Welcome to Philadelphia!
Philadelphia – the City of Brotherly Love and the birthplace of our nation is proud to be hosting NASPA’s 100th Annual Conference in 2018! Home to over 50 institutions of higher education, many of our nation’s “first,” internationally known art collections and historic and diverse neighborhoods, there is much to see and experience in March 2018.
With so much to do and see –and have time to go to educational sessions - we’ve created a Philadelphia Bucket List. You might not see everything or sample all of the local food favorites, but make it a point to check a few of these off your list while you’re here. And then come visit us again!
Eat a cheesesteak. The most iconic Philadelphia food, it’s part of the Philadelphia experience! The feud between Pat’s and Geno’s has been ongoing since the 1940’s but there are many locals who claim Jim’s is the best in town.
Run the “Rocky Steps.” Bring a friend and climb the 72 steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. While at the top throw your arms up in the air and yell “Yo Adrienne!” Then take a photo with “Rocky” at the bottom of the steps.
Walk in our Founding Father’s footsteps. Visit Independence Hall and walk through the square. Take your picture with the Liberty Bell. Walk along Front Street in Old City and imagine how it felt to walk those same streets 300 years ago. Watch “We the People” at the National Constitution Center, an interactive presentation about the writing of one of the most important documents in US history.
See Houston Hall. This is a must for all student affairs professionals! The University of Pennsylvania proudly boasts many “firsts,” including the first medical school, computer and the first student union in the US which opened its doors in 1896. While on campus, walk up Locust Walk and have a seat with Ben Franklin at the “Ben on the Bench” statue.
Look for murals. Philly is the nation’s largest public art program, started in 1984 as part of the anti-graffiti network, the city now boasts over 2000 murals. They are everywhere so look around, but it’s worth talking a short walk down Broad Street to experience “Common Threads” which is one of the most iconic murals in the city.
Lions and tigers and bears! You can find these and 1300 other animals at the Philadelphia Zoo – the nation’s first zoo. Have a close encounter with a lion or tiger at the Big Cat Crossing, watch animals climb above you as they roam through the innovative Zoo360, and experience one of the best aerial views of the city on the Zoo Balloon.
Visit Mother Bethel AME Church. One of the nation’s oldest Black churches in America, started by Richard Allen in 1787, the current church was built in 1890 and is both a beautiful and significant structure full of Philadelphia and US history.
Visit a museum. Philadelphia is home to some of the world’s most respected art collections as well as a range of museums celebrating our inspiring, yet challenging, local and national history. The Barnes Foundation, The African American Museum, Rodin Museum, Battleship NJ, The Franklin Institute, and The National Museum of American Jewish History and many more – it’s hard to choose just one!
EAT! Moriarity’s wings, donuts from Beiler’s or Federal Donuts (or try their chicken!), a roast pork sandwich from DiNic’s, stuffed French toast from Sabrina’s, Chickie & Pete’s famous “crab fries,” a cannoli from Termini’s, Bassett’s ice cream, TastyKakes (Butterscotch Krimpets and Kandy Kakes are the locals favorites) and of course - water ice and soft pretzels. Get your steps in walking the Convention Center’s long hallways and exploring Philly so that you can indulge in a few of our local favorites while you’re here!