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Philadelphia Guide

####America’s Most Historic Square Mile

You can’t tell the story of the United States without Philadelphia. Certainly not the beginning. Founded in 1682, the City of Brotherly Love was where the Declaration of Independence was signed, where the Constitution was devised, and where Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in what would become one of the most famous scientific experiments of all time. The city’s colonial and Revolutionary-era attractions are concentrated in Independence National Historical Park, where you’ll find national treasures to rival anything in Washington, DC, or Boston.

  • Independence Hall: The birthplace of America. See for yourself the room where the Founding Fathers debated and signed both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
  • Liberty Bell: This 2,000-pound icon has been an enduring symbol of American freedom since it was made in 1752.
  • Benjamin Franklin Museum: Explore the life of America’s inventor-statesman via interactive animations and other hands-on exhibits.
  • National Constitution Center features a multimedia presentation on the country’s founding that’s displayed on a 360-degree domed ceiling, as well as galleries filled with artifacts, including a rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Fun in the Present

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art: Jog up the steps made famous by Sylvester Stallone in Rocky and head inside to check out art from the Middle Ages to today. Highlights include a collection of French Impressionist paintings, and a 1-acre terraced Sculpture Garden.
  • South Street: Philly’s funkiest strip, where you’ll find some of the best people-watching in town, along with an eclectic mix of shops, bars, and restaurants.
  • Philadelphia's Magic Gardens: Mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar used bottles, dishware, bicycle parts, and other assorted gewgaws to create the brightly colored, multilayered outdoor maze at this folk-art space. It’s best appreciated in person.

Hungry in Philly

  • Pat’s vs. Geno’s: At the corner of 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue in South Philly, Pat’s King of Steaks and across-the-street rival Geno’s Steaks face off in a neverending battle for cheesesteak dominance. Try them both and take a side.
  • Rita’s Italian Ice: This beloved chain, recognizable by its red, green, and white containers, sells one of Philadelphia’s favorite treats. Ask for the gelati variation, which combines flavored ice and creamy frozen custard.
  • Philly Soft Pretzel Factory serves up warm, hand-twisted pretzels in both sweet and savory flavors at several locations throughout the city.

Where to Stay

  • Morris House Hotel: Built in 1787, this boutique hotel in Center City is a National Historic Landmark. It features a Revolutionary-era lounge and a formal garden.
  • Hotel Palomar: A 1929 gem, restored to its full Art Deco glory thanks to a multimillion-dollar renovation. Steps from the Old City and the Mutter Museum (where you can peruse a collection of medical oddities and old timey surgical implements)
  • Spruce Hill Manor: An 1879 mansion-turned-hotel within walking distance of the historic district, with unique rooms decorated with antiques
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