Sure, there are other cities in America that might get more hype, but Philly can proudly hold its own because when you’re the real deal, hype isn’t necessary. Fan of history? Our country was founded here and we were the first World Heritage City declared in the U.S. Love food? Philly restaurants and restaurant professionals took home four James Beard Awards in 2017. Love art? The Barnes alone has more Renoirs than Paris. I could go and I will. Here are 17 reasons why Philly is cool AF.
1. We’ve got the most passionate sports fans.
Sure, we may not always win, but there’s no other city in the United States that’s more excited about sports. We also have a super catchy fight song in “Fly, Eagles, Fly.”
2. We’ve got soul.
Philly’s indie music scene is one of the best in the country. Current homegrown acts making waves nationally include The War on Drugs, Kurt Vile, The Districts, Hop Along, Lil Uzi Vert and of course, The Roots.
3. Croissants are to Paris as soft pretzels are to Philly.
We wouldn’t have it any other way! The beauty about Philly soft pretzels is that they are much more versatile than a croissant — perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even as a snack in between! They also taste delicious on their own, topped with yellow mustard or dipped in Nutella. (not together, of course)
4. History buffs — America was founded here.
Philadelphia is where all the action took place during the American Revolution and today, history buffs would be overwhelmed with options when it comes to sightseeing. We’ve got Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell, The National Constitution Center, The Betsy Ross House and the brand new Museum of the American Revolution — all located in The Historic District.
5. Our city is super LGBT-friendly.
Philly is so cool that it officially recognized the Gayborhood in April 2017, by adding 35 gay pride rainbow flags to street signs. 32 more were added in June 2010 and in summer of 2015, rainbow crosswalks were added at 13th and Locust.
6. We’ve got the Barnes.
Ready to be swept away by one of the most impressive private art collections in the world? Head over to the Barnes and experience Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani and more in the flesh. You’ll find more Renoir works here than in Paris and if you’re feeling fancy, the museum is always organizing fun and out-of-the-box social soirees.
7. We’ve got Beiler’s Donuts.
You will never eat a chainstore donut again after eating one from Beiler’s. These are life-changing! My absolute favorite is the Mocha Creme but the M&M encrusted vanilla donut comes in at a close second. They’re also super cheap. You can get a dozen for $10.99.
8. Elfreth’s Alley
Which city has the oldest residential street? Philly of course! Elfreth’s Alley dates back to 1702 and strolling along it makes you feel like you’re in living in Harry Potter land.
9. Oh yeah, we’ve got a Harry Potter Festival.
Philly is home to many passionate Harry Potter fans and for one weekend in October, Chestnut Hill becomes a full-on Harry Potter Festival, complete with a pub crawl, literary events, a Quidditch tournament and yes, even a Hogwarts Express!
10. Even New York native Jay Z decided to host Made in America here.
The annual two-day music festival over Labor Day Weekend is now in its sixth year on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
11. Our city is super walkable.
According to Redfin’s 2015 report, Philly is the 4th most walkable city in the country, with New York being the most walkable, followed by San Francisco and Boston.
12. You can even walk through a beating heart here.
No seriously. Have you ever been to the Franklin Institute? There’s a giant heart you can journey through and it totally has a pulse.
13. Ben Franklin aka “The First American” called Philly home.
He fled from Boston to Philadelphia, where he helped start a revolution with the rest of the Founding Fathers. He also managed to become a prominent author, scientist, inventor and the list goes on and on.
14. We’re so darn pretty.
Whether you’re walking through the cobblestone streets of Old City or taking in the nighttime vistas along Boathouse Row, Philly is quite scenic.
15. We’re a city of firsts.
First Children’s Hospital in the country? That’s us. First hospital even? Us too. First zoo? Philly. First public library? It’s all about Benjamin Franklin, baby and he founded that not in Boston but in Philadelphia.
16. Our food scene is world-renowned.
Sure, we’ve got great cheesesteaks but the stars of our culinary scene took home four James Beard awards this year.
17. We’ve got the world’s first pizza museum.
You might say they’ve got pizza on the brain at Fishtown favorite, Pizza Brain. With thin crust slices the size of your head and off-the-wall toppings like the Kira Tierston (mozzarella, smoked bacon, hint of brown sugar, red onion, oven-roasted brussels sprout) and the Lucy Waggle (mozzarella, grana padano, pine nut, fresh thyme, date, prosciutto, arugula), come for the museum and stay for the damn fine pizza.
Why do you think Philly is cool AF? Tell us in the comments below.