12 Things to See and Do in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Marco Rubino / Shutterstock.com

12 Things to See and Do in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The City of Brotherly Love is one of America’s most historic and fascinating cities. This bustling metropolis was founded in 1682, and went on to play a pivotal role in the American Revolution just over a century later. It has since maintained its status as one of the most economically and culturally important urban areas in the northeastern United States, and it is also the country’s only officially designated World Heritage City.

If you’re headed to Philly for a first-time or a return visit, these 12 attractions and activities will make worthy additions to your itinerary.

12. Scare Yourself Silly at Eastern State Penitentiary

For a truly unique experience, head over to the spooky Eastern State Penitentiary. First opened in 1829 as an alternative prison where authorities attempted to rehabilitate rather than physically punish prisoners, the penitentiary remained operational until it was finally shuttered up in the 1970s.

Al Capone’s former cell is a key attraction, and Eastern State Penitentiary is also rumored to be heavily haunted. It’s one of the best places in the city to get a dose of the macabre, but unlike the Philadelphia Zoo, Eastern State Penitentiary is most definitely not recommended for children.

11. Take the Kids to the Philadelphia Zoo

Founded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1859, the Philadelphia Zoo is the oldest continuously operating zoo in the United States. Open to the public since 1874, the Philadelphia Zoo has become one of the world’s premier wildlife preservation institutes, and it is well-known for safely breeding critically endangered species in captivity to help boost their populations.

Kids in particular will love exploring the zoo, which is home to more than 1,300 animal species and also features a playground, carousel, paddleboat lake, and loads of interactive educational exhibits.

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