United States

What to Do in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a city rich with history and culture, one that keeps visitors on their toes exploring major museums and attractions. For travelers hoping to dive deeper into the lure of the City of Brotherly Love, there are ample outlets, from organized tours to lesser known, but no less interesting, museums. History buffs can delve deeper into Philly's extraordinary historic sites during a Constitutional Walking Tour, while arts and culture lovers will find a rich architectural tradition or the city's brilliant Mural Arts Program. Take a closer look at the Cradle of Liberty and discover what to do in Philadelphia.


1. Take a Constitutional Walking Tour

Philadelphia shines in the American history department; from Independence Hall to the Liberty Bell and Betsy Ross's house, there's no shortage of historic sites to see. In fact, there may be so many to visit, seeing them all seems overwhelming. In that case, sign up for a Constitutional Walking Tour, which grants visitors an entertaining overview of the city's Independence National Historic Park area. Tours let visitors walk in the footsteps of our Founding Fathers, visiting more than 20 sites during the approximately 75-minute, 1 1/4-mile walking tour. In addition to the aforementioned sites, tours also take visitors to Franklin Court, Christ Church Burial Ground and the National Constitution Center.
G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia™

2. Discover the African American Museum in Philadelphia

A rich African American history and culture can be found throughout Philadelphia. Open in 1976, the African American Museum in Philadelphia was the nation's first institution built by a major city dedicated to preserving, exhibiting and interpreting African American culture and history. The museum houses a vast collection of more than 750,000 objects, such as folk art, fine art and photographs, and highlights the contributions of African Americans from Africa through the present day. Plan to spend a few hours exploring the museum's galleries, which feature 3 distinct themes: the African Diaspora, the Philadelphia Story and the Contemporary Narrative. Exhibits focus on a variety of topics, including family life, politics, law, medicine, entertainment and sports. Interesting fact: during the nation's founding in the 18th century, Philadelphia was considered an epicenter for abolitionists, and had the largest free black population in the fledgling nation.

3. Learn About Philadelphia's Architecture

Architecture buffs find themselves in a cornucopia of architectural design in Philadelphia. The city is filled with everything from historic 18th century Georgian and Federal-style structures to decorative Victorian buildings and ultra-modern skyscrapers. A tour of Philadelphia architecture is, in short, a journey through early and contemporary American history. Appropriately led by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, the Architectural Walking Tours interpret the past, present and future of the Philadelphia region through architecture, urban design and social history. These award-winning tours traverse many the city's neighborhoods, such as Society Hill, Rittenhouse Square, Fishtown, Girard Estate and Chestnut Hill. Themed tours are also available, including Art Deco and Victorian tours, as well as an Underground Philadelphia tour, which details the city's subways, railways and stations.

About the Author

Valerie Conners is a freelance writer, editor and producer who has worked with the Travel Channel for more than 14 years, specializing in travel topics including the world's best beaches, outdoor travel and romantic getaways. Her work also appears in many online and print publications including, Aol Travel, Discovery Channel, World Hum, Frommer's Travel Guides, the Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun and Philadelphia Inquirer. She's happiest when eating spicy Thai food, snorkeling with sea turtles in Indonesia and bargaining for bangles in Indian markets. She blogs about her travels at PassengerConners.com.

You Might Also Like

The Poison Squad

One man's controversial ...

Top 10 Attractions in Philly

Here's what to see when visiting ...

History of General Warren Inne

Discover the history behind the ...

Fun on a Bun at PYT

Philly's PYT is THE place for ...

More Travel Inspirations

American Outdoor Adventure Sweeps
American Outdoor Adventure Sweeps

Enter for a chance to win an adventure getaway, plus $25k!

Food.com Holiday
Food.com's 50+ Top Holiday Food Gifts

Give them what they really want!

HGTV Dream Home
HGTV Dream Home 2015

Take a tour of the home we’ll be giving away. Look inside HGTV Dream Home 2015 now!


See Also

Philadelphia Attractions

From touring Independence Hall to seeing the ...

The Layover: Philly Pictures

Tony finally does Philadelphia -- 36 hours ...

The Layover: Season 2 Sneak Peek Pictures

Anthony Bourdain sets off on a brand-new ...