Philadelphia is the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as well as the fifth largest city in the United States. Oh, and it is also home to ISTE Conference 2011, the largest educational technology conference in the United States.
We came up with a few ideas of fun things to do in Philly (you know, when not attending a session, hanging in the bloggers lounge, checking out the trade show, or attending an ISTE tweetup).
Random Facts about Philadelphia:
The city is home to the first hospital in the British North American colonies, Pennsylvania Hospital.
The Liberty Bell weighs 2,080 pounds.
Philadelphia has more public art than any city in the country.
American Bandstand began as a local program (called Bob Horn’s Bandstand) on WFIL-TV (now WPVI), Channel 6 in Philadelphia on October 7, 1952. Dick Clark came on and the show became National five years later.
Urban Outfitters has their headquarters in Philly.
Will Smith was born in Philadelphia (remember the first few lines of the theme to the Prince of Bel-Air? “In west Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days… Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool”). Some other Famous Philadelphians include Tina Fey, Bill Cosby, Grace Kelly, Bradley Cooper, Bob Saget and musicians: Boys II Men, Joan Jett, Pink and John Coltrane.
What to eat in Philadelphia:
The Italian Market: The two famous Philly Cheesesteak restaurants - Geno’s and Pat’s are located in this part of town in South Philadelphia. Only a 10-minute cab ride from the Convention Center. There is much debate over which one is a true “Philly Cheesesteak” but the main difference is that Pat’s chops up its meat, and Geno’s does not.
Be prepared and know how to order. If you want one cheesesteak, say one, the type of cheese you want (Provolone, American or Cheese Whiz) and if you want onions or not. So when you order you would simply say, “one, American, with.”
Philadelphia is considered the BYOB (bring your own bottle) capital of North America. Strict alcohol licensing laws make it a challenge for smaller restaurants to have bars on the premises, but there are no laws preventing patrons from bringing their own bottles!
You can also find a hoagie, “official sandwich of Philadelphia” in the Italian Market. Try Sarcone’s Deli for a local favorite (tip: a truly great hoagie is all about the bread).
Eulogy meets any beer snobbery needs with it’s A-Z range of brews from around the world. The coffin upstairs adds to the decor of this tiny bar off of one of olde city’s cobblestone streets. - Diana Potts from ISTE Conference Ning page.
Where to visit in Philadelphia:
Independence National Historical Park is where you will find the Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House and the Liberty Bell, which is a 5-minute cab ride or 15 minute walk from the Convention Center
Zagar’s Magic Gardens is located on South Street between 10th and 11th streets, just a 5-minute cab ride or 20 minute walk from the Convention Center. The gardens are a permanent art institution that is open to visitors throughout the year. Trained guides are available to lead tours of the Magic Gardens and Zagar’s surrounding public murals.
The Reading Terminal Market is right across the street from the Convention Center and over 80 merchants sell everything from whoopie pies, to fresh produce, to handmade crafts. Make sure to check out their website for more information on their $7 Meal Deal, where you can visit participating merchants and buy breakfast or lunch for only seven bucks.
The Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone, but now serves as an attraction where visitors can visit and take an audio tour of the grounds. It is an 8 minute cab ride from the Convention Center.
Love Park (official name: JFK Plaza) is a plaza located in Center City. The park is nicknamedLove Park for Robert Indiana’s Love sculpture, which overlooks the plaza and is an 8-minute walk from the Convention Center.
The LOVE symbol was first created for a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in 1964.
The 72 stone steps before the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art have become known as the “Rocky Steps,” but the museum itself is much more than a clip from a movie. It is one of the largest museums in the United States with new exhibits each season (more info on what is going on in June coming soon) and is an 8-minute cab ride from the Convention Center.
Are we missing anything??? Tweet us at @Collaborize or leave a comment with other fun things to do in Philadelphia!