The area of Broad Street between Market and Spruce Streets is referred to as "The Avenue of the Arts." In this neighborhood, you'll be able to experience Philadelphia culture at spots like the Academy of Music, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Wilma Theater, the Merriam Theater, University of the Arts Gershman Hall, the Suzanne Roberts Theater and several art galleries. You'll know when you get to the Avenue of the Arts because it is lined with streetlights in the shape of "AA."
Near Broad Street's south end is the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, home to Citizens Bank Park, the Wells Fargo Center and Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Flyers used to play in this area, which is why they are known as "The Broad Street Bullies." When Philly is lucky enough to win a sports championship, the parade usually takes place on Broad Street. In 2008, the Phillies won the World Series and about 2 million people came out to celebrate on Broad Street.
South of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, Broad Street terminates at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Just north of City Hall, you'll find the offices of two well-known newspapers: The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News. If you're interested in visiting the historic Divine Lorraine Hotel -- though it is now closed -- it's located at the intersection of North Broad and Fairmount Street. North of that is the campus of Temple University.
Although Broad Street is one of the busiest streets in the U.S., it is closed down every year for the 10-mile Broad Street Run. Also, one section of Broad Street, from Marconi Plaza to City Hall, is the location for the Mummers Parade, which takes place every year on New Year's Day and is a favorite of many locals.
If you want to brush up on your geography, be sure to visit the "Avenue of the States" -- Washington Avenue to Oregon Avenue. You'll see the flags for all 50 states on this patriotic section of Broad Street.
What should I do?
Spanning in the north-south direction through Philadelphia for several miles, Broad Street runs through some of the city's best attractions. The busy street is also served well by local public transportation, so visitors will have an easy time getting to the attractions. In fact, there is an entire underground subway route that runs below Broad Street, which is known as the SEPTA Broad Street Line.
Before searching for interesting places located along Broad Street, it is important to understand that this thoroughfare is divided into a North and South section. This division occurs at one of Philadelphia's most iconic landmark buildings, the City Hall. Designed in the Second Empire architectural style of the late nineteenth century, the Philadelphia City Hall is a building like no other in the United States. Visitors will also be surprised to learn that the historic site was once the tallest building in the world during the beginning of the twentieth century. The City Hall site is also intersected by Market Street, one of the busiest roads in the city that is lined with most of Philadelphia's skyscrapers. Wandering off Broad Street and onto Market Street will lead to some popular attractions such as Independence Hall, Liberty Bell site, and National Constitution Center.
Located only a block north of the Philadelphia City Hall along Broad Street, the Pennsylvania Convention Center is a major venue for professional conferences, trade shows, and other similar large crowd events. While in that area, it is also well worth to visit the Reading Terminal Market, a historic market that offers some of the freshest food in the city. Another major site of interest near the intersection of Broad Street and City Hall is the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Known as the oldest museum of natural history in the United States, the Academy of Natural Sciences offers amazing exhibitions about life on our planet, all spread out on four levels.
Several blocks south of the Philadelphia City Hall, Broad Street leads directly to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. As the name implies, it is one of the premier performing arts venues in the city of Philadelphia as it houses the Verizon Hall and Perelman Theater. The Kimmel Center hosts a variety of entertainment events ranging from classic music concerts to theatrical performances and dances. With its large, arched, transparent glass atrium, it is hard to miss the Kimmel Center while walking along South Broad Street.
The lowest part of South Broad Street leads enthusiastic fans to two of Philadelphia's premier professional sporting stadiums. Citizens Bank Park is the home ballpark of the Phillies of the MLB while the nearby Lincoln Financial Field is the home ground of the Eagles of the NFL.
Visitors getting around Philadelphia have several options from which to choose. One of the best is to simply walk around the town. This is one of the best cities for walkers in the country. The city has a program called “Walk! Philadelphia,” which posts signs all over the city sidewalks showing walkers good places to stop to eat, cultural attractions and points of interest. Anyone that will be spending the bulk of his or her time in central Philadelphia can probably get by with walking.
The name of the public transit in Philadelphia is SEPTA. SEPTA runs buses all over the city, and passengers will need tokens or exact change to ride them. Tokens give a discount on the fare price, and passengers can purchase them at train stations and many convenience stores.
Visitors staying in central Philadelphia may want to take advantage of the Phlash Bus. This bus runs in a circuit between the major tourist spots in the city. This option is only available from May through October.
The subway is the same as the bus system. Passengers will either need to use exact change or the discount tokens. These are the same tokens that can be used on the buses. There are two main subway lines that get passengers around the city. The first line is the Broad Street line, which runs north and sound under the street for which it is named. The line that runs east and west runs under Market and Frankford Streets, and it is naturally called the Market-Frankford Line.
The taxis in Philadelphia are great. All official taxis are metered, and they are easily recognizable by the medallions they display on their hoods. Drivers that provide good service will expect a tip, so be sure to keep that in mind when jumping in a taxi.
Using a Car in Philadelphia
The city is pretty easy to navigate without a car, but some visitors may want the flexibility that a car offers. All the major rental car companies have offices in Philadelphia, and visitors can pick one up at the airport when they arrive.
Philadelphia also has a few new rental car concept companies that allow visitors to rent cars by the hour. This can be a very economical and convenient option for visitors that just need a car for a small trip to the outskirts of the city or the surrounding areas.
Philadelphia is a popular destination for shopping because of its statewide law that makes clothing tax-free. Broad Street is a 13 mile-long strip that is filled with shopping opportunities of all kinds. Nearby Walnut, Chestnut and Sanson streets offer additional shopping options.
Walnut Street and Broad is the location of a very large Banana Republic. Across the street are several designer shops at the Bellevue. Among them are Williams-Sonoma, Ralph Lauren and Nichole Miller. There are many shops in the area of 16th and Chestnut, an area known as “Shops at Liberty.” Some of the stores include Nine West, J. Crew, Au Bon Pain, Fire and Ice, and Express. Walnut Street has an Apple store and The Children's Botique.
Broad Street has a lot more shopping to offer than designer clothing shops: there are practical shopping options as well. Olney Pawn Shop offers coins, sports collectibles, computers and tools. It is the oldest business in Olney, in business since 1968. Kim's Hardware, a popular local hardware store, is located at nearby Cecil Moore Avenue.
The area around Broad Street is home to plenty of shoe shops. Hollywood Shoes is located at the nearby Cecil Moore Avenue. Although the store is not gigantic, it holds a large selection of shoes. Other shoe stores are Aerosoles, Benjamin Lovell Shoes, Guess, Head Start Shoes, and Talbots.
For bookstores, there is a Barnes & Noble on Wallstreet. Nearby Zavelle Bookstore sells both new and used books. They also buy back many genres of book titles. Zavelle offers book rentals and will recycle your unwanted books. Another bookstore, called Joseph Fox Bookshop, is on Sanson Street. Joseph Fox has been in the Rittenhouse Square area since 1951.
Ultima Coffee offers drinks such as cappuccinos and machiatoes, and it has a partnership with a beer botique and bottle store to please shoppers. Other major coffee shops in the area are the Nook Bakery and Coffee Bar and the Walnut Bridge Coffee House.
You can find a couple of antique shops in the area around Broad Street. H.A. Eberhardt & Son, Inc. is located on Walnut Street and Lisa ReisMan et Cie is at nearby Rittenhouse Square.
Special events in Philadelphia will leave you hunting for time in your schedule to make as many as possible. If you are a wine and cheese aficionado, make sure to catch the Strong Roots Wine & Cheese Social at the Crane Old School's White Space to get your fill. Another opportunity to find good food and beverages is to attend the De la Siembra la Cosecha or From Seed to Harvest where you will find both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages along with plenty of delicious food. Visit Bartram's Garden for the Bartram Bitter event where you can enjoy cocktails and conversation.
Support local art and artists at the One Night Stand & Young Friends Cookout at Main Line Art Center. Here you will find bright young talent in sculptors, painters, jewelry artists, multi-media artists, photographers, potters and more. For another opportunity to experience the arts in Philadelphia, Art in the Park! at Queen's Village for the Queen's Village Neighborhood Association will give you a chance to view and purchase arts, crafts, jewelry and more at this afternoon event.
If you are interested in finding out more about the diverse cultures that are alive and brimming in Philadelphia, visit the 6th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Franklin Square. You will be treated to various aspects of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai and other nations' cultures through food, art, clothing, performances and more.
Farm to Table Day at Fox Chase Farm will give you an opportunity to become more familiar with agriculture. You can help support Plum Dragoness Performance Projects by attending this fundraiser called Poet-tree En Motion at the Rotunda.
The Penn State Philadelphia Master Gardener Plant Sale will be held at the Horticulture Center and will feature edible and flower plants available for purchase.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, held at the Philadelphia Convention Center, will give you a look at contemporary arts and crafts from around the area and from across the United States. You will also have the opportunity to meet the artists, learn more about them and purchase pieces of their work on the spot.
The Philadelphia Marathon is one of the largest special events in Philadelphia. The marathon event engages not only marathon and half marathon runners, but it also inspires legions of supporters and family to head out to the racecourse and support all of the dedicated runners.
FAQs about hotels near Broad Street
How much does a cheap hotel near Broad Street cost per night?
In the last year, a 2 star hotel near Broad Street can be as cheap as $110.13 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a 3 star hotel near Broad Street cost per night?
In the last year, the average 3 star hotel near Broad Street has been $152.53 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a higher-end hotel near Broad Street cost?
In the last year, the average 4 star hotel near Broad Street has been $179.28 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)