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From handmade dumplings in Chinatown, to upscale shopping in Rittenhouse Square, to the halls of history and culture housed on Museum Mile, Philadelphia has something to satisfy every appetite. Along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway sits the Rodin Museum — home to the largest collection of French sculptor Auguste Rodin's work outside of Paris — as well as the new Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Art Museum. Meeting attendees can travel back in time through the plethora of historical sites the city has to offer. Wander through Rittenhouse Square, a 17th-century, European-style plaza that is one of the five original open-space parks planned by William Penn. Or explore the vibrant Reading Terminal Market, a farmers market offering a wide variety of regional and international delicacies. Established in 1892, Reading Terminal Market was later incorporated into the design of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. With must-see sites so close to meeting space, Philadelphia makes doing business a pleasure.
Out of the Woodwork
Attendees take in a creative exhibit at the 2012 Philadelphia Flower Show.
For more information: discoverphl.com
With a laid-back, bohemian atmosphere, South Street is a great place to escape to. On the run? Pick up a cheesesteak at Jim's. In the mood for a more leisurely meal? Stop for brunch at Bridget Foy's. South Street offers a wide range of culinary delights. Along the strip are 60 eateries, cafés, and bars, and more than 300 shops. South Street provides a cultural sampling of Philadelphia, showcasing its diversity through unique, locally owned establishments. Catch a musical performance at the Theatre of Living Arts, or explore The Chef's Market for local specialties — day or night, there's always something happening.
March 2–10, 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show
theflowershow.com As the largest indoor flower show in the world — attracting more than 250,000 attendees annually — the Philadelphia Flower Show brings a botanical wonderland to the Pennsylvania Convention Center every March. Produced by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the weeklong exhibition centers on a new theme each year and showcases botanical brilliance from around the world. This year's event is dedicated to the natural beauty and creative ingenuity of Great Britain.
Sidebar: 1 Pennsylvania Convention Center paconvention.com
Conveniently located on bustling North Broad Street, the Pennsylvania Convention Center sits near hundreds of shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions, and more than 9,000 hotel rooms. The center — expanded in 2011 — includes two meeting rooms, the soaring 34,960-square-foot Grand Hall, and two ballrooms totaling 87,408 square feet. The new addition received LEED Gold certification for New Construction, helping make every conference the center hosts as eco-conscious as possible.
Sidebar: 2 The Barnes Foundation barnesfoundation.org
With its innovative, distinct design, it's hard to miss this new addition to the Philadelphia cultural scene. The Barnes Foundation's Philadelphia campus is home to world-class art, including works by Matisse and Cezanne, as well as to the elegant sit-down Garden Restaurant. Currently, the foundation's exhibit highlights the story of Albert C. Barnes and the history of his vast collection. Visitors can take a docent-guided tour or explore the avant-garde on their own.
Sidebar: 3 Water Works Restaurant and Lounge
With breathtaking, open-air spaces such as the riverside veranda, outdoor pavilion, and elegant breezeway, the Water Works Restaurant and Lounge provides the ideal dining experience. Overlooking the Schuylkill River, Water Works serves everything from grilled octopus and Scottish salmon to a unique lobster BLT. Perfect for elegant private parties, Water Works has hosted everyone from Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to actor Sylvester Stallone.
Sidebar: 4 Hotel Monaco Philadelphia
This 268-room boutique hotel offers more than just a place to stay — such as 13,000 square feet of private meeting space, including the 3,327-square-foot Lafayette Ballroom. At the Hotel Monaco, just steps away from Independence Hall, delegates can enjoy comfort food at the Red Owl Tavern or a specialty cocktail at the Stratus Rooftop Bar & Lounge, overlooking the Liberty Bell Center.
Sidebar: 5 The African American Museum in Philadelphia aampmuseum.org
Founded in 1976, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first museum of its kind to be funded and built by a major municipality. The institution's exhibits are dedicated to preserving the heritage and history of African Americans. This month, the museum is featuring the exhibit “Come See About Me,” highlighting the tumultuous and inspiring journey of legendary Motown singing group the Supremes.