10 Places to Explore in Philly at AIA 2016
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10 Places to Explore in Philly at AIA 2016

Are you ready to get familiar with Philly at AIA 2016? The City of Brotherly Love offers so many places to explore with adventures at every corner. The Nichiha team wanted to give AIA attendees some fun places to check out while attending the show. These 10 spots are all close to the convention center and easy to visit in between show events. Happy exploring!

1.) Liberty Bell – You’re in Philadelphia…you can’t miss visiting the Liberty Bell! A piece of American history, the bell rang loudly the first time the Declaration of Independence was publicly read. It received its famous crack when ringing to celebrate George Washington’s birthday in 1846. The Liberty Bell is just a quick walk from the convention center and totally worth a visit.

2.) Rocky Steps and Statue – Put on your running shoes! It’s time to channel your inner Rocky and run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Taking on the stairs is an iconic symbol of determination and perseverance. The museum stairs are known for being the second most famous movie filming location in the world. Don’t worry, you can play the Rocky theme song on your phone while you’re are running…everybody does it! The Rocky Statue is also a must see after you descend back down the steps. It is located at the bottom of the stairs and is a standing monument to Rocky Balboa. Don’t forget to visit the art museum while you are there.

3.) Philly Cheesesteak Restaurants – Now I know you have been dreaming of getting your hands on a Philly Cheesesteak ever since AIA announced its 2016 location! You are about to be in Philly Cheesesteak heaven! There are so many restaurants that offer the delicious sandwiches it is hard to pick just one. We have narrowed it down to two spots that are close to the convention center and definitely worth checking out. Jim’s Steaks and Steve’s Prince of Steaks can both give you that tasty Philly experience you are seeking. If you have time, visit both and let us know which you liked best.

4.) Reading Terminal Market – This is a must-see as the nation’s oldest standing farmers’ market. Whatever type of food you are in the mood for, Reading Terminal Market has you covered. Asian, Middle-Eastern, Philadelphia Dutch Cuisine…it’s all there! Take a stroll and browse through the 80 merchants’ selection of fresh food. P.S. I hear there is a cannoli spot that is to die for!

5.) LOVE Park –The iconic LOVE sculpture in Philly is a monument that one must get a photo with while visiting the city. It is typically housed in LOVE Park which is a great place to visit and enjoy a beautiful spring day. However, while you are visiting Philly during AIA 2016, LOVE Park will be closed for renovations, reopening in spring 2017. Don’t worry though…your picture perfect moment will still be available! The LOVE sculpture has been temporarily relocated to Dilworth Park across the street from LOVE Park. Get your post worthy photo at the new spot!

6.) Independence Hall – While strolling through Philly, you must explore this historic landmark that played a great role in bringing our nation together after the Revolutionary War. The best news is, a tour of Independence Hall is completely free! You need to secure a ticket to enter for the guided tour led by National Park Rangers. What a great way to explore a city that is so deeply engrained into America’s history!

7.) Rodin Museum – Philly has art galore, but one place that you should check out is the Rodin Museum that celebrates Auguste Rodin’s work. The 19th century sculptor’s famous piece, The Thinker, is housed here. Also to note is the beautiful structure of the museum itself. The building underwent a three-year restoration that paid homage to the original French architect Paul Cret and French landscape designer Jacques Gréber. Find inspiration in a unique Philly museum!

8.) Philadelphia’s Waterfront – Exploring Philadelphia’s Delaware River Waterfront is a great way to see Philly. The waterfront is just a short trip away from historic Philly and houses parks, museums, piers, restaurants, and amazing views. Morgan’s Pier is a great spot for enjoying craft beer, delicious food, and live music. Other possibilities for exploring the waterfront seem virtually endless. Check out everything there is to do on Visit Philadelphia’s website. You may need to plan a second trip to get it all in!

9.) Eastern State Penitentiary – Why not visit jail while you’re in Philly? You don’t even have to get arrested to check out the penitentiary! When it opened in 1829, people marveled at its grand, castle-like Gothic architecture. The prison was known for its philosophy of reforming criminals through solitary confinement. Even Al Capone spent some time incarcerated here. Do yourself a favor and take a tour of Eastern State Penitentiary. Bring your camera because you are going to want to capture all the structural details.

10.) Federal Donuts – If you are able to make it through the line that is typically out the door, Federal Donuts is a must-stop on your Philly adventure. Known for its Korean-style fried chicken and wide-variety of delicious donuts, Federal Donuts has quickly become a landmark in Philly. They have a location that is only a couple blocks from the convention center! Treat yourself to some deliciousness and stop by before you head out of Philly.

With these 10 place to explore, your Philly visit will be an epic success! We would love to see your photos from your Philly adventure. Share with us on social media using #AIAPhillyFun. Also let us know of any other spots that we should check out. Can’t wait to see you in Philly May 19-21!

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