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Philadelphia see + do

It may be the cradle of American history, but Philadelphia is actually a lot like Paris—a city of distinct and strongly loyal neighborhoods, from sedately elegant Society Hill to proudly Italian South Philly. The broad Benjamin Franklin Parkway is the city's Champs-Élysées and cultural spine, home to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute Science Center, and other institutions. As you travel its length, take note of what locals call the "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost": works from three generations of the Calder family. Alexander Milne Calder's 27-ton, cast-iron William Penn crowns City Hall; his son Alexander Stirling Calder's Swann Memorial Fountain is at Logan Circle; and the white Ghost mobile that hangs in the lobby of the Art Museum was designed by grandson Alexander (Sandy) Calder.

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Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia

Founded in 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences focuses on environmental research and the discovery of ecosystems. Kids will love the live...more

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Art Galleries, Philadelphia

In the past 30 years, a vital arts community has grown up in Old City as its small factories and warehouses have been converted into galleries for the visual...more

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Fairmount Park, Philadelphia

Fairmount Park, one of the country's largest and oldest city park systems, encompasses 9,200 acres, including 62 neighborhood and regional parks. Within its...more

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Franklin Institute Science Museum, Philadelphia

You gotta love the walk-through heart, which thankfully has been refurbished and expanded since it was built in 1953. (The graffiti has been erased and the...more

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Masonic Temple, Philadelphia

The city's best-kept secret, this ornate 19th-century temple designed to house the state's Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania hides in...more

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Mummers Museum, Philadelphia

At this modest South Philly museum, the local New Year's institution of mummers—men and women in sequined, lavish, and scaffolded costumes, some playing...more

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Mütter Museum, Philadelphia

Creepy, curious, and gorgeous coexist at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia's Mütter Museum, where your inner hypochondriac can come face-to-face...more

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National Constitution Center, Philadelphia

Forming the northern anchor of a four-block Independence-palooza (which includes a visitor center, the Liberty Bell, and Independence Hall), the exterior of the...more

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Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

The nation's oldest museum and school of fine arts, founded in 1805, preens in the middle of Center City. Architects Frank Furness and George Hewitt made a...more

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Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

Founded as a museum of decorative arts during the 1876 Centennial Exposition and inspired by Greek temples, the PMA sits on nine acres and still gets a lot of...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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