It is a nice campus to visit, as far as such things go. It’s pretty accommodating of tours as well, but I can’t imagine that being much fun unless you are in the college application process already.
I can’t think of anything touristy I did when people visited me, other than the mandatory trip to the art museum, and, for the younger crowd, the Mutter medical museum. By younger I don’t necessarily mean children, YMMV. It does have deformed fetuses in formaldehyde and the like.
Beyond that there’s drinking and cheesesteaks, which are best found in the Italian market (which I think is the market you would be referring to) at either Pat’s or Gino’s, which are conveniently enough across the street from each other. Any local can guide you to 9th and Passayunk and these two “restaurants”. I would not recommend the Italian market as much of a scenic hotspot. If it didn’t have the best indoor range in Philly I’d never have gone. However, the best place to eat in the south philly area for me was definitely Anastasi’s for the seafood. There are more expensive seafood places, and certainly more scenic ones, but that was my usual choice.
(ULTIMATE VIRAL MARKETING ALERT!!!)My favorite restaurant of all time in Philly, and I had a lot, was Kabul, the finest in Afghan dining. I know that doesn’t sound good, but it’s like all of the best features of Indian and Thai food without the mouth searing hotness. Between its delicious, cheap food, and the BYOB policy (pretty common in philly), a night out there was reasonably priced and high quality. The chicken meatballs and saffron rice are unbelievable.
Another great BYOB place if you want something more conventional (eg italian food) is Porcini, but you definitely have to make reservations in advance as it is a pretty small joint.
I have plenty more restaurant recommendations, as I would often pair them up with a trip to the Ritz at the Bourse downtown, which always has a great selection of indie and foreign movies. But I suspect that’s not really what you’re going for, so I’ll stop.
Philly even has its own half-assed wannabe Greenwich Village, meaning South St. from around 14th to the river. If you like ghetto indie record stores and random street/building/person “art”, you will love South St. Once again, your mileage may vary, but I liked to walk around there at night and get a few beers. There’s usually a pretty strong police presence there making it surprisingly safe, but again I wouldn’t know what to do with kids.
I don’t know about beaches since I pretty much resigned myself to not going to the beach the whole 4 years I was there, so I’m sorry I can’t help you there. All of my information is as of almost four years ago, so I’m not positive this will be very useful to you. But it’s worth a shot, right?