Known for Museums, Historical Buildings and Universities
Philadelphia was founded as the city of “brotherly love” in the late 1600s by William Penn for Quakers seeking a land without religious persecution. Visit this historic city to explore important sites from the early days of the United States as well as modern pop culture.
Independence National Historical Park holds Independence Hall, where John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin and other founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Nearby, see the recognizable crack and important message of the Liberty Bell: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof.”
The Eastern State Penitentiary is an unlikely but very popular tourist stop. Examine the unique solitary prison design and look for the cell where Al Capone was held. Stop at the Reading Terminal Market for fresh foods in the same indoor structure where the market started in 1892. The Franklin Institute offers hands-on science and technology education in 11 permanent galleries, carrying on the learning and discovery approach of famed hometown hero, Benjamin Franklin, scientist and statesman. See more than 1,300 animals at the Philadelphia Zoo, the first zoo established in the U.S.
The city has many other cultural attractions besides its historical treasures. Put on your gray sweatshirt and jog around Philadelphia and along the Schuylkill River just like Sylvester Stallone did in the film Rocky and its many sequels. Hum Gonna Fly Now as you run up the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Step inside for art ranging from collections featured in the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 to exceptional modern works in over 200 galleries. The Barnes Foundation has a superb collection of post-impressionist and early modern works.
Head to south Philadelphia to see the Eagles play football. Alternatively watch the game at a neighborhood bar just about anywhere in the city while enjoying a classic Philly cheese steak and a Yuengling beer made in nearby Pottsville or one of the area’s craft breweries.
Little builders and would-be architects of all ages can get into the hands-on fun at the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, whether it's making your own vehicles in the Build & Test Zone, catching a 4-D film featuring your favorite LEGO characters, or checking out the LEGO model of Philadelphia's skyline.
You'll have to wait in security screening lines to get in to the Liberty Bell Center. Minimize the wait by bringing only small bags with you.
If you like old-fashioned butchers, fishmongers, bakeries, cheese shops and more, this is the market for you. Lunchtimes can be tumultuous, so mid-morning or later in the afternoon is better if you want a more relaxed taste of Pennsylvania.
Come for the art, stay for the music! Every Friday night at 5pm, the museum turns into an happening cabaret with cocktails, the best local jazz, and a shake-out-the-workweek dance party that locals love.
This is a great way to see a huge amount of history in one place. If you want to have a quick taster of the place without waiting in line for too long, get there half an hour before closing
Make sure you have three things in hand when you visit this historic food haven: a big shopping bag to put your produce scores in, an appetite for the massive Italian sandwiches, and cash - many vendors don't accept cards.