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With NY closer than 100 miles and Washington, DC, due shortly south, Philadelphia often gets knocked down the list. But in many ways, the City of Brotherly Love can be as satisfying as its bigger neighbors, with its own traditions, oversized food, music and art scenes. And because the city's oldest buildings are so well preserved, America's early history and its role in building democracy is often more accessible here. Also, it's a beautiful place that's easy to explore, its streets dotted with gracious squares and linked with lovely old alleys. In its early years, Philadelphia was the second-largest city in the British Empire, after London. But from the start of the Revolutionary War until 1790 (when Washington, DC, was founded), it was the new country's capital.