The City of Brotherly Love is filled with more history and culture than nearly any other U.S. city. Yet for all it offers, Philadelphia is vastly underrated. Part of that is no doubt due to the fact that rival cities, like New York and DC, are less than four hours away. But with so much to offer—and for visitors of all ages—Philly is well worth the trip.
Below you’ll find 15 surefire ways to enjoy Philadelphia and the surrounding area. No matter the season, there’s always something to see or do … and certainly to eat.
1) Independence Hall
Taking one of the tours of Independence Hall is like taking a step back in time. Get your revolutionary spirit on as you stand in the very room where our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence.
2) The Franklin Institute
One of the best museums in the country, it’s filled with interactive exhibits, touring shows and an IMAX theater that wraps both above and beneath you. Not to mention, the two-story statue of Ben Franklin at the entrance is a great photo opportunity.
3) The Liberty Bell
Though you can’t touch the famous bell, there are plenty of opportunities to snap the perfect shot. This is in the same historical neighborhood as the aforementioned sites, so make sure to bundle your visits to maximize time.
4) Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
Seemingly out of place, the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden was conceived as part of an exhibition in the 1950s. Events include tea ceremonies, dance lessons, tours and workshops. With stunning views of the city and a surprisingly tranquil atmosphere in an urban setting, Shofuso was the third-ranked Japanese Garden in North America in 2013.
5) Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks
Sure, you can go to Pat’s or Geno’s and wait in the long lines for one of their famous cheesesteaks, but you won’t see any locals there. They’ll be at Tony Luke’s or D’Alessandro’s.
6) Philadelphia Art Museum
No visit to Philly is complete without running up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps in true Rocky fashion, arms pumping overhead and all. Once you’re done, enjoy the priceless pieces of artwork inside—as a reward for your athletic feats.