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City Focus:Philadelphia   by Kitty Cayo

Last year, two million people visited Center City's Independence National Historic Park,the most since its founding in 1776, and by August of 2005,2004 numbers were already exceeded. But don't be discouraged by crowds. Like the rest of the city, the park is well-managed and knows how to cater to group. Liberty Bell

The National Constitution Center is a recent park addition.A journey through modern complex begins with multi-media production in the theatre- in-the-round. "We The People" a stirring 17-minute production that sets the mood for the museum. Interactive exhibits manage to the document as a "work in progress," and convey its significance to all Americans.

Philadelphia's "Center City" - America's Birthplace

found on the perimeter of Independence Mall. "Ride the Ducks" takes groups on a lighthearted, narrated tour of Philly's neighborhoods on an amphibious bus. The highlight of the excursion is a plunge into the Delaware River for a cruise past Penn's Landing.

Old City

"Old City" is Philadelphia's first commercial district. The colonial home of Betsy Ross makes an interesting stop here.It's a typical residence of a working-class colonial family.Visitors are surprised to learn all the details of Ross's life.Stories naming Ross as the first seamstress of the American flag are questionable.

The Vibrant Arts and Cultural Scene

There aren't many cities claiming an art scene as rich and lively as Philadelphia's. The collections housed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art are nothing short of stunning. Clusters of galleries and showrooms are found in several locales throughout the city.There's the Rittenhouse Row District, Washington Square and the Old City Arts Association. In fact, the city itself is one big canvas, boasting one of the largest concentrations of outdoor art in the country.

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