Home of the cheesesteak and the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia mixes history and sophistication with down-to-earth spunk. Independence Hall and the cobblestoned streets of Society Hill take visitors back a few centuries, while modern-day attractions include the revered Philadelphia Art Museum and a burgeoning restaurant scene. But Philly has a blue-collar heart. The Eagles (football), Flyers (ice hockey), 76ers (basketball), and Phillies (baseball)–not to mention two new sports stadiums–are undeniably the pride of the city.
The Declaration of Independence isn’t the only work of world renown written in Philly. “The Raven” and other works by Poe were composed at his residence. The ranger for Walt Whitman House, a National Historic Landmark, is at the Poe site while we are there, and when he discovers that we are headed for his site while he has it closed, he offers to give us a session. In a private room, we spend a good part of an hour listening to Dick Dyer lecture about Whitman, his residence, and his life.
In many ways, Philadelphia is the East Coast’s best kept secret. It has history, culture,events, sports teams, shopping, museums,outdoor activities and lots of terrific… While visits to Constitution Hall and the Liberty Bell are considered mandatory for visitors, unless you are a history buff they may not be the most interesting.