For many, the name “Philadelphia” brings to mind gooey cheesesteaks, devout sports fans, and a sweaty Sylvester Stallone running up a flight of steps. But the truth is, the city’s name should have endless associations. It has all the features and offerings of any great city, not to mention a potential argument that it should be as synonymous with America as Washington D.C itself.
Having served as the former U.S. Capital from 1790-1800, the city is rich with American history. In past centuries, “Philly” institutions saw some of the earliest American trials and Congressional meetings. A city of innovators, it was also home to the nation’s first bank, zoo, and public library. Inhabitants often greatly impacted the rest of the country, including the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross. Mr. Franklin was an innovator in every field he entered, and Ms. Ross is credited with creating the first American Flag, versions of which are still flown all over the country today.
In present day, centuries-old buildings still stand. Philadelphia City Hall, once the tallest building in the world, has existed since 1901. Independence Hall, completed in 1753, is still visited by thousands. Philadelphia is also boasts one of the most recognizable icons of American history. The legend of the Liberty Bell tells of its fateful cracking the first time it rang back in 1751, and two million people flock to see it each year. Situated on the Delaware river, the Philadelphia skyline is also full of more modern, eye-catching architectural achievements. One Liberty Place with its tall spire and the glossy Comcast Center are two of the most prominent skyscrapers.
Like other East Coast cities, Philadelphia is a culturally diverse one, and this diversity extends into its museums and attractions. The African American Museum in Philadelphia can be found here, along with the National Museum of American Jewish History and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Major art museums include the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Rodin Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, site of the most famous steps in film since the Battleship Potemkin. For the sciences, the interactive Franklin Institute is one of the most fun, family-friendly places in the city. Guests are able to enter and explore a giant replica of the human heart, or be turned upside down during a flight simulation ride.
Fans of the city’s athletics possess a voracious loyalty towards their franchises. Each Big Four sport is represented by the Phillies of the MLB, the Eagles of the NFL, the 76ers of the NBA, and the Flyers of the NHL, whose brash style garnered them the nickname “the Broad Street Bullies.” Despite any reputations, though, the most popular nickname to date is the “City of Brotherly Love.” And being full of history, culture, and the arts, Philadelphia’s significance and appeal make it well worthy of a visit.