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Things to Do in Pennsylvania

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Eastern State Penitentiary
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20 Tours and Activities

Once the most famous prison in the world, Eastern State was initially renowned for its Enlightenment-inspired efforts to reform inmates rather than merely punish them. Eventually, this system was abandoned in favor of solitary confinement and a Death Row block. But the once-genteel penitentiary allowed one of its most notorious inmates, Prohibition-era gangster Al Capone, to keep a private cell with fine antiques and oriental carpets.

When Eastern State’s unique wagon-wheel-shaped building was completed in 1829, it was the most expensive public structure ever built. It was a tourist attraction from the start, and remains so today. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and closed in 1971, the building and its many art installations are consistently being restored and preserved by a variety of architects and artists.

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Philadelphia Academy of Music
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Philadelphia is home to plenty of old-school American history, and the roots of its local music scene run deep, too. Travelers in search of an elegant establishment showcasing some of the best international talent will find it all at the Academy of Music.

This unassuming building in the heart of Philadelphia is actually the nation’s oldest continually operational opera house. Its stunning interior houses a 5,000-pound chandelier and is modeled after Milan’s La Scala Opera House. In addition to being a destination for travelers seeking live, classical entertainment, the Academy of Music is a worthy stop for history buffs as well. The National Historic Landmark is the site where President Ulysses S. Grant was nominated for his second term and it’s the site where Martha Graham first performed “The Rite of Spring”. Visitors who arrive during the month of January can watch the Philadelphia Orchestra perform their anniversary concert.

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More Things to Do in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Chinatown

Philadelphia Chinatown

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7 Tours and Activities
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Please Touch Museum

Please Touch Museum

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6 Tours and Activities
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Philadelphia Logan Circle

Philadelphia Logan Circle

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8 Tours and Activities
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Independence Visitor Center

Independence Visitor Center

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7 Tours and Activities
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Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park

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Mütter Museum

Mütter Museum

8 Tours and Activities
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National Liberty Museum

National Liberty Museum

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30th Street Station

30th Street Station

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