Often referred to as “America’s Birthplace,” Philadelphia has been the center of progressive beliefs and democratic principles since the first settlement of the city was founded by the now famous Quaker, William Penn. Naming the settlement “The City of Brotherly Love,” William Penn hoped to protect individual freedoms and promote religious tolerance in stark contrast with what many colonists had escaped under British rule.
William Penn’s visions were realized when the Declaration of Independence was signed in Independence Hall, and after years of bloody and hostile clashes with the British Army during the American Revolution when the United States Constitution was first drafted in the same hall. Travel through time in Independence National Historic Park (Old City) where the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Constitution Hall are all concentrated. You can view the Constitution and Declaration of Independence in Constitution Hall and take a walk through the many Revolution-era buildings that have been restored and preserved. Travel to Philadelphia, once the capital of the United States, and see for yourself the remnants of revolutionary battles and the emergence of a new, independent nation.
Hoagies, Movies and Masterpieces
A simple walk through the streets of central Philadelphia will reveal the nation’s largest collection of public art amidst ample park space and well-planned, easily navigated streets. Stroll along West Market Street near City Hall and through LOVE Park, taking in the fantastic murals and sculptures along the way. For a more traditional experience, visit the masterpieces of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the steps of which were made famous by Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. For the most unique museum experience, visit the Mutter Museum, originally open to medical students and featuring a wide array of formaldehyde-filled cadavers and skeletal displays, along with some little known facts about the nation’s medical history.
Philadelphia is also known for its many famous architectural feats and noteworthy buildings. The City Hall, completed in 1900, is the world’s tallest load-bearing masonry structure. Another Historic Landmark, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building is considered to be America’s first International Modernist skyscraper and also home of the first ever savings bank in the United States. On a smaller scale, Philadelphia is known for the homes of Benjamin Franklin and Edgar Allen Poe.
Find airfare to Philadelphia around the first Friday of the month to enjoy the galleries and sights in Old City for free until late in the evening. When you have had enough of museums, stop into a pub or restaurant for an original Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich and some Italian ice for a true taste of Philadelphia. You will probably even want to order a few extra sandwiches for the flight home!