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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, located in southeastern Pennsylvania, on the southern fringe of the mid-Atlantic region, is the fourth-largest urban area in the United States and the country’s sixth-largest city. Often referred to as “Philly,” the city’s metropolitan area encompasses twelve counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Often called the “Birthplace of America” and referred to as the “new Athens” early in its existence, Philadelphia is the birthplace of America’s modern democracy. Founded by William Penn in the late 17th century, the city’s name translates to “City of Brotherly Love” and has been a seat of freedom since its inception; originally founded by Quakers, the colony promoted religious freedom among its residents in stark contrast to the England of the time.

Philadelphia Districts

Center City – home to LOVE Park, the Chestnut and Walnut shopping and dining districts, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia’s beautiful city hall, and many museums and cultural attractions. Skyscrapers, designer shops, major restaurants such as Susanna Foo and Brasserie Perrier, and hotels such as the Ritz can all be found in Center City.

Old City - features the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, Independence Hall, as well as a burgeoning young artist and student community; this part of Philadelphia was also the location for MTV’s The Real World: Philadelphia. Old City hosts a lot of night life activity: expect to see a young, professional crowd here on weekends.

Washington Square West – 7th to Broad Street, Chestnut to South Street, squished in between Rittenhouse Square and Old City/Society Hill. Home of Antique Row and Mid-Town Village, two great shopping districts. Historic cobbled streets, theaters, restaurants and more.

South Philly – a collection of neighborhoods famous for its Italian heritage as well as being featured in Rocky, South Philly is also home to FDR Park and all of Philadelphia’s major professional sports teams. You want a cheese steak? South Philly’s where it’s at: 9th and Passyunk Ave. That’s all you need to know. Recently, South Philly has become home to many Asian and Mexican immigrants. It also includes Ninth St Market (aka Italian Market) and East Passyunk St (roughly 11th and Passyunk SE to Broad St and Snyder), also known as Passyunk Square which is lined with shops, bars, and restaurants.

South Street – arguably the center of night life and urban activity in Philadelphia, South Street encompasses almost every kind of urban attitude you’d expect in a major city. Tattoo parlors, cheese steak joints, local designer clothing stores, restaurants, music venues, and local cafes line South Street from Penn’s Landing up to about 10th street. Every night it seems as if there is a street festival going on here.

West Philly – From the Schuylkill River to Cobb’s Creek. Includes University City, Powelton Village and the Philadelphia Zoo. West Philadelphia is also well known for its turn of the century architecture found in its unique, brick “twin” style homes. From UPenn to 47th Street along Spruce or Pine is a great place for a stroll. West Philly is also home to much of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park system. Fairmount Park, the largest municipal park in the country, is home to Mann Music Center, the Philadelphia Zoo, and soon the Please Touch children’s museum. On Sundays MLK Drive is closed to traffic so bring your Rollerblades!

Art Museum Area – The Art Museum area is more than just that, including the neighborhoods of Franklintown, Spring Garden, Fairmount, and sometimes Francisville. Though it is the seat of one the finest art collections in the world (you must see the Impressionist gallery), it also encompasses the Philadelphia Free Library, the Franklin Institute, the Wine School, the Eastern State Penitentiary (where Al Capone sat idle for many years), and an up and coming residential neighborhood that includes galleries, restaurants, and bars just east of the Parkway off of Spring Garden Street and Fairmount Ave. Kelly Drive, the most popular recreational destination in the city with bike and running paths, as well as historic Boathouse Row, begins just behind the art museum.

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