Philly (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

So close to New York it could be considered a suburb, the City of Brotherly Love has a unique identity all its own. New York’s gentler sister is steeped in Revolutionary War history, and eloquently tells the story of some of its most significant heroes, from Benjamin Franklin to Betsy Ross and George Washington. The city is about more than just glimpses back in time, however. One of the world’s most heralded art museums is here, as are multiple opportunities for plain old family fun. So what are you waiting for? Gas up the car and get ready for a really cool one-tank trip to Philadelphia.

Getting There

Take I-95 North and follow signs for Central Phila./I-676 (Exit 22).

What To Do

(credit: Liberty Bell Center)

(credit: Liberty Bell Center)

Liberty Bell Center
6th & Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 965-2305
www.nps.gov

The Liberty Bell, one of freedom’s most beloved icons, may be cracked, but its message continues to ring clear today. Situated in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park, the Liberty Bell was last famously rung at George Washington’s birthday celebration in 1846. Its message and the story of America’s earliest, heady days are told here through videos and exhibits.

(credit: Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100
www.philamuseum.org

The main museum building houses an extraordinary compendium of paintings, sculpture and decorative art objects. One of the largest and most highly regarded art museums in the world, the Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts over 227,000 objects, including Vermeer’s seminal painting, “Young Woman Seated at a Virginal,” and Cy Twombly’s mythology-inspired sculptures. The nearby Rodin Museum is devoted to the bold, sculptural vision of Auguste Rodin and its magnificently curated gardens are not to be missed. Historical houses Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove paint the picture of Philadelphian life as it was during bygone eras, and the Perelman Building contains an extensive library and additional art galleries.

(credit: Franklin Square)

(credit: Franklin Square)

Franklin Square
200 N. 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 629-4026
www.historicphiladelphia.org

A children’s paradise built around the Franklin Square Fountain, this beautiful park is one of the nation’s first urban, open-air squares designed by William Penn along with his original plans for the city. Attractions include a historically themed, 18-hole miniature golf course, Parx Liberty Carousel and the Living Flame Memorial. A huge and shady, imaginatively designed play space is clean and well-maintained.

Dining

(credit: Square Burger)

(credit: Square Burger)

SquareBurger
200 N. 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 629-4026
www.historicphiladelphia.org

Run and operated by local restaurateur legend Stephen Starr, uber-shack SquareBurger is located right in the middle of Franklin Square. Succulent and juicy, SquareBurger’s yums-on-a-bun are not to be believed, but nothing can top the legendary Cake Shake, a refreshing mix of Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet® and vanilla ice cream.

Tierra Colombiana
4535 N. 5th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19140
(215) 324-0303
www.tierracolombianarestaurant.com

A warm and inviting spot situated in the middle of North Philadelphia’s Spanish community, Tierra Colombiana has been serving eclectic and innovative Latin American and Caribbean food to a loyal and appreciative customer base for over 22 years. The astonishingly sized and highly flavorful seafood paella is the uncontested star of the menu, followed closely by the uniquely seasoned Colombian churrasco and melt-in-your-mouth Argentina skirt steak.

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.