Philadelphia: 14 great cultural experiences

Date Posted: 29/11/2012

Philadelphia's cultural highlights - ideal for a group travel experience.

Pictured: The infamous 'Rocky Steps' lead up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

A group travel holiday to the US city of Philadelphia promises a host of creative, artistic and cultural experiences.

This dynamic metropolis is truly coming into its own with its world class art collections, iconic public art displays, fascinating museums, and internationally acclaimed artists, concert performances and cultural events.

Here, we highlight some of Philadelphia’s top events and must-see attractions, giving group travel organisers 14 great reasons to arrange a group holiday.

1. Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA)
The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts is a month-long city-wide arts festival produced by the Kimmel Center. Celebrating innovation, collaboration and creativity with over 50 local arts and cultural organisations, the festival presents multi-disciplinary artistic interpretations of new works, classical performances and exhibits.

2. The Barnes Foundation
Perhaps one of the most exciting hidden gems in Philadelphia's arts and cultural repertoire, the Barnes Foundation moved to Center City last May. Organised groups can gain access to one of the world's largest private collections of early-French Modern and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world. View more than 600 works by masters such as Cézanne, Renoir and Picasso in this inimitable educational institute.

3. The Philadelphia Museum of Art
Crowning the top of Benjamin Franklin Parkway, this is one of the largest art museums in the United States containing a collection of more than 225,000 works of art that span two millennia and six continents. The museum also houses Cézanne's final work, the monumental Large Bathers (1906).

4. Rodin Museum
The Rodin Museum re-opened in July following a three-year renovation project. Housing the biggest collection of Rodin's outside of Paris, the $20.9 million investment has brought the building back to its original design and sculpture placement from its inception in 1929.

5. Mural arts tours
Philadelphia is a colourful city and with its public art programme offers one of the largest mural arts tours in the world. More than 3,500 larger-than-life murals tell the tales of the city's neighbourhoods, historic events and local heroes, and can be discovered through
officially guided walking, trolley or bicycle tours.

mural arts tour philadelphia - ideal for a unique group travel trip

Pictured: A mural arts tour will reveal the tales of the city's neighbourhoods, historic events and local heroes.

6. Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe
The 17th annual festival takes place from 6th to 21st September, showcasing artists from various disciplines including theatre, visual arts, music, and spoken-word presentations performed at traditional and non-traditional venues.

7. Avenue of the Arts
Otherwise known as Broad Street, this arts and entertainment centre of Philadelphia includes Broadway shows, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, galleries and performance venues.

8. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Founded in 1805, this landmark building was reportedly America's first art museum and school of the fine arts. Its renowned American art collection spans over two centuries and is housed in two galleries. When the city of Philadelphia was founded, it was considered a ‘centre of enlightened thought’.

9. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
America's oldest natural history museum mirrors the evolution of the American people and the natural world through botany, dinosaurs and live and extinct wildlife.

10. The Mütter Museum
The Mütter Museum is one of America's finest museums of medical history. Perhaps not for the faint-hearted, the displays of preserved medical oddities, wax models and medical instruments help the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body.

11. Franklin Institute
Inspired by one of the city’s most famous thinkers, Benjamin Franklin, this venue houses interactive exhibits about electricity, aviation and machinery.

12. The National Museum of American Jewish History
Celebrating the challenges and triumphs of its inhabitants, a group trip to this interactive museum reveals the tale of the Jewish immigrant experience; showcasing artwork, historic artefacts and multimedia exhibits.

13. The African American Museum in Philadelphia
Reportedly the first museum of its kind, groups can explore the African American experience through a series of paintings, sculptures and historical artefacts. 

14. The President's House
This memorial at the location of America's first White House features an open-air footprint of the original structure and commemorates the nine enslaved Africans who worked under the nation’s first president, George Washington. The President's House is also where two important bills were signed; the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.

Useful contact:

Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau:
0115-922 9255

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