As the second largest city on the east coast and one of the nation's most walkable cities, Philadelphia is Drexel's "living laboratory" with plenty of places to explore, learn, engage in recreation, and experience the arts.
Philadelphia encompasses Fairmount Park, the largest urban park system in the country; is home to hundreds of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct personality and attractions; and is close to the best that the area has to offer, from farmers' markets in Lancaster County to snow sports in the Pocono Mountains.
History and Location
Philadelphia is called the birthplace of the nation. The first zoo, the first hospital, the first theater... they're all in Philly! Here are some great resources to learn more about what Philadelphia has to offer:
Philadelphia's location couldn't be more convenient. Amtrak's 30th Street Station is two blocks from Drexel's University City Main Campus, and an hour and a half train ride will get you to New York City or Baltimore. Plus, Washington, D.C. and Boston aren't too much farther.
In addition to these neighboring cities, some of the region's most popular activities are also close. The Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania are just a short drive up the turnpike, and the world-famous beaches of New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland are perfect for day trips or entire weekends.
For more extensive journeys, Philadelphia International Airport is minutes from Drexel's campus. Philadelphia offers nonstop flights to many European cities, including London, Paris, Berlin, and Rome. Stateside, cities like Chicago and New Orleans can be reached in one to three hours, and a six-hour flight will get you to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and just about anywhere else on the West Coast.
Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own personality and highlights. Neighborhoods are often associated with one ethnic group or another, but the lines have become increasingly blurred. Some of Philadelphia's most diverse neighborhoods include:
- Chinatown - The main venue for Asian culture, smack in the middle of the city. It would take years to visit every shop, market, restaurant, and noodle house in this compact neighborhood.
- Northeast Philadelphia - Scores of Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish immigrants have staked their claim to this section of the city over the last century. Come here to get a taste of Eastern Europe only minutes from City Hall.
- South Philadelphia - Home to thousands of Italian families, restaurants, and markets, this vibrant section of the city is one of its most famous. There is also a sizable Asian population here, and their restaurants and markets rank among some of the city's best.
- University City - This is Drexel's home base, in which the large concentration of students and locals allows for a vast cross-section of cultural representation, from the Middle East to Africa to Europe to South America.
Philadelphia is home to a variety of cultural institutions that feature art, music, dance, theater, and science from around the world. Here are just a few examples of Philadelphia's thriving arts, science, and culture scene:
- Academy of Music - The Academy of Music is home to the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Ballet, and many touring Broadway shows throughout the year.
- Academy of Natural Sciences - The Academy of Natural Sciences features four floors of exhibitions and activities centering on the environment and its diverse species.
- Art Museum - The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses everything from tapestries to Impressionist gems to an authentic Japanese teahouse.
- Franklin Institute - The Franklin Institute is a hands-on science museum that features exhibits ranging from a walk-in giant heart to a climb-aboard steam engine.
- Kimmel Center - The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts presents nearly 400 performances a year that reflect the diverse population and interests of Philadelphia.
- Mütter Museum - The Mütter Museum's collections are centered around the human specimens and medical models used to teach medical students in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
- National Constitution Center - The National Constitution Center is America's most interactive history museum and the only museum devoted to the U.S. Constitution and the story of We, the People.
- Rodin Museum - The Rodin Museum features works of the great French sculptor Auguste Rodin.
Situated squarely in the middle of the Eastern Seaboard, Philadelphia enjoys all four seasons. Spring and fall bring the best weather of the year, months that are characterized by warm days and cool nights with only sporadic periods of rain. Winters can be cold, and one or two major snowstorms are not out of the ordinary. Philadelphia summers can have hazy, hot, and humid days.