Founded by English Quaker William Penn, Philadelphia was to become the birthplace of American Independence.
For those with a love of animals, the 42 acres of Philadelphia zoo – the nation’s oldest – houses more than 1,300 creatures, with its Zoo360 system providing great viewing of the animals as they wander throughout the zoo along a series of wire-mesh trails. A must for any visitor to Philadelphia is One Liberty Observation Deck, its enclosed deck standing at 883-feet and presenting views of some of the sights you wouldn’t necessarily have seen from the ground, including the City Hall, Ben Franklin Bridge and University City.
Nestled between Second Street and the Delaware River, Elfreths Alley is the nation’s oldest residential street and serves as a reminder of Philadelphia’s early days. Well worth a visit is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as is The Barnes Foundation, home to one of the world’s greatest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist and modern paintings. You should definitely drop into Reading Terminal, Philadelphia’s most visited attraction, serving everything from local produce to exquisite Asian and Middle Eastern dishes.
For some slightly more abstract sightseeing, stop by the Mutter Museum, America’s most famous museum of medical oddities, which include an exhibit of the remains of Einstein’s brain. For those who love art with a difference, ‘Love Letter’ is a series of 50 rooftop murals that play out one artist’s love letter to the city and its citizens. Climb the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum – if Rocky Balboa could do it, then why shouldn’t you? We would, however, suggest walking rather than running!
An hour’s drive from Philadelphia on New Jersey’s coastline, Atlantic City is an array of star-studded attractions, fun-filled activities and sumptuous dining. Whilst the Atlantic City Boardwalk is the resort’s backbone, it’s also worth hopping onto one of the trolley tours, where stops will include the Absecon Lighthouse and Atlantic City Aquarium. When the sun goes down, Borgata Hotel Casino, Caesars Atlantic City and Tropicana are just some of the venues hosting spectacular night-time entertainment.
20 miles northwest of the city, the rolling hills of Valley Forge National Park commemorate the 2,000 soldiers who lost their lives fighting the brutal winter conditions at the height of the Revolution. Glencairn Museum also dips back into the past with its exhibits of religious art and history whilst stepping forward in time, the classic American small town of Skippack Village showcases its boutique shops and galleries. For those wanting a ‘mega-shopping’ experience, the ‘King of Prussia Mall’ is the largest in the US.
Less than an hour from Philadelphia, the lush countryside and rambling rivers of Brandywine Valley is the setting of Longwood Gardens, where an Italian Water Garden, Chinese Tower, exotic Conservatory, meadows, woodlands and trails present a new vista at every turn. The historical site of Brandywine Battlefield keeps alive the memory of its fierce battle of 1777, Brandywine River Museum showcases regional and American art and by way of contrast, the QVC Studio Tour will guide you through the world of multimedia retailing.