Any first-time visitor to Philadelphia knows the city’s “must-dos.” Get an authentic Philly cheesesteak, see the Liberty Bell, and run up the “Rocky” steps. But after reaching the top of those steps (not to mention getting over your cheesesteak indigestion), there are some hidden gems in the City of Brotherly Love.


Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum

Opened in 1863 and now run by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, The Mutter Museum boasts a collection of more than 20,000 medical specimens and tools. It’s everything from the informative to the downright weird. You’ll find exhibits on the history of spinal surgery and pieces of Albert Einstein’s brain. Plus, there are tumors from all different parts of the body. Don’t miss the one from the mouth of President Grover Cleveland.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Located in the Fairmount section of the city, the Eastern State Penitentiary was an operational prison from 1829 until 1971. It became the hallmark of a revised prison system which aimed to “reform,” not “punish,” through a system of separate prisoner isolation. Once the most expensive building ever constructed, the prison’s massive 30-foot walls and castle-like structure make it a must visit.

Check it out and see what life was like for prisoners. Here’s a fun fact,:Al Capone was housed inside this U.S. National Historic Landmark. However, today the prisoners are gone. And, it is now open as a museum 365 days a year, with special events planned throughout. There are lots to choose from. But if you’re visiting around Halloween, the “Terror Behind the Walls” Haunted House is a can’t-miss.

Wissahickon Valley Park

Tucked away in the Northwest part of the city, Wissahickon Valley Park is the second largest in the city’s park system. Walk, run, bike, or even ride a horse down “Forbidden Drive.” It’s a five- mile, 25-foot wide gravel path that spans the length of the park. Go off the beaten path and hike in the woods on trails of varying difficulty. Or, stop at the local favorite “Valley Green Inn.” You can enjoy lunch as the Wissahickon River flows past.