Whether Philadelphia is your hometown, a home away from home, or a vacation destination, there’s something for everyone in the city of Brotherly Love. Here are a few favorites without a lot of cheese – we’ll just save that for the cheesesteaks.
For the history phanatic … The National Constitution Center is an impressive building at Fifth and Arch streets (nearly adjacent to the Liberty Bell) offering a comprehensive and interactive look at the evolution of our Constitution. You can find more information on the center’s premiere exhibit “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” as well as student ticket prices at www.constitutioncenter.org.
Set against the night sky and the landscapes of the buildings in Independence National Park, the Lights of Liberty Tour offers a spectacular way to experience the American Revolution and the birth of our nation. The show begins at Independence Mall on the corner of Sixth and Chestnut streets, across from Independence Hall. For more information, go to www.lightsofliberty.org.
For the museum phanatic … The Ben Franklin Parkway boasts the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum. You can visit them all in a two and a half hour motorized tour by IGlide, www.iglidetours.com. This new high-tech way to see the Parkway’s buildings and the splendor of Boathouse Row is a fun little adventure. If you go by foot, don’t resist the nostalgia of running up the art museum a la Rocky, or through the giant heart newly reopened at the Franklin Institute. The Parkway museums are free with college ID on Sundays.
Not for the phaint of heart … The Eastern State Penitentiary looms large at 2124 Fairmount Ave. Opened in 1829, it was regarded as the most architecturally and ideologically ambitious prison system of its time. It housed such infamous criminals as gangster Al Capone and bank robber Willie Sutton. More recently it became famous as the insane asylum in the 1995 movie 12 Monkeys and today is a Halloween hot spot with its “Terror Behind the Walls” tour.
The Mutter Museum is part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia at 19 South 22nd St. It houses preserved anatomical anomalies and memorabilia of doctors who have treated rare and strange diseases. Once a research center for students of the college, the Mutter Museum now draws curious crowds.
For the movie phanatic … The Philadelphia Film Office, www.film.org, runs a driving tour of the city featuring sites where movies such as the aptly named Philadelphia, M. Night Shyamalan’s Sixth Sense and Unbreakable and of course Rocky were filmed.
To be a true Philadelphian … You must pledge loyalty not only to the Eagles but to a cheesesteak establishment. The trio includes Geno’s Steaks or Pat’s King of Steaks along Ninth Street in South Philly, or Jim’s Steaks on South Street. Be sure to order quickly and correctly: “I’ll have American wit.”
Brooke Honeyford can be reached at email@example.com.