Philadelphia, PA - If you're planning a trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you'll want to learn about the city's rich history. Philadelphia is home to Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Liberty Bell, and other important American Revolutionary sites. Philadelphia is also home to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, not outdone. You can visit the iconic steps made famous by Sylvester Stallone in the movie "Rocky."
What are Some of Philadelphia's Best Historic Sites
Independence National Historical Park
When you visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it is not complete without visiting Independence National Historical Park. This federally protected historic district is home to several sites associated with the American Revolution and the nation's founding history. For a truly immersive experience, visit the park's museums. You'll find more than just Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Explore several other sites within the park as well.
You'll learn about creating the nation's first constitution at Independence Hall, between 2nd and 6th streets. In addition to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, check out the National Constitution Center and the Second Bank of the United States, both housed within the park's borders. You'll also find Benjamin Franklin's house in the park and other buildings that date back to the Revolutionary War.
Betsy Ross' house
The Betsy Ross House is one of Philadelphia's historic sites. The house was once the home of the famous seamstress and flag maker Betsy Ross, credited with making the first American flag. Today, you can explore the place and learn about the history of the building. And if you're a fan of history, you'll also be able to see the original flag stitched by Betsy herself.
While visiting Betsy Ross' house, visit the museum, which is also home to her famous embroidery designs. The exhibit explores the misconceptions and truths about Betsy and her life. The McLean Foundation supports the exhibit, and it is free to visit. While you're there, you should also visit the Betsy Ross Shop. You can purchase souvenirs at the store.
Visit the Carpenters' Hall, an 18th-century building designed by Robert Smith. The building features a brick facade and a striking Flemish bond pattern, which resembles a checkerboard. This unique brickwork is common throughout Philadelphia. The exterior of Carpenters' Hall is decorated with various early carpentry tools. You can see some of the historical tools used during the building's construction. The building has a replica chair where Peyton Randolph once sat during the First Continental Congress.
While you're in the city, visit Carpenters' Hall, which was once home to the United States Custom House and Bank of Pennsylvania. In 1791, the Carpenters' Hall served as the nation's first bank and was the headquarters for the First Bank of the United States. The building was also used by the Franklin Institute, the Society of Friends, and the United States Law Office. The Carpenters' Hall was also used by the Secretary of War Knox, who relocated his staff after the Battle of Philadelphia.
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Visiting Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia is an eerie and poignant experience. Here you'll find the graves of Philadelphia's most prominent citizens. The rural, historic cemetery was founded in 1836 and is considered one of the largest cemeteries in the United States after Mount Auburn Cemetery in Boston, Massachusetts. You can learn about life and death at this Philadelphia burial ground and explore the historic garden that surrounds the gravesite.
In 1831, the city's population grew by 133%, from eight thousand to more than eighty thousand. Many urban churchyards became overcrowded and neglected due to the pressure of development. The Friends' Burial Ground, which had been in use since 1701, was crowded with nearly 20,000 bodies, occupying half a city block. After constructing the adjoining meeting house, the cemetery's founder, John Jay Smith, could not find his daughter's grave.
Benjamin Franklin Museum
If you're interested in the history of America's first president, then the Benjamin Franklin Museum is a must-see. The museum's interactive exhibits allow visitors to learn about the many aspects of Franklin's life. Visitors can explore his inventions, including a glass harmonica consisting of graduated glass bowls on a rotating shaft that produces tones when a finger is pressed against its moistened rims. The museum also features a room with audiovisual presentations to make their visit more engaging.
The Benjamin Franklin Museum is located in the heart of Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park and adjacent to the vanished Franklin house and print shop. It is free to visit the museum for fourth graders with a valid Every Kid Outdoors pass, and up to three adults are admitted for free. Otherwise, admission is $4, or $2 for those under 18, and requires a purchase on the day of your visit. You cannot use your America the Beautiful Annual Pass for admission to the museum. Senior and Access Passes are not accepted at the museum.
Located in the center of Philadelphia, Independence Hall is easily accessible by bus or car. Many historic buildings from Philadelphia's colonial past are also nearby. It is also a good idea to book tickets in advance. If you plan to go during the low season, or if you plan to visit the National Park on holiday, you can skip the ticket line altogether. Otherwise, you'll have to stand in a long queue in the morning or late afternoon.
Independence Hall was originally the Pennsylvania State House and was the most significant public building in the thirteen colonies. Construction began in 1732 and was completed 21 years after the Pennsylvania Provincial government funded it piecemeal. It was overseen by Andrew Hamilton, who worked hard to ensure the building's completion. His efforts paid off when he successfully defended the American patriot Peter Zenger in New York, earning him renown throughout the colonial world.