Dining, events, gentrification: Lonely Planet names Philly top travel spot in U.S.
Philadelphia's new World Heritage City designation, an “urban transformation” and affordability cited as the reasoning behind the city grabbing the top spot in Lonely Planet’s “Best in the U.S.” list.
Every year the popular travel guide publisher ranks the best places to visit in the country. Along with Philly getting the top spot in this year’s list, the publisher placed Natchez, Miss., Yellowstone National Park, Birmingham, Ala. and Alaska in their top five.
Lonely Planet calls Philly “NYC’s more neighborly neighbor” and mentions the Pope’s visit last year as well as the upcoming Democratic National Convention in July. City restaurants and breweries got a shout out as well.
Interestingly enough, the idea of “urban transformation” (i.e. gentrification), which the video says is happening in places like Fishtown and East Passyunk, tends to be contentious issue for Philadelphians. The gentrification of neighborhoods has led to many not being able to afford rent in the neighborhoods they’ve lived in for decades, while others say that neighborhood growth and rising property values are a good thing.
(AL DÍA recently wrote a story on this very topic. You can read it here.)
In a statement, Mayor Jim Kenney added the 200th anniversary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and major museum exhibits to the list of reasons why Philadelphia should be a travel destination this year.
“The ‘Lonely Planet’ article says that Philly has ‘swagger’ and ‘a confident sense of self,’ and that’s absolutely right,” Kenney said.