Due to its spellbinding architecture and sheer grandeur, Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is a must-visit place on the list of every tourist in Philadelphia. This beautiful cathedral is the centerpiece of one of the largest Catholic populations in North America. It was designed by celebrated architect Napoleon LeBrun and constructed between 1846 and 1864 by blending Palladian and Italian Renaissance architectural styles. A beautiful “baldachin” or “canopy” over the altar is evidence of the Italian influence while the church façade is in the Palladian style. In fact, you may be forgiven for thinking you are in Europe while viewing this glorious cathedral. Embark on an audio tour and learn more about its eight chapels, 2000-seat sanctuary, vaulted copper dome, and a spectacular apse featuring red marble carvings and stained glass work. During the tour, you will also be familiarized with the fascinating history of the basilica. As Pennsylvania's largest Catholic church, this monument is recorded in the National Register of Historic Places.
Spreading across 9200 acres (3723.11 hectares) with 63 parks, Fairmount Park is among the biggest city park systems in the nation. It features picturesque trails, rolling hills, streams, historical structures, woodlands, public arts and more. The Centennial Arboretum, Horticulture Center, Japanese House and Garden and Philadelphia Museum of Art are some of the interesting sites located in this massive expanse. It also has recreational centers and sporting fields.
Please Touch Museum is a must-visit when in town. Located in Memorial Hall, it features whimsical installations, interactive exhibits and optical illusions. Create music with your feet by stepping on the Walking Piano, meet characters from Alice in Wonderland, cross rivers in the rainforest and manoeuvre a flying machine. Visitors can attend activities and programs on various topics, from history to science, in an educational yet fun way. Make a pit stop at their Please Taste Café, or attend a folk performance or puppet show at their theatre. A popular attraction among children is their wooden carousel and yearly themed Storybook Ball where their favourite fairy tales come alive.
The African American Museum is famous for carefully preserving and analyzing the pictorial and material culture and heritage of the African Americans. Over so many years of efforts, the museum has stored about 5 lac objects, images, documents, dressings, pictures and books of the natives. Major events held here are Celebrate Africa 2008!, Discover Greatness, AAMP Art and Quilters' Roundtable. Generally, on Saturdays, there are Family Days which feature face painting, story telling sessions, choreographed dances and projecting films. Local artists put on their beautiful art-work based on lives of entertainers, politicians and freedom fighters.
This 92-acre public garden is populated with rare, exotic and large trees presented in four different environments: The English Park, Rose Garden, Swan Pond and Japanese Garden all offer a multitude of species and phylum of plants specific to each area. The generally Victorian tone of the gardens radiates a sense of romance and natural splendor. University of Pennsylvania students conduct botanical experiments and studies that are also on display.
The esteemed Pennsylvania Veterans Museum is also referred to as the Media Armory. Constructed in 1908, this armory has been now transformed into a museum that opened in 2005. It chronicles and provides insight into the important battles in the history of United States. Check website for more details.
Located in Center City Philadelphia, the Dilworth Park is a 120,557 square foot (11,200 square meter) area public park with lush a green lawn, trees and an interactive fountain which converts into a skating rink in the winter. Favorite among kids and adults alike, this park is the perfect place to seek time in solitude while enjoying being surrounded by greenery and listening to the sounds of excitement in the voices of the kids playing nearby. Scattered throughout the park are areas with works of art on display and laws that are designated picnic areas, while certain tree grove areas have selected tree species conducive to the city. The park also doubles up as a rental space for art festivals, weddings and exhibitions.
Wanamaker, established in 1902, is amongst the pioneer departmental stores in the country. Understandably a part of the National Register for Historic Places, it still continues to be one of the most important landmarks in Philadelphia. Located in the busy neighborhood of Chinatown, the building features some of the most unique artworks which include the humongous bronze eagle by August Gaul and the Wanamaker Organ, the largest known Court Organ in the world.
Established in 1904 as the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, The Bellevue has a comfortable life these days as a famous combination of office space, a popular shopping destination and accommodation facilities. The gorgeous structure is home to some of the best dining destinations in the city, including Boutros, Bliss, The Palm Restaurant, Tavern on Broad and many more in its impressive food court. A haven for shoppers, The Bellevue includes upscale boutiques and stores such as Tiffany & Co., Polo Ralph Lauren, Nicole Miller and Williams-Sonoma, to name a few, while the top five floors, offering a splendid view of the Quaker City, are allotted to the Park Hyatt. Whether you're looking for a top brand or want to dine at an elegant restaurant or even if you're looking for a luxury hotel - The Bellevue is the answer to all your questions.
The society's collection is highlighted by the continuing exhibit, "Finding Philadelphia's Past." Over 500 antiques and personal items chronicle the city's history through 1900, including the wampum belt of Pennsylvania founder William Penn and George Washington's desk. Videos delving into Philadelphia's rich history can be viewed in the "Trolley Car Theater." Check website for further information.
Chestnut Street is perfect for window shopping. With plenty of great stores, such as Boyd's, Maron Chocolates and Shops at Liberty Place, you can lose track of time. Not only are there a lot of stores, a 10 block section has been closed to traffic so pedestrians can have an easier time shopping. So grab some friends and shop the day away.
Built over one acre of land, the Estey Hall also well known as the Allman Building is a seven levels structure. Used for mainly for commercial purpose, this building looks absolutely stunning eith the architecture an the curvy effect given to it at the alternate windows. This building is a beauty to watch and grabs visitors and tourists to visit this place when in town. This building was also registered as a National Historic Place.