No matter where you go, every major destination is always chockfull of popular sites to visit. Whether they’re major tourist attractions or just staple local hangouts, these are places that have gained notoriety for a good reason. But sometimes, whether you’re a visitor or a resident, you want something a little…different. Something a little more off the beaten path, so to speak. With that in mind, we gathered three of our favorite unusual places to visit in Philadelphia, ones that you won’t necessarily see in any run-of-the-mill guidebooks.
Laurel Hill Cemetery
As one of the city’s most historic burial sites—it dates all the way back to 1836—not only is this place full of elaborate marble headstones that make a trip here worth the visit on their own, but there are actually regular events held that make it a spot worth returning to repeatedly. Their “Hot Spots and Storied Plots,” for example, leads visitors along a tour of the cemetery and details its storied history. Laurel Hill Cemetery is the perfect retreat for any history buff.
The Moon Tree
Just south of the famed Liberty Bell site, you’ll find Philly’s Washington Square Park, where you’ll find the Moon Tree. Originally the site of a tree sprung from sycamore seeds that traveled with astronauts to orbit the planet, the first Moon Tree sadly did not survive for very long. However, the thriving tree you’ll see now was grown from clippings from that first attempt. It’s also worth noting that, aside from the Moon Tree, this park is historically significant for other reasons, including serving as a burial site throughout the years for paupers and victims of the late 18th-century Yellow Fever epidemic.
Once upon a time, this pier along the Delaware River was used for loading coal to transport out of the city. It officially closed in 1991, at which time local graffiti artists descended upon it, transforming the remaining cement pillars into a gallery of sorts, adorned with some of the greatest street art Philadelphia has to offer. You should know, however, that Graffiti Pier is still private property, so you can’t get up close without trespassing…yet. It is being transformed into a public park, but until that project is complete, you’ll have to admire views of it from the river or even the nearby road.
So if you’re a fan of straying away from the norm, you’ll definitely want to check out these unusual places to visit in Philadelphia.
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