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About Philadelphia, PA


About Philadelphia - "The City of Brotherly Love"


Philadelphia is an old city, having been founded in 1682. The city was also central to the Revolutionary War. In fact, both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed in Philadelphia. Few other cities can boast so much American history packed into it.

Philadelphia is a big city as well. In fact, it's the second biggest city on the East Coast, and the fifth biggest in the U.S. But even though it is home to over 1.5 million people, the city itself rarely feels crowded. Indeed, Philadelphia has a personality more akin to a collection of neighborhoods. Each part of town has its own unique feel where the locals know each other and support the mom and pop shops. Hipsters like to congregate in Northern Liberties and Fishtown. Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square are more upscale parts of town. South Street, on the other hand, is more touristy and is known for its many dining and shopping options. The Northeast, on the other hand, has more of a suburban vibe.

Philadelphia takes its art seriously. The city is home to more Impressionist paintings than any city not named Paris. With over 2,000 murals around town, many considered it to be the "mural capital of the U.S." The Philadelphia Museum of Art has nearly 230,000 works and puts on roughly 25 special exhibits per year. The museum and city itself display a wide range of art from many time periods, schools, styles, and mediums. Created by local artist Isiah Zagar, the Magic Garden is also an amazing place.

There's also the so-called Avenue of the Arts, a section of Broad Street south of City Hall. It features a number of amazing performance art venues that host plays, musicals, concerts, dance, film, and visual arts. There's the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, the Prince Music Theater, the Merriam Theater, Wilma Theater, Suzanne Roberts Theater, Gersham Hall, Uptown Theater, and the Academy of Music. There are also a ton of other jazz clubs, art galleries, fine restaurants, and more.

Art and nature tend to blend in the Fairmount Park system which consists of 63 different parks covering over 9,000 acres of land, murals and other types are public art are often found in the parks themselves. The main park covers just over 4,000 acres and features many great works of art. The Morris Arboretum on the University of Pennsylvania campus features 92 acres of cultivated gardens including Bartram's Garden which is the oldest botanical garden in North America.

The University of Pennsylvania itself is one of America's oldest and most prestigious universities. It's part of the Ivy League and has a student population of almost 25,000. There are also another 15 four year colleges hosted in Philadelphia. Students often live in and around University City, where both Drexel and U. Penn are located.

Looking to learn outside of school? There's the Philadelphia Zoo, which is actually the oldest zoo in America, having been opened all the way back in 1874. Over 1,300 species live on about 42 acres. There's a petting zoo as well, numerous educational activities, and even paddleboating.

Besides being a hub for art and education, Philadelphia is also well-known for its medical industry. Approximately one out of six doctors in the United States is trained in the city. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was the first of its kind to focus only on children. It is also ranked as one of the best pediatric hospitals as well. There are numerous other highly regarded hospitals as well including The University of Pennsylvania hospital, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Hahnemann University Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Wills Eye Hospital, and many others.

For a more mysterious sight, visit the immense Masonic Temple, located just near City Hall. Built in 1868, but using medieval-style architecture, the structure is quite stunning. You can stop by for a visit, and learn some (but not too much) about the secretive Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the Free and Accepted Masons, which is headquartered at the temple.

Hungry? Over a hundred different vendors are busy offering their food and crafts at the Reading Terminal Market. You can even buy directly from the Amish. There are prepared food kiosks that make it easy to grab a quick bite and there's tons of locally sourced produce options for those who prefer to eat at home.


Photos of Philadelphia:


Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia, PA
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Aerial
City Center
City Center
City Lights
City Lights
Downtown
Downtown
Skyline
Skyline


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