Philadelphia Attractions

From touring Independence Hall to seeing the iconic Liberty Bell, visitors will be awed by how much US history is packed into this grand city. Don't miss these 10 must-see Philadelphia attractions.

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Fish

Fish

As you can expect -- with a name like Fish -- this is the place for a seafood lover. The restaurant's extensive raw bar includes oysters, king crab, salmon belly and caviar, and there are plenty of delicious fish dishes on the menu. Try the fried brandade and cod with serrano ham. Fish has more sophistication than your average seafood restaurant with swanky décor and creative cocktails. 960 1280

Amanda Jaffe  

Brick

Brick

Brick is a comfortable neighborhood restaurant in Rittenhouse Square that won’t break the bank. And comfort food is where it shines: fried shrimp, crab cakes and macaroni and cheese are all menu favorites. 960 1280

Amanda Jaffe  

Xochitl

Xochitl

Xochitl , a coxy Mexican restaurant in Society Hill, is known for its custom-order guacamole (mix-ins include black truffle and roasted garlic), ahi tuna ceviche, tequila flights and mushroom tamales. 960 1280

  

Matyson

Matyson

Matyson, a popular BYOB restaurant in Philly, focuses on hyper-seasonal new American cuisine, using local produce and livestock whenever possible. Monday-Thursday, Matyson offers a 5-course tasting menu with themes ranging from lobster to vanilla. 960 1280

Felicia Perretti  

Ulivo

Ulivo

Another neighborhood BYOB restaurant in Philly is Ulivo, a rustic Italian-Mediterranean restaurant featuring handmade pasta and an ever-changing seasonal menu. 960 1280

Andrew Kahl  

La Famiglia

La Famiglia

La Famiglia, a classic Italian spot in Old City, stands out with its formal dining, wine cave and rich dishes. Try the signature rack of lamb and decadent rum-rich mascarpone tart. 960 1280

Amanda Jaffe  

C19

C19

Rittenhouse House Square’s C19 serves local authentic Venetian fare in a casual but sophisticated setting. Small plates allow for long leisurely meals and opportunities to make your way through the extensive cocktail and wine list. 960 1280

Andrew Kahl  

Rex 1516

Rex 1516

Rex 1516 is full of Southern charm -- from its simple soul-food-inspired cuisine to the faded, Southern-mansion decor. Don't leave without trying the signature crawfish pot pie and wash it down with a mint julep or lime rickey. 960 1280

Amanda Jaffe  

Bistro Romano

Bistro Romano

History buffs will love dining at Bistro Romano, a property built in the early 1700s that served as an endpoint on the Underground Railroad. A private wine cellar that was formerly an underground tunnel can be reserved for a special evening. 960 1280

Alexei Kaleina  

The Prime Rib

The Prime Rib

Philly may be known as a laid-back town, but The Prime Rib brings an air of formality that stands out among even the finest restaurants in the city. This is the place for a special celebration -- with a pianist playing during the week and a full band on the weekends. And don’t even think about not ordering the signature dish: prime rib, of course. 960 1280

Alexei Kaleina  

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Visit the Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, where George Washington was appointed command in chief of the Continental Army in 1775; the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776; the design of the American Flag was agreed upon in 1776; and the US Constitution was drafted in 1787. 960 1280

techfun, Flickr  

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

Take a tour to see the 2,080-pound Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. A group of abolitionists adopted the Bible verse inscription and the Bell as a symbol of their cause to abolish slavery -- the first to call it the “Liberty Bell.” Built in London, England, the Bell was retired -- 2 cracks later -- after the final fatal crack during George Washington’s birthday celebration in 1846. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

American author Edgar Allan Poe lived in several houses while living in Philadelphia from 1837 to 1844, but this is the only one that remains standing. National Park Rangers provide a 30-45 minute guided tour or you can tour the residence on your own and see the author’s rare books and letters, and discover how Poe influence other authors, including Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. 960 1280

Midnightdreary, Wikimedia Commons  

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

National Park Rangers provide a 30-45 minute guided tour of the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site or you can tour the residence on your own. See the author’s rare books and letters, and discover how Poe influenced other authors, including Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. 960 1280

RTLibrary, Flickr  

Hopewell Furnace

Hopewell Furnace

Passing through Elverson, PA? Then make a stop at the Hopewell Furnace National Historical Site, a 19th century rural iron plantation, which includes a blast furnace, ironmaster’s house, blacksmith’s shop, company store and several worker’s houses. Ironmaster Mark Bird founded Hopewell Furnace in 1771. A shift in iron-making techniques changed causing the site to halt its operations in 1883. 960 1280

Sdwelch1031, Wikimedia Commons  

Valley Forge

Valley Forge

Travel to Valley Forge, PA. See the military camp of the American Continental Army from 1777 to 1778, during the American Revolutionary War. Explore the Park’s trails Washington Memorial Chapel, National Memorial Arch and Isaac Potts’ house, General George Washington’s Headquarters (pictured) in the winter of 1777. 960 1280

  

Valley Forge Railroad Station

Valley Forge Railroad Station

The Valley Forge Train Station is also part of the National Park Site. The Reading Railroad completed the station in 1911. It was the point of entry into the park for travelers who came by rail through the 1950s, from Philadelphia. The station overlooks the site of Washington’s Headquarters. 960 1280

Doris Rapp, Flickr  

Gloria Dei Episcopal Church

Gloria Dei Episcopal Church

Gloria Dei Episcopal Church in South Philadelphia is the oldest church in Pennsylvania, and among the oldest in the US. The church, built between 1698 and 1700 for Swedish settlers, was initially a Swedish Lutheran Church for almost 150 years before it became part of the Episcopal Church in 1845. 960 1280

B. Krist for GPTMC  

Gloria Dei Episcopal Church

Gloria Dei Episcopal Church

Nils Collin, a Swedish pastor who served Gloria Dei from 1784 to 1831, was a close friend of Benjamin Franklin. In fact, the remains of an early lightening rod -- visible on the church’s exterior -- are the result of their relationship. Collin remained neutral in the Revolutionary War. Rumor has it that his extensive writings about the King of Sweden are buried under the floor of the church. 960 1280

B. Krist for GPTMCS  

Thaddeus Kosciusko National Memorial

Thaddeus Kosciusko National Memorial

Explore the life of Thaddeus Kosciuszko at this National Park Site. The Polish freedom fighter was instrumental in engineering military structures and forts to hold off British troops during the American Revolution. History buffs can visit his preserved home on 301 Pine Street in Philly to see where he met infamous visitors, including Thomas Jefferson and Chief Little Turtle. 960 1280

Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC  

Deshler-Morris House

Deshler-Morris House

The Germantown White House aka the Deshler-Morris House is the oldest official presidential residence. The historic mansion, located in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, was shelter for US President George Washington when the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 struck the city. The following year, President Washington and his family returned to the house for a summer vacation. The house takes its name from the first owner, David Deshler, and the last owner, Elliston P. Morris. 960 1280

Historic Germantown, Flickr  

Erebus Haunted Attraction

Erebus Haunted Attraction

One of the largest Halloween attractions in the world, Erebus is a 4-story haunted house in Pontiac, MI, that promises underworld giant monsters, bottomless pits and crushing walls.

Looking for more haunted places to visit? See which creepy locations made our list of Travel's Best Halloween Attractions 2013. Plan ahead and prepare to be spooked!
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Bennett's Curse

Bennett's Curse

Bennett's Curse in Jessup, MD, is consistently ranked a top haunt because of its unique special effects and hi-tech fright entertainment. Check out the trifecta of terror attractions here: House of Vampyres, Sanctuary of Insanity and Zombie Kingdom 3-D. 960 1280

Jim O'Connor  

Witches of New Salem

Witches of New Salem

“Enter the corn at your own risk,” warns Witches of New Salem. This nighttime tour in Dorr, MI, will take you on a wild ride of dead ends, twist and turns, and the entire time you’ll be haunted by creepy corn stalkers. And if your heart can take it, take a tour of the Witches Woods’ for even more frightening fun. 960 1280

Witches of New Salem   

Dent Schoolhouse

Dent Schoolhouse

The legend of Charlie the Janitor, a janitor in the ’50s who killed students who taunted him, still haunts the Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati. Tour this haunted schoolhouse, where town lore says the missing children were killed. 960 1280

Dent Schoolhouse  

Hangman's House of Horrors

Hangman's House of Horrors

Hangman's House of Horrors in Fort Worth, TX, features the Cirque de Fantomes, Hillbillies Revenge and a wild 3-D Funhouse. Inspired by the legend of Hezekiah Jones, a murderer known as "Hangman,” this house of horrors also includes less scary entertainment like live music, rides and karaoke. 960 1280

Hangman's House of Horrors  

The Chamber Haunt

The Chamber Haunt

Mastering the creepy art of using sound and lighting, Chamber Haunt at the Primm Valley Casino Las Vegas promises plenty of spooky thrills. 960 1280

The Chamber Haunt  

The Chamber Haunt, Nevada

The Chamber Haunt, Nevada

The Chamber Haunt in Las Vegas uses cutting-edge sound effects and lighting to scare visitors silly. And the extraordinary makeup and costume design both guarantee a spectacular Sin City show. 960 1280

The Chamber Haunt  

Terror Behind the Walls

Terror Behind the Walls

Once one of the most notorious prisons in the country, Pennsylvania’s Eastern State Penitentiary is now one of the country’s top-ranked haunted attractions, with its empty cell blocks and over 11-acres of frightening fun. New this year, Detritus takes brave souls past the historic prison greenhouse and into an outdoor labyrinth of overgrown twisting vines. 960 1280

Eastern State Penitentiary  

ESP's Night Watch

ESP's Night Watch

We can’t think of anything scarier than a night at Eastern State Penitentiary, a 180-year-old facility that dozens of paranormal investigation teams have declared haunted. Visitors explore ESP's Night Watch on their own, using only a flashlight to guide the way. 960 1280

Eastern State Penitentiary  

Fright Factory

Fright Factory

Ghoulish fiends masquerade as Hollywood's famous villains at the Fright Factory in Philadelphia. For a full night of fright, check out all 3 terrifying attractions: the Asylum, Village of the Damned and Horror High. 960 1280

Fright Factory  

Bates Motel

Bates Motel

Check in to the Bates Motel in Gradyville, PA, for one of the scariest trips you might ever take. Set off on a haunted hayride through a forest of nightmarish ghouls or get lost in the labyrinth corn maze. 960 1280

Bates Hotel  

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