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Philadelphia continues on its upward trend of development in terms of new construction, a restaurant renaissance, and a cultural revival. The city rests its heels on an impressive past, and thanks to aggressive civic leadership and a close-knit local community, it continues to push toward an exciting future. And in many ways, it's only started to realize its potential.Philadelphia is a place of contrasts: Grace Kelly and Rocky Balboa; Le Bec-Fin—one of the nation's finest French haute-cuisine restaurants—and the fast-food heaven of Jim's Steaks; Independence Hall and the modest Mario Lanza Museum; 18th-century national icons with 21st-century–style skyscrapers soaring above them. The Philadelphia Orchestra performs in a stunning concert hall—the focal point of efforts to transform Broad Street into a multicultural Avenue of the Arts. Along the same street, 25,000 Mummers dressed in outrageous sequins and feathers historically have plucked their banjos and strutted their stuff in a parade every New Year's Day. City residents include descendants of the staid Quaker Founding Fathers, the self-possessed socialites of the Main Line, and the unrestrained sports fans, who are as vocal as they are loyal.Philadelphia has a population of just over 1.5 million, but is known as a city of neighborhoods (some say there are 109). Shoppers haggle over the price of tomatoes in South Philly's Italian Market; families picnic in the parks of Germantown; street vendors hawk soft pretzels in Logan Circle; and all around the city vendors sell local produce and other goods at farmers' markets. There's also a strong sense of neighborhood loyalty: ask a native where he's from and he'll tell you: Fairmount, Fishtown, or Frankford, rather than Philadelphia. Explore
What do a 30-foot barrel-vaulted hallways, unrepentant ghosts and Al Capone have in common? This fascinating historic prison. Don’t miss a tour.
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Philly was years ahead of the food truck trend, and the U. Penn area is where you’ll find over 50 trucks serving exciting food from around the world.
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I love staying on or near Rittenhouse Square. The leafy park planned by William Penn is distinctly American and yet has a European feel.
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If you don’t mind the lines, Pay What You Wish Wednesday Nights are a great deal for one of the best museums in the country—the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
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Go birding at ground level, or cheat a little, and do it from 50 feet in the air with the Out on a Limb canopy walk at Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill.
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America’s most historic square mile contains the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and dozens other cultural sites you should probably get some photos of.
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