Philadelphia attracted over 40 million visitors in 2015, but it might not be top of your bucket list of American cities. It’s been 13 years since I last visited Philadelphia, but it’s a place I remember fondly. Some special memories have even withstood the test of time. As I walk down memory lane, I’ve picked out some of my favourite places to visit. You can also find more great tips and IHG hotels in Center City, Philadelphia here.
Art and movies
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a culture vulture’s paradise, but you may be more familiar with this impressive building from the “Rocky” films. Grab your sneakers and recreate Rocky’s training regime by racing up the stairs for a triumphant celebration at the top. This iconic movie location attracts hoards of old and young alike on a mission to follow in Rocky’s footsteps. After burning some calories and posing for the obligatory celebratory photo at the top, you can retrace your steps to pose with a bronze statue of Rocky Balboa himself.
You can also visit the museum, which houses over 220,000 works of art. I prefer to head over to the Rodin Museum for a tantalizing glimpse of “The Thinker”, a sculpture that captured my imagination as a child. While I don’t have a particular affinity for art or sculpture, I certainly have a penchant for daydreaming, usually about my next travel destination. Maybe the sculptor’s subject and I are kindred spirits.
The Liberty Bell got its name from a group who used the bell as a symbol for their attempts to outlaw slavery. Constructed in Whitechapel, London, the bell was hung in the Pennyslvania State House (now Independence Hall) in 1753. Mysteriously, it cracked on its first use. After repairs, it was rung to celebrate George Washington’s birthday. Strangely, it cracked again and it hasn’t been rung since. Spooky!
Independence Hall is a pretty fascinating place for other reasons too. This is where the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776, the design of the American flag was determined, and the U. S. Constitution drafted in 1787. If you want to see where the first American flag was made, you can head over to the Betsy Ross House to see where Betsy herself made the first version of the stars and stripes.
No trip to Philadelphia would be complete without trying a Phillie cheesesteak, a long crusty roll oozing sizzling onions, fried beefsteak and generous portions of melted cheese. It may not sound spectacular but it’s a carb lover’s dream and comes with a selection of cheeses, sauces, and toppings to suit your tastes.
If a cheesesteak isn’t your culinary thing, head to the Reading Terminal Market to drink in the hustle and bustle of merchants selling homegrown produce, Amish specialities, and handmade confections. The only problem is that you may want to pack your suitcase full of the delicious produce.
I’m finding myself enjoying the nostalgia so much, I want to book my very own flight to Philadelphia. If you’re wondering where to head for a weekend break, Philadelphia could be a good option.