While many of the top places to visit in Georgia boast of small-time charm, the state’s capital city is anything but small. Both cosmopolitan and…
This blog shares some fun things to do in Philadelphia. Home to the Eagles and 76’ers, makes Philly a great place to live or visit for the sports enthusiast. This city is also rich in American history, so if you are like me and enjoy learning history, Philadelphia will give you numerous places to visit that will greatly increase your knowledge about America.
Five Fun facts about Philly:
1.This first one is for the Techies… Philadelphia is the home to the first general use computer — This city hosted the first electronic computer in 1946.
2.This next one is for all healthcare professionals. Philadelphia is also home to the first hospital . Pennsylvania Hospital was founded in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin. They built the hospital to care for “the sick, poor and insane” living on the streets of Philadelphia.
3.The city of brotherly love is home to America’s first zoo. The Philadelphia Zoo is the oldest zoo in America, founded in 1859.
4.For the beer-lovers, Philly’s first official business was a brewery called the Philadelphia Brewing Company. Cheers!
5.It would make sense that the oldest city in America was the home of America’s first newspaper. The Philadelphia Packet and Daily Adviser was the first daily newspaper founded in 1784. It ran until 1790, and although paper only ran for six years, it is still a major part of the journalistic history of Philadelphia.
Places to go and things to see:
The Liberty Bell is an internationally known symbol of freedom!
What does this bell stand for? It proclaims liberty throughout the United States that is the right to all the people. This inscription on the cracked but mighty bell is one reason it became a symbol to abolitionists, suffragists and other freedom-seekers around the world. The liberty bell is free to visit year-round with no tickets required, this national symbol draws people from around the nation to snag a photo in front of the soaring glass walls overlooking Independence Hall.
I know that Rocky is just a movie, but it brought to life what is the heart of the American spirit. Rocky, like America, was outgunned and outclassed, but fought from the heart and found a way to win. This is why one of the oldest cities in America erected the Rocky statue. I am old enough to remember when the movie came out, watching Rocky run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art was inspiring. So, a must do when you are in Philly is to walk or run up these steps and take your Rocky pose while looking at the spectacular view of Benjamin Franklin Parkway. To finish off the experience stop to snap a photo with the bigger-than-life statue of Rocky Balboa.
If you’re only in Philadelphia for a quick visit touring Independence Hall has to be on the top of the list for tours. It is the birthplace of the United States government. Within these walls, the Declaration of Independence was signed and the U.S. constitution was created. These are two defining events in American history that helped to make this country great. In 1776, the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in the building’s Assembly Room. It was 11 years after, representatives from a dozen states met here to lay the framework for the U.S. Constitution. Tour of the halls are available year round but fill up fast, so plan ahead to be sure that you get your free-timed ticket that is required to gain entry. Ticket pick-up is at the visitors center.
Philadelphia is known as the city of Brotherly love. So the Love sculpture embodies the city. This landmark is a sculpture by Robert Indiana, and can be found in the John F Kennedy Plaza. The locals call it the Love park. I did not know there was a Spanish version of the Love sculpture called the AMOR sculpture in the Sister City Park, and is only a short walk from the love park. In front of the Love sculpture, is a great place to take a picture with the one you love.
In the1930’s a hot dog vendor by the name of Pat Olivieri decided to experiment with various sandwich ingredients, and the Philly CheeseSteak was born. The story goes that a cab driver tried the sandwich and told Pat to stop making hot dogs. Pat opened Pat’s King of Steaks which is still in operation today. The Philly Cheesesteak is a mouth-watering crusty Italian roll filled with delicately sautéed rib eye beef and (usually) Cheez Whiz cheese with bell peppers and onions. Oh My!! You are able to pick up one of these lip-smacking delights at many of the steak shops, food trucks, delis and even some pizzerias situated around the city. If you want an authentic philly at Pat’s King of Steaks, the home on the iconic sandwich, be prepared to stand in line. It’s so worth the wait!
Eastern State Penitentiary
The Eastern State Penitentiary has been the home of some of the most notorious mobsters, like Willie Sutton and the infamous Al Capone. The prison is called ESP by locals. ESP was operational from 1829 until 1971. It was the largest public building to ever be erected at the time. The penitentiary is now a national landmark. This is an interesting place to see for folks who would enjoy a different side of Philly’s history, but I must warn you that the view into prison life can be harsh. So you may not want to take very young kids.