Close to New York City and Washington D.C., Philadelphia is a great place to visit when exploring the East Coast of the United States, as well as a great destination in and of itself. The Declaration of Independence was signed and read to the public in Philadelphia's downtown district. Later, the U.S. Constitution was composed in the "City of Brotherly Love." Today, the past is still palpable in Philly. In the historic downtown district, the streets are still made of cobblestone and lined with brick colonial architecture. Here, tourists can visit many of the actual places where the founding fathers of the United States lived and worked, or get a crash course in history at the Lights of Liberty, a nightly dramatization of the American Revolution at Independence Hall.
Home to the famous Philly Cheese Steak, no trip to Philadelphia is complete without sampling this famous hot sandwich. However, Philadelphia's food scene reaches far beyond the traditional fare. Today, Philly's excellent restaurants run the gamut, from Asian inspired to gourmet Mediterranean food. Philadelphia's art scene is also growing, with many former New York City artists moving to this smaller and more affordable city. To top it off, there are excellent shopping and boutiques in Philly's upscale neighborhoods, like Chestnut Hill and Society Hill.
Philadelphia's top sights include:
-The Liberty Bell: A symbol of the American independence movement, the Liberty Bell and its famous crack are on display in the Independence National Historic Park.
-Independence Hall: This old Georgian building is the very site where the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776.
-Betsy Ross House: Betsy Ross is attributed with the honor of sewing the first version of the American flag. Her former home, built in the 1760s, is a popular tourist destination in Philadelphia.
-Barnes Foundation Gallery: This important museum has one of the world's largest collections of French impressionist and post-impressionist painting, including work by Van Gogh, Monet, and Degas.
-Philadelphia Museum of Art: The city's fine art museum contains a wonderful collection of master works, including Renaissance and Asian art.
-Franklin Institute Science Museum: Named after Benjamin Franklin, this wonderful science museum has exhibits on topics from the human body to astronomy, as well as a large collection of Wright Brothers memorabilia and artifacts.
Finding the perfect vacation rental in Philadelphia can make your trip affordable and convenient. An apartment rental near Old City or Society Hill will put you a stone's throw away from Philly's historic sites. You can also seek out a condo in one of the numerous residential neighborhoods near the Delaware River.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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