The mission of the Geographical Society of Philadelphia is to promote the discovery and appreciation of the many wonders of our world.

The Society supports world exploration and presents enlightening programs on travel, exploration, geography, science, history, and world cultures to our members and the public in the Philadelphia area.


Since 1891, the Society has supported significant expeditions:

  • 1902 Robert E. Peary’s discovery of the North Pole
  • 1910 Ernest Shackleton’s daring exploration of Antarctica
  • 2004 Tracy Szela’s scuba expedition in Antarctica to study cold-tolerant organisms
  • 2008 Todd Carmichael’s solo expedition to the South Pole
  • 2011 Diana Nyad’s quest to swim the Gulf Stream from Cuba to Florida


As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the Geographical Society depends on and appreciates your generous gifts which directly support world exploration grants, underwrite student geographical studies, and help fund our programs that bring the world to Philadelphia’s doorstep. You can choose from the many ways to give in support of our mission. Your gift to the Society is fully tax-deductible.

See the many ways in which you can support the Society.


Each year, the Society presents a series of travel-related films, illustrated talks, internationally themed feasts and exclusive events for Magellan Circle members. 2012 marks the Society’s second annual GEOfest, a citywide film and food festival. Mark your calendars or GEOfest November 13 and 14. Travel the world – no passport necessary!

Ready to delve into adventure? Meet like-minded travelers who share your passion for exploring the world. Check out our exciting programming offered throughout the year and create your own Explorer Series. If you select 3 or more programs you are granted membership to the Society along with many benefits.