2018 NASPA Annual Conference

Visiting Philly has so much more to offer than you think


The City of Brotherly Love will provide the landscape for what is sure to be an unforgettable experience of #NASPA18. Philadelphia doesn’t always get the credit it deserves as a destination, but after the student affairs profession converges this March in the historic and underrated location, it will be feeling the #NASPAlove for all it has to offer. Check out our favorites from HuffPost staff writer Ellie Krupnick’s 31 Reasons Philadelphia Is The Most Underrated City In America, and please believe us: missing the 2018 NASPA Annual Conference—and the chance to explore an unsung hero of a city—is NOT an option. 

It is an American history nerd’s Promised Land.

You’ve probably heard of the Liberty Bell, the famed Philadelphia Art Museum and Betsy Ross House, the latter of which honors the maker of the first American flag. But you can soak in even more history at the Mütter Museum (devoted to medical history and oddities), the National Museum of American Jewish History, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the African American Museum, the Philadelphia Mint, the Mummers Museum, the Independence Seaport Museum, Elfreth’s Alley (supposedly the country’s “oldest residential street”), the American Swedish Historical Museum, Carpenters’ Hall, City Tavern (a recreated version of the original 18th century tavern the Founding Fathers used to hang out at, which now serves authentic colonial recipes)... the list is endless.

It’s insanely easy to navigate thanks to Walk! Philadelphia, the largest comprehensive pedestrian sign system in North America.

Installed in 1995, these oversized, colorful signs are located throughout the city to demarcate cardinal directions, neighborhood names, historical sites, cultural destinations and more. Between the abundant signage and Philadelphia’s grid system, this city is hard to get lost in.

The legendary cheesesteaks live up to the lore.

Sure, you can get the traditional experience at Pat’s and Geno’s. But John’s Roast Pork serves a mouth-watering cheesesteak and has actually won a James Beard Award. (Needless to say, they don’t serve cheesesteaks with the ubiquitous Cheese Whiz here.)

Reading Terminal Market sells almost any kind of cuisine you can think of — including authentic Amish food.

Since its founding in the late 1800s, the indoomutterr market has been stocked with food from hundreds of farmers and distributors. Standing close to its original location, the market now serves up Chinese food, cheesesteaks, hoagies, fresh seafood, produce, crepes, BBQ chicken, cajun cuisine and the Dutch Eating Place, an eatery featuring true Pennsylvania Dutch cooking.

The music scene is fierce, independent and embodying Philly’s “fight the man” attitude.

From Pi Lam, the co-ed University of Pennsylvania frat-turned-indie rock venue, to R5 Productions, a DIY promotions agency that helps small bands land shows, Philadelphia is full of energetic musicians and fans dedicated to quality live music in an accessible way.

Boathouse Row is one of the most beautiful places to run, bike and stroll.

Running along the edge of the Schuylkill River, this row of historic boathouses is not only the site of regattas dating back to the 19th century but also a stunning visual treat at night, when the edges of each boathouse are lit up in twinkling white lights.

Some of the best restaurateurs in the world have set up shop in Philadelphia.

Stephen Starr was named “Restaurateur of the Year.” Jose Garces is one of only eight chefs in the country to hold the title of Iron Chef. Marc Vetri is a James Beard Award winner. Between these big names and numerous other world-class chefs, Philly’s restaurant scene is bursting with talent and ingenuity. (Don’t believe us? Go have a meal at Buddakan.)


Has there ever been a more beloved convenience store? The touch-screen ordering docks, the milkshake machines, the signature lemonade iced tea, Hoagiefest... volumes of poetry could be (and, let’s be honest, probably have been) written about Wawa. There are many downtown locations within walking distances of #NASPA18 festivities. 


What is YOUR favorite thing about Philly? We'd love to hear your answers in the comments below. Can't wait to see you in March! 

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