School history lessons come to life in Philly, and a visit leaves you with a better idea of how America came to be. But it's not all Founding Fathers and the birth of a nation - food markets, art museums, and a revered cheesesteak sandwich offer first-class diversions.
In summer, Icelandair offers regular cheap flights to Philadelphia from Europe and the UK.
Before you see where a new republic was born in 1776, how about visiting the place where Vikings established the first democratic parliament over a thousand years ago? When you book flights to Philadelphia with Icelandair you have the opportunity to add a stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.
America's 'most historic square mile' is the reason many come to Philly. The city played a pivotal role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the so-called 'Founding Fathers.' The Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were both signed inside the modest Independence Hall. Nearby is the iconic Liberty Bell (with its famous crack), which tolled at the first reading of the Declaration. There's no better place to get context around these hallowed places and events than at the superb new Museum of the American Revolution.
You can investigate more than just American history in Philly, too: there's a super collection of masterpieces by French sculptor Rodin, a world-class science museum with planetarium, and a very child-friendly place called the 'Please Touch Museum.'
Take the pulse of Philly's flavor-makers at the big and bountiful Reading Terminal Market, billed as America’s oldest farmers market - it dates back to 1893. This is a hive for everything local, artisanal and inventive. The best neighborhoods for eats and drinks are Old City and nearby Fishtown. As the name suggests, Old City overflows with history and there's a fair share of touristy places with costumed waiters. If that's your thing, look for City Tavern - it has pedigree from 1773.
And we hear you - what's all this fuss about the Philly cheesesteak? This is actually a hot sandwich that stars thinly sliced beef topped with melted cheese and fried onion. Try one in its natural habitat at Pat's King of Steaks, the 24-hour diner that invented the dish back in 1930.
From Philly, you're only an hour or two by train from some of the USA's big hitters (New York City, Washington DC), or you can feel the summery call of the Jersey Shore. If you fancy under-the-radar cities, check out Baltimore.
The classic excursion from Philly is to explore and understand more about the Amish and Mennonite communities that live in the so-called 'Pennsylvania Dutch' region of Lancaster County, about 70 miles west of Philadelphia. The pretty farmland area is dotted with small towns, where locals live a plain, unadorned lifestyle - check out horse-and-buggy transportation, simple crafts and handmade cooking. The irony is that this slower lifestyle is a tourist attraction! A car is handy for getting around the area, and for taking the back roads.