7 Reasons to Fall in Love with Philadelphia
When my family and I were hosted for a summer getaway by the Philadelphia tourism board, we easily fell in love with the City of Brotherly Love. With the Papal visit to Philadelphia just a day away, here are my top seven reasons why the world will fall in love with Philadelphia, PA.
1. Thought-Provoking Historical Monuments
Philadelphia isn’t nicknamed, “The Birthplace of America” for no reason. This historic city houses Independence National Historical Park, The Betsy Ross House, Congress Hall, Penn’s Landing and countless monuments, including the most recent Vietnam Memorial, within its city limits. These historic places remind us that freedom — whether religious, against slavery or American safety — is not free. If you see any Park Rangers, ask them about trading cards for a free and educational souvenir to take home.
2. World-Class Entertainment
With everything from exhilarating sports to riveting shows, Philly can keep almost anyone entertained. If you are a sports fan, the Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies, 76ers are sure to please. Music lovers will enjoy the Philadelphia Theater, traveling Broadway shows, and the countless cafés which offer live music from every genre. One of my favorite spots for free entertainment is Spruce Street Harbor Park with its urban beach and giant-size games, as well as hammocks that provide the perfect opportunity to listen to live music while lounging.
3. Stunning Artwork
To say that Philly has a thriving art scene would be an understatement with attractions such as the Brandywine River Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, James A. Michener Art Museum, Rodin Museum, the Barnes Foundation and the city’s shining star, the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Whether you are looking for the classics or modern art, you will find it in the museums of Philadelphia.
Also, if you feel like walking, take a Mural Mile Walking Tour with an art expert guide or the free self-guided tour of more than 3,600 murals. Have a budding artist in the family? Ask the museums about special events and kid-friendly art programs where your loved ones can engage with the art. If you visit during the first Sunday of the month, many of these institutions offer Free Art Sundays where you can view the art without paying a cent.
4. Family-Friendly Attractions
Families will discover a variety of dedicated activities for children of every age. Love animals, insects or horticulture? The Insectarium, Philadelphia Zoo, Longwood Gardens and Tyler Arboretum will fill your day with beauty and wonder.
Want a hands-on experience? Please Touch Museum asks you to “please touch,” playfully learn and go on an adventure with Alice in Wonderland, city life and trains. It’s located inside Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park with plenty of space to run and play with the interactive areas. Or, Franklin Park, with its carousel, Philly-themed miniature golf and playground, will have you appreciating the simple joys of life.
5. Good Eats
Come hungry when you visit Philadelphia! Want to decide for yourself which Philly cheese steak spot is the best? Pat’s King of Steaks, Geno’s Steaks, Campo’s Deli, Jim’s Steaks and more want you to judge their cheese steak as the best. Or if you’re looking for a foodie wonderland, visit the Reading Terminal Market with great coffee, delicious sweets, Amish delights and Philadelphia Soft Pretzel Factory.
6. Public Transportation
With it’s simple grid layout, Philadelphia is easy to explore. The city’s public transportation system, SEPTA, allows you to take a bus, trolley or subway to most destinations, or explore the city using my favorite way, any one of the hop-on and hop-off buses.
7. #VisitPhilly Photo Spots
Vacation would not be vacation without the pictures to share on social media, right? Well Philly has you covered with their nine #VisitPhilly photo spots! Want to take a picture with the Rocky Statue before visiting the museum? Going to Love Park to see LOVE sculpture? Snap away and use hashtag #VisitPhilly to share the love.
Please note: For the Papal visit some attractions may be closed, and research road closures before heading out. But extend your stay, have fun and try something new like staying at the recently-opened Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing!
Hilton Mom Voyage writers receive free night certificates to use at Hilton Hotels & Resorts worldwide. To learn more, visit our About Us page.
Know Before You Go
- Tasting a Philly Cheesesteak is a must! Local rival restaurants Geno’s Steaks and Pat’s King of Steaks are some of the best in the city.
- For art enthusiasts, the Mural Mile Walking Tour covers over 3,600 murals. Other museums offer Free Art Sundays on the first Sunday of each month.
- Immerse yourself in the history of the birth of the United States at Independence Hall.