Big Game Battle: New England vs. Philadelphia

Which super city will reign supreme?

By: Ryan Reed
Related To:

After 256 grueling regular season games and 10 intense playoff games, two professional football teams emerge to play one more time with the right to be called world champions on the line.

The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles won their respective conferences and will travel to Minneapolis to play against each other on February 4, 2018, in a sporting spectacle that is expected to be viewed by tens of millions of people. Plenty will be said between now and then in terms of on-the-field expectations but we’re more interested in which city is the better travel destination. To make the call, we examined a few key categories:

Editors’ Note: Comparing Philadelphia to an entire region (New England) would be unfair so to level the playing field, we used Boston as the Patriot’s home city.

Food

Boston: Beantown is known for many delicious foods (clam chowder, beer, lobster rolls, etc.) but the Boston cream pie might be the sweetest. Consisting of cake, custard and a chocolate glaze, the Boston cream pie was named the official dessert of Massachusetts in 1996.

Cheese Steak

Cheese Steak

Photo by: Bradley C. Bower/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bradley C. Bower/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Philadelphia: No food is more synonymous with a city as the cheesesteak is to Philadelphia. The iconic sandwich is simple enough (meat, cheese and bread) but the City of Brotherly Love consistently gets it right more than any other. Some may say the signing of the Declaration of Independence was the most important event in Philadelphia’s history but I would argue it was the invention of the cheesesteak.

Winner: Philadelphia

Notable Destinations

Philadelphia: Along with scarfing a cheesesteak, running up the Rocky steps (pictured below) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and taking a picture with the fictional boxer's statue is right up there as something you must do when visiting Philly. Once you have your selfie, head inside to take in some of the stunning artwork in the collection and then make plans to check out a spooky tour at Eastern State Penitentiary, grab a bite to eat at Reading Terminal Market (oldest firmest market in the country) or kick back at Longwood Gardens where horticulture is an art form.

Rocky Steps

Rocky Steps

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/von Davier Fotografie

©iStockphoto.com/von Davier Fotografie

Boston: The historical city is home to Fenway Park, one of the oldest professional baseball stadiums still in use, Harvard University, Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, the Samuel Adams Brewery and so much more. If crowds and museums aren’t your thing, head over to the Boston Public Garden, known as the first public botanical garden in America.

Winner: Philadelphia

Historic Sites

Paul Revere House

Paul Revere House

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/Kenneth Wiedemann

©iStockphoto.com/Kenneth Wiedemann

Boston: Boston played a major role in America gaining independence from Britain and many of the historical sites are still standing today. The best way to see these places is to travel along the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile-long journey will take you past 16 fascinating sites, including the Paul Revere House (pictured above), Bunker Hill Monument and Faneuil Hall.

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/SeanPavonePhoto

©iStockphoto.com/SeanPavonePhoto

Philadelphia: Not to be outdone, Philly boasts historical sites that even Boston would be jealous of. Independence Hall (pictured above), for example, was the site of the signing of both the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the U.S. Constitution in 1787. There’s also the Betsy Ross House, the Liberty Bell and Franklin Court where Benjamin Franklin’s house once stood.

Winner: Tie

Beach

Philadelphia: As tempting as the Delaware River may look, I don’t advise going for a swing. Philly residents typically drive South to New Jersey, Delaware or Maryland for beaches much better.

Boston: You wouldn’t think of Boston as a beach town but drive 20 minutes north of the city center and you’ll discover Revere Beach. The two-mile-long stretch of sand was established in 1896, which makes it the oldest public beach in the United States.

Winner: Boston

Unique Tradition

Philadelphia: To warm up for the big game, residents of Philadelphia have the “Wing Bowl” to look forward to. Typically held on the Friday before the championship game, “Wing Bowl” began in 1993 with the objective to see who can eat the most Buffalo wings. Entry to the contest can only be gained by completing an eating stunt on the radio or competing in a “Wingoff” at a local bar. The winner of the 2017 “Wing Bowl” successfully ate 409 wings. Legend.

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Photo by: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Boston: Patriots’ Day is a state holiday in Massachusetts and on the third Monday in April, Bostonians start the day by cheering on the Red Sox at 11 a.m. (a tradition that started in 1968), and follow that up by either participating in or supporting friends and family in the Boston Marathon. The day honors the first battles of the American Revolutionary War and is unlike any other celebration around the country.

Winner: Boston (no one should eat 409 wings in one sitting)

Keep Reading

Next Up

Historic Philadelphia Tours

Looking to explore historic Philadelphia? Check out these tour guide tips for a memorable Philadelphia walking tour.

Destination Showdown: Boston vs. DC

It's a colonial clash as our nation's capital, Washington, DC, duels with one of America's oldest cities, Boston, MA.

Ski Guide: Big Sky, Montana

Located about 50 miles northwest of Yellowstone National Park, Big Sky, Montana offers majestic views and magnificent runs.

Seven Wonders of New England

Take a road trip, and explore the 7 Wonders of New England.

World Series: Kansas City vs. San Francisco

Your travel guide for the 2014 World Series.

Destination Showdown: New Orleans vs. Las Vegas

It's the heavyweight vs. the underdog as Las Vegas and New Orleans battle it out for the national title of Best Party City. The locations go head-to-head in 3 rounds as our experts weigh in.

Destination Showdown: :New York vs. Los Angeles

It's east vs. west when New York City and Los Angeles battle it out for the title of Best Major City Vacation.

City Swappers: New Orleans vs. Miami

Two couples swap lives for the chance to experience a new city. Decide for yourself if it’s just a nice place to visit, or if you’d like to live there.

New Orleans' Top Super Bowl Sports Bars

Hit up one of New Orleans' most sports-obsessed bars for the big day.

New York City Shopping

Plan your next shopping trip with our list of best high-end shops in NYC.

What's New in Interests

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.