A renaissance is underway in Philadelphia—the birthplace of the Constitution, the cheesesteak, and Rocky. In addition to its impressive heritage, vibrant waterfronts now flank the city, chef-driven restaurants dot hip neighborhoods, and world-class art, music, and architecture abound. In this irreverent city, don’t be surprised when, alongside the colonial brick homes and cobblestoned streets, you also see a drag troupe reenacting the French revolution, a medical oddity museum, vegan pastrami, an Andy Warhol-themed opera, or a beer garden at City Hall; they’re all at home here. To really enjoy T+L’s Philadelphia travel guide, arrive with an open mind, an empty stomach—and prepare to be wowed.
"America's Birthplace," "Philly," "The City of Brotherly Love," Philadelphia goes by many names. A trip to this charming city draws in visitors with the promise of ornate architecture, stately public squares like Rittenhouse and Logan, and plenty of modern-day music, food and art. Beyond Independence Hall, which went down in history as the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, and the Liberty Bell, there are plenty of things to do in Old City, Center City, and beyond. History buffs will enjoy a visit to the Eastern State Penitentiary, a prison-turned-museum where Al Capone was locked up. After visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art, take some time to explore the Rodin Museum (home to the largest collection of the French sculptor’s work outside of Paris) and the Barnes Foundation, which has a remarkable collection of Renoirs. More offbeat attractions include the Pizza Brain Museum and the Magic Gardens, a quirky art center featuring the mosaics of a local artist whose work adorns much of the Bella Vista neighborhood.
Foodies will have a field day in Philly, with culinary offerings ranging from the huge Reading Terminal Market (where you can sample everything from fresh produce to the city’s famous cheesesteaks) to hot restaurants like Zahav, the crowning jewel of Israeli-american chef Mike Solomonov’s mini restaurant empire. A mix of celebrity chefs and home-grown talent is making Philadelphia one of America’s most exciting food cities right now.