Originally laid out by William Penn, Philadelphia embodies America's "melting pot" culture. In addition to its cultural diversity, the "City of Brotherly Love" blends historical tradition with modern vitality, making it a showcase for the best of our country's past and present. The original settlement occupied the land between the Delaware and Schuykill Rivers, and was the birthplace of American government. It even served as the nation's capital from Independence until 1800, and is peppered with reminders of its historical significance, from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall to Edgar Allan Poe's house. Tours on Victorian-style trolleys highlight the significant sights, and actors from the Town Crier Summer Theater perform "playlets" in the streets of the old city district.

Philadelphia is more a mosaic of distinct neighborhoods than a defined urban center, creating a varied experience to suit all interests. The city mapped by William Penn is now only a small part of Philadelphia, though obviously one of its more important ones. The well-preserved colonial architecture memorializes the birth of our nation. The venerable streets turn into a giant block party on the first Friday of every month, when galleries hold open houses with cocktails and tasty treats. For a complete change of pace, take a stroll through the Italian market in South Philadelphia or mingle with the bohemian hipsters of South Street. It may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of a vacation, but if you enjoy cosmopolitan cities full of variety and rich in culture, Philadelphia is one of America's best!
  
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