Last Updated: 6th Jun 2012
by – Alex McCarty, Tour Manager, North America
This City of Brotherly Love never disappoints when it comes to sports, food and American history.
Philadelphia, with its population approaching 5 million, remains today much the same as it began at the birth of America: a bustling port city thriving on international commerce, new ideas and a vibrant art scene.
Perhaps the most interesting fixtures of the skyline of Philly are best view up close instead from afar, such as Independence Hall, which is where the Continental Congress of 1776 signed the Declaration of Independence, and where 11 years later (1787), the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified and America officially became a country.
The city has hosted every dignitary from Benjamin Franklin to Bruce Willis, from Bill Cosby to Will Smith, from M. Night Shyamalan to Rocky Balboa! And don’t even think of coming to town without trying a famous cheesesteak, or at least spreading some of that famous cream cheese on your bagel!
The gravesite of Benjamin Franklin, an invaluable ambassador to the U.S. during the Revolutionary War, is located on 5th Avenue, just across from the Visitor Center and next door to the U.S. Mint. The Visitor Center has free Internet, a cafe, a souvenir shop, and restrooms and more than likely this will be your drop off point once entering the city — take advantage. This building is also connected to a hall featuring the Liberty Bell, an icon of American freedom. Just across a stretch of greenery from the Visitor Center is Independence Hall.
All of these sites are easy walking distance between one another.
The Bourse, a ten-minute walk from the Visitor Center, is small shopping center with a large food court.
Arguably, the best Philly Cheesesteaks in town are at Sonny’s (on Market St. between 1st and 2nd), and has been voted ’Philly’s Best’ two of the last three years running. You’ll pass a few cafes on your way there and be tempted to stop. Don’t – Sonny’s cheesesteaks are outstanding hangover cures!