History and Beyond: Our Favorite Ways to Experience Philadelphia

By , August 13, 2015 8:07 am

Philadelphia is known as a place for history buffs, and there are lots of relics and museums to remind us about how democracy was born in America. However, there is much more to this Pennsylvania city and many ways to get to know what it’s all about. These are some of our favorite Philadelphia experiences to try for yourself!

Flavors of Philly Food Tour

Other than history and art, Philadelphia is well-known for its delicious food. Taste what all the hype is about on a Flavors of Philly Food Tour that will show you how to eat like a local.  Over the course of about two-and-a-half hours, the tour will make six stops to sample cheese-steaks, hoagies, soft pretzels, tomato pie, cheese fries, and locally-made cookies. Your guide will fill you in with entertaining stories about these foods and the restaurants that made them so popular in the city. This tour runs between March and November from 1:30 pm to 4 pm.

Photo credit: Wally Gobetz via Flickr

Photo credit: Wally Gobetz via Flickr

9th Street Italian Market

This is one neighborhood that’s definitely worth checking out when you’re in Philly. Here you’ll find eclectic shops, local coffee shops, parks, murals, traditional delis and bakeries, and of course the 9th Street Market. This is the oldest and largest open-air market in America, with lots of Italian food stalls and produce stalls for really reasonable prices. This is a multi-ethnic neighborhood too, so you’ll be able to explore local Mexican and Asian shops in the area too. Tours of the market depart daily and last about two hours.

Basic Keelboat Sailing

Philadelphia is also a great place for sailing, so consider taking a basic keelboat sailing course while you’re in town. This class is designed for true beginners and is mostly taught on the water to help you learn the basics of boat handling. On a small boat in protected waters, you’ll learn points of sail, reading the wind, safety, heavy weather sailing, tacking, jibing, person overboard, and federal requirements. This two-day course operates all throughout the year during good weather conditions. 

Amish Country Tour

Pennsylvania is also known for its Amish community, so if you have a few days in the area, why not experience it for yourself? Amish country tours depart from Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania with Dutchland Tours, Inc., the only certified guide company that has been providing Lancaster Country tours for over 50 years. This operator aims to help tourists see the Amish as friendly neighbors and real people, not an attraction or a curiosity. Local businesses you can visit include Amish quit shops, bake shops, and roadside stands, where you can interact with community members. These tours last about two hours and run between March and October.

Photo credit: Bob Jagendorf via Flickr

Photo credit: Bob Jagendorf via Flickr

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Another great way to experience the Pennsylvania countryside is by taking a hot air balloon ride from Quakertown. An ideal city break for couples, groups of friends, and families, you’ll see the natural beauty of the state and even get to help the crew if you like. Rides are offered year-around in good weather and last about two or three hours.

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