5 Things You Can’t Miss: Philadelphia

by Anthony Losanno

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Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s largest city, home to The Liberty Bell, as well as lots of great eats. The city is where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed as well as where Rocky Balboa took his famous run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Whether you want a cheesesteak “Wiz wit” or “Wiz witout,” there is a lot to love here.

Here are five things you can’t miss on your visit.

The Liberty Bell

5. Visit The Liberty Bell

Stop by and check out the symbol of the freedom in the US. The Liberty Bell was originally in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (known now as Independence Hall). It’s now located across the street in the Liberty Bell Center. The bell is best known for its famous crack. It first cracked when rung after its arrival in Philadelphia and remains cracked even after being recast twice. The bell used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions, but today it’s largely symbolic.

Can’t Miss: Squint to read the quote on the bell. If you can’t see it, it says “Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof.”

Address: 526 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

a model of a human heart

4. Walk Through the Giant Heart at The Franklin Institute

The Giant Heart at The Franklin Institute holds special memories for me as I slept overnight in the museum near it when I was in middle school. The heart has been in the museum for the past half century and it would be to scale for a 220-foot person (twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty). Take a walk through and listen to the soothing heartbeat.

Can’t Miss: The Giant Heart was recently updated with the sounds of an actual human heart. Listen closely for the beats to change along the way.

Address: 222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

LOVE Statue

3. Take a Selfie by the LOVE Statue

The LOVE Statue resides in LOVE Park across from City Hall in Center City. The statue was erected in 1976 and removed in 1978. Public outcry got it restored pretty quickly and it has been there since (with a refurbishment in 2018). Philadelphia is not the only place with a LOVE Statue (there are 50 worldwide), but it feels special in the City of Brotherly Love.

Can’t Miss: If you’re here around the holidays, the park hosts Philadelphia’s annual Christmas Village.

Address: Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Philadelphia Magic Garden

2. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a gallery space on South Street. It’s the largest mosaic work created by artist Isaiah Zagar. The Magic Gardens spans three city lots and includes indoor galleries in addition to the large outdoor labyrinth. Every square inch looks covered in mosaics and you see something new every time you go. One man’s junk is another’s treasure seems to be the motto here as mosaics are made from dishes, bike wheels, mirrors, tiles, and more.

Can’t Miss: After checking out the exterior mosaics, head inside to check out a rotating selection of artists from around the globe.

Address: 1020 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Reading Terminal Market

1. Eat Your Way Through Reading Terminal Market

One of my favorite markets in the world is found in Philadelphia. Every time I come to Philly, I head here for lunch. The Original Turkey is a must stop for me to gobble down the Stuffin’ Cranberry. There are also amazing baked goods from the Pennsylvania Dutch, cheeseteaks, seafood, produce, and tons more. Come hungry and you will not be disappointed.

Can’t Miss: Visit Philbert the Pig (the three-foot-tall, 225-pound pig statue) found in the center of the market.

Address: 1136 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Come for the the history and art. Stay for the amazing eats in the market.

These are my can’t miss picks for Philadelphia.

Notary Hotel

Bonus Hotel Pick: The Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection is one of my favorite hotels in Philadelphia. It’s perfectly located in Center City and only a few blocks walk to the Reading Terminal Market and the LOVE Statue. The rooms are comfortable and stylish in this classic building.

Address: 21 North Juniper Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

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Pat February 8, 2023 - 6:57 pm

As somebody born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, I can’t disagree with this list (although I never understood why the Love Statue was such a big deal). I would also recommend:
Barnes Foundation: The best impressionist collection in the USA imho
Longwood Gardens (suburbs): The best gardens in the USA imho
City Hall: The tallest free standing masonry building in the world
Italian Market: There’s really nowhere else like it. You just have to visit it to understand.

Frankfurt Airport Lufthansa
Anthony Losanno February 8, 2023 - 10:31 pm

I forgot about the Italian Market. Thanks!


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