Discover America’s spirit in the city where it began, with abundant historical landmarks, museums, cultural attractions, restaurants, shops and more
The 'American Dream' was born in Philadelphia, with the city playing a pivotal role in the development of a new nation founded on the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
With more historic buildings from the colonial and federal periods of American history than anywhere else in the United States, many of Philadelphia’s original structures have been preserved. Philadelphia also has top-notch art museums, cultural offerings, tax-free shopping, award-winning restaurants and outdoor art, and it is home to the largest and first city-owned urban park system in the world.
In 2015, Philadelphia earned the distinction of the first World Heritage City in the U.S., joining an elite network of global cities. Read on to learn why Philadelphia consistently ranks as one of the best places to visit in the U.S.
Independence Hall, a UNSECO World Heritage Site, is the building where the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were debated and adopted. Nearby is Carpenter’s Hall, meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774. Liberty Bell, the symbol of American independence that cracked when rung upon arrival in Philadelphia, was once located in the steeple of Independence Hall. While in the area, stroll through Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously inhabited street in America – one of Philadelphia’s most Instagram-worthy spots.
EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS
Traverse Fairmount Park, the city’s 9,000-acre park system with 215 miles of recreation trails. The first botanical garden, Bartram’s Garden, spans over 45 acres along the Schuylkill River. The Philadelphia Zoo, the nation’s first, is now home to Zoo360, a series of elevated mesh trails throughout the zoo that allow the animals to roam around the park.
ARTS AND CULTURE
The first and oldest art museum and art school in the U.S., the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was founded in 1805 by Charles Wilson Peale and houses a renowned collection of American paintings from the 1760s to the present.
Visit the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, also known as Philadelphia’s museum district, to explore the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with its outstanding collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, including the largest collection of Marcel Duchamp’s artwork in the world. Exit the east entrance of the museum to the steps made famous by Philadelphia’s beloved fictional son, Rocky Balboa, whose statue stands tall on the edge of the museum’s grounds.
“The oldest art museum and art school in the
U.S., the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was founded in 1805 and houses a renowned collection of American paintings from the 1760s to the present”