A feisty, can-do attitude (think Rocky, the Flyers, Phillies, 76ers, or Eagles) melds with deep history in Philadelphia, producing a proud, down-to-earth population with a big-hearted zest for life.
When to Go
Spring and fall are the most temperate times of year. Average daytime temperatures in May and September are in the mid-70s. In summer, temperatures can soar to 90 while winter temperatures hover around freezing.
One of the oldest folk festivals in the country, the Mummers Parade on New Year’s morning, has been celebrated in Philly since 1901. Local clubs are split into five categories—comics, wench brigades, fancies, string bands, and fancy brigades. Judged on their elaborate costumes and skits, they strut joyously from City Hall down the length of Broad Street. Participants spend plenty on their outfits, often more than is doled out in prize money.
What to Eat
“Wit Whiz or wit provi?” That’s the question when you order a Philly cheese steak. Along with thinly sliced rib-eye beef, fried onions, and peppers, you usually get a choice of Cheez Whiz or provolone, all stuffed into a long, crusty roll. Ice water, another signature treat, is a frozen mix of fruit, water, and sugar. Smoother than shaved ice, but looser than sorbet, it’s the perfect way to cool off on a hot day.
Souvenir to Take Home
Whether in the Reading Terminal Market or shopping in Bella Vista’s Italian Market, you’ll come across handmade, small batch, chocolate-covered pretzels. Crunchy, salty, and sweet, they come in either milk or dark chocolate. Friends and family will love this gift, if you can get the bag home without diving in.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
Sustainable Travel Tip
When exploring the city, leave your car behind and take the Philly Phlash. This brightly colored bus runs every 15 minutes and stops at most major tourist attractions—$2 per ride or get a $5 day pass. Check visitphilly.com for seasonal schedules (some months it only runs on weekends).
Head to John F. Kennedy Plaza, aka Love Park, and grab a shot by the reproduction of Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture. Stand to one side of the sculpture to get a frothy fountain background or stand underneath with a loved one and get someone else to take the shot.