The City of Brotherly Love, the Cradle of Liberty and Birthplace of the United States – all popular and well deserved nicknames for this great city on the Delaware River. Philadelphia was founded in 1682 and played a significant role in the birth of North America. It is from this great city where the founding fathers formed the Continental Congress, drafted the Declaration of Independence and hammered out the details of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Serving as temporary capital of the United States during the 1790s, Philadelphia is today as relevant and as beloved as it ever was. This great city of history and culture continues to charm with its colonial era architecture and lovely streetscapes, making for a uniquely American holiday destination.
One of the biggest draws in Philadelphia is its iconic historic sites. Independence Hall is where America’s founding fathers met during the American Revolution and where they debated and adopted such famous documents as the Declaration of Independence. Just outside is that well-known symbol of American independence: the Liberty Bell, which once hung in Independence Hall. The bell was rung in July 1776 to proclaim to all of Philadelphia that the Declaration of Independence had been adopted. Nearby, another stately building is Congress Hall, where the Untied States Congress met from 1790 to 1800 during Philadelphia’s time as the national capital. The city is also blessed with world-renowned cultural sites, from great concert halls and theatres to art museums with priceless collections. For some great family fun, take in a day at the award-winning Philadelphia Zoo or check in with some marine life at the aquarium. A great collection of America’s early maritime history can be found at the Independence Seaport Museum.
Eat and Drink
Philadelphia is a world-class city that contains many five-star dining options, as well as the best in international cuisine. The city even has its own sandwich named after it – the Philly cheesesteak sandwich, a delectable mix of shaved beef, melted cheese and onions served on a long, fresh roll. This sandwich has become popular all over the country but, in Philly, there are restaurants and food carts devoted to it. For a taste of history with your meal try the City Tavern, the local hangout of American patriots and founding fathers in the 1700s. Many of the trendy bars and clubs can be found in the city centre and in Old City, as well as cafés and coffee houses during the day.
Where to Stay
There is a wide range of accommodation choices available in Philadelphia to suit every price range. Luxury hotels and high-end branded chains are common in the city, especially around the lovely Rittenhouse Square area. Many pretty guesthouses can also be found in this area. Youth hostels or backpackers aren’t particularly popular here but there are a couple of properties located right in the city. Alternatively, there are many budget hotel and motel chains located in the suburbs, near the airport and sporadically placed in the city centre.
When it comes to shopping, Walnut Street is the place to go. This upscale shopping district in the heart of the city is home to all the best retailers and popular brands. Old City’s 3rd Street Corridor is also a trendy shopping district with independent labels and locally-owned shops.
Philadelphia Like a Local
Philadelphia is a mixture of many great neighbourhoods, making it perfect for residents wanting to enjoy quiet strolls along the historic house-lined streets. Coffee houses and cafés, especially around Old City and Rittenhouse Square are popular. Hang with the locals at Clark Park in West Philadelphia, where outdoor concerts and art fairs take place in the warmer months, or in Pennypack Park where the locals go to hike, bike and explore the many creeks and waterfalls. Philadelphians are mad about sport and no matter what time of year they can be found supporting one of their local major league teams. From baseball and basketball to football and hockey, sport is all the rage.