If you like a good dose of history, Philadelphia holidays hit the mark. Independence National Historical Park is crammed full of sites crucial to the birth of the nation, with the centrepiece being Independence Hall, where the Founding Fathers mapped out modern America. You can also get a good look at the Liberty Bell with its trademark crack; and at the National Constitution Centre a couple of blocks away, you get a chance to put the USA's creed to the test via interactive exhibits.
This is a city that loves its art, and there are some stand-out collections to view - like those at the Museum of Art, Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation. But it's everywhere you look too, with nearly 3500 murals bringing some colour to the streets thanks to a special scheme. At the Magic Gardens the murals come in the shape of glittering mosaics made out of just about everything, and there's a huge sculpture garden to wander in too.
The city's shows it's quirkier side in other ways too - like at the Please Touch Museum, where the idea is to get involved with the exhibits rather than leave well alone. But there are many other things that are quintessentially Philly - like a cheesesteak sandwich and major league sports. Just pick which of Philly's faces you want to explore.
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Philadelphia Holiday Highlights
Philadelphia Holiday Highlights
Philadelphia Holiday Highlights
Museum of Art
A must on Philadelphia holidays, this is the third-largest art museum in the States, with 200 galleries packed full of masterpieces by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali, Pollock - and the largest collection of works by Marcel Duchamp anywhere. Don't forget to run up the steps like Sylvester Stallone did in the Rocky films.
Philly's oldest district, where William Penn and his fellow Quakers first settled, has plenty of history - including America's oldest continually inhabited street, Elfreth's Alley, and the house where Betsy Ross is said to have sewn the very first Stars and Stripes flag. But Old City has another side, and its streets are also filled with galleries, boutiques and buzzing night-life.
Out of Town
Take a trip outside the city to the area around Lancaster, where Amish communities farm the rolling countryside. Dressed in the same style of clothes that they have worn for centuries and travelling by foot or horse and carriage, these people tend to keep themselves to themselves. You can also see Amish at Philly's Reading Terminal Market, where they come to sell their fresh produce.
Whether you’re browsing the food stalls at Reading Terminal Market or looking for tax free clothes at Simon Shopping Destinations’ gigantic King of Prussia or are hunting at Philadelphia Premium Outlets for designer bargains, it’s worth making time for some retail therapy on a visit to Philly. This city offers the best of both worlds, from chic and sophisticated to funky and fun.
Grab A Cheesesteak
An essential part of Philadelphia holidays is to sample the local speciality, the cheesesteak sandwich: sliced rib-eye beef topped with melted cheese, served in long white roll either with or without onions. You can get them pretty much everywhere, but Pat's and Geno's opposite one another in South Philadelphia both have great reputations and an ongoing rivalry.
The Philadelphia CityPASS ensures you'll get the most out of your holiday - yet it is so compact it will fit into your back pocket. It's all you need to see the best of the USA’s first capitol city, with discounted admission to five premier attractions, including the Franklin Institute, Adventure Aquarium, the National Constitution Center and much more!
Founding Fathers Tour of Philadelphia
Experience the best of US history with a modern twist on this tour of Philadelphia. See where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, take a photo of the Liberty Bell and also see where past presidents like George Washington lived and learn about William Penn, Pennsylvania’s founder. This 2-hour tour will take you through lively neighbourhood cultures and finishes with a stop at a local pub for a refreshing drink.
Benjamin Franklin Walking Tour of Philadelphia
Get an in-depth look at an important facet of American history on this Benjamin Franklin walking tour of Philadelphia. Known by most for the famous kite-flying incident, Franklin was in fact a notable 18th-century scientist, businessman and politician who contributed greatly to society. This unique small-group tour is limited to six people, ensuring a more personalized experience.
American Fine Art Tour in Philadelphia
Gain a deeper insight into American art on this walking tour led by an expert art scholar. Browse paintings and sculptures at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Second Bank of the United States Portrait Gallery, both US National Historic Landmarks. Your guide will share extensive knowledge of the 19th-century American art movement and will explain how it ties into the nation's history.
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