Key industries in ‘Philly’ – the second largest city on the Unites States’ East Coast – include manufacturing, financial services, hospitality, life sciences, health care and education. It also does a steady trade in meetings and conventions business – the Pennsylvania Convention Center has over a million square feet of events space and the largest ballroom on the East Coast. “Philadelphia is the place where ideas meet courage and intellect meets ingenuity to design a modern renaissance city,” says the city’s convention and visitor’s authority. “Multicultural, open, beautiful and modern, Philadelphia is America.”
US boutique hotel group Kimpton (kimptonhotels.com) has two properties in Philadelphia: Hotel Palomar and Hotel Monaco. The Palomar is set in a 1920s art deco building and is the city’s only LEED Gold Certified eco-friendly hotel. The Monaco opened last year across the street from the Liberty Bell and Independence Park.
On the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place is Daniel Stern’s flagship restaurant R2L (r2lrestaurant.com). The menu adds a modern twist to traditional American favourites that are to be enjoyed together with great city views. There’s also a lounge bar and private dining room.
The aforementioned Hotel Monaco’s Stratus bar and lounge (stratuslounge.com) is one of few such open air, rooftop establishments in Philadelphia. It’s eleven storeys up and features private booths, swaying greenery, a fireplace and a lengthy list of cocktails that are ‘as fresh as the air’.
British Airways offers a twice-daily direct flight from London Heathrow to Philadelphia. US Airways operates a daily direct service to the city from London Heathrow, Manchester and Dublin, plus a summer service from Glasgow and Shannon. American Airlines flies from Heathrow to Philadelphia via Chicago, Dallas and Miami.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) operates two trains an hour from Philadelphia International Airport into downtown. The fare is $7 one-way. Taxis offer a flat rate fare of $28.50 to/from any downtown hotel.
Philadelphia lies in the Eastern Standard time zone, which is GMT -5hrs. The exchange rate is currently £1=$1.57. See www.discoverphl.com for more information on visiting the city.
Philadelphia will satisfy any US history buff: Independence Hall was where representatives of the 13 colonies met to approve the Declaration of Independence on July 4 1776, while the iconic Liberty Bell rang out the good news to the public. Elsewhere, Philadelphia Museum of Art includes works by Picasso and Matisse and is fronted by a statue of Sylvester Stallone who took a celebrated victory run up the museum’s steps in the 1976 film Rocky.
“Try and squeeze in a visit to the new Barnes Foundation. It’s a breathtaking addition to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, home to some of the city’s most famous sights and attractions”