Uniquely Philadelphia

One of the finest private art collections in the world can be viewed at Philadelphia's Barnes Foundation. Photo by Robin Bloom for the PHLCVB.

There’s no other city like Philadelphia. Scroll down for a sampling of some of the uniquely Philadelphia experiences that you will only find in the City of Brotherly Love.

Independence National Historical Park

The “American Dream” was born in Philadelphia, with the city playing a pivotal role in the development of a new nation founded on the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. With more historic buildings from the colonial and federal periods of American history than anywhere else in the United States, many of Philadelphia’s original structures have been preserved, including Independence Hall, a UNSECO World Heritage Site, the building where the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were debated and adopted. Nearby is Carpenter’s Hall, meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774. Click for more.

Mural Arts Philadelphia

Find out why Philadelphia is called the “Mural Capital of the World.” Mural Arts Philadelphia started as an anti-graffiti program and has grown to be an international leader providing an opportunity to see a wide variety of Philadelphia neighborhoods through the lens of community-based public art. Self-guided and guide-led tours include detailed information about the murals themselves as well as the artistic process and the history of the diverse communities that serve as the backdrop for this unique art form. Click for more.

The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation houses one of the world’s finest private collections of early French-Modern and Post-Impressionist paintings. The collection (more than 4,000 objects) also includes pieces of antique furniture, pottery and African sculptures.  This incomparable museum is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s “Museum Mile.” Click for more.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Left in “preserved ruin,” the endlessly fascinating Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829.  More than 300 prisons worldwide copied its revolutionary radial design. Gangster Al Capone’s cell was lavishly decorated, but bank robber Willie Sutton’s wasn’t as comfortable — so he notoriously busted out through a tunnel in 1945.  Visit during Autumn for the annual “Terror Behind the Walls,” rated one of the top haunted house attractions in the nation. Click for more.

Independence Seaport Museum

Explore the region’s maritime heritage with interactive exhibits, magnificent ship models and more than 14,000 artifacts. Visit Admiral Dewey’s 1892 cruiser Olympia, the oldest steel warship afloat in the world, and the World War II submarine Becuna. Click for more.

Museum of the American Revolution

Experience what it was like for the Continental Army on the front lines, climb aboard a full-scale replica of a privateer ship and see General George Washington’s original tent at the Museum of the American Revolution. Click for more.

Mütter Museum

The Mütter Museum of medical history features preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models and medical instruments in a 19th-century “cabinet museum” setting.  Designed to help the public understand the mysteries of the human body, objects in the museum’s collection include the “Soap Lady,” Dr. Joseph Hyrtl’s human skull collection, jaw tumor of President Grover Cleveland, the tallest skeleton on display in North America, part of Einstein’s brain and rotating exhibits of photographic art and illustrations. Click for more.

National Liberty Museum

Celebrate American heroes and the ideals of freedom at this museum honoring more than 1,000 outstanding individuals of all ethnic backgrounds.  See the 20-foot tall glass art sculpture, “Flame of Liberty,” created by American sculptor Dale Chihuly. Click for more.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Isaiah Zagar, committed to beautifying and revitalizing his South Street neighborhood, transformed it with Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.  Spanning a half block, the museum features an immersive outdoor art installation and indoor galleries of mosaics made from nontraditional materials, found objects, hand-made tiles, glittering mirrors and more, fascinating people of all ages!

Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

Visit one of the world’s greatest collection of racing sports cars in South Philadelphia. Visit on a “Demo Day,” the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, showcasing several museum cars in a themed presentation followed by a driving demonstration. Click for more.

U.S. Mint at Philadelphia

The first U.S. Mint was started by Congress in Philadelphia, then the nation’s capital, in 1792.  Experience making money at the source with a free, self-guided tour including a view of coining operations from 40 feet above the factory floor. Reservations are not required for this 45-minute tour, available to the public Monday through Friday. Click for more.

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