Touring Philadelphia: Top Attractions in the City of Brotherly Love
Posted by: 4realAdmin on April 10th, 2014
When you think of the city of Philadelphia, two things typically come to mind: its rich history and delicious cheese steaks. Unfairly pitted against the Big Apple which sits a few hours north, Philly can certainly hold its own as a tourist destination. If you plan on coming here, have no fear about finding the ways to fill your time. Here are just a few of its top sites.
Independence National Historical Park
This is undoubtedly the biggest draw of Philadelphia, at least from a historical perspective. Some of the most important events in American history took place here, namely the founding of our nation on July 4, 1776. This is where you will find the Liberty Bell, which weighs in at 2,080 pounds. Its previous home was in Independence Hall, and was rung anytime an important event was to take place. Catch a video presentation of the bell’s history at the Liberty Bell Center (for free) and don’t forget to snap some shots of this famous historical artifact. The park is also home to Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were created, debated and eventually signed. It is also home to copies of these documents, as well as the Articles of Confederation.
If museums are your thing, Philadelphia will not disappoint. Your first stop must be the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Considered one of the best art institutions around the globe, it is home to over 300,000 pieces. If you want to see some of the greatest feats of human creativity, you will find them here. The museum also offers countless education programs and exhibitions for children and adults alike.
The Franklin Institute and Science Museum—of which I am a huge fan myself— was originally created to honor the great Benjamin Franklin. Over time, it has grown into one of the best science museums in the country. It is home to a planetarium, IMAX theater, and loads of hand-on exhibits, among other treasures.
The Eastern State Penitentiary, which was considered the gold standard for penal reform at the time of its opening, now serves as a fascinating museum. Its Gothic castle-like appearance only adds to the intrigue. The prison was home to some very famous residents, including Al Capone and bank robber Willie Sutton, and a tour will take you through the historic cells. You will also be treated to stories of inmate escapes and critically acclaimed art installations.
The Philadelphia Museum Culture is not just about art and history. There are also 3 off-the-wall Philadelphia museums everyone should see. The Please Touch Museum, located at Memorial Hall, is primarily for kids but can be fun for adults too. Each exhibit area is a different theme, such as a rainforest or city, and is full of ‘’stuff’’ that you are encouraged to touch, play with and explore. Then you have the Mütter Museum is a fascinating collection of the many medical oddities—actually, it was originally designed to educate the students of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Then you have the Historical Dental Museum, which will take you on a journey of dentistry up through modern times; sometimes macabre, but always interesting.
Where to Get Some Greenery
Like most cities, Philadelphia has its sections of lush greenery that can be a great escape from the urban environment. Fairmount Park, which takes up 4,400 acres, is actually a system of 63 parks throughout the city. No matter where you are in Philly, you can get a piece of nature.
The Longwood Gardens is considered the best horticultural garden in the country, and is comprised of 1,050 acres of meadows, gardens and woodlands. You have your pick of 20 outdoor gardens and 20 indoor. Over 11,000 plants are on display in total. There is always some sort of event happening here, from a performing arts show to gardening demonstrations.
Image credit: Rdsmith4 via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.5