Philadelphia - AttractionGuide


Welcome to MetroGuide Networks' overview of Philadelphia-area attractions. The Greater Philadelphia area is full of attractions for all ages. As the nation's birthplace, Philadelphia is at once new and buzzing as well as historic and charming, with award-winning restaurants, outstanding museums, and entertainment options stretching from poetry readings at the Painted Bride Art Center to drama at the Freedom Theatre to concerts by the Philadelphia Orchestra, a commanding presence for more than 100 years. In fact, music echoes throughout the city, including the nostalgic sounds of Dick Clark's American Bandstand era, gospel tunes, rockabilly, hip-hop and the latest jazz fusion. Apart from mouthwatering Philly-steak sandwiches and pretzels, Philadelphia's finer restaurants tantalize with menus to satisfy most cravings, reflecting an array of specialty cuisines from Chinese and Japanese to Brazilian, Thai and beyond. Sports fans can have a ball in Philadelphia with Phillies baseball, Eagles football, Flyers and Phantoms hockey and 76ers basketball, plus Wings indoor lacrosse and KiXX indoor soccer. Philadelphia is also known as a city of neighborhoods, well more than 100, from Society Hill on down. Little wonder, then, that Philadelphia is home both to the late actress Grace Kelly who became a real-life princess of Monaco and Sylvester Stallone's fictional Rocky Balboa, the Italian stallion boxer of “Yo, Adrien” film fame. All that on top of being home of the Liberty Bell.

Below is a list of some suggested things to do in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area, with links to more details when available.

Academy of Music
Owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the upgraded 2,900-seat Academy of Music is part of a new complex, Kimmel Center Inc. on the Avenue of the Arts in Center City, that includes the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts – Verizon Hall, a 2,500-seat concert hall, and Perelman Theater, a 650-seat recital theater.
Broad & Locust streets. (215) 893-1999
African American Museum
Established in 1976, museum holdings reflect lives and contributions of African Americans in Delaware Valley and the nation.
701 Arch Street. (215) 574-0380
A Man Full of Trouble Tavern
As the only tavern remaining from Colonial Philadelphia, A Man Full of Trouble was built about 1759 on banks of Little Dock Creek, long since dried up and filled in, where mariners and dockhands hung out. English Delft china, pewter and a set of Windsor chairs owned by the first Chief Justice, John Jay, are on view.
125-127 Spruce Street.
American Swedish Historical Museum
America's oldest Swedish museum was founded in 1926 and features permanent exhibitions of genres from Art Deco to International, showcasing Swedish art, culture and history, including the story of the New Sweden Colony (1638-1655), and hosts Swedish cultural programs throughout the year.
1900 Pattison Avenue. (215) 389-1776
Arch Street Meeting House
Built on land William Penn gave the Quakers in 1693, the building houses history on Quaker beliefs, along with artifacts, a slide show on Penn, and a video on Quakerism.
320 Arch Street. (215) 627-2667
Betsy Ross House
Betsy Ross made the first American flag here, where visitors can glimpse working class colonial-era life and bone up on American flag history. It was on the job as an apprentice flag-maker that the former Elizabeth (Betsy) Griscom, eighth of 17 children of a Quaker family, fell in love with another apprentice, John Ross, an Episcopal minister's son. They eloped, and 21-year-old Betsy was promptly “read out” of the Quaker church. Ross died in early 1776, and shortly thereafter Betsy had her fateful meeting with three patriots including George Washington, which led to sewing of famed flag. Thrice married before her 1836 death at 84, she also has been buried in three different locations, now on Arch Street in the courtyard adjacent to the Betsy Ross House.
239 Arch Street. (215) 627-5343
Carpenters' Hall
Built and owned by America's oldest trade guild, Carpenters' Hall in 1774 hosted the First Continental Congress; in 1775, French and American spies gathered in Ben Franklin's second-floor library; and in 1976, Queen Elizabeth II visited.
320 Chestnut Street. (215) 925-0167
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Constructed in the 1820s with intent to rehabilitate through solitary confinement, Eastern State's vaulted, sky-lit cells held some of America's most notorious criminals – bank robber Willie Sutton and gangster Al Capone, among them. Abandoned as a prison in 1971, this world of crumbling cell blocks and empty guard towers is open May through November with tours including death row.
22nd Street and Fairmont Avenue. (215) 236-3300
Fireman's Hall
This restored 1903 firehouse with a gift shop contains firefighting apparatus from 1731 to 1907, including badges, helmets, tools and a fireboat pilot house.
147 N Second Street. (215) 923-1438
Franklin Institute Science Museum
As Pennsylvania's most visited museum, the Franklin Institute has plenty to make Ben proud, including a 3D Theater, and indoor SkyBike, a giant walk-through heart and four floors of interactive exhibits.
Twentieth Street and Ben Franklin Parkway. (215) 448-1200
Freedom Theatre
Rooted in African American tradition, Freedom Theatre hosts more than 40,000 each year in the historic Edwin Forrest Mansion, the northern anchor of the avenue of the Arts.
1346 N. Broad Street. (215) 765-2793
Independence National Historic Park
At America's most historic square, arrivals can get in the spirit at the Visitor's Center with director John Huston's movie Independence. Park rangers and guides can help plan a route through the park to include the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Old City Hall (home of the U.S. Supreme Court between 1791 and 1800), the Second Bank of the United States and more including many fine examples of colonial homes and gardens. Less than a mile from Independence Hall is the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site where Poe lived from 1843-1844 while publishing The Black Cat, The Gold Bug and The Tell-Tale Heart.
Third and Chestnut streets. (215) 597-8974
Independence Seaport Museum
Climb aboard Admiral Dewey's 1892 cruiser, the USS Olympia, and the World War II submarine USS Becuna, or watch a wooden boat being assembled. The waterfront museum, near Independence Hall, also has interactive exhibits.
211 Columbus Boulevard. (215) 925-5439
Jewelers' Row
Estabished in 1851 and one block from Independence Hall, America's oldest diamond district, with some 300 jewelers and designers, also is awash in emeralds, rubies, and sapphires set in virtually unlimited styles, at 30 to 50 percent below retail.
On Sansom Street between Seventh and Eighth streets, and on Eighth Street from Chestnut to Walnut streets. (215) 627-1834
Mario Lanza Institute & Museum
Also known as the Settlement Music School, it serves as a tribute to actor/tenor Mario Lanza, showcasing this site of his first musical education and his rise to musical fame.
416 Queen Street. (215) 468-3623
Painted Bride Art Center
Groundbreaking dance, jazz, theater, poetry, gallery and performance works by internationally recognized artists unfold at this center designed to promote healing powers of the arts and an ability to affect social change.
230 Vine Street. (215) 925-9914
Pennsylvania Hospital
Take a self-guided tour at the nation's first hospital, founded by Ben Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond, including a surgical amphitheater and medical library.
800 Spruce Street. (215) 829-3971
Philadelphia History Museum, The Atwater Kent
The Philadelphia story from more than 300 years ago to the present unfolds at this hands-on museum delighting children, founded in 1938 by radio entrepreneur Atwater Kent.
15 South Seventh Street. (215) 922-3031
Philadelphia Vietnam Veteran's Memorial
Dedicated in 1987, the memorial honors 642 Philadelphia residents who died during the Vietnam War.
Columbus Boulevard and Spruce Street. (215) 636-1666
Philadelphia Zoo
America's first zoo entertains and informs with nearly 2,000 animals, featuring white lions, polar bears, elephants, reptiles, magnificent birds, plus a 42-acre Victorian garden.
3400 West Girard Avenue. (215) 243-1100
Physick House
This Federal townhouse built in 1786 was home to Dr. Philip Syng Physick, “Father of American Surgery” from 1815 to 1837. Furnishings, silver and porcelain are on display within, while outside awaits a 19th century garden.
321 South Fourth Street. (215) 925-7866
Poor Henry's
The historic Ortlieb Brewery, founded in 1869 near the waterfront (and now Pennsylvania Convention Center), has free tours of the bottling house and microbrewery.
829-51 North American Street. (215) 413-3500
Powel House
This 1765 Georgian townhouse and formal garden, the residence of Samuel Powel, Philadelphia's first mayor after the Revolution, features 18th century art, furniture, silver and porcelain.
244 South Third Street. (215) 925-5968
Ride the Ducks of Philadelphia
Explore Philadelphia by land and sea on these remarkable amphibious vehicles, including a tour of the historic areas followed by a trip on the Delaware River starting from Penn's Landing.
6th and Market Streets. (877) 887-8225
Rodin Museum
Housing the largest collection of Rodin sculptures and drawings outside of Paris, the Rodin Museum is home to the “Gates of Hell” and “The Thinker”.
Twenty-Second Street & Ben Franklin Parkway. (215) 963-0667.
St. Peter's Church
This Colonial Episcopal Church (1761) is virtually unchanged in its rare layout, with a wine-glass pulpit and original box pews, including No. 41, where the Washingtons sat with the Powels. The church yard is the final resting place for many national figures, among them naval hero Stephen Decatur, killed in a duel.
Third and Pine streets. (215) 925-5968
South Street
More than 75 restaurants, 150 stores, theaters and nightclubs make South Street, illuminated by row upon row of white lights, one of the East Coast's major entertainment hubs. Shops are likely to have anything from modern art to souped up skateboards.
Front to 10th streets, Lombard to Bainbridge streets.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
With an eternal flame lit in 1976, this is the only tomb in the U.S. erected to memorialize unknown Revolutionary War soldiers.
Washington Square, Sixth to Seventh streets at Walnut Street.
United States Mint
Self-guided audiovisual tours of the world's largest mint feature views of the coinage operation from a glass-enclosed gallery.
Fifth and Arch streets. (215) 408-0114
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