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Philadelphia Night Skyline” by Chris Hunkeler.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Explore offbeat Philly instead of the convention tourist trap

Joe Polastre
Jul 25, 2016 · 5 min read

I asked friends from Philadelphia: “If Hillary and Bill were on vacation, where are they least likely to go?”

Their answer: Philadelphia.

Grab your Tastykakes, a Yuengling, and a cheesesteak wiz wit. Here’s the real Philadelphia. Don’t expect Hillary Clinton to make an appearance at any of these. But if you drop in on Philly — and you should — put these on your list.

Trailblaze along the Manayunk Canal

This was once the way ships would be guided along the Manayunk Canal and up the Schuylkill River. The Manayunk Towpath is lined with ruins of old locks, mills, and a sluice house. Today, they’re overgrown with vines and graffiti, but just imagine what they looked like a century ago.

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Graffiti Pier” by Coneflower Ranch

Walk the Graffiti Pier

Despite Hillary saying that “manufacturing is coming back,” it’s unlikely she’ll drop by these abandoned shipping yards. Located in the former Port Richmond Yards, Graffiti Pier is one of two piers that delivered coal to waiting ships. In the 1920’s, this was one of the largest tidewater terminals in the world. Now it is just two concrete piers, holding up the tracks where trains used to run. Decommissioned by Conrail in 1991, it is an abandoned canvas for artists, writers, and urban art aficionados.

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Eastern State Penitentiary” by Rob Zand.

Get spooked at Eastern State Penitentiary

Lots of Republicans argue that “Crooked Hillary” should be here. No PR person is going to let her within a mile of this place for a photo op.

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Phanatic doing his thing” by Garen Meguerian

Hug the Phanatic

The Phillie Phanatic is undoubtably the best mascot in all of sports. Of course, a Phillies game is the best place to see him, but the Phils are away during the convention. The Phanatic is always roaming about, thanks to Phanatic statues at Citizens Bank Park and Independence Visitors Center.

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Cedar Park” by Jacques-Jean Tiziou.

Listen to live jazz in Cedar Park

Face it, Hillary will be on the first private jet out of PHL on Thursday after her acceptance speech. No way she’ll stick around ’til Friday, when there’s live jazz every week in Cedar Park.

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Downtown Scranton” by Brad Clinesmith.

Visit my parents in Scranton

The fictional home of The Office really exists! And it is as bad as you think. Hillary’s parents were from Scranton. My parents live near Scranton. Fightin’ Vice President Biden is from Scranton. And he says, “Things may be bad where you live, but I guarantee you it is a paradise compared to the burning coal heap that is Scranton, Pennsylvania.” Oh wait, I’m thinking of an SNL skit.

Nothing to declare

What you’ll find when you step off the beaten path.

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