Philadelphia – the best kept secret?

Al Lee, one of the discussion facilitators at the Greater Philadelphia Roundtable program on “Philadelphia, the Place that Loves You Back,” provided us with this report:

If you were showing someone around Philadelphia, where would you take them? Art museums? Restaurants? Historic sites? I posed that question for group discussion during the Greater Philadelphia Roundtable Series “Philadelphia, The Place that Loves you Back.”

Everyone knows that Philadelphia is home to the iconic symbol, the Liberty Bell. But is that all we’re known for? Or is it cheesesteaks and a fictional boxer who served as the ultimate underdog? Maybe it’s none of the above and we’re really packing them in due to our unique shops and independent boutiques. Are they on your “ to do list ?”

Here is what a sample of local Philadelphians said:

“I would definitely recommend talking them to Independence Hall and Society Hill.”

“I don’t think people know how big Philadelphia really is. I would take them to the outskirts such as Chestnut Hill, Germantown and especially Longwood Gardens.

“I would take them where I would like to hang out on weekends. The Reading Terminal Market. Rittenhouse Square. Farmers Markets.  First Fridays. I love the Architectural Walking tours offered by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. College Campuses and whatever events are coming up on the calendar.”

“No question, I would be sure they saw all the art galleries and ethnic neighborhoods including sections of Chinatown, South Philly, and West Philly. We would go on a cultural eating tour and enjoy all the outdoor art in the process.”

From this small survey, many did not even mention seeing the Liberty Bell or having a cheesesteak. Maybe we should change the slogan to “Philadelphia, America’s best kept secret.”

Thanks to Al and all of our volunteer discussion facilitators!  Don’t miss the next Greater Philadelphia Roundtable – the last in our current series – coming up on March 28.  For information and advance registration, visit

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