Downtown Philadelphia, also called Center City, is where the central business district of Philadelphia is located. This neighborhood extends from South Street to Vine Street and from Delaware River to Schuylkill River. This section of Philadelphia makes it the third most populous downtown in the United States after New York City and Chicago. But what makes people want to live in Philly’s downtown area? Check out these reasons.
Philadelphia is a city rich in history. The city hosted the First Continental Congress before the war, as well as the Second Continental Congress, which is where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Philadelphia also once served as the temporary capital of the United States from 1790-1800. One of the biggest things to check out is Independence National Historical Park, which comprises much of downtown Philadelphia. This park preserves several sites associated with the American Revolution. Some landmarks you’ll see here are Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and adopted, the Liberty Bell and the First Bank of the United States.
Art and Culture
See lots of art without even entering a building or spending a dollar. The city of Philadelphia has the largest collection of public art in the nation, mostly because of the city’s innovative Mural Arts Program, which is designed to stop graffiti. Additionally, throughout the city are many glass mosaics. In downtown Philadelphia, you have a wide variety of public statue displays. Representing the “City of Brotherly Love,” there’s the famous LOVE statue in LOVE Park, serving as a terminus between City Hall and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. In addition to the public displays of art, Center City is also home to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Academy of Natural Sciences, African-American Museum and Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History. Don’t forget to check out the Avenue of the Arts, which contains many of the city’s cultural institutions, such as Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Academy of Music.
From being a spectator to taking part in a sport, Philadelphia’s got you covered. Philadelphia is a city that covers the four major sports: baseball, basketball, football and hockey. The Major League Baseball team is the Phillies, which was founded in 1883. It is the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports. It picked up its last World Series win in 2010. For basketball fans, the 76ers are your team. They have won three NBA championships and played host to several Hall of Famers, including Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving and Moses Malone. For Sundays in the fall months, check out the Philadelphia Eagles, who have won three NFL Championships and have had standout players such as Mike Ditka, Reggie White and Brian Dawkins. Other sports teams to check out are the Flyers (hockey), Union (soccer) and Wings (lacrosse).
Although the cheesesteak originated in Philly, the City of Brotherly Love is more than the cheese and steak combo, it’s a great city for foodies and experimental eaters. Here are a few of our picks for places to dine in Center City.
- Oyster House – No gimmicks here, this family-owned restaurant features an authentic Yankee lobster roll, as well as meaty crabcakes. This restaurant sells more than 4,000 oysters per week, so it’s safe to say you should try the oysters. 1516 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA 19102
- Mémé – Comfort food with a twist, Chef David Kats at Mémé takes familiar American fare and changes it up slightly to keep diners guessing. Try the grits soufflé or the parsley-caper relish. Definitely don’t miss out on the unshelled mussels served in a cast-iron skillet. 2201 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Chinatown – Located in Center City, Philadelphia’s Chinatown offers a large number of restaurants and nearly a dozen different Hong Kong-style bakery cafes. The restaurants in Chinatown serve up Cantonese, Fujianese, Northern, Sichuan and Taiwanese cuisine, as well as Burmese, Japanese and Vietnamese fare. Vine Street is the northern boundary of Chinatown.
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