Delve into Philadelphia’s history and pivotal role in the founding of the nation, be awed by art collections, enjoy the great outdoors and taste the wide variety of culinary offerings that have made Philadelphia an international food destination.
For first-time visitors to Philadelphia, Independence Visitor Center is an important resource for orientation and itinerary planning before visiting Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and President’s House. Take a deep dive into the war for independence at the Museum of the American Revolution. History scholars and enthusiasts can retrace the American Revolution, battle by battle, through thousands of artifacts, works of art, texts and exhibits including George Washington’s war tent. The National Constitution Center invites visitors from around the world to celebrate, debate and learn more about the most important document in U.S. history. See the exhibit Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality. The nation’s oldest residential street, Elfreth’s Alley, beckons visitors to take a stroll back in time to colonial days. Two adjacent 1755 homes serve as a museum and gift shop. Swing by the birthplace of the American flag, the Betsy Ross House, to tour the 18th-century home and “meet” Betsy Ross, hard at work in her fabric workshop.
From casual eaters to food critics, a wide variety of delicious food options await to satisfy every palate at Reading Terminal Market, one of America’s oldest and largest public markets. Food aficionados and gourmands find instant favorites like the classic Philadelphia cheesesteak, roast pork sandwiches and Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, or they can satiate their cravings at one of many vendors featuring international delights. After, peruse the stalls selling fresh produce, seafood, artisanal cheeses, cut flowers, cookbooks, kitchenware and more.
One of the largest art museums in the country, and filled with vast collections and special exhibitions from around the world, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-see for any appreciator of fine art. It’s also the site of the famed Rocky Steps so be sure to take a run up them before posing with the fictional southpaw’s statue in front of the building. After, stroll along an iconic Philadelphia site, Boathouse Row, which is aglow at night with thousands of twinkling lights. The gazebo at the Philadelphia Water Works, just behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is a favorite vantage point for riverside views of Boathouse Row and an ideal angle to take photos.
Return to the historic district for an authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak at family-owned Campo’s, or opt for a contemporary American meal at nearby Fork. More options await from the many vendors inside the recently updated Bourse Food Hall next to Independence Hall, which was once home to the nation’s first commodities exchange market.