Tavern. As a super walkable city, it’s best to visit during the spring and fall (winters can be brutal, summers can be steamy), where the breeze from the Delaware and the Schuylkill Rivers make the city that much more enjoyable.
The City’s Culture
With city rivalries spanning north, south, east and west, Philadelphian’s are proud of their city. Known for its past, Philly also shows a promising future—one filled with new dining establishments, cultural institutions and additions to the ever-growing skyline. Sports fans to our core, Philly comes alive during the football, baseball and hockey seasons, but off-season, it’s all about festivals, beer and wine weeks, pop-up gardens and cultural celebrations. Millennial’s and baby boomers mix with students from surrounding universities, enjoying craft beers made right here in town, discovering the latest restaurant openings and exploring the different neighborhoods that make the city unique.
While history buffs come flocking to Philadelphia, it’s a prime location for all types of travelers. Nature lovers will appreciate the multitude of hiking locales nearby and the walkability of the city (plus the many free attractions) makes it ideal for those on a budget. Families will enjoy the learning centers inside the museums, the Philadelphia Zoo and activities along the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing. And with restaurants popping up daily and innovative food trends all over the city—plus restaurants run by Top Chef’s and famous restaurateurs—foodies will find no shortage of things to eat (and have no problem getting that ultimate Instagram shot).
Where to Explore
It’s common knowledge that you can’t visit the City of Brotherly Love without a stop at the Liberty Bell. But afterwards, be sure to check out the surrounding sites, including Independence Hall, the Constitution Center, the U.S. Mint and the entire neighborhood of Old City, marked by cobblestone streets and locally-run boutiques. For shopping and dining, Rittenhouse Square, an upscale section of the city surrounded by a lush green park perfect for people watching, is ideal. South Street is uniquely Philly, with eclectic shops and iconic cheesesteak spots, and across the Schuylkill River in University City, you’ll find even more places to eat plus college-friendly bars and hangouts. Closer to the water, visitors can dine with a view or hop on a ferry for a quick ride across the Delaware River to nearby Camden, New Jersey for a concert or trip to the Aquarium.