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May 23 2016

Fact Sheet: Historic Philadelphia Trail

The birthplace of the nation is rich in history—and plenty of it. Philadelphia's Historic District Trail guides visitors to 24 essential sites in the area, which spans from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. This is the original city. It boasts serious historical cred, but it’s also home to buzzed-about restaurants and beer gardens, owner-operated boutiques and pushing-the boundaries art galleries.

Here is the 24-stop essential guide, available at

  1. Visitors can head to the Independence Visitor Center to pick up their timed tickets to Independence Hall and get expert Philly tips. 6th & Market Streets, (800) 537-7676,
  2. The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation tells the stories of Hercules, Oney Judge and the other enslaved people who served George and Martha Washington. The open-air site is open until 10 p.m. 6th & Market Streets, (215) 965-2305,
  3. It doesn’t make a sound, but its message rings loud and clear: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” The inscription on the cracked but mighty Liberty Bell is one reason it became a symbol to abolitionists, suffragists and other freedom-seekers around the world. 6th & Market Streets, (215) 965-2305,
  4. Independence Hall is where it all happened. Where the upstart colonies declared independence and where representatives from a young nation framed its Constitution. Check out the original copy of the U.S. Constitution in the adjacent West Wing. 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 965-2305,
  5. It’s all about science, art and history, so it’s no surprise that the American Philosophical Society (APS) was another of Ben Franklin’s ideas. Exhibitions come from APS’s collection of nearly 14 million early American manuscripts, maps, Native American languages, scientific instruments and more. 104 S. 5th Street, (215) 440-3400,
  6. The National Museum of American Jewish History brings to life the 360-year history of Jews in America. Among the treasures in the free first-floor gallery are Einstein’s pipe and Spielberg’s first camera. 101 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 923-3811,
  7. Coming soon! In 2017, the Museum of the American Revolution opens with immersive galleries, dynamic theaters and recreated environments that bring to life the events, people and ideals of the founding of the United States. 3rd & Chestnut Streets, (215) 253-6731,
  8. Inventor. Statesman. Postmaster. Printer. The story of the life and accomplishments of America’s favorite Founding Father are revealed at Franklin Court, which includes a museum, printing office and post office that still marks mail with a “B. Free Franklin” hand-stamped postmark. 322 Market Street, (215) 965-2305,
  9. The Second Bank of the United States paints a picture of America’s roots. The walls are lined with portraits of the nation’s earliest movers and shakers. Just steps away is the First Bank, which although closed to the public, boasts a photo-worthy exterior. 420 Chestnut Street, (215) 965-2305,
  10. Spying. Upheaval. Revolution. Those feisty colonists fanned the flames of independence during the First Continental Congress at Carpenters’ Hall. 320 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-0167,
  11. Ahoy, matey. The Independence Seaport Museum is the place for boat-loving visitors. The Cruiser Olympia and World War II submarine Becuna are also part of the experience.
    Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, (215) 413-8655,
  12. Whatever the season, there’s always something fun going on at Penn’s Landing—situated along the Delaware River, where founder William Penn first arrived in Philadelphia. Think festivals, concerts, free movies, beer gardens, yoga, roller skating and ice skating. Columbus Boulevard between Chestnut & Spruce Streets, (215) 922-2386,
  13. Christ Church is nicknamed “America’s Church” for good reason. George Washington, Betsy Ross, Ben Franklin and John Adams worshipped here, and Reverend Absalom Jones was ordained here. Nearby is the who’s who burial ground of the Colonial era. Tossing a penny on Franklin’s grave is a favorite tradition. Church, 20 N. American Street; Burial Ground, 5th & Arch Streets, (215) 922-1695,
  14. It doesn’t get more charming than Elfreth’s Alley, America’s oldest continuously inhabited street, where visitors tiptoe along the cobblestones and explore the quaint museum. 124-126 Elfreth’s Alley, (215) 627-8680,
  15. What’s a Colonial widow to do when she has an upholstery shop to run, a family to raise, a (very tiny) household to run and a flag to sew for a new nation? The answers are at the Betsy Ross House. 239 Arch Street, (215) 629-4026,
  16. They were only four pages, but they changed the world. At the National Constitution Center, visitors can take the presidential oath of office, sign the U.S. Constitution and learn about the American way of government. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6600,
  17. Wheee! A carousel ride is just part of the fun at Franklin Square. Philly-themed mini-golf, playgrounds, a burger stand and lots of family-friendly events make this one of the liveliest of William Penn’s five original squares. 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026,
  18. At The African American Museum in Philadelphia, artwork and artifacts showcase African history and culture of the Diaspora. Octavius Cato, Richard Allen and other trailblazers tell their stories through modern-day video technology. 7th & Arch Streets, (215) 574-0380,
  19. Such a tiny house (by 21st-century standards) to hold such big ideas. Known as the Declaration House, the home of Jacob Graff hosted Thomas Jefferson as he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Hours are limited; information on tour times is available at the Independence Visitor Center. 7th & Market Streets, (215) 965-2305,
  20. Visitors can stroll on the world’s largest walkable Philadelphia map at the Philadelphia History Museum and then check out the exhibits that show how Philly got to be, well, Philly. 15 S. 7th Street, (215) 685-4830,
  21. History permeates the atmosphere at Washington Square, a former animal pasture and burial ground. Today it’s a peaceful and popular place for picnicking and playing. 6th & Walnut Streets, (215) 965-2305,
  22. Pay homage to A.M.E. Church founder and first bishop Richard Allen, who is buried at Mother Bethel. In the church museum, sacred artifacts trace the denomination’s roots from a small congregation to an international presence. 419 S. 6th Street, (215) 925-0616,
  23. Anyone who thinks our forefathers were stodgy should think again. Scandal erupted at the Physick House when the wife of Dr. Phillip Syng Physick, father of American surgery, left him. The Powel House was the scene of a splashy celebration honoring George and Martha’s big 20th wedding anniversary. Physick, 321 S. 4th Street, (215) 925-7866,; Powel, 44 S. 3rd Street, (215) 925-2251,
  24. At the National Liberty Museum, glass sculptures depict our fragile freedom. Explore stories of heroes who used their own liberty to expand freedom for all. 321 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-2800,

In spring 2016, Drexel University and VISIT PHILADELPHIA® launched a new campaign—Historic Philadelphia—to celebrate America’s most historic square mile in the country’s first World Heritage City, as designated by the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Focusing on the attractions and neighborhoods of Old City, Society Hill and the Delaware River Waterfront, the campaign celebrates Philadelphia’s incomparable place in early American history and the vibrant original city neighborhoods.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, visitors can engage with costumed history makers, hear stories of the real people of independence and take part in colonial reenactments. And every day of the year, they can tour, shop, dine and drink in the area just like the founding fathers and mothers once did. For more information about all there is to see and do in Historic Philadelphia, go to and

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Related Releases

Jan 19 2018

31 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions In 2017

Fact Sheet

Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2017. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk*.

Historical Sites & Attractions:
1. African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP)* – Founded in 1976, AAMP is the first institution in a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The core exhibit Audacious Freedom takes a fresh, bold look at African-Americans’ role in the founding of the nation; other exhibits and programs explore the history, present and future of the African diaspora in the U.S. 701 Arch Street, (215)

May 10 2017

What's In Old City And Along The Delaware River Waterfront?

Two Historic District Neighborhoods Offer Restaurants, Art Galleries, Nightlife, Shopping—And History

Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City, part of Philadelphia’s Historic District, boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.

Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries, boundary-pushing theaters and vibrant nightlife.

Jun 16 2016

Fact Sheet: 31 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions

* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2015. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.

Historical Sites & Attractions:

  1. The African American Museum in Philadelphia*, founded in 1976, is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The museum takes a fresh and bold look at the stories of African-Americans and their role in the founding of the nation through the core exhibit Audacious Freedom. Other exhibits and programs explore the history, stories and cultures of those of African
Mar 6 2018

Aspiring Citizens Get Study Help On Philadelphia's New Americans Trail

Candidates For Citizenship Boost Their Knowledge By Touring Philadelphia’s Historic District

Prepping for the U.S. citizenship test is no small task, but Philadelphia’s self-guided New Americans Tour makes learning easier—and a whole lot more fun. The city contains approximately half the answers to the 100-question citizenship test study. This means aspiring citizens and others students of U.S. history can gain the knowledge they seek simply by visiting Philly’s historic sites and attractions. Best place to start: Philadelphia’s Historic District, the original city—and a very pedestrian-friendly one at that. The trail is available at

Here’s a look at the 20 tour spots:

  1. The African American Museum in Philadelphia, exploring the
Jun 19 2017

A First-Timer's Guide To Philadelphia

Iconic Sites & Bites Give Visitors An Experience That’s Distinctly Philly

From its fascinating museums and vibrant parks to its national historic sites and famous (and delicious) food, Philadelphia offers plenty to see, do and taste. First-time visitors need to do some planning to fully experience what the City of Brotherly Love is all about. Here’s the ultimate guide for those who are new to the country’s first World Heritage City:

Historical Hotspots:

  • Independence Hall – While historical attractions abound in Philly, Independence Hall has particular significance to the development of the nation. In this building in 1776, the Founding Fathers came together to sign the Declaration of Independence. Eleven
May 3 2017

Philadelphia's Historic District Gears Up For A Revolutionary Summer

New Museum, New Hotel & New Concert Make The Original City A Must This Summer

The just-opened Museum of the American Revolution brings the United States’ war for independence into today’s consciousness, using rarely seen relics, the original George Washington Headquarters Tent, dozens of arms, uniforms, artifacts, documents and historical vignettes of ordinary Americans to tell the extraordinary story of the nation’s founding. But the new museum isn’t the only reason to visit Philadelphia’s Historic District this summer. The Historic District consists of the Old City, Society Hill and Delaware River Waterfront neighborhoods, extending from the Delaware River to 7th Street and Vine Street to Lombard Street.

The District’s summer lineup of must-do events

May 3 2017

VISIT PHILADELPHIA's Historic District Campaign Enters Year Two

Visitors Go Beyond The Bell & The Hall To Discover More History, More Fun

The recent opening of the Museum of the American Revolution, art-centric and community-minded programming and an integrated marketing campaign are the highlights of year two of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s efforts to promote Philadelphia’s Historic District, a vibrant neighborhood that attracts approximately four million visitors annually.

Philadelphia’s Historic District—the original city in the 17th and 18th century—extends from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. Home to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell new and long-established museums, historic houses and interactive storytelling benches, the District is also where America’s founding generation ate, drank,

May 1 2017

The Greater Philadelphia Region: Fast Facts


There are more than 4 million people residing in the five-county region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) and more than 1.5 million in Philadelphia, making it the second-largest city on the East Coast and the sixth-largest city in the country.


Philadelphia is a two-hour drive from New York City, two-and-a-half hours from Washington, DC and 45 minutes from Atlantic City, with convenient access to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-76, I-95 and the New Jersey Turnpike. One-quarter of the U.S. population lives within a five-hour drive of Center City Philadelphia.

The city is a 90-minute flight or a

Apr 24 2017

Philly Tours Explore History, Art, Food, Bridges & the Supernatural

Also Explore The Region By Foot, Trolley, Horse Or Smartphone

Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from an assortment of options to explore the region, including those of the air, automotive, audio, culinary, self-guided and water-based varieties. And the sightseeing fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Those who come out at night can join tours that feature behind-the-scenes action and, if so desired, spirits from beyond. Here’s a selection of tours available throughout the region:

History Lessons By Day & Night:

  • Bow Tie Tours – Learning about Philadelphia’s—and America’s—history through the true tales of real-life characters who walked the city’s streets is the secret to the success of