National Geographic names Philly one of top 25 places to visit in 2020

Tim Jimenez
November 19, 2019 - 12:35 pm

Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio, file


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — What do the Kalahari Desert, the temples of Abu Simbel, Egypt, and the City of Brotherly Love have in common? Usually nothing, but on Tuesday, they all made National Geographic’s list of the best trips to take in 2020.

Philadelphia is one of the 25 best places to visit in 2020, according to the magazine. 

"This gives us yet another calling card to tell people that if you haven't been to Philadelphia, you are missing a best trip of your life," said Jeff Guaracino, president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia, the city's tourism marketing agency. 

Fifteen years ago, National Geographic Traveler called Philadelphia the "Next Great City," and Guaracino said they were able to build off that. He's hoping for the same this time around. 

"Telling readers around the world that they should not miss Philadelphia in 2020 sends a huge statement," he added. "You'll see the diversity of our city. The pictures that they captured of our neighborhoods and our diversity of ethnicity in our city, which is fueling the restaurants and fueling our culture and fueling our streets and really creating that really special magic."


National Geographic said there’s a lot of “glimmer” in Philly, from its “vibrant murals and glinting metalworks, multihued mosaics and kaleidoscopic light installations, art collectives in garages, and a traditionally Italian neighborhood famous for cheesesteaks now sprouting vegan-punk-metal coffeehouses.”

Of course, no piece about Philly is complete without a mention of the city’s famous sandwich. 

"A cheesesteak always makes it into the articles, and I like cheesesteaks too," Guaracino chuckled.

Visit Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau worked together and hosted a National Geographic travel writer and photographer at a conference earlier this year.

Of all the different aspects of the city highlighted in the piece, Guaracino said he was pleasantly surprised to see weddings in LOVE Park mentioned. 

"We drive by LOVE Park all the time and I think we can never underestimate the power of love," he said. "Just how many people know that iconic sign and really do create memories here." 

The list is broken down into four categories: culture, city, nature and adventure. Philadelphia made the city section. The Grand Canyon is the only other U.S. destination on the list.