PHILADELPHIA PA (November 12, 2018)(CNBNewsnet)--Philadelphia welcomes approximately 42 million visitors every year, and its popularity is almost warranted once you discover the city’s superb attractions.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a food aficionado, history lover or a culture vulture, the City of Brotherly Love will not let you down. If you want to explore the best of this remarkable city, from poker to nature, here is an informative rundown of the top attractions to visit in Philadelphia.
Independence National Historical Park
Many consider the Independence National Historical Park (INHP) as the birthplace of American democracy. That’s because it is on the site of various seminal events that established the U.S. as an international leader for democratic ideals. Reportedly, more than five million people visited the historical park in 2017 to view the many preserved sites connected to the American Revolution.
Liberty Bell Center
Located inside the Independence National Historical Park is the Liberty Bell Center, which attracts more than 2.3 million visitors, making it one of the city’s most popular destinations. You can now view the famous bronze bell, which is a symbol of American independence and once called the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House home, through glass windows in Independence Hall.
Citizens Bank Park
Head to Citizens Bank Park the next time you’re in South Philadelphia because it’s the only place to catch a Phillies home game, which is why two million people make their way to the ballpark every year. It also regularly hosts some unforgettable summer concerts, with artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel taking to the stage. It’s also possible to take a tour of the park, the ultimate activity for baseball fans.
Play Poker at SugarHouse Casino
If you are looking for nonstop fun in the City of Brotherly Love, make sure to pay a visit to the Sugarhouse Casino. Not only can you take your pick from 1,891 slot machines but there are also more than 100 table games, as well as a 28-table poker room, so you can put your poker strategy to the test. Once you have enjoyed some fun at the felt, playing the likes of Omaha Hi-Lo or Texas Hold’em, you can enjoy dinner at one of its seven restaurants.
Reading Terminal Market
When you’re not busy playing poker at the SugarHouse Casino, you should stop by the Reading Terminal Market, which is reported the number one attraction in Philadelphia, as an incredible seven million people visit annually. You’ll understand why once you step inside, as it is a food lover’s paradise. The indoor food market provides a one-stop shop for every ingredient and dish you could possibly want, as you can take your pick from scrumptious sandwiches, local produce, mouth-watering desserts and flavorsome artisanal cheeses.
The Philadelphia Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in all of America, opening its gates to visitors on July 1, 1874. It is now home to more than 1,300 animals, many of which are both rare and endangered. You will also fall in love with Zoo360, which allows you to walk through the world’s first see-through mesh trails, crossing over pathways, connecting visitors to different habitats and encouraging animals to explore the zoo.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art welcomes approximately 775,000 visitors annually, who step inside this building to absorb its extensive art collection, featuring international works through the ages, such as American, Asian, Impressionist, Renaissance and contemporary works. While culture vultures visit for the museum’s exquisite art, movie fans remember it from the “Rocky” franchise. You cannot visit the museum without running up the famous “Rocky Steps.”
A stone’s throw away from the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the Rocky Statue, which you will find at the east entrance of the museum. There is currently no visitor count for the statue, but it is easily one of the top attractions in the city. It’s also a rite of passage when exploring the city — and it’s probably one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in all of Philadelphia.
Franklin Square is one of five original squares that featured in William Penn’s plan for Philadelphia. It now serves as a family-friendly park, featuring everything from fun children’s playgrounds, a miniature golf course, a stunning marble fountain and an old-fashioned carousel. You also must pay a visit to SquareBurger, which serves up juicy burgers, fries and shakes.
Approximately 1.4 million visitors make their way to Longwood Gardens each year to experience the beautiful horticultural displays, which will make you want to turn off social media, switch off from online poker and reject any incoming calls. You can spend many a day here, as it offers 1,077 acres of land that’s home to 20 indoor gardens, 20 outdoor gardens and 11,000 varieties of plants. The exquisite Main Fountain Garden, which debuted in the spring of 2017, features 1,700 impressive jets and streams reaching as high as 175 feet.
Valley Forge National Historical Park
Reportedly, 2.5 million people visit Valley Forge National Historical Park every year. While not one battle fought at the site, the Continental Army did spend a considerable amount of time here during one of their most challenging periods in history. You can now step inside the Visitor Center to view various exhibits and artifacts, as it features both the original headquarters and replicated huts. It’s, therefore, a perfect place to learn the story of how George Washington and his troops endured a harsh winter.
Anyone who wants to learn more about U.S. history must visit Philadelphia. After all, it is home to Independence Hall, which is the location of both the creation and signing of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. It is one of only 23 World Heritage Sites in the United States, as it is integral to American history, and it is the reason why the city welcomed 750,000 visitors in 2017.
Please Touch Museum
Both adults and children will enjoy a visit to the Please Touch Museum, which celebrates creativity and imagination. You’ll find interactive exhibits spread across the 60,000 square feet site, and you can also attend theatrical performances, explore temporary exhibitions and have a little fun in an art-making space.
Eastern State Penitentiary
Those interested in U.S. criminal history will not want to miss a visit to the Eastern State Penitentiary, which is a former prison that founded solitary confinement. The prison once incarcerated 75,000 inmates, including Al Capone and Willie Sutton. The museum now draws approximately 400,000 people every year who can enjoy either a guided or self-guided tour. It also serves as a Halloween haunted house and regularly offers informative exhibitions and events.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University has delighted both locals and tourists for more than 200 years, and it is now the oldest natural history museum in America. Each year, 250,000 people of all ages visit to come face-to-face with lifelike dinosaurs, meet live animals and explore three continents of wildlife. It’s the perfect attraction for both the young and old.
Betsy Ross House
The Betsy Ross House is the birthplace of the first stars and stripes. It was here that the seamstress lived when she created the first-ever American flag — and she was a rather rare female business owner during the 18th century. So, if you have yet to do so, you should join the 190,000 people who visit the historical landmark every year.
A Philadelphia travel guide. (video credit YouTube)
There is something for everyone in Philadelphia. Whether you want to indulge in delicious food (Philadelphia cheesesteaks, anyone?), explore historical landmarks or play a game of poker at a casino, the City of Brotherly Love will not let you down.