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:
Philadelphia History Lessons By Day & Night
- The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia – Visitors get an up-close look at historical sites such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall during this 75-minute walking tour. It runs daily from April through November and meets at the National Constitution Center. Private/group tours are available year-round with reservations. 525 Arch Street, (215) 525-1776, theconstitutional.com
- History of Valley Forge Trolley Tour – This 90-minute guided trolley tour of Valley Forge National Historical Park highlights some of the key sites of the 1777-78 winter encampment. The tours take place year-round, including the December holidays (limited schedule until March). 1400 N. Outer Line Drive, Valley Forge, (610) 783-1074 nps.gov/vafo
- Horse-Drawn Carriages – Guides recount Historic Philadelphia’s past as visitors sit back in quaint horse-drawn carriages. Tickets are available at the Independence Visitor Center.
6th & Market Streets, (215) 923-8516, phillytour.com
- Historic Philadelphia Inc.’s Independence After Hours – This evening walking tour visits historic landmarks and meets Colonial characters. The experience begins with a three-course meal at City Tavern. The Colonial host then “sneaks” everyone into the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall), where Founding Fathers are discussing the Declaration of Independence. The tour runs select days, late May through October, and departs from the Independence Visitor Center. 6th & Market Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
- National Park Service Tours – Rangers lead themed walking tours around Independence National Historical Park. Tour times and starting locations vary by season and are available at the Independence Visitor Center. 6th & Market Streets, (800) 537-7676, nps.gov/inde
- New Americans Tour – Developed by VISIT PHILADELPHIA® in partnership with the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Affairs, the self-guided New Americans Tour celebrates the people, places, and events shaped America. visitphilly.com/newamericans
- Historic Philadelphia, Inc.’s Tippler’s Tour – From May through December, the over-21 set can sing along to 18th-century drinking songs, enjoy stories of Colonial times' drinking traditions, and sample a few drinks and snacks as they ramble through Historic Philadelphia with a Colonial guide. Tipplers stop at local watering holes such as National Mechanics, City Tavern, and Victoria Freehouse. Along the way, they learn important information, such as Benjamin Franklin’s names for a drunk person (“nimptopsical” and “tipsicum grave”). Independence Visitor Center, 6th & Market Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
- Twilight Tours – From mid-June through Labor Day, free guided walking tours show off Independence National Historical Park every evening starting at 6 p.m. Groups meet at the Park Ranger Desk at the Independence Visitor Center. 6th & Market Streets, (215) 597-7919, friendsofindependence.org
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