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When it comes to visiting Philadelphia, some of the best things to see and do are free—or close to it. For families and budget-conscious travelers eager to explore the region, that’s great news. Check out the city’s many low-cost or no-cost attractions, including historic Independence Hall, student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, the high-tech production line of Herr’s Potato Chip Factory and the always-colorful Mummers Museum.
- Snuggled behind the east wing of Independence Hall is Philosophical Hall, a brick building erected in the late 1780s that was the nation’s first museum, national library and academy
With its cobblestone streets and original 18th- and 19th-century buildings that line the streets from the Delaware River to 7th Street and Walnut to Lombard Streets, Philadelphia’s quaint Society Hill neighborhood remains as picture-perfect today as it was hundreds of years ago. Its proximity to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Independence Visitor Center make it hard for visitors and locals to resist the appeal of walking the same streets the nation’s founders once strolled.
Following an era when the neighborhood was home to a number of luminaries—Samuel Powel, the first mayor of the...
Since Philadelphia’s earliest days, African-American culture has played an influential role in shaping the city’s personality. This February, Philadelphia celebrates that heritage and Black History Month with special events, exhibitions, film screenings and other activities. Visitors can join members of the esteemed Tiberino family of artists on guided tours of The Unflinching Eye: Works of the Tiberino Family Circle at The African American Museum in Philadelphia, catch the Tony Award®-winning classic Porgy and Bess at the Academy of Music or explore the path to Civil Rights at the National Constitution Center.
Here are some highlights of Philadelphia’s Black...
When the new Benjamin Franklin Museum opens in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 24, visitors can delve into all aspects of Franklin’s life, from his role as statesman and diplomat to his life as a private citizen, inventor, philosopher and more. Built next to the site where Franklin actually lived in the mid 1700s, the underground museum was originally built for the 1976 Bicentennial celebration. Now, after undergoing a major transformation, the revitalized site will feature personal artifacts, computer animations and interactive displays. It is the only museum in the world dedicated to the life, times and legacy of this extraordinary...
This is an Independence National Historical Park press release.
The Benjamin Franklin Museum in Independence National Historical Park is re-opening to the public after a two year renovation project. Visitors are invited to Museum Preview Days, August 24 through September 19. The Grand Opening for the museum will be September 20, following a reception on September 19 organized by the Friends of Independence National Historical Park.
Dedicated to the life, times and legacy of Benjamin Franklin, the revitalized features personal artifacts, computer animations and interactive displays exploring Franklin’s life and character. Visitors of all ages will be able to immerse...
This is an Independence National Historical Park fact sheet.
With 9,500 square feet of exhibit space, the Benjamin Franklin Museum includes:
- 45 historical artifacts, mostly 18th-century (with a few 19th & early-20th-century exceptions)
- Oldest artifact: Mastodon tooth fossil – Fossilized stone / Independence National Historical Park / This tooth, found at Franklin Court in 1959, likely was among a group of fossils sent to Franklin in London in 1767. Franklin found the fossils “extremely curious.” Discovered near the Ohio River, they came from a mastodon, an ancient, elephant-like creature.
- Largest artifact: Sedan
This is an Independence National Historical Park fact sheet.
- In 1706 Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, and would be one of 17 children fathered by his father Josiah Franklin.
- Circa 1717, at the age of 14 Franklin created his first invention, swim flippers!
- In 1718, at the age of 12, Benjamin Franklin was apprenticed to his brother James to work in James’ printing house.
- In 1722, at the age of 16, Benjamin Franklin’s “Silence Doogood” letters were published in his brother’s newspaper, Boston’s New England Courant.
- In 1723 Benjamin Franklin arrived in Philadelphia, a 17 year old runaway apprentice
LOCATION: Historic District, Center City and University City
TRANSPORTATION: By foot in Historic District, by taxi or Septa for locations beyond
TIME: Three days, two nights
SUMMARY: Featured on visitphilly.com/itineraries, this exploration beckons visitors to follow Benjamin Franklin through the streets of his adopted city, where he invented many institutions and products still in use today and where later generations have created many attractions that honor his legacy. The itinerary starts at the newly renovated Benjamin Franklin Museum, full of Franklin’s possessions, inventions and interactive games to help visitors better understand one of history’s most prolific men.
Benjamin Franklin’s presence is everywhere in Philadelphia. Here’s a look at some of the many places visited by, founded by and for, inspired by or named for the city’s most famous citizen, including the new Benjamin Franklin Museum, a National Park Service site that honors the Founding Father’s life and legacy.
Founded To Honor Franklin:
- Benjamin Franklin Museum – The life of Benjamin Franklin will once again hold court in Franklin Court, where the underground museum reopens in August 2013 after a two-year renovation. The revamped museum features artifacts and interactive exhibitions that chronicle the inventor’s life as a
Philadelphia, PA 19106
CAREER OBJECTIVE: Secure a challenging position or positions in which I can apply my collaboration, mediation and relationship-building skills to create a better world
- Completed two years of elementary education
- Participated in self-education program, reading the works of Plutarch, Daniel Defoe and Cotton Mather, among others (lifetime activity)
- Awarded honorary degrees from Harvard and Yale (1753)
- Awarded honorary Master of Arts degree from William and Mary College (1756)
- Awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland (1759)
- Awarded honorary doctorate degree from Oxford University, England
Inspired by the new Benjamin Franklin Museum, opening on Saturday, August 24, 2013, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) polled their Philly Friends opinion panel about the city’s favorite Founding Father.
Question 1: What is Ben Franklin's most admirable trait? (sample size: 112)
- His Inventiveness, 40.2%
- His Love of Beer, 17.9%
- His Wit, 17.0%
- His Diplomatic Skills, 14.3%
- His Clever Writing, 9.8%
- His Fashion Sense, 0.9%
Question 2: Of all of Ben Franklin's inventions, which is your favorite? (sample size: 112)
- Bifocals, 42.0%
- Lightning Rod, 19.6%
- Long Arm (used for reaching things on high shelves), 10.7%
- Franklin Stove (furnace
This summer marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and Philadelphia—a major arsenal, shipbuilding and hospital center during the Civil War and home to Gettysburg general George G. Meade—is marking the anniversary with special events and exhibitions at historical sites and attractions throughout the region:
- Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library – The Gettysburg Trial of the Philadelphia Brigade presentation brings historian David Trout to remember the Philadelphia Brigade, which suffered a casualty rate of 64% over the course of the war, and recount its tribulations during the Battle of Gettysburg. July 20,
While Philadelphia offers a variety of authentic and top-notch attractions, exploring this vibrant city takes some planning—especially for first-time visitors. With so much to see, do and taste, it’s challenging for a novice to know where to begin. From the historic Liberty Bell to the deliciously indulgent cheesesteak, here’s a look at Philly 101:
- 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 years later, representatives from a dozen
Spanish-speaking visitors to Philadelphia can feel truly welcomed at many of the region’s tourist attractions, thanks to a wealth of bilingual docents, translated audio guides and multi-lingual written materials. Each year, more than one million domestic visitors to Greater Philadelphia are of Hispanic origin. Because of this influx, the region’s historical and cultural highlights are busy making accommodations so that their Spanish-speaking guests don’t have to miss out on a thing.
- The best place to launch a visit to Philadelphia is at the Independence Visitor Center (IVC), where multilingual concierge staff can assist with all of a
- Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2013. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.
Historical Sites & Attractions:
- While exploring the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial, visitors can enjoy exhibitions that display artifacts from the ship’s past and play an interactive role as they follow the tour route. America’s most decorated battleship also hosts special events and overnight encampments. 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ, (866) 877-6262, battleshipnewjersey.org
- While historians debate Betsy Ross’ role in making the first American flag, the Betsy Ross House offers an excellent portrayal of a
Philadelphia is brimming with historical riches, and the sites and attractions that show off the city’s historic side are constantly evolving to create richer experiences for modern-day visitors. This year brings upgrades, expansions and exhibitions designed to shine a new light on Philadelphia’s well-established historical attractions.
Renovated & Renewed:
- The Pearl S. Buck Museum reopens after the completion of its eight-year interior restoration project on June 26, which would have been the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s 121st birthday. Tours of the national historic landmark home feature increased access to collections, including clothes that she wore, tableware and linens that
For those visitors who like to stray off the beaten path, Philadelphia is bursting with attractions that pay homage to the unusual. The region boasts a slew of delightfully quirky spots, including a bench that seems to contradict the laws of sound, the country’s largest bug museum, an anatomical model made of a human nervous system and more. Here’s a look at some of the Philadelphia-area attractions that make the region just a little delightfully weird:
Collections Of A Natural Kind:
- There’s an unsettling site at the entrance to the bookstore at Drexel University College of Medicine’s East Falls
A long list of sacred places, thanks to their history, architecture or emotional resonance, help make Philadelphia and The Countryside® an awe-inspiring place to visit. Around the region, new sites rise next to centuries-old houses of worship. Together, they provide physical testaments to the indomitable spirit of people who made great sacrifices for the liberty to worship as they please. Here’s a look at some of the region’s old and new sacred sites:
- Hundreds of thousands of visitors travel each year to pay their respects at The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Guests are invited
Anglophiles rejoice: Brilliant!: The 2013 PHS Flower Show will be on view at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from March 2-10, 2013, and the best of Britain doesn’t end with the show’s exquisite themed garden displays, on view for two full weekends for the first time ever. English culture remains alive and well across the Philadelphia region, with historic sites, top-notch museum collections, pubs, tearooms, theaters and sporting events. This season makes the perfect time to explore Philly’s British treasures, and the following are just a few places to start:
Ace Sights: History & Art:
- Independence National Historical Park –
LOCATION: Center City, Philadelphia; South Philadelphia; and the suburbs
TRANSPORTATION: By foot in Center City; by taxi, Septa or car for locations beyond
TIME: An overnight
SUMMARY: Featured on visitphilly.com/itineraries, this jaunt takes visitors to many of the spots featured and mentioned in Philadelphia native Bradley Cooper’s hit film, Silver Linings Playbook. (These sites are bolded throughout the itinerary.)
12:00 noon – Ballroom at the Ben doesn’t appear in the Silver Linings Playbook until Pat’s and Tiffany’s dramatic dance competition scene at the end of the movie, but you can start your trip to Philadelphia with