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Reasons to Visit Philadelphia

Why you should choose Philadelphia as your next travel destination.

There are endless reasons to visit Philadelphia, from the city’s rich history to the great local food and nightlife. If you’re looking for your next vacation, a weekend getaway, or a quick sight-seeing trip, Philly is the place for you!

Already coming to Philadelphia? Whether you’re in town for fun or if Philly is the destination for your next corporate retreat or holiday party venue, we’ll offer some of Philly’s best activities for visitors. Check out some of the top reasons to visit Philadelphia!

Historical Sites in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is home to a lot of history. As one of the earliest major American cities, Philadelphia is home to plenty of history, especially surrounding the Revolutionary War and early colonial America. The rich history in Philadelphia is a major attractant to tourists; estimates guess that about 3.5 million visitors come to Independence National Historic Park each year, the centerpoint of Philly’s historical sites.

Independence National Historic Park is located right in Center City, Philadelphia, and houses Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, one of our nation’s most fabled landmarks. The Declaration of Independence was signed here, making it a popular destination for history buffs and educational tours. Other historical sites to check out include the Betsy Ross House, City Hall, and other landmarks. Historical museums include the National Constitution Center, the Museum of the American Revolution, and more.

Right outside of the city, Valley Forge National Historical Park houses Civil War Memorials. The park was home to the Continental Army during the Revolution as well. With parks, landmarks, and more, there’s plenty of history in Philadelphia.

Museums in Philadelphia

If American history isn’t your thing, there are also plenty of museums to visit in Philadelphia for a cultural experience. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the third largest fine art museum in the country. It houses exhibits featured a range of artwork, with special exhibits changing seasonally. If you’re visiting Philly on the first Sunday of the month, admission to the art museum only costs a donation of your choice. The steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art were made famous in the movie Rocky, and a Rocky statue still sits at the base of the stairs.

For a spookier experience, check out Eastern State Penitentiary. This now-defunct penitentiary once held famous gangster Al Capone, along with many other criminals. Historical tours of the penitentiary are given year-round, but if you visit in the fall you can enjoy a haunted tour, with scary sound effects, lighting, actors, and more.

There are also plenty of museums perfect for children if you’re travelling with kids. The Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park encourages hands-on learning, and is perfect for young children. The Franklin Institute teaches children (and adults) about science and technology while still providing a fun experience. One famous exhibit at the Franklin Institute is a giant heart that children can walk through. On a nice day, visit the Philadelphia Zoo, or the Adventure Aquarium just across the river on the Camden Waterfront.

While these are some of the bigger museums, there are plenty of different exhibits, galleries, and more to see in Philadelphia!

Famous Philadelphia Food

You could spend a weekend in Philadelphia focusing on the food alone. Philadelphia is known for a few signature food items, but even past those, the city is teeming with delicious meals, top-rated restaurants, and hidden gems with great eats.

Obviously, if you’re in Philadelphia you should indulge in a Philly cheesesteak. Philadelphia natives will argue over where you can find the best Philly cheesesteak, but there are great spots all over the city serving this local delicacy. Some favorite spots to try are Pat’s or Geno’s on Passyunk Ave, Jim’s Steaks on South Street, and Dalessandro’s in Roxborough. Those are only a few top choices, although everyone has their own favorite.

Soft pretzels are another Philadelphia classic that you can find all over the city. Hoagies, called subs in other parts of the country, are another famous Philly dish. See why everyone raves about Wawa, or visit a smaller local deli for the real deal. In the summer, grab water ice at Rita’s or at a local shop.

Aside from the Philadelphia food stereotypes, there are also plenty of upscale restaurants in the city. Famous chefs flock to Philadelphia for its food scene, so whatever your tastes, you’re sure to find something delicious.

Philadelphia Nightlife

For young adults considering a trip to Philly, there is a thriving nightlife scene to keep anyone 21+ entertained. Whether you prefer a crowded nightclub or a low-lit, dark bar, Philadelphia has plenty of nightlife and entertainment for an exciting night out. Choose from a variety of popular Philadelphia clubs, or go old school at a bar like McGillin’s. McGillin’s is the city’s first bar, established in 1860, but still sees huge crowds every weekend for cheap beer specials and great bar food.

South Street is one of Philly’s most famous streets for both tourism and nightlife. During the day, South Street is home to Magic Gardens, a walkable mosaic and impressive backdrop for your next Instagram post. Once the doors to Magic Gardens close, however, South Street is home to lively nightlife, from grungy bars to popular spots like Fat Tuesdays.

During the summer, there are plenty of rooftop bars and beer gardens to enjoy the warm weather. Bok Bar is a summer pop-up on the roof of an old Catholic school in South Philadelphia. There are various trendy rooftop bars, or there are endless beer gardens and patios that re-open once the weather warms up.

More Things To Do in Philadelphia

For more reasons to visit Philadelphia, check out seasonal schedules and events coming to the city! Philly is a major city, so it attracts plenty of big events, concerts, touring Broadway shows, and more. During the holidays, the city is home to plenty of pop up markets for shopping, bars, ice skating rinks, and more! There’s no bad time to visit Philadelphia, and no matter what the season, there are plenty of reasons to visit.

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