We all know that Philadelphia is the home of the Liberty Bell, the Declaration of Independence and the cheesesteak, but the City of Brotherly Love is so much more. We bet some of these facts about Philly will surprise you!
1. A quarter of the U.S. population lives within a 5-hour-drive of Philly
New York City, Baltimore, Washington, Atlantic City – all of these American cities are located in the area, so for one out of four Americans, Philly makes for a convenient (and drive-able) getaway. Philadelphia International Airport ranks among the nation's 20 busiest, so flying there is also a breeze.
2. Philly is called the City of Murals
In the 1980s, the city of Philadelphia launched a Mural Arts Program to help combat graffiti. Today, the city boasts some 3,800 colorful murals and one of the top mural arts organizations on the planet.
3. Philadelphia hosted the first ever Republican National Convention
Philly will host the Democratic National Convention in 2016, as it has twice before (in 1936 and 1948), but it has also hosted the Republican National Convention six times, including the first one in 1856.
4. Fairmount Park is the country's largest municipal park system
With more than 9,200 acres, it's bigger than Central Park in NYC (843 acres) and Forest Park in Portland (5,172 acres). Fairmount Park is home to popular attractions like the Philadelphia Zoo and Lloyd Hall.
5. Another sandwich rivals the cheesesteak in Philly
While the cheesesteak is the most famous Philly sandwich outside of the city, many locals consider another sandwich the city's greatest culinary creation: the roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone. Try one at John's Roast Pork, Paesano's or DiNic’s Roast Pork and Beef.
6. Of the 100 questions on the U.S. citizenship test study guide, half of the answers can be found in Philadelphia
So much history has happened here, a visit to Philadelphia is probably the best possible lesson in U.S. history.
7. Philly is a city of firsts
The City of Brotherly Love was home of the nation's first hospital, flag, bank, free lending library, volunteer fire company, stock exchange and U.S. Mint. That's a lot of firsts!
8. Philly has a strong BYOB culture
Philadelphia liquor laws make it difficult for restaurants to obtain licenses, so B.Y.O.B. (bring your own bottle) is a popular alternative. There are over 200 restaurants across the city that allow guests to bring their own libations.
9. Reading Terminal Market is the nation's oldest continuously operating farmer's market
The iconic Reading Terminal Market was founded in 1892, making it the oldest in the nation. The Italian Market is the oldest and largest outdoor market in the country.
10. What's for breakfast in Philly? Soft pretzels!
Pennsylvania Dutch settlers introduced the soft pretzel to Philly in the eighteenth century, and they quickly became a favorite local snack food. These savory treats can be purchased from street vendors and bakeries, and they often come with mustard for dipping.