Philly Ranks Second Best In U.S. Vacation Destinations | Philly Views
June 21, 2017

Philly Ranks Second Best In U.S. Vacation Destinations

Written by Dan Leer

Philadelphia just earned the coveted title of the second best place to visit in the United States, according to a ranking by U.S. News & World Report released this week.

Our city placed behind only New York City, and surprisingly beat out popular vacation destinations like Honolulu, San Francisco, and the Grand Canyon.

Close to home, we know Philly is a good place live, but usually it falls off the radar of these tourist hot spot rankings.

So, why Philly this time?

U.S. News & World Report compiled the list via a combination of user scores and editor scores. Editor scores were based on 0 to 5 ratings on categories like: sights, culture, food, nightlife, romance, and getting around.

Philly managed to get a high enough rating in each category that when averaged together it ranked as the second best city in the USA.

In other words, Philly was middle of the road for most categories, better than average in a few categories, but not terrible in any category.

Philly doesn’t have incredible weather or luxurious beaches, but here are some of the things that make it such an attractive place to visit.


In another list by U.S. News & World Report, Philly ranks second in best historic destinations in the U.S. The city’s rich history provides much to see and explore for tourists, like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Again, Philly ranked behind New York in this category.


Philadelphia’s culinary scene is growing and it even earned the city a spot on the Best Foodie Destinations in USA list. U.S. News credits places like Italian restaurant Ristorante Pesto, Reading Terminal Market, and of course, the city’s famous soft pretzels and Philly cheesesteaks.

Things to Do

Philly is not short on things to do, U.S. News & World Report suggests. The site lists Independence Hall, Liberty Bell Center, the Franklin Institute, the Museum of Art, Reading Terminal Market, the Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia Zoo, National Museum of American Jewish History, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Mutter Museum, and Rittenhouse Square, to name a few.

Getting Around

Philadelphia’s walkable neighborhoods are another plus for tourists. Attractive sights and businesses are often clustered near each other. On South Street you can see the famous Magic Gardens and then get a cheesesteak from Jim’s down the road. In Old City, you can see the Liberty Bell and then tour Independence Hall.

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Philly’s nightlife is focused certain neighborhoods, making it easy to walk bar-to-bar. Neighborhoods like Center City, South Philly, University City, Old City, and Fishtown are all home to many bars and are great places to go for a night out.


Philly is a great place for arts and culture. The city is covered in public art in an attempt to create a ‘museum without walls.’ The Avenue of the Arts or the Philadelphia Museum of Art are great places for tourists to feed their curiosity.

Philly does not have the must-see tourist attractions, famous photo-op locations, or world-renowned restaurants that typical tourist hubs have. But vacationers in Philly will have plenty of streets to walk, art to see, food to eat, and history to learn, and these are the reasons U.S. News & World Report gave Philly the second best place to visit in America.

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