Philadelphia Travel Guide

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Philadelphia Travel Guide

Philadelphia Local History

The first group of settlers to this part of the world was a small group of Swedish settlers who first established a foothold here in the 1640s. So you are wondering how the Penn's fit into this, well William Penn's father was an admiral and a courtier under Charles II of England, and the king was in debt to Admiral Penn. The younger Penn was anti-Anglicanism and had contempt for authority; this had landed him in prison.

The Chance to get a fresh start in the New World was too good to pass up, so he went to the king and asked to collect the debt through a land grant on the west bank of the Delaware River. The Swedish farmers owned most of the lower Delaware frontage, so he settled upriver, where the Schuylkill met the Delaware. William Penn named the settlement Pennsylvania, the city of brotherly love.

Philadelphia Attractions

Top Attractions

Barnes Foundation 300 North Latch's Lane, Philadelphia. Albert Barns has collected more than 1 000 masterpieces and believed that art has a quality that can be explained objectively. There are 180 Renoir's, 69 Cézannes and many Impressionists and post-Impressionists. Unfortunately the foundation administration has mishandled the finances of the foundation, and has established restricted visiting hours. The Barnes foundation is open during September to June from Friday to Sunday from 9:30am to 5pm, and July to August from Wednesday to Friday from 9:30am to 5pm. There is an admission fee of $5 per person.

The Mummers Museum 2nd Street and Washington Avenue, Philadelphia. This museum is dedicated to the history and display of the Mummer's Parade, which takes place on New Year's Day and is uniquely Philadelphian. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30am to 5pm and on Sunday from noon to 5pm.

Architectural Highlights Located around Society Hill and Queen Village. When you stroll around Society Hill and Queen Village you will see a number of houses in different design styles. The house built before the 1750's are two and one half stories with two rooms per floor. The houses built in Philadelphia's colonial heyday soar to three or four stories, even taller after the revolution, and have adopted a heavy Georgian cornice and elaborate doorways. Federal architecture is less heavy and generally more graceful. If you are visiting Philadelphia in May, don't pass up the opportunity to view the interiors of dozens of homes during the Philadelphia Open House, which are volunteered by the proud owners.

Dodge Caravan Peanut Butter and Jams This weekly children's concert series is about creating fun and interactive live music experience for kids and parents. Perfect for a family outing, children's birthday parties, or just for a fun afternoon, the Dodge Caravan Peanut Butter & Jams series is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Join us each Saturday morning for the show and follow it up with a family friendly lunch buffet (not included in ticket price). Doors generally open at 11:00 am with the show starting at 11:30am. Voted Best Of Philly: Best Kids Concert Series by Philadelphia Magazine, in 2005.
submitted by Jen Muscatello, 29/11/07

Philadelphia Shopping

Restoration Hardware 4130 Main Street, Philadelphia. This store sells everything from tea strainers to leather couches. Just walking through this store is like walking in a magic wonderland full of exciting things.

Ma Jolie Atelier 4340 Main Street, Philadelphia. Three sisters run this delightful boutique from Boston. The store is situated in a handsome 2-storey building and deals primarily in woman's fashion, both elegant and casual. There is also a delightful department of adorable children's clothing and an upstairs cappuccino bar for you to take a break and enjoy refreshments after a long day of shopping.

Born Yesterday Rittenhouse Square. This stylish store is a unique baby and children's shop. They stock baby outfits, boys to size 8 and girls to size 10. There are a variety of classic outfits as well as trendy items. This is the best store in 'Philly' for baby and children. The staff is very attentive to you needs.

Philadelphia Activities

Rittenhouse Square 18th and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia. There is a small playground and a space for parents to relax and have something to eat, while the kid's play and have fun with the new friends that they make at the playground.

The Arden Theatre 40 North, 2nd Street, Philadelphia. The Arden Theatre is one of over a dozen companies that produce children's theater all year round. The kids really enjoy the performances that are thought provoking and fun for the whole family.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art The museum has Sunday morning as well as early afternoon programs for the children. They can draw pictures, watching a puppet show about dragons, visit a Chinese court or even explore Cubism.

Philadelphia Parks & Gardens

Independence National Historical Park Located in the centre of Philadelphia. The Independence National Historical Park is situated on 45 acres of land, featuring significant buildings and monuments, which are vital to the beginning of the United States as a government. Philadelphia was the capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800 and included George Washington and John Adams.

On 8 July 1776, the Liberty Bell rang out for the first time to call all the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The Liberty Bell is on display in Market Street, between 5th Street and 6th Street. The Independence Hall, which can be found on Chestnut Street, was originally built in 1732 as the Pennsylvania State House. The Constitution of the United States was ratified here.

Philadelphia Zoo The Philadelphia Zoo is one of the world's most renowned zoological gardens and was the first in the United States. There are more than 1 600 rare and exotic animals and 42 acres of picturesque Victorian gardens. The is the Peco Primate Reserve, which has an interactive exhibit featuring 10 species of primates, a Rare Animal Conservation Centre, which features some of the worlds most endangered animals.

There is also a Reptile and Amphibian House, which showcases 87 species including the King Cobra, a children's petting zoo and live animal shows, which take place daily. The Philadelphia Zoo is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 4:45 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:45 pm. http://www.phillyzoo.org

Philadelphia Restaurants and Bars

Philadelphia Restaurants

Le Bec-Fin 1523 Walnut Street. Le Bec-Fin is the perfect place to celebrate an occasion. The cuisine is unforgettable, and not to mention the dessert carts, you can't leave here without trying something from them. Chef Georges Perrier has an international reputation and an absolute genius when it comes to cooking.

Chart House 555 South Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia. Chart House has a fabulous view of the Delaware River from the restaurants own pier. The food is amazing, but not cheap.

Twenty21 2005 Commerce Square, between 20th and 21st Street, Philadelphia. Twenty21 is the best place to come to get good hearty American Cuisine. The restaurant looks corporate, but the young crowds seem to enjoy it.

Philadelphia Bars & Clubs

Monk's Café 264 South 16th Street, Philadelphia. Monk's Café is a small brewpub. There are two bars, the back one is more 'authentically drafty' and the front bar is more respectable, but both serve an extensive wine list, simple menu and imported Belgian ales.

Bronko Bill's Located between Grant Avenue and Bluegrass Road, Northeast, Philadelphia. Bronko Bill's is a great place to come and let you hair down. There is a 4000 square foot dance floor with a well-equipped sound system. Or if you don't feel like dancing the night away, you can sit back and enjoy your drinks in the wonderfully decorated lounges.

Circa 1518 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. This is the hottest club in Philadelphia. Circa offers something for everyone. There is great food, fantastic music that varies from house, disco, pop and techno. The atmosphere is superb. Circa opens at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays and the cover charge is $5.

Philadelphia children's activities

Rittenhouse Square 18th and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia. There is a small playground and a space for parents to relax and have something to eat, while the kid's play and have fun with the new friends that they make at the playground.

The Arden Theatre 40 North, 2nd Street, Philadelphia. The Arden Theatre is one of over a dozen companies that produce children's theater all year round. The kids really enjoy the performances that are thought provoking and fun for the whole family.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art The museum has Sunday morning as well as early afternoon programs for the children. They can draw pictures, watching a puppet show about dragons, visit a Chinese court or even explore Cubism.

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