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Philadelphia's written history can be traced back to 1623 when Dutch Europeans arrived in the Delaware Valley prior to William Penn founding the city in 1682. However, before earning its title as one of the most important colonial cities in the nation, Philadelphia was first home to the Lenape Native American tribe until the 18th century.
Today, Philadelphia is known by many names, including Philly, The City of Brotherly Love, The Birthplace of America, The Quaker City, The Cradle of Liberty, The City of Neighborhoods, and The City that Loves You Back. Furthermore, the city is world-renowned for being the site of some of the country's most precious historical monuments, such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the signing of America's Declaration of Independence occurred.
Philly's incredibly diverse population is one of the main contributors to the city's status as one of the nation's cultural epicenters, in addition to its vibrant, lively arts and performance scene. As the birthplace of the Philly Cheesesteak, the City of Brotherly Love is also no stranger to delicious, unique cuisines, with more than 6,000 bars and restaurants within its borders.
If you're thinking about heading to Philly for your next adventure, then continue reading below to find out everything you need to know about the Birthplace of America.
Due to the layout of the city, Philly is one of the most walkable cities in the United States. If you prefer to take the easy route, though, the city is also home to a variety of mass transit options, including buses, the Philly Phlash, and railway.
Also known as 30th Street Station, the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station is a crucial transit center in the City of Brotherly Love. The station connects the main railway network with Amtrak's Keystone and Northeast corridors, as well as several bus lines operated by SEPTA, NJ Transit, and intercity bus operators.
First opened in 1933, the 30th Street Station features gorgeous Corinthian columns, massive porticoes, and an unmistakable art deco interior. It even once contained a chapel, mortuary, and hospital space. Today, the station is by far the busiest in Philly and has appeared in various forms of media, from silver screen favorites like The Happening, The Visit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie, to hit television shows like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
The station is separated into two levels with nine total island platforms serving 15 tracks, nine on the lower level and six on the upper level. Passengers at William H. Gray III 30th Street Station can also treat themselves to a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants and stands in the station, including Beck's Cajun Cafe and Dunkin.
Built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1930, Suburban Station is located at the corner of 16th Street and JFK Boulevard in Philadelphia. Identifiable by its eye-catching gold and black art deco facade, Suburban Station consists of five island platforms serving eight tracks.
Also an office building, the station connects the underground commuter rail with the SEPTA city and suburban bs lines. Suburban Station sees more than 25,000 passengers on a typical weekday, with traffic steadily increasing every year due to the recent 2006 station redesign and update.
In addition to providing passenger services, Suburban Station is home to a vast concourse with restaurants, shops, and lounges. If you're arriving or departing from Suburban Station, be sure to stop in at Tiffany's Bakery for deliciously sweet pastries and visit Phoenix Shoe Shine to get that extra pep in your step. You can click here to find out where you can safely stash your luggage for the day while at Suburban Station in Philly.
Often shortened to simply Market Street Station or 8th Street Station, the complex is made up of three side platforms and one island platform dispersed across three underground levels, connected by a mezzanine. The 8th and Market Street Station is the only station in Philly where the PATCO Speedline, SEPTA Market-Frankford, and Broad-Ridge Spur lines interchange.
The station was first opened in 1908, and as a result, has undergone massive reconstruction and expansion efforts over the years, most recently, in 2015 and 2016. Home to Philly's Fashion District Mall, the station puts travelers a mere stone's throw away from more than 75 stores, restaurants, bars, and cafes.
8th & Market Street Station is completely inclusive, with 100% access for people of all abilities. Additionally, the station is within walking distance of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the city's legendary Historic District.
Philadelphia is served by two major airports in addition to airports in nearby surrounding states like New Jersey.
The primary airport in the region, Philadelphia International Airport, serves over 31 million passengers annually from more than 20 airlines. Philadelphia International Airport offers more than 500 regularly scheduled daily departures to 130 plus destinations domestically and internationally.
First utilized as a training airfield for the Pennsylvania National Guard, Philadelphia International Airport opened in 1925. Later, during World War II, the United States Army Air Forces used the site as a base for training exercises.
These days, the airport consists of six lettered terminals with 126 total gates and is conveniently located just 7 miles (11 kilometers) from Downtown Philly. Philadelphia International also contains more than 100 shops, restaurants, and bars. So, be sure to stick around after your flight for some browsing and a bite to eat before heading out into the city.
The sixth busiest airport in the state, Northeast Philadelphia Airport, serves as the primary reliever airport for Philadelphia International Airport. Initially, though, it opened in the 1930s as nothing more than a grass field with no paved runways to speak of.
The airport is conveniently located within close proximity of the nearby Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences, Mummers Museum, and Adventure Aquarium. Furthermore, the Franklin Mills Mall, Roosevelt Mall Shopping Center, and Neshaminy Mall are all just a short walk from Northeast Philadelphia Airport.
In addition to offering relief services, Northeast Philadelphia Airport also serves as one of the Airlines'tal private airports. As such, it's home to a variety of privately owned and operated private flight and tour flight companies.
Also known as Newark Airport and Newark International, the Newark Liberty International Airport serves more than 43 million passengers in a typical year. The airport is home to United Airlines' third-largest hub and more than 50 other commercial and cargo carriers.
Though it's not technically in Philly or even the state of Pennsylvania, Newark Airport in Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, is one of the main airports serving the area of Philadelphia. The airport itself is located 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from Downtown Newark, 9 miles (14 kilometers) from Manhattan, and 83.5 miles (a bit more than 134 kilometers) from Philadelphia.
Newark Liberty International Airport contains more than 200 shops, bars, restaurants, and service kiosks across three lettered terminals. Additionally, the airport provides passengers with free wi-fi services at all of its 121 passenger gates.
Philadelphia has four distinct seasons in typical Northeastern American fashion, with cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers. Similarly to nearby New York and New Jersey, Philly's average temperatures range from around 33 Farenhieght (0.5 Celcius) during the winter months to about 78 Farenhieght (25.5 Celcius) during the summer months.
Philly gets around 41 inches (more than 104 centimeters) of precipitation yearly, dispersed throughout an average of 118 days of the year. That averages out to around 247 days worth of sunshine for the rest of the year for anyone keeping track!
Are you planning on taking your vacation in the City of Brotherly Love? Then try to plan your trip for the autumn or spring months to ensure you get to enjoy the city's most mild, temperate weather and to avoid snowy winters and sticky summers.