Philadelphia Pennsylvania Vacation and Tourism Information

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No doubt that if you studied American History, Philadelphia was mentioned a great many times. It is one of the first places associated with America, the American Revolution, and is closely tied to so many aspects of US government history. The city itself is filled with historical buildings and neighborhoods, and includes a several-hundred year old blending of peoples of all races and nationalities.

Philadelphia Info:

  • Land Area: 142 miles
  • Elevation: Near sea level
  • Number of parks: 6 main parks
  • Number of radio stations: 8 FM, 2 AM
  • Number of television stations: 6 (WCAU, WHYY, WPHL, WPSG, WPVI, an WYBE)
  • Number of newspapers: 8 (City Paper, Northeast Times Newsweekly, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Metro, Philadelphia Tribune, Philadelphia Weekly, The Daily Pennsylvanian)
  • Transportation: Philadelphia Int'l Airport, Northeast Philadelphia Airport, SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), Amtrak, PATCO (Port Authority Transportation Corporation).

Philadelphia Weather and Climate:

  • Average daily temperature: 53 degrees
  • Average annual rainfall: 40 inches (with 20 inches of snow)

Distances to other Metropolitan Areas from Philadelphia (in miles):

  • Atlanta, GA — 657
  • Boston, MA — 276
  • Chicago, IL — 667
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX — 1,283
  • Houston, TX — 1,306
  • Las Vegas, NV — 2,142
  • Los Angeles, CA — 2,365
  • Memphis, TN — 861
  • Miami, FL — 1,002
  • Nashville, TN — 665
  • New Orleans, LA — 1,074
  • New York, NY — 93
  • Orlando, FL — 851
  • Phoenix, AZ — 2,043
  • Rapid City, SD — 1,432
  • Salt Lake City, UT — 1,895
  • San Antonio, TX — 1,474
  • San Diego, CA — 2,333
  • San Jose, CA — 2,465
  • Washington, DC — 133

Philadelphia Safety Phone # and Major Hospitals:

  • Police/Fire/Ambulance: 911
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital - 800-JEFF-NOW
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - 215-590-1000
  • Philadelphia VA Medical Center - 215-823-5800
  • St. Joseph's Hospital - (215) 787-9000
  • Girard Medical Center - (215) 787-2000

Philadelphia Top Tourism Draws and Seasons:

  • Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • The Liberty Bell
  • Lights of Liberty
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Franklin Court
  • Rocky Statue
  • Memorial Hall
  • Independence Hall
  • Betsy Ross House
  • Rodin Museum
  • Christmas Light Show
  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • Riverlink Ferry
  • Sesame Place
  • Franklin Institute of Science
  • Elfreth's Alley
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art
  • All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors
  • Love Park
  • United States Mint
  • Edgar Allen Poe House
  • Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
  • John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
  • Laurel Hill Cemetery
  • First Bank of the United States
  • Independence Seaport Museum
  • Mutter Museum
  • Penn's Landing
  • Gross McLeaf Gallery
  • St. John the Evangelist Church
  • Horticultural Center — Fairmount Park
  • Old St. George's Church
  • Leyv Ha-Ir
  • Old City Hall
  • Veteran's Stadium
  • Fort Mifflin
  • Independence National Historical Park Visitor's Center
  • National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia
  • Taller Puertoriqueno
  • Prince Hall Grand Lodge
  • Logan Circle
  • Thomas Bond House
  • Rittenhouse Square
  • Philadelphia Ghost Tour
  • Tyler Arboretum
  • Philadelphia Vietnam Veteran's Memorial
  • City Hall
  • Library Hall
  • Penn Center/Suburban Station
  • 30th Street Station

Philadelphia Major Shopping Areas:

  • The Court at King of Prussia
  • The Gallery at Market East
  • Strawbridge's
  • Reading Terminal Market
  • Shops at Liberty Place
  • Market Place East
  • Italian Market
  • Franklin Mills Mall
  • Bourse
  • Philadelphia Major Dining Areas:
  • Center City
  • Chinatown
  • Manayunk
  • Rittenhouse Square
  • South Philly
  • South Street
  • Old City

Philadelphia Famous Landmarks & Historic Places:

  • The Liberty Bell
  • Liberty Hall
  • Powel House
  • Grumblethorpe
  • Physick House
  • Waynesborough
  • Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
  • Betsy Ross House
  • Bishop White House
  • City Tavern
  • Carpenters Hall
  • Christ Church
  • Congress Hall
  • Declaration House
  • Deshler Morris House
  • Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
  • First Bank of the United States
  • Franklin Court
  • Independence Hall and National Historical Park
  • New Hall Military Museum
  • Old City Hall
  • Second Bank of the United States
  • Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
  • Todd House
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park

Philadelphia Famous Natives and Residents:

  • Kevin Bacon - actor
  • Charles Barkley - basketball player
  • John Barrymore - actor
  • Nick Berg (from nearby West Chester), man who was beheaded in Iraq
  • Boyz II Men - singers
  • Kobe Bryant - basketball player
  • Wilt Chamberlain - basketball legend
  • John Chaney - Temple University basketball coach
  • Noam Chomsky - linguist
  • John Coltrane - saxophonist
  • Bill Cosby - comedian/actor
  • Julius Erving - basketball legend
  • Eve - rapper/actress
  • Larry Fine - actor
  • W. C. Fields -actor
  • Benjamin Franklin - statesman, Revolutionary War patriot, inventor
  • Richard Gere - actor
  • Stan Getz - saxophonist
  • Oscar Goodman - attorney and mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Marvin Harrison - football player
  • Allen Iverson - basketball player
  • Ron Jaworski - football quarterback, ESPN analyst
  • Grace Kelly - princess of Monaco
  • Patti LaBelle - singer
  • Chris Matthews - television talk-show host
  • Donovan McNabb - football quarterback
  • Pink - R&B/ rock n' roll singer
  • Philip Syng Physick - father of American surgery
  • Paul Robeson - singer/ activist
  • The Roots - hip hop artists
  • Jill Scott - R&B singer
  • Will Smith - comedian/Actor
  • M. Night Shyamalan - movie director
  • Grover Washington, Jr. - jazz musician

Notable Moments in Philadelphia History:

  • 1646: First church built consecrated on Tinicum Island.
  • 1669: Swedish colonists were the first Europeans to settle in the area.
  • 1690: First paper mill established by William Rittenhouse on Wissahickon Creek.
  • 1698: Quaker Meeting is built on the S.W. corner of Second and High (Market) streets.
  • 1700: The Gloria Dei Church (known as the 'Old Swedes' Church) was built.
  • 1701: Charter granted to the city of Philadelphia by William Penn.
  • 1704: First Presbyterian Church is built.
  • 1715: The 'Bachelor's Club' was formed.
  • 1718: The first American printing press was made.
  • 1719: The first newspaper was issued in Philadelphia.
  • 1723: Benjamin Franklin arrived in Philadelphia.
  • 1724: The Carpenter's Company was founded.
  • 1727: Christ Church was built. Today it is still considered one of the most beautiful 18th century structures in the US.
  • 1731: The Philadelphia Library is founded.
  • 1734: First English Ship (St. Andrew) arrives with the first contingent of emigrants.
  • 1744: The Philadelphia Contributionship — the first fire insurance company — is established.
  • 1773: The Provincial Congress meets at Carpenter's Hall.
  • 1774: The delegates for the First Continental Congress meet at Carpenter's Hall to air their grievances against King George III.
  • 1775: Benjamin Franklin becomes the first Postmaster General of the United Colonies.
  • 1776: The Declaration of Independence is adopted.
  • 1777: The British enter Philadelphia. Valley Forge National Park becomes the final resting spot for thousands of American soldiers.
  • 1781: The Bank of North America is authorized to be established and opens in January of 1783.
  • 1787: Bishop House is built. It was the home of the Rev. Dr. William White who was the first Episcopal Bishop of Philadelphia.
  • 1789: First election of the President of the United States.
  • 1790: The seat of the US Government was moved from Federal Hall in New York to Congress Hall in Philadelphia. It served as the 'temporary' capital until 1800.
  • 1790: City Tavern becomes the gathering place for members of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and officials of the Federal Government.
  • 1793: Yellow fever strikes and causes over 4000 deaths in November. The epidemic continues through the early 1800's.
  • 1790: Benjamin Franklin dies.
  • 1791: Lawyer John Todd moved into Todd House. After his death, his wife, Dolley Payne, became the wife of President James Madison.
  • 1791: The US Supreme Court occupies Old City Hall building.
  • 1791: The new system of dollars and cents replaces the old system of pounds, shillings, and pence.
  • 1807: Arch Street prison is built.
  • 1808: Race course is established in Northern Liberties.
  • 1815: Signing of the treaty of peace with England.
  • 1816: Gas as an illuminant is introduced. The first private residence in the United States lighted by gas was that of William Henry, a coppersmith, who lived at No. 200 Lombard Street near Seventh.
  • 1816: The Second Bank of the United States was incorporated.
  • 1821: Coal became a consumer good.
  • 1824: The first census was taken. It showed that the city contained 55 printing offices and 150 printers.
  • 1832: The Philadelphia, Germantown, and Norristown railroad opened.
  • 1834: The Delaware, Schuylkill, Philadelphia, Columbia, Trenton, Camden, and Amboy railroads opened.
  • 1836: Philadelphia Gas Works went into operation.
  • 1838: Famed poet Edgar Allen Poe moves into his residence. He would write some of his most famous works ('The Fall of the House of Usher' and 'The Murders n the Rue Morgue') while living in this home.
  • 1841: The Bank of the United States failed.
  • 1844: Fairmount Park was established.
  • 1850: Jenny Lind, known as 'The Nightengale' and whose career was managed by P.T. Barnum sang at Musical Fund Hall. The $19,000 netted was unprecedented for entertainment.
  • 1854: The West Chester and Philadelphia railroads opened.
  • 1857: A tremendous snowfall and gale hit and the temperature dropped to zero.
  • 1857: Bank of Pennsylvania closed its doors.
  • 1862: Postage stamps and car tickets were put into circulation.
  • 1870: Major hail storm took place for more than 20 minutes. Hail the size of chicken eggs was reported.
  • 1876: Philadelphia hosted the World's Fair known as the 'Centennial Exposition.'
  • 1881: The Delaware River froze from shore-to-shore.
  • 1883: Underground lighting went into operation.
  • 1883: Telephone operators of the Western Union Telegraph Company went on strike.
  • 1884: On August 10 at 2:09pm, an earthquake shook the city.
  • 1885: In May, the first appearance of the cicadas (known as the '17-year locusts) was in Washington Square.
  • 1887: The amended charter of the city went into operation giving the Mayor full authority to act as the chief executive officer of the city.
  • 1892: The first free public library in the city was established.
  • 1900: The Philadelphia Orchestra is established.
  • 1901: The city sponsor's its first 'Mummer's Parade.'
  • 1903: Garment workers go on strike.
  • 1915: Billie Holliday is born at Philadelphia General Hospital on April 7th.
  • 1925: George Kelly wins a Pulitzer Price for his play, 'Craig's Wife.'
  • 1925: The Benjamin Franklin Parkway, emulating the Champs d'Elysses in Paris, is completed.
  • 1926: Held the Sesquicentennial Exposition.
  • 1946: The first large-scale, fully operational electronic computer is completed at the University of Pennsylvania.

Interesting Facts about Philadelphia:

  • The name 'Philadelphia' means 'city of brotherly love.'
  • Philadelphia is the 6th largest city in the US as well as one of the oldest cities.
  • Commonly referred to as 'Philly.'
  • All streets follow a strict north/south, east/west grid system created by Thomas Holme. Many east/west streets are named after trees (e.g., Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce, etc.)
  • The 1963 hit single, 'The Orlons,' was written about a street in Philadelphia known for its raucous night life.
  • City Hall is surrounded by 4 squares: Washington, Rittenhouse, Logan, and Franklin. It is also the tallest masonry building in the world.
  • Rittenhouse Square is named after David Rittenhouse, a son of the first paper-maker in Philadelphia and considered to be a 'friend' of the American Revolution.
  • The Tasty Baking Company — makers of Tastykake pies and cakes — is located in Philadelphia.
    Philadelphia is known for it's distinctive food including Philly Cheese Steaks, Hoagies, Scrapple, Italian Ice, and soft pretzels.
  • The television show, MTV located their 'Real World' house in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Population and Demographics:

  • Population — 1,517,550
  • White — 45%
  • African American — 43%
  • Asian — 4.5%
  • Population 18 and under — 25%
  • 65 and over — 14%
  • Median age — 34 years
  • Average household size — 3.22
  • Median family income — $37,036

Philadelphia Colleges and Universities:

  • Moore College of Art
  • The Restaurant School
  • The Art Institute of Philadelphia
  • Chestnut Hill College
  • Curtis Institute of Music
  • Drexel University
  • Holy Family University
  • La Salle University
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
  • Philadelphia University
  • Saint Joseph's University
  • Temple University
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of the Arts
  • University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Colleges and universities in the vicinity of Philadelphia include Bryn Mawr College and Rosemont College located in Bryn Mawr; Haverford College; and Villanova University
Sesame Place Theme Park - Langhorne, PA
Amusement park is fine and the waterpark is a little small. However the kids will love it. We did the 2 day pass but u can do it all in 1 day. You r allowed to go from waterpark to amusement park as it is all connected. Parade was cool as well. If you have been to lego land or disney then you will think sesame is tiny (it is small but plenty for a 18mth and 6 year old. We went on a friday and the crowd was ok. Saturday u can expect longer lines. Small coolers 12x12x12 are allowed.
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
-- Mo - Houston, TX
Sesame Place Theme Park - Langhorne, PA
I went last year with my daughter my sister and her two children we had a balllll i think i enjoyed it more than the kids. When i was little my mother (god bless) used to take us all the time and now i get to experience it again with my child. They upgraded it so much i love all the water rides. Its a very educational and fun experience for your whole family to enjoy.I hope to visit this year.
5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating
-- Tanesha - Brooklyn, NY
Sesame Place Theme Park - Langhorne, PA
My two year old has obtained memories that will last for a life time. He was able to meet his favorite characters up close. This experience put a smile on his face that no amount of money could buy.
5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating
-- Robin Hamlet - East Orange, NJ
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