Despite what some of the guidebooks imply, Philadelphia is known for a lot more than the Liberty Bell or “Rocky steps.” This vibrant, dynamic, and gritty city offers a slice of life to anyone brave enough to venture forth into it and it is certainly one of the most unique cities in America.
There are so many different aspects and characteristics that set Philadelphia apart from all other American cities – and cities around the world. We have chosen just five things that make Philly unique.
Tangible history is everywhere
Philadelphia is home to more American history than nearly any other city in the country. This is why you’ll notice several school groups wandering around the city throughout the year, and also why the city is such a magnet for tourists. The country of America was essentially “born” in Philadelphia, because it was where the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were all signed.
Perhaps the most well known historical artifact is the Liberty Bell, which tourists and visitors are still able to see in person. But if you want to delve a little deeper into the city’s history, you can stop in and have a drink at the same bar in which the Federalist Papers were argued over, and you can meander through the same cobbled streets that Benjamin Franklin traversed centuries ago.
Whether you are a history buff or not, if you are visiting Philly you should take advantage of one of the many different walking tours and fascinating museum tours that are on offer in the city.
Philly takes sports to the next level
It should not surprise anyone that Philadelphians take sports extremely serious! The Phillie Phanatic is living proof of just how intense this city is about its sports teams. Regardless of the sport or team, you can be certain that there’ll be a large and excited fan base providing support for and cheering on their favorite players.
The state of Pennsylvania has also relaxed its gambling regulations to allow for sports betting in the state. Sports betting is becoming incredibly popular across America as more and more states legalize this fun activity, and sports fans discover that sports betting is a great way to engage with the players and teams they love via online sports betting platforms.
No one can be eccentric quite like a Philadelphian
There is just something special about the City of Brotherly Love, and this definitely comes out in its different eccentricities and oddities. One of the best examples of Philly’s quirkiness is Mummers, an annual event in which local clubs dress up in incredibly beautiful and elaborate costumes, and perform their choreographed routines as they parade through the city streets. The competition is fierce, with contestants pitting their talent and creativity against one another in one of five categories. And they’re doing all of this in the January cold. Clearly, Philly has personality!
Amazing food inventions
Everyone has heard of Philadelphia branded cream cheese and the Philadelphia cheesesteak, but there are a number of other culinary creations which are the product of Philly’s endlessly creative minds. Hoagies, roast pork sandwiches, Philly soft pretzels, water ice, Tastykakes, scrapple, tomato pie, red gravy paste, and Goldenberg Peanut Chews are just a few of the many amazing foods that were invented in this dynamic city.
Finding a decent parking spot in Philadelphia can be a nightmare, and it has become something of a subculture to try to save prime (or even just adequate) parking spots. The public transit system in Philly can leave something to be desired, and the harsh winters mean that nearly everyone uses a car to get around in this city, which really puts a premium on parking.
In fact, parking is so intense here that there is a debate raging over #savesies or #nosavesies in the city. People are so desperate for good parking that they will leave small household appliances, cones, buckets, and whatever else they can get their hands on to put in their parking space and reserve the area. Doing so is called #savesies.
The competition and animosity over parking really heats up when the temperature drops and people need to shovel out a parking spot. Spending hours shoveling a parking spot only to have an interloper come in and take it is a truly enraging (and classic Philadelphia) experience.
These are just a few of the many different reasons why Philadelphia is such a unique – and beloved – city.