Destination Information - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
The first capital of the United States, Philadelphia is steeped in history, which is the city's main draw for many visitors. The first settlers were Quakers, who arrived in the latter part of the 17th century and, through hard work and dedication, built up a thriving community that prospered under the leadership of professional, forward-thinking inhabitants.
It was founder of Pennsylvania and Quaker leader William Penn who chose the name Philadelphia (meaning "brotherly love" in Greek), envisaging a place where people of all races and backgrounds could live harmoniously. He designed a city with wide, open boulevards and no city walls or boundaries, symbolizing and promoting the sense of unrestricted freedom for its citizens.
Modern day Philadelphia has retained much of its original design - and Penn's slightly idealistic ethos. The "brotherly love" motto has been adopted by the gay community, one of the largest in the country, and the city has an especially cosmopolitan and open-minded population - evident in the diverse array of entertainment on offer - which range from culinary delights to live music of every description to numerous lively bars and clubs.
When it comes to sightseeing, most people's first stop will be the Independence National Historical Park, home to the Liberty Bell and a whole host of other monuments and buildings that are intrinsically tied up with the founding of the modern United States and its constitution. Those of an artistic bent shouldn't miss the city's rich art collection, most notably that of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which houses a spectacular assortment of paintings, sculpture and objets d'art from around the world.
Elsewhere, whether it's museums, shops, restaurants or bars you're looking for, Philadelphia is unlikely to disappoint, and with the enormous Fairmount Park downtown, you can even enjoy the great outdoors without ever leaving the city centre.