Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jun 13 2007

Sites Throughout Historic Philadelphia Tell The Story Of The Nation's Founding

In Philadelphia, History Gets A Fun And Interactive Twist

The new Historic Philadelphia is home to many of the most significant historic sites in the country. From the original Independence Hall to the modern National Constitution Center, each place plays a pivotal role in telling the city’s—and the nation’s—story. Here is just a sampling of the don’t-miss attractions found in Historic Philadelphia:

American Originals:

  • While historians debate Betsy Ross’ role in making the first American flag, the Betsy Ross House offers an excellent portrayal of a working-class woman’s life in Colonial America. Visitors can tour the home of the nation’s best known seamstress and enjoy interactive programs and activities. 239 Arch Street, (215) 686-1252,
  • Built in 1770-71, Carpenters’ Hall acted as a guild hall for the Carpenters’ Company of Philadelphia. This companion piece to Independence Hall is an important showcase for design and construction methods of its time. Because the First Continental Congress met here in 1774, it also retains tremendous historical significance. 320 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-0167,
  • Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continually inhabited street in America, features quaint brick homes that offer a postcard-perfect peek into the residential life of Colonial Philadelphia. (215) 574-0560,
  • Franklin Square, one of the five public squares that William Penn laid out in his original plan for the city, has undergone a dramatic renovation. Managed by Once Upon A Nation, the park now boasts several new family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, an old-fashioned carousel, storytelling benches, a picnic area and more. Race Street between 6th & 7th Streets, (215) 629-4026,
  • Independence Hall, the birthplace of the United States of America, is one of only 20 World Heritage sites in the country. It is here that the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776; the Articles of Confederation, uniting the 13 colonies, were ratified in 1781; and the U.S. Constitution, outlining the nation’s basic laws, was adopted in 1787. 5th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 965-7676,
  • The Liberty Bell Center showcases the famous cracked Bell against the backdrop of independence and puts it in its historical context. Throughout the expansive, light-filled center, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images explore the facts and the myths surrounding the Bell. Market Street between 5th & 6th Streets, (215) 965-7676,
  • In addition to containing a who’s who of Revolutionary War-era portraits, the Second Bank of the United States is also a genuine architectural treasure—modeled after the Parthenon and the standard for many subsequent American bank buildings. 420 Chestnut Street, (215) 965-2305,

A Shared History:

  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia remains among the nation’s premier centers for African-American heritage. The museum’s collection includes thousands of objects, paintings, etchings, photographs, costumes, furnishings, sculptures, historic documents and books. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380,
  • It’s only four pages long, but the U.S. Constitution is among the most influential documents in the history of the world. The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center explores the Constitution through high-tech exhibits, artifacts and displays. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700,
  • Dramatic glass sculptures symbolize the fragility of freedom at the National Liberty Museum. Displays focus on the accomplishments of Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Jonas Salk, Mother Theresa and Jackie Robinson, among other famous figures. 321 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-2800,
  • Established in 1976, the National Museum of American Jewish History is the only museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to collecting, preserving and interpreting artifacts pertaining to the American Jewish experience. The Museum’s collection, of more than 10,000 artifacts explores more than 300 years of American Jewish life. In 2010, the museum will move into a brand-new home on Independence Mall. 55 N. 5th Street, (215) 923-3811,

Keepin’ the Faith:

  • Modeled after the work of famed English church architect Christopher Wren, Christ Church, an early 18th-century Anglican church, once counted George Washington, Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin among its worshippers. On July 5, 1776, the signers of the Declaration of Independence came here to pray. A few blocks away at 5th and Arch Street is Christ Church Burial Ground, where Benjamin Franklin and his wife are buried. Those passing buy often throw pennies on the grave for good luck. 2nd Street above Market Street, (215) 922-1695,
  • The Free Quaker Meeting House was established by those Quakers who were “read out” due to their involvement in the Revolution. Thirty to fifty men and women, including Betsy Ross, regularly attended this meeting. Today the descendents of the original Free Quakers conduct their annual meeting in the building. 500 Arch Street, (215) 965-2305,
  • Located on the oldest parcel of land under the continuous ownership of African Americans, Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church houses an underground museum with sacred artifacts, including Reverend Richard Allen’s original pulpit, personal belongings and crypt. Outside, an historical marker summarizes the church’s history. 419 Richard Allen Avenue, (215) 925-0616,

Getting Started:

  • The Independence Visitor Center is the gateway to Historic Philadelphia, the city and the region. Visitors can find attraction information, get tickets to popular attractions or take a snack break inside the impressive structure. 6th & Market Streets, (215) 965-7676,

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) builds the region’s economy and image through destination marketing to increase the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county region. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676.

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Related Releases

Dec 14 2017

Philadelphia’s Historic District Brings Outlander To Life

Storied Philly Blocks Reveal Historic Locations Used In Diana Gabaldon’s Popular Novels

What’s Philadelphia’s Historic District got to do with Outlander, author Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling eight-book (and-counting) series—now also a hit TV series on Starz—about a World War II British army nurse who travels through time to meet an 18th-century Scottish Highlander? Plenty. Protagonists Claire and Jamie Fraser are at the heart of Outlander’s heady romance and historic fantasy. In the book series’ last two editions—which are not yet televised—the Frasers bring that romance and fantasy to the heart of Philadelphia’s Historic District.

Revolutionary War-era Philadelphia sets the scene for Gabaldon’s most recent novels, An Echo in the Bone and

Nov 6 2017

Philadelphia’s Historic District Celebrates The Holiday Season

The Original City Gets Into The Spirit With HoliDays & Nights

This December, Philadelphia’s Historic District transforms into holiday central. The original city neighborhoods of Old City, Society Hill and the Delaware River Waterfront join forces for Philadelphia’s Historic District HoliDays & Nights, a celebration of the season. From November 30 through December 31, the merrymaking spans museums, restaurants and shops between the Delaware River and 7th Street and Vine and Lombard Streets. As part of the festivities, the Snowflake Shuttle powered by PHLASH will offer free rides throughout the District Thursday through Saturday evenings, 6-9 p.m. The best way to experience Historic District’s wintertime fun is with the

Oct 30 2017

An Essential Guide To Philadelphia For LGBT Visitors

Must-Dos Include Historic Sites, Popular Neighborhoods, Top Restaurants & Buzzed-About Bars

Philadelphia, the United States’ birthplace, is proud of the roles it has played—and plays still—in the founding, furtherance and celebration of the LGBT civil rights movement. The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection has more nationally significant historic markers than any other city in the nation, with two recent additions: the AIDS Library, formed as a resource during the peak period of the U.S. HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s, and a marker just outside the Pennsylvania Historical Society, home of the collection of John Fryer, a Temple University psychology professor who submitted testimony that aided in declassifying homosexuality as

Sep 5 2017

Philadelphia's Underground Railroad Sites Featured In New Brochure

From Mother Bethel A.M.E. To The Johnson House, New Guide Includes Vital Sites

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® has published a new guide for visitors and residents interested in exploring the Philadelphia region’s connections to the Underground Railroad. The six-panel brochure details historical attractions (the Liberty Bell Center, Mother Bethel A.M.E., Belmont Mansion, Johnson House, Fair Hill burial ground), historical markers (London Coffee House, Free African Society and homes of Cyrus Bustill, Frances E.W. Harper, Robert Purvis, William Still, William Whipper) and city and regional libraries, archives and tours. Visitor demand for this information inspired the piece’s creation.

“The Underground Railroad is an undeniably

Jun 28 2017

Survey Says: Most People Would LikeTo Enjoy A Meal & A Beer With Benjamin Franklin

2,000 People Responded To VISIT PHILADELPHIA Survey In Advance Of Fourth Of July

In advance of the Fourth of July, VISIT PHILADELPHIA® surveyed 2,000 people across the country to see which historical figure from Revolutionary-era America they’d most like to share a meal with and what they’d prefer to drink at this meal.

The results? Ben Franklin was the dinner companion of choice, and beer was the beverage of choice for most survey respondents. There was one notable surprise in the findings too. Despite his popularity on Broadway, Alexander Hamilton came in fourth place among the five historical figures.

Here’s a look at the survey results:

The Results:

Which historical figure

Jun 20 2017

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Philly In Top Three On Best Places To Visit In The USA List

City Also Lands On Best Historic Destinations List

U.S. News & World Report today released its Best Rankings, and Philadelphia ranked #2 on two key travel lists: Best Places to Visit in the USA and Best Historic Destinations in the USA—great timing as travelers prepare to make their summer travel plans. The rankings are based on an analysis of expert and consumer opinions.

The Best Places to Visit in the USA list features New York City, Philadelphia and Honolulu in the top three spots, while the Best Historic Destinations list includes New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco highest in its ranking.

“Everyone should have Philadelphia, New

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
Jun 16 2017

30 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions

Fact Sheet

* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2016. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.

Historical Sites & Attractions:
1. African American Museum in Philadelphia* – Founded in 1976, the museum 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

May 23 2017

Revolutionary Art Exhibit Debuts In Philadelphia's Historic District

Conrad Benner-Curated Exhibit Features 13 Works In Old City, Society Hill & Along Delaware River

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® today announced the launch of Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition, featuring 13 works of art that interpret the spirit of revolution at 13 locations in Philadelphia’s Historic District—an area of the city that runs from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. On view from May 25 through July 4, 2017, the exhibit, curated by founder and editor Conrad Benner, gives locals and visitors 13 more reasons to explore the city’s most iconic neighborhoods this summer.

“Philadelphia has always known a thing or two about revolutions,” said Meryl Levitz, president

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.