Among the major cities of the United States’ East Coast, Philadelphia may have the strongest identity of the bunch. That can be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective, but it’s interesting no matter how you look at it. Over the years, Philadelphia has simply become a very distinct place. It lacks some of the cultural unity of Boston but makes up for it with a pervasive sense of passion; it doesn’t have the diversity of New York, but in ways, it feels just as vibrant. More than anything, it just seems so… Philly.
It’s hard to say much more on the subject in words because as with any big city, it comes down in part to feel. You have to visit and experience the vibe for yourself to really get to know a place, not only on its own but in how it differs from its counterparts. Philadelphia is certainly no exception. Along the way to establishing a feel for its vibe though, you may want to check out some of the things to see or do that are quintessential Philly. Enjoy!
1. Eat a Philly Cheesesteak
Sampling Philly Cheesesteaks The question, if you’re looking to get a feel for Philadelphia, isn’t whether you should try a Philly Cheesesteak. It’s where to get one. This isn’t one of those things that’s over-hyped and doesn’t live up to its reputation. It’s a legitimate point of pride for an entire city and a style of sandwich that is truly done better in Philly than anywhere else in the world. Where to get the best ones is, as you might imagine, a source of constant debate. There will never be a consensus answer, but you can’t go wrong with Jim’s Steaks, Dalessandro’s Steaks & Hogies (or just Dalessandro’s), or Tony Luke’s.
2. Got to an Eagles Game
Attending An Eagles Game Philadelphia has always loved its local NFL team – and yet the Eagles experience always seems to be getting better. Not too far removed from a run of conference dominance that saw the team grasping at a Super Bowl but unable to win one, the team finally won in 2018. Already filled with passionate, personally involved fans, Pennsylvania legalized sports betting, leading to even closer ties between the fans and the action. And even in the midst of a classic “Super Bowl hangover,” the Eagles (or the Birds as they’re sometimes called locally) are competing for a playoff spot. To sum it all up, sports and the Eagles specifically are a big part of Philly, and Eagles games have never been better.
3. Run the Rocky Steps
Running The Rocky Steps If you’ve never seen the Rocky films, you almost can’t hope to properly understand Philly. There might truly not be another city that so closely identifies with a film or film franchise. Rocky Balboa, despite having been a fictional boxer depicted by Sylvester Stallone, feels like a real sports hero to many in Philly and epitomized the blue-collar grit the city valued in a certain era of athletes. Really, you should just watch the movies. But you should also see the Rocky statue in town, and imitate the films’ most famous scenes, which involve Rocky running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
4. Learn about the History
Gushing Over History Philadelphia may just be the most historically significant city in the United States. Boston has an argument, as does New York, and some of the older colonial areas farther south are also vital to American history. But in Philadelphia, you can see the Liberty Bell in person and tour Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and worked on). You can see the burial site of Benjamin Franklin. And this is only beginning to touch on the historical attractions of Philadelphia. Gushing over America’s past is simply part of the experience.
5. Dock Street Brewing Co It
Visiting Dock Street Brewing Co It never hurts to hit a trendy bar, even in a city full of gaudier attractions. In the case of Philly, at least these days, the Dock Street Brewing Co. is probably the best option. It’s actually the city’s first microbrewery, having been established in 1985, but it remains a popular place with its own beer on tap and a glorious menu full of comfort food.
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This post was proofread by Grammarly