Unique Places in Philadelphia

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Philadelphia

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    Curtis Publishing Building lobby

    by garridogal Updated Aug 17, 2011

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    We went into the Curtis Publishing building to see the mosaic by Maxfield Parrish. It's amazing but I wanted to add a tip about the rest of the lobby. It's really beautiful and eerily reminiscent of the lobby of the building that I worked in when I was in publishing! (Do you think there's some sort of template out there?)

    Anyway, it too has a lovely marble courtyard. The Curtis's was decked out for Christmas when I was there. I especially loved the faux palm trees created by placing a potted palm atop a column. Very original.

    And there's a beautiful stained glass right around the corner from the entrance. It looks like a security station. Can't say that I'd mind sitting there all day!

    Related to:
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    • Architecture
    • Photography

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    One More Reason to Come to Heinz NWR

    by PR-7 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    For the first time in almost 200 years, eagles are nesting within the city limits of Philadelphia.

    www.philly.com/inquirer/health_science/daily/20100407_Birds_in_the_news__Bald_eagles_hatch_at_Tinicum.html

    And, since they are on an island in a national wildlife refuge, they are easily visible to the general public. While eagles' nests with eaglets are normally kept secret (lest moronic humans disturb them), Heinz not only shows where the nest is, but encourages people to view the site. An easy to follow walk of about two kilometers will bring you to a place with signs explaining what you are seeing, at which a pair binoculars will give you a great human's eye view of their home. The visitor center (open 8-4:30) will, at no charge, loan out binoculars to any visitor.

    Seeing bald eagles in the wild used to involve going to distant places and/or a major trek in the wilderness. Now it's nothing more than a five minute drive from I-95 near a airport in a major metropolis, followed by a two kilometer walk or bike ride to the viewing site.

    There's no guarantee this couple will return to the nest next year. However, eagles DO mate for life and, if they find their first "home" to be acceptable, they return each year to raise more eaglets. Seeing them raise their child in the wild may become an annual event!

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    One More Reason to Come to Heinz NWR

    by PR-7 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    For the first time in almost 200 years, eagles are nesting within the city limits of Philadelphia.

    www.philly.com/inquirer/health_science/daily/20100407_Birds_in_the_news__Bald_eagles_hatch_at_Tinicum.html

    And, since they are on an island in a national wildlife refuge, they are easily visible to the general public. While eagles' nests with eaglets are normally kept secret (lest moronic humans disturb them), Heinz not only shows where the nest is, but encourages people to view the site. An easy to follow walk of about two kilometers will bring you to a place with signs explaining what you are seeing, at which a pair binoculars will give you a great human's eye view of their home. The visitor center (open 8-4:30) will, at no charge, loan out binoculars to any visitor.

    Seeing bald eagles in the wild used to involve going to distant places and/or a major trek in the wilderness. Now it's nothing more than a five minute drive from I-95 near a airport in a major metropolis, followed by a two kilometer walk or bike ride to the viewing site.

    There's no guarantee this couple will return to the nest next year. However, eagles DO mate for life and, if they find their first "home" to be acceptable, they return each year to raise more eaglets. Seeing this couple raise children in the wild may become an annual event!

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Newtown, PA

    by xstacey Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Check out this little main street town North of Philadelphia. Lots of restaurants and shopping, a historical movie theatre and art.

    Check out their website for a full listing of shops and restaurants: http://newtownpa.org/businessdir.php

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Food and Dining

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    Tour the Murals of the Mural Arts Program

    by cacosta Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    "The Mural Arts Program has produced over 2,700 murals throughout Philadelphia--more murals than any other city in the world. These murals have become a cherished part of the civic landscape and a great source of pride and motivation to the millions of residents and visitors who encounter them each year."

    You can take a trolley tour or self guided walking tour of some of the more popular murals.

    Go here for more info:

    http://www.muralarts.org/tours/

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Hershey Antique Car Show and Swap Meet in October

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Eastern Division AACA National Fall Meet takes place each year during the 1st full week in October. The Hershey Region began hosting the show in 1955 and this year will be their 50th anniversary. We started going in about 1963 after I made contact with another 1932 Plymouth owner at a local swap meet. We went in 1964 on our way to moving to California, and we went again in 1969 and 1971. It is one of the largest antique automobile shows and flea markets in the United States. In 2005, the dates are October 5th to the 8th.

    It consists of over 9,000 flea market spaces, over 1,000 car corral spaces, and approximately 1,500 show cars. Sometimes we bring our car (they used to have the cars display in and around the stadium), and sometimes we just go to the swap meet. It takes me more than 2 days just to walk past all the vendors. Now they have the swap meet segregated into red, white, blue, and chocolate sections.

    Directions:
    FROM PHILADELPHIA 2 hours - 100 miles
    Schuykill Expressway (I-76) W to PA Turnpike (I-76) to exit 266. Turn left onto 72 North. Follow 72 North to 322 West. Follow 322 West into Hershey (approximately 12 miles).

    Related to:
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    • Festivals
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    FDR skate park. Under I 95....

    by SURFIN7TH Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    FDR skate park. Under I 95. With the X-Games in town, this park is hoppin.

    Go to

    :http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~blathrop/fdrsplash.html

    Great websight !

    Directions:The key thing to remember on your approach to the Park is to use the Pattison Avenue 20th Street entrance to the park, indicated by a red dot on the map (the speed limit on road that traverses Meadow Lake to get you to the Sk8 park is 15 mph). Using this entrance means you avoid a very slow drive around the lake.

    The skatepark is located off of Broad Street directly under I-95.

    PUBLIC TRANSIT
    Take the Broad Street Subway and get off at the last stop (STADIUM).

    Once you get above ground, look for the highway overpass and head up Broad Street towards it. You'll find a steep entry/exit from the park

    go down that drive and stay left. The park is about 200 yards ahead on the left. Get Some.

    From Points EAST (NJ, Europe...)
    From the BEN FRANKLIN BRIDGE

    Take 676 W to 76 E

    Take 76 East to EXIT 43A (International Airport/Penrose Avenue). There is an oil refinery on your right, stay on this road until you hit the first TRAFFIC LIGHT

    TURN LEFT and proceed to next TRAFFIC LIGHT (at intersection with the APlus Minimart/Sunoco Station) and TURN RIGHT onto PATTISON AVENUE

    Stay on Pattison Ave. until you hit the FIRST TRAFFIC LIGHT (there will be a sign for Franklin Delano Roosevelt Golf Course on your right)

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    Parrish in a Lobby!

    by garridogal Updated Jan 2, 2011

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    Located right past the front doors of this building is a gorgeous tiffany glass mosaic by none other than Maxfield Parrish. It's called The Dream Garden and it's a wonder to behold.

    Employing his usual rich tones to portray nature as beautifully as his other work, the tiffany glass does his talented vision justice.

    When you're done admiring this you can go to the back and enjoy the atrium. If you go during Christmas time you can see the giant tree and the all the big balls. Yes, that's what I said.

    But wait! There's more... As you exit the atrium (on the right-hand side) you'll spot another beautiful stained-glass window.

    It's just a lovely lobby!

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Budget Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    Relax with Nature for a Few Hours

    by PR-7 Updated Mar 24, 2010

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    Philly's main attractions are its urban ones, and there's no doubt but that you can spend several days of frentic sight-seeing and fun from morning till midnight -- and beyond. But Philly also has, within its borders, something most metropolises don't have -- a genuine wildlife refuge.

    The Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is (literally) within earshot of the city airport, and can be reached from Center City in about twenty minutes by car or longer by bus. It preserves one of the few fresh-water tidal pools in the country, and is an amazingly quiet place for hiking, biking, and kayaking amongst numerous birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The refuge is open dawn to dusk, its visitor center open 8am to 5pm (check exact hours), and admission is always free. Walk from the parking area for just five minutes, and you won't believe you're within the city limits of the fifth-largest (or sixth?) city in the U.S.A. Waterfowl and turtles are inevitably spotted, and deer will show up if you walk long enough and quietly enough. Fishing is permitted WITH a Pennsylvania license.

    This is NOT a recreational area in the sense that you can play football or run around like a banshee. Even picnicking is problematic, as there are almost no tables. But if like seeing a meter-wide blue heron landing in a pond, or a dozen turtles getting a sunny warm-up; then this is your place.

    There ARE a couple dozen places to visit in the Philly area that are more unique or more appropriate for a visitor than this place -- wildlife refuges are all over the country. But if you're looking for a place to relax amongst nature for a couple hours, and don't want to spend three hours driving for an hour of relaxation, then this is your place.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Birdwatching

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    Dawson Street Pub

    by richiecdisc Updated Mar 12, 2010

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    Dawson Street Pub is a real find. Manayunk was a run town suburb of Philly but has undergone a transformation to become a getaway for yuppies tired of spending their money in the city. Though it's okay to walk up Main street once, the cafes lack real character. Dawson Street Pub is on a Cresson Street, a narrow though somehow two way street just parallel with Main Street. It was once a biker bar but the new owner has managed to keep it a great little local while bringing a nice array of local as well as far flung micros from the US. It's the only place in the city with three pull taps, dispensing three cask conditioned beers, all generally local products. There's live music on the weekends and it gets quite packed, but at happy hour, you can get a seat and drink $1 off pints from five till seven.

    Corner of Dawson & Cresson Streets in Manayunk.

    Related to:
    • Beer Tasting
    • Budget Travel
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    Reading Terminal/Market East Station, Center City

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Jul 27, 2009

    The Reading Terminal was constructed from 1891 to 1893 on the site of a market that had existed since 1653. The facility, when completed, was eight stories tall and contained the Pennsylvania Railroad's passenger terminal and headquarters, as well as a new market called the Reading Terminal Market that was located at street level below the railroad tracks. Today, this structure is the world's oldest single-span arched-roof structures and the only one remaining in the United States.

    By 1984 the SEPTA system had taken over many of the regional railroads, and they constructed Market East Station under Reading Terminal. In 1993, after years of discussion about reuse or destruction, the main trainshed of the old Reading Terminal was converted to Pennsylvania Convention Center. Other parts of the building are now rooms for a local Marriott, a Hard Rock Cafe, and other shops.

    Parts of the 1995 movie Twelve Monkeys were filmed here.

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    Academy of Music & the Music Walk of Fame

    by Ewingjr98 Written Jun 1, 2009

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    The American Academy of Music building on Broad Street just south of Philadelphia City Hall is known as the oldest Opera House in America still used as a music hall. This "Grand Old Lady of Broad Street" was built in 1855 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1962. President Franklin Pierce attended the groundbreaking ceremonies and the building later hosted the 1872 Republican National Convention.

    The beautiful interior is designed in a horseshoe shape with three balconies supported by 14 huge columns. The centerpiece of the interior is the huge, 50-foot wide, 5000-pound chandelier that was just refurbished in France.


    Outside of the Academy of Music is the Walk of Fame celebrating musicians who have links to Philadelphia.

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    Poland on the Delaware

    by Sue08080 Written Apr 11, 2009

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    In the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, you'll find a wealth of Polish delicacies in a tiny enclave of row houses just minutes from center city. Start with Szypula's bakery for delicious breads and pastries such as poppy seed, walnut or lekvar rolls. Line up for scrumptious Easter bread in the old world tradition. I went there on Holy Saturday at 10:00 in the morning and the fast moving line was out the door.

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    Schuylkill River Park and Trail

    by kooka3 Written Mar 2, 2009

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    Schuylkill Banks is an 8 mile urban stretch of the Schuylkill River. The river travels about 150 miles from its headwaters in Schuylkill COunty to the Delaware River. The Schuylkill River Park and Trail is part of the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Corridor's Schuylkill River Trail, a 23 mile rec trail systm that connects Philly with Oaks, PA and Valley Forge National Historical Park. There are many retional trails connections that exist to the north along the River.

    There is plenty of biking, walking, and boating. They are making connectsion to Bartram's Garden (America's oldest Botanic Garden), docks and scenic river cruises, residential communities, summer festivals, and more.

    If you are at the Philly Museum of Art, it's easy to hop on the trail and check it out since the trail starts right at the mueum. The trail is also only about 3 blocks from Drexel Univ, about 6 blocks from U Penn, just across the river from the 30th St. Rail Station.

    It is handicapped accessible.

    Related to:
    • Cycling
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Hershey's Chocolate World

    by BorneoGrrl Updated Nov 23, 2007

    If you like chocolate and on a road trip in Pennsylvania, Hershey's Chocolate World is a good stop for you to appreciate the chocolate making process and buy some chocolates while you're there. The place is located in Hershey's Park and has a couple of fun things to do like go on e.g Hershey's Great American Chocolate Tour where you can sit in a moving car through the entire Hershey's chocolate making process.

    Other activities include the Trolley Works (a ride through Chocolate Town), Factory Works and the Really Big 3D Show. The best part is that you get free chocolate after the ride. The experience is kinda corny but definitely fun for the kids and the kid inside you.

    Entrance to Hershey's Chocolate World is free.

    Related to:
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Philadelphia Off The Beaten Path

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