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A First Timer's Guide To Philadelphia

Green Scene...

Fairmount Park - As Philadelphia's largest green space, the Fairmount Park system encompasses more than 10,300 acres of parks, gardens, trails, native woodlands and the Parkway museums. Open from sunrise to sunset, the park is home to the Philadelphia Zoo, America's largest authentic historic mansions collection, the Japanese House and Gardens, the iconic Love sculpture and the beloved Rocky steps and sculpture. Summer means concerts at The Dell Music Center and the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. phila.gov/parksandrecreation

Longwood Gardens - This mega gardens attracts visitors from around the globe to its 1,077 acres filled with 20 outdoor gardens, 20 indoor gardens, 11,000 different types of plants, spectacular fountains and picturesque meadows and woodlands. The horticultural haven also hosts 400 events each year, including flower shows, gardening demonstrations, educational programs, children's activities, concerts and musical theater. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org


Arts Appreciation...

Mural Arts Program - In Philadelphia, every wall is a potential blank canvas, and stunning murals adorn building exteriors all over the city. Begun in 1984 to help eradicate graffiti, the renowned City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program enables professional artists and young Philadelphians to showcase their artistic talent in a constructive way. To date, the program has produced more than 3,800 murals. Interested visitors can view several of these works on a variety of walking, trolley and Segway tours. Private tours and interactive options are available for groups. Tours leave from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Hamilton Building. 128 N. Broad Street, (215) 925-3633, muralarts.org

Philadelphia Museum of Art and the "Rocky Steps" - The Philadelphia Museum of Art was forever immortalized in the classic Rocky film franchise. While the "Rocky Steps" draw a slew of visitors who want to reenact Stallone's on-screen training regimen, the museum is even more impressive inside. The astounding art collection, spanning more than 2,000 years, comprises works in media, including sculpture, paintings, textiles, arms and armor, photography, prints and drawings. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org

Barnes Foundation - While its Philadelphia home opened in May 2012, the Barnes Foundation dates back to 1922 when Albert Barnes established it to promote education and appreciation of fine arts and horticulture. The Barnes boasts the world's most important collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, as well as Old Master works, Native American jewelry, antiquities and African sculpture. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 278-7000, barnesfoundation.org

The Philadelphia Orchestra - As one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, The Philadelphia Orchestra maintains a rich tradition of the highest level of artistic quality. Today, music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the group, whose main season runs from September through May. The orchestra performs in venues around the world, but its main home is the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. 1 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999, philorch.org

Curtis Institute of Music - Founded in 1924, the Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains gifted performers to attain careers in the arts. Musicians of all ages and backgrounds travel from around the world to attend this prestigious school. Students perform solo and chamber works most Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings during the school year as part of the free recital series. 1726 Locust Street, (215) 893-5261, curtis.edu/studentrecitals

 

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