The year 2022 was a big one for tourism in Philadelphia. According to Visit Philly, the official website for tourism in Philadelphia, the five-county region received 39.8 million domestic visitors that year. Twenty-four point three million visited Philadelphia alone. Those visitors didn’t hold back when it came to spending their hard-earned dollars while they were there either: in Philadelphia, the visitors spent $3.9 billion directly in Philadelphia, and $7.1 billion across the country.
It’s easy to understand why Philadelphia receives so many visitors when you see this city, in the state of Pennsylvania. The city boasts a variety of attractions, as does wider Pennsylvania. Below is a look at five you must visit if you ever have the good fortune to travel to Philadelphia, plus a discussion of attractions elsewhere in the state.
1. Visit the home of the Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field is the home stadium of the NFL team the Philadelphia Eagles, who play in the NFC East division of the league. When businessman Jeffrey Lurie bought the club in 1994, he made it very clear that building a new state-of-the-art stadium would be a crucial component in transforming the Eagles into an elite team.
Construction work began in May 2001, and 28 months later, the stadium hosted its first event, a soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona FC. In August 2003, the Eagles played their first football game in the new stadium, against the New York Patriots. In September 2003, they squared off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their inaugural game for the season. If you’re into NFL player props bets, the wide receiver is the most likely player to score the first touchdown for the Eagles in games.
2. Take a photo beside the Liberty Bell
The bronze Liberty Bell was once known as the “State Bell,” but has since been renamed the Liberty Bell and has become a symbol for abolitionists, suffragettes, and other freedom-seekers from all over the world. The bell has a huge crack in it and doesn’t ring, but is still impressive, and people happily pose next to the bell against the backdrop of the Independence Hall.
3. Pose with the Rocky statue
Philadelphia is home to the bronze statue of the world’s most famous fictional boxer: Rocky Balboa. After filming the movie “Rocky III,” Sylvester Stallone donated it to the City of Philadelphia. Since 2006, the statue has stood at the bottom of the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. To complete the experience, why not run up the “Rocky steps” that lead to the east entrance of the museum and recreate the iconic pose of Rocky with arms aloft in the air, overlooking the Philadelphia skyline after running up the 72 steps.
4. Tour Independence Hall
Unless you visit more than once, to travel to Philly and not tour the Independence Hall would be sinful. Here the US’s Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, in 1776. Eleven years later, representatives from a dozen states gathered in the building to lay the foundations for the US Constitution. Independence Hall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the centerpiece of the Independence National Historical Park. Free guided tours are available on timed tickets. Independence Hall is located on Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th Streets. Entrance is through a security screening area on Chestnut Street, just west of 5th Street. After passing through security, visitors line up behind Independence Hall for a tour. The GPS address for Independence Hall is 520 Chestnut Street.
5. Explore the University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania, or “Penn” as it’s more commonly known, was founded in 1770. The Gothic buildings and lush courtyards remind you of an Ivy League-style university and are plentiful enough to make you want to immerse yourself in books at the university library. The campus, especially Locust Walk, which is nicer than it sounds, will offer you a real respite from the city on a beautiful day. On the grounds, you’ll see a statue of Benjamin Franklin relaxing on a bench, and at the edge of the university you’ll see America’s oldest operating football stadium, Franklin Field.
Exploring wider Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania as a state offers lots of interesting sites. Of note is the Gettysburg National Military Park, where you can see some of the battlefields of the American Civil War on guided tours. The bloodiest battle of the conflict was in Gettysburg itself.
If military history isn’t quite your thing, you may want to get cultural and visit the five-floor Andy Warhol Museum, in Pittsburgh. As you might expect, you’ll see his consumer product paintings and paintings of celebrities, but you’ll also view art by Warhol’s mother and learn a lot of lesser-known facts about the late artist.
While in Pittsburgh, you could also visit the Carnegie Science Museum and learn about space exploration. One of the highlights of the museum is the Buhl Planetarium and Observatory, which puts on a variety of shows and other experiences that provide beautiful insight into what outer space is like.
Philadelphia is a beautiful city and region, so why not pay it a visit? If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even cross the state border and venture into New York State.
Nestled on the scenic shores of Lake Erie, North East, Pennsylvania is a picturesque area that perfectly captures the essence of small-town charm. With a quaint downtown that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, North East is a mix of historic buildings, specialty retailers, and restaurants, surrounded by farmland and fruit stands, a delightful blend of historic nostalgia and modern amenities. But North East has more to offer than just its beauty and quaint atmosphere. It is also home to a vibrant wine culture, boasting thousands of acres of vineyards and numerous wineries that are part of Lake Erie Wine Country. With its rich cultural heritage and warm, welcoming community, North East is a hidden gem that is fast becoming one of Pennsylvania’s most sought-after destinations.