See the top 25 best attractions in the beautiful city of Philadelphia. Tourist arttractions in Philadelphia that are a must see!
It's no mystery why the Betsy Ross House remains one of Philadelphia's most visited attractions. By visiting this cultural and historical landmark, you will set foot in the same room where the famous Quaker flagmaker designed what we now know as the American flag. You will not only learn the history of the American flag, but also about Betsy Ross's triumphant life and times through interactive, historical programming. Take a journey back in time as you witness all the historical figures, including Betsy Ross herself, from the 18th century dressed in their native garb. Located only blocks away from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House will complete your examination into the great city of Philadelphia and the molding of this great nation. Built more than 250 years ago, the house was home to dozens of artisans and shopkeepers until it became a historical museum in 1937.
A trip to the City of Brotherly Love is not complete without a visit to historic City Hall. Located in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, City Hall is home to the nation's largest municipal building, which has been serving the city's government and politics for over 100 years. Construction on City Hall began in 1871. Over the years, there have been proposals to demolish this great building, but it remains unscathed. Until this day, it's regarded as one of the most unique architectural and sculptural achievements. Take photos of the glorious William Penn Statue that tops the structure's clock tower. Explore one of the 700 rooms in which history was made. Don't pass up the opportunity to encounter one of the biggest landmarks in PA and the entire nation!
The Eastern State Penitentiary was once one of the most expensive and famous prisons in the world. Like Alcatraz, it now stands as a U.S. landmark. Eastern State was the first true "penitentiary." Like the title suggests, a penitentiary is a prison created to help instill penitence (a.k.a. true regret) in its convicted. Drift into the same cells that were once inhabited by famous criminals, including the notorious Al Capone. A well-known featured exhibit, Al Capone's cell had oriental rugs, fine furniture, a cabinet radio, and other items that allowed to him to live a life of relative luxury within an otherwise restrictive environment. Do you like interactive exhibits? Check out the TowerCam, where you put yourself in the shoes of the former guards. Once you're done exploring the exquisite architecture of Eastern State, you can explore its vast array of vibrant art installations at one of the top attractions in Philadelphia.
Fairmount Park in Philadelphia is one of the world's largest municipal parks with a sprawling 9,200 acres of land, claiming 10% of land in the city. It has also been regarded as one of the largest urban parks in the country. Within this glorious Philadelphia attraction are several million trees, America's oldest zoo, and two acclaimed museums (Museum Mile and Burholme Park). The park is beautiful to look at and would be a perfect spot to take a quiet daytime stroll or ride your bike. On a lovely day, you can have lunch at one of the many picnic areas. If you're into hiking, there are short hiking trails through the upper elevations of the park. The river side of the park is home to Boat House Row, a Philadelphia icon. Explore one of several historic buildings that represent over three centuries of architectural development. You'll find everything from stately mansions to simple barns.
A Memorable Expedition Through U.S. History!
Who doesn't want to set foot in the same building where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution? Independence Hall is a must-see Philadelphia attraction for historical buffs and visitors looking to receive a better education on the history of this great nation. Enter the same rooms occupied by George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and other presidents throughout history. Embark on one of the many walking tours, including Stories from the Past and Dr. Franklin's Philadelphia. The rangers at Independence Hall will lead you on an engaging expedition through U.S history. Independence Hall is one of several memorable PA attractions that have entertained visitors for years upon years!
The Independence Seaport Museum is located on historic Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, PA. Visit one of the museum's many exhibits, including What Floats Your Boat? The fascinating, interactive exhibit allows you to explore the science, history, and art of boats and boat-building. Take a tour of Olympia, which was Admiral Dewey's flagship in the Spanish-American War. Participate in Workshop on the Water, a workshop that teaches you about the skills and traditions of wooden boat-building and sailing in the Delaware Valley as well as the New Jersey Shore. You can even throw a sailor- or pirate-themed birthday party for your little boy or girl at the Seaport. The list of activities is endless at the Independence Seaport Museum!
Covering 1,200 acres of wetlands and trails, the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is a great Pennsylvania attraction for the whole family! You will marvel at the migratory birds, turtles, groundhogs, opossums, foxes, raccoons, muskrats, and deer that roam the area. This refuge is one of the few attractions in PA where you can find such endangered creatures as the red-bellied turtle and coastal leopard frog. The long wooden bridge serves as an ideal spot to take aerial photographs of the wildlife. Avid bird-watchers have photographed over 300 species within the refuge. Explore the large assortment of hiking and biking trails. Take a fishing or canoe trip through Darby Creek. There's even a special play area for your kids. The John Heinz Wildlife Refuge is a nature lover's dream!
The Liberty Bell is visual evidence of Philadelphia's rich history that spans several centuries. Open year-round, the Liberty Bell Center offers a wide array of video presentations and exhibits. The video presentations are presented in multiple languages, so visitors of all cultures can learn about one of the best attractions in Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell is encased in a glass chamber and the inscription on the bell delivers a profound message about American freedom. It was named the Liberty Bell by a group of abolitionists who outlawed slavery in the 1830's. For more than 200 years, people have been deeply moved by the message of this old state bell. You cannot pass up the chance to witness and learn the history behind this 2,080-pound bronze bell that continues to serve as a pillar of the great state of Philadelphia!
The Masonic Temple in Philadelphia was constructed in 1873, and has been referred to as one of the great wonders of the Masonic world. Inside you will find some of the finest Freemasonry artifacts. The temple is a church-like structure that serves as the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and exemplifies the best in Victorian architecture. Tours to the public are always available. Browse through the ceremonial rooms, each decorated in a different style (i.e.: Egyptian, Roman, etc.). Discover the history behind the Freemasons and the secrecy surrounding them. You won't be able to resist taking tons of photos of the breathtaking architecture. Don't pass up this top Philadelphia attraction!
Located in the University of Pennsylvania, The Morris Arboretum integrates art, science, and the humanities in fun and interesting ways. The Arboretum's gardens contain over 13,000 labeled plants of over 2,500 types. One of the most outstanding achievements of this historic attraction in Philly is its collection of large and stately trees, some of them of extremely rare varieties. You and your kids will love the Tree Adventure, in which they can experience the trees from 50 feet up, giving them a bird's eye view of the entire forest! The elegant gardens are available for rental, as they are perfect for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Overall, the Morris Arboretum is meant to instill a more profound appreciation for the world's ecology and why plants are essential to our humanity. This lovely Philadelphia attraction is ideal for nature lovers all over the world!
The National Constitution Center (NCC) is America's most interactive history museum. Located a mere two blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, it is the only museum completely devoted to the U.S. Constitution. Witness the Constitution coming to life through exhibitions, live performances, public programs, and educational resources. This non-profit organization's mission is to increase public knowledge of the Constitution's textured history and ideas. More than 6 million people have visited this acclaimed museum since its doors opened on July 4, 2003. The National Constitution Center even hosted President Barack Obama's seminal speech on race, as well as the primary debate between Obama and Hilary Clinton. At the NCC, people of all ages will gain a better education on the document that helped mold this great country!
Founded in 1976, the National Museum of American Jewish History has been presenting its many visitors with comprehensive programs that educate them on the history of Jews in America. Whether you're Jewish and would like to be better enlightened about your heritage or you're someone who's fascinated by Jewish history, this great Philadelphia museum will provide you with an experience you'll never forget. This state-of-the-art museum is located in close proximity to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. The 100,000-square-foot, 5-story building has served as a pillar of national pride amongst the Jewish-American community. Visit the variety of exhibitions, which chronicle 350 years of Jewish life. If you'd like to share your experiences as a Jewish-American or have a family story that's been passed along the generations, feel free to do so at this landmark Philadelphia attraction.
Are you looking for a great place to kick back, have a drink, and enjoy a hearty meal? Visit the Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant in Philadelphia! Happy Hour is every day from 5-7 P.M. Brunch is available every Sunday from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. The menu contains a highly unique selection of foods, including Chipotle BBQ pork quesadillas, baked brie, North African chicken, and delicious daily specials. The Nodding Head is a haven for beer and ale lovers everywhere with its wide variety of hand-crafted beverages, including BPA, Bullseye Bitter, Grog, and Saison De La Tete. Premium seasonal beers are always on tap. The Nodding Head Brewery has earned many awards for its excellence in brewing, including 2010's Best Brewpub in Philly Beer Scene Magazine.
Located in the University of Pennsylvania, the Penn Museum's ultimate goal is to increase people's understanding of cultural heritage through its various collections, exhibitions, and educational programming. Browse through the Egyptian Gallery, which includes a picturesque recreation of the Sphinx. The museum focuses primarily on the studies of archaeology and anthropology. Learn about prehistoric and historic cultures through collections of artifacts, monuments, settlements, and other remains. Discover how the culture of humankind evolved over the centuries, as well as the nature of human diversity. If you're curious about what truly makes us human, Penn Museum is one of the best Philadelphia attractions!
If you have a vested interest in the world of art or are in the mood to visit a nationally renowned museum, stop by The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). This famous Pennsylvania museum provides a unique and exciting experience for all its visitors. The PAFA is a national leader in fine arts education, pleasing the community with insightful teaching programs, collections of classic American art, and major exhibitions. The museum is known worldwide for its beautiful 19th and 20th century artwork. The students who attend the Academy are some of the most talented artists across the country. After you're done with your tour, you can visit the Portfolio gift shop, where you can buy jewelry, gifts, cards, accessories, and books that reflect the collections and teachings of the PAFA.
One of the largest museums in the U.S., the Philadelphia Museum of Art allows visitors from all over the globe to witness renowned art collections, acclaimed exhibitions, and enriching programs. It remains one of the nation's foremost destinations to view world-class art, and has been celebrated by art enthusiasts everywhere. One of the acclaimed exhibitions is Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus, in which you can view the seven painting of Jesus from the famous Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn. This premier Philadelphia attraction offers over 200 galleries that showcase works of classic and contemporary artists like Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollack, Monet, Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Renoir, and many others. Outside the museum, you will find the famous Rocky statue, as the steps of the museum were featured in the movie's famous training montage.
Nearly 1 million visitors have made memories at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. Ever since 1976, Please Touch has been the defining attraction for children in Philadelphia. The museum provides children with the foundation for basic life skills like building relationships, cooperation, negotiation, and compromise. It allows children of all ages to develop their imagination and creativity, and become more familiar with the world in which they live. Your children won't want to leave as they explore the multitude of enlightening exhibits and activities. They can ride the carousel, participate in arts and crafts, play on the big floor piano, and visit the wonderful Alice in Wonderland exhibit. If you're planning a family vacation in PA, be sure to stop by the Please Touch Museum!
The Rosenbach Museum and Library has been consistently engaging its visitors with exhibitions, programs, and research based on remarkable and expanding collections. Browse through an expansive collection of rare books, manuscripts, furniture, and art. In the Rosenbach, you will find the only surviving copy of Benjamin Franklin's first Poor Richard's Almanack and the manuscript of James Joyces' Ulysses. Founded in 1954, the renowned museum and library is set within two historic 1865 townhouses and decorated in the style of the Victorian era. The guided tour will take you through each beautifully-designed period room. Your journey through Philadelphia's outstandingly rich history is not complete without a trip to the Rosenbach Museum and Library.
The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is the perfect Philadelphia attraction for car enthusiasts all over the globe! The museum contains one of the world's biggest and greatest collections of racing sports cars. See 60 of the rarest and most significant racing sports cars in the world and discover the detailed history behind each vehicle. Behold The Winner's Circle, a section that contains five cars from five different countries and eras. This vast automotive collection was assembled by renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Frederick Simeone over the span of 50 years. Dr. Simeone was given the prestigious Lee Iaocca Award, recognizing excellence amongst car enthusiasts. If you're looking to book a wedding, party, corporate event, sales presentation, or car club meeting in the near-future, the Simeone Museum in Philadelphia is the ideal venue. The museum can house groups of 1,000 to 2,000 people!
Come Explore this Beautiful PA Landmark!
Saint Peter's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia is an amazing red-brick structure that, like many attractions in the city, is rich with history. The church has been in existence over 250 years and remains a national historic landmark. The congregation of St. Peter's Church is highly diverse as it incorporates people from different backgrounds--married, single, gay, straight. A series of special concerts, lectures, exhibitions, and other interpretive events are held at the church. Come explore this elegant church that contains some of the most beautiful 18th-century architecture that you will ever behold! Regardless of your faith background, you will be welcomed through the doors of this top Philadelphia attraction.
The African-American Museum in Philadelphia covers the roots of African-Americans and explains their roles throughout U.S. history. The museum focuses on the history of slavery, as well as how African-American culture evolved to what it is today. Explore the multitude of exhibition galleries and fascinating artwork. As 2011 marks the museum's 35th anniversary, one of the new exhibits/programs is Free to Be, which examines the impact of African-Americans in Paris from 1900-1940, chronicling their crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in search of a better life. One of the popular exhibits is Audacious Freedom, which focuses on African-Americans in Philadelphia from 1776-1876. You will become highly enlightened by stories from famous activists, one-man plays, and fascinating documentaries about the African-American experience. If you're searching for a great cultural attraction in Philadelphia, this is not one to pass up!
The Franklin Institute of Pennsylvania has been a national landmark since 1934. In the year of its opening, it was one of the first hands-on science museums in the U.S. Due to its engaging approach to science and technology, The Franklin Institute continues gaining in popularity and remains a must-see Philadelphia attraction for the entire family. As the years go by, many new exhibits have opened up. The Tuttleman IMAX theater continues to amaze viewers, presenting them educational films in a panoramic format. Whether you listen to one of the insightful lectures, visit the Fels Planetarium, take part in exciting discussions, or participate in the interactive presentations, you will always find ways to entertain yourself at The Franklin Institute!
Are you in the mood for a night full of great food and great entertainment? The Hard Rock Cafe is must-see Philadelphia attraction. The walls are adorned with tons of memorabilia from famous rock icons throughout the ages. You will find Jim Morrison's leather jacket, Randy Rhoads's custom Jackson guitar, Jimi Hendrix's tambourine, and many other famed items. By far, the Hard Rock contains the largest collection of rock memorabilia in the world! Accommodating up to 450 people, the Hard Rock Cafe is the perfect venue to host corporate events, convention events, birthday parties, business meetings, and any other private events. The menu contains a large variety of legendary burgers, sandwiches, entrees, and more. After you're done eating, you can visit the gift shop, where you can pick up T-shirts designed by rock legends like Jon Bon Jovi.
Located within an illustrious 19th century stone Victorian mansion, the Woodmere Art Museum has entertained its visitors with galleries of great exhibits since 1940. The museum is home to over 2,500 works of art, focusing on the great artists of the Philadelphia region. Other than exhibits, you can attend one of the informative lectures, art classes, or family events and workshops. The museum store contains tons of items by local Philadelphia artists including jewelry, functional ceramics, and textiles. If you visit the Woodmere during the fall season, you can treat yourself to a concert with Friday Night Jazz. Included in the schedule is a tribute to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald.