Philadelphia is too often overlooked when it comes to choosing a city to visit around the United States. The city, founded by William Penn (who yes, lent his name to the state of Pennsylvania) in 1682, is not only one of the most historically important cities in the country, but also has plenty to offer to visitors — ranging from eateries, museums, and iconic spots. Here are just a few of the many things you can experience during a visit to the city knowns as the “City of Brotherly Love.”
No visit to Philly would be complete without a visit to Independence Hall, the exact site where the Declaration of Independence as well as the Constitution were signed. It is located in an area known as the Old City, which is home to many sites that are integral to some of the Nation’s most important historical events. The area features beautiful ancient buildings juxtaposed with lush greenery and flowers that breath new life into the historically rich area.
Speaking of important historical sites, while you’re already in Old City, you simply cannot skip seeing the Liberty Bell. The bell was commissioned way back in 1751 (before the country was even a thing!) and was used to convey important announcements. While on its way to Philly from London, it was cracked, leading to a new bell being made from the same metal of the original bell. Later, the second bell began to crack as well, and was retired from ringing duty in 1846. While the cause of the cracks remain mysterious to this day, you can’t deny that it is what the bell is known for these days!
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
If you’re looking for something truly unique, you must take a visit to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. You’ll feel as though you’re immersed in an alternate universe wonderland amongst the mosaics and potted plants, the brainchild of artist Isaiah Zagar. His work can be found throughout the city, but to get the full experience, make sure to find time to stroll around the gardens.
Though less frequented than the oft-visited Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum is definitely worth the visit. Its admission is even included in a Philly Museum of Art ticket (if you go to the Rodin first, save your stub to have its price reduced from you MoA ticket!). This small museum is truly impressive, with its architectural delights and the classic Thinking Man stature. The Rodin Museum is definitely not one to miss.
The Italian Market
The Italian Market is a classic for many reasons. Although many of the vendors are selling fruits, vegetables, and other produce, you can find some real gems. Stroll around and discover the selection of pastries, cheeses, and meats all around this authentic (and sometimes gritty) market. Make sure you look up opening hours before you go, as the market is closed on Mondays and shuts down around 3pm every day.