"Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley" Top 5 Page for this destination Philadelphia by bct341

Philadelphia Travel Guide: 2,213 reviews and 4,538 photos

Home Base

Ok, no matter where I go.. or where I live, I will always be from the Philadelphia area. Like any city, it has its pros and cons.

But, it has a great mixture of old and new, historic and modern, with a great past......and hopefully, a vibrant future.

Above is a picture of Philadelphia's skyline. It has changed a lot in the last 15 years. Prior to the 1980's, there was 'gentleman's agreement' that no building will be built taller than William Penn's statue on top of City Hall. There were no skycrapers like there are today. Some of the early city planners admired how paris was layed out which is why there are traffic circles on the boulevard towards the Art museum. Keeping Paris as a model, the Gentleman's agreement was meant to keep the historic perspective alive and well.

Once that agreement was broken, Philadelphia's skyline was quickly transformed into a typical modern city. Although I don't mind the "new" skyline, I have to admit I miss the Philadelphia of old which kept the historic perspective of the city and that small city feel. But, as in most cases.. change is inevitable and the skyscrapers are here to stay :)

Some History

From its inception by Swedish settlers in the 1640's, and the official founding as a city by William Penn in 1682, the streets of Philadelphia have flourished with business and bustling city activity. "The City of Brotherly Love" as it is often called, has been the scene of much important American History.

Benjamin Franklin was one of the young city's earliest and brightest stars. The young man strolled into the city with only a loaf of bread, made a fortune as a printer, and at his death was celebrated worldwide as a scientist, philosopher, inventor, statesman, and diplomat.

Philadelphia still rings loudly of its colonial influence. As the home of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, it is impossible to walk the streets and not feel pride in such an illustrious history; one that saw the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the writing of a Constitution 11 years later. In the summer, you can get a feel for the miseries the framers endured, locked in un-airconditioned rooms to keep their deliberations secret. Their suffering was richly rewarded, for they gave the new nation what has become the most farsighted, enduring, and imitated document in human history. It has survived unimaginable technological and social change, essentially unaltered.

In 1790, Philadelphia became the nation's capital, a status it retained until 1800, when the government was moved to the still uncompleted Washington, DC. Despite losing the capital, Philadelphia continued to flourish. Situated on the Delaware River, the city has always been one of the most important fresh water ports in the country. The location has supported a strong industrial and commercial life for the area. As the nation industrialized, the city became an important factor in that effort and supplied the nation with ships, iron, and locomotives. Until its recent closure, the Philadelphia Naval Yard was the nation's oldest and perhaps most distinguished for building and maintaining many of the country's most famous ships.

The 19th Century left Philadelphia with the stamp of industrialization. Gone was its polished Colonial image, replaced by factories and a new wave of immigrants. The new persona served the city well until recently, when much of the industry has moved away.

The city is turning towards tourism to fill the gap, a task to which it is well suited considering the ample historic resources and diverse attractions available.

Stay Tuned :)

This page will probably grow over time. I have more pictures of other cities than I do of my hometown LOL

So, I will add pictures and sections to this page. It will finally give me an excuse to take pictures around town

Besides the travel tips, I will include some pics in the travelogues. I hope that you enjoy them and they inspire you to visit Philadelphia and have a cheesesteak :)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great History, restaurants, museums, close to New York and Washington D.C.
  • Cons:Old city, small roads, not great drving city
  • In a nutshell:Great Food...and Great Sites...walk center city!!
  • Intro Updated May 3, 2009
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Reviews (41)

Comments (67)

  • Jul 13, 2009 at 2:51 PM

    Looking at different web sites for the Camden aquarium I am seeing different admission prices. one says $19.99 and another says $13.99. Are there discounts for seniors? of what age? or Disabled Veterans? What are the real pricing policies of the Aquarium?

  • Jul 12, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    Just discovered the VT website. To see my hometown Philadelphia (at least the Pennypack Park area) look so beautifully serene is simply wonderful. Many thanks for those lovely photos!

  • JessH's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2007 at 5:15 AM

    Hello Paul. Really enjoyed your tips & insights on Philly! Hopefully I shall include your city on my US-tour one day... Greetings from the desert :-) Jess

  • bct341's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2006 at 10:24 AM

    Thanks for the history update, but I stated that it was the spot where he first touched down in his "greene country towne" (meaning Philadelphia) not the first time in Pa.... If I ever create a tip on Chester, I will be sure to include this information.

  • Oct 3, 2006 at 9:34 AM

    Penn's Landing in Phildadelphia is not where Penn first landed in PA! He landed in Delaware County, PA. The city of Chester to be exact! It was named Upland at the time and Penn renamed a portion Chester after his friends in Cheshire, England.

  • Sue08080's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2006 at 7:55 PM

    Great Philly tips! Thank you!

  • dfactor's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2005 at 6:22 AM

    Hi there. Planning to visit North America, am at lost at where to go! Can you help? What's ur favorite states?

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Apr 29, 2005 at 5:32 AM

    Wonderful job on this page. Phila. is an interesting assortment of things to do in a very human scale city. I loved the pace of it.

  • mizzzthanggg's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2005 at 9:43 AM

    Beautiful photos... love the "Reflection"! Never been to Philly but it looks great! Will be sure to come back and look at your other pages too ;)))

  • jamiesno's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2004 at 3:00 PM

    I must say this is some of the nicest pictures I have seen of Philly. Different perspective after these tips. Cheers!


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