Philadelphia is known as the birthplace as the United States. It is the city that hosted the signing of the Declaration of Independence, served as the meeting place for the first two Continental Congresses and was the capital of the new country until Washington D.C. was ready. The city is rich in history and the times those events took place in are still visible in the architecture found throughout Philadelphia. But these are the things known to Americans and history buffs the world over.
What not everybody knows, however, are all of the places within the city only true Philadelphians are aware of. The locals know of the happening places in town — the attractions popular to those who live in the city, the little gems of history that have been forgotten by all outside of Philadelphia.
As with any major city, you can find local tours to taking visitors and residents alike around town. Historical societies from all over the nation love to visit Philadelphia for the chance to visit 1700s America. Travel enthusiasts and organizations enjoy finding new places to see, people to talk to, and cuisine to eat (and local craft beers to consume), and Philadelphia is a popular spot for travel fans to do all of this. Gather your group, make your plans, and explore the city; find those lost gems and hot spots.
The city is home to a number of museums. Independence Hall is a commemoration of the time period when the American Colonies debated secession from the British Crown and representatives from the 13 territories gathered to form a new nation. There is more than just political history, however.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses a collection of artwork that is comparative to museums around the world. Ranging from European still-lifes to painted pottery from the Orient, this museum currently has over 240,000 sculptures, drawings, photographs, and suits of armor on exhibit.
A museum dedicated to the folk arts of local and global reach, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens focuses on the artwork of a non-traditional sense. The styles, materials — even the messages behind each piece of art — is praised here, as are the artists who created them. A lot of mosaic art can be found within its walls, but the Magic Garden’s emphasis is on the work completed by self-taught artists with a passion to express themselves through various mediums.
Philadelphia’s Food Scene
A foodie’s must-do! The cuisine in Philadelphia is assorted. The city boasts a variety of restaurants serving traditional Asian food, Hispanic dishes, a mix of European delicacies, and a handful of locations serving Native American meals. The city is most famous, in food terms, for being the birthplace of the Philly Cheesesteak. The creation of this popular sandwich is disputed, but both possible originators of the Philly Cheesesteak can still be visited and are still serving up the delicious dish.
Wissahickon Valley Park
This parkland takes up nearly 2,000 acres of city space. There are a few older, 1800s-styled homes in the area, but otherwise remains untouched. In the 1920s, the city designated the land off-limits to development and motor vehicles, hence the route’s name of Forbidden Drive. It is currently a trail to be hiked along, bicycled along, or traversed on horseback. The park is home to a variety of wildlife that relies on the city to keep the area preserved. Some of the species you’ll see within the park include:
- Northern Water Snake
- Red Fox
- Hickory Horned Devil (a species of caterpillar)
- Eastern Box Turtle
But the park is known for the over 200 species of birds inhabiting the park. Wood Ducks, Great Blue Herons, Pileated Woodpeckers, and Indigo Buntings are just a few of the types of avians you will see while doing this Philadelphian must-do.