Duration: Two days and two nights
Reading about our nation’s quest for independence in a history book is one thing, experiencing it first hand is something else altogether. After all, as they say, experience is the best teacher and this is one experience that will leave an impression on you unlike any other. Here, you will retrace the footprints of the brave, idealistic men and women whose vision of an independent nation was transformed into reality. You’ll stand in the very room where our Declaration of Independence was so eloquently crafted. Breathe it in, this is where our nation was born.
This is where it all happened. Men like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock walked these very streets as they contemplated their next steps on the path to independence. Begin your day with a visit to the Independence Visitor’s Center where you’ll find a wealth of helpful information about the people and events that led to the birth of our nation. Then, tour the National Constitution Center where these historical events are vividly brought to life. Now, take a leisurely stroll back across the Mall to the Liberty Bell pavilion for a great photo opportunity and then across the street to Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was written.
By now, you’re probably getting a little hungry. Well, you’re in luck because you’re only a few blocks away from some great places to grab lunch, do a little shopping and check out the local art scene as Old City is an easy 10-minute walk from Independence Mall. Or, if you prefer, ride in a horse drawn carriage where you’ll receive a quick—and usually quirky—history lesson from your carriage driver. In this part of the city, you’ll find the nations first post office started by Benjamin Franklin and the house where Betsy Ross stitched the very first flag of the United States. After lunch, hit the streets for some great shopping deals and be sure to check out one of the many art galleries in the district.
A great way to finish off your first day is by getting lost in the world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art. Before going in, however, you must have your picture made with Philly’s favorite son, Rocky Balboa, whose larger-than-life bronze likeness can be found just a few feet to the right of the museum steps. Once inside, you’ll be treated to breathtaking art collections and special exhibits featuring works from Chagall, Van Gogh and Picasso, just to name a few. Go ahead, allow yourself to get lost in here for a few hours before calling it a day.Read More >
A quirky Mexican restaurant with a contemporary twist, El Vez serves up delicious dishes and maybe the best margaritas in Philly.Read More >
Your second day begins with a visit to the recreated country home of the man for whom the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is named: William Penn. Located on the banks of—and with spectacular views of—the Delaware River, Pennsbury Manor was completed in 1686 and rebuilt in 1938. The manor served as a retreat of sorts for Penn who spent most of his time in nearby Philadelphia attending to his governmental duties. Take a step back in time during your visit to this beautiful country estate.Read More >
Your next stop is the site of George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War. You’ve probably seen Emmanuel Leutze’s famous painting depicting a stoic General Washington standing at the stern of his boat while his men valiantly row through the raging waters. Well, no one is for sure if that’s how it happened, but it is known that Washington and his militia crossed the Delaware on Christmas night of 1776 and marched on to Trenton where they attacked and defeated Hessian troops in what was a major victory for the Continental Army. And, if your timing is just right, you can even witness a reenactment of these historic events.Read More >
A short drive north up scenic River Road (Highway 32) is the town of New Hope, where you will end your day perusing the quaint shops and galleries. Here, you’ll find an eclectic collection of jewelry stores, clothing stores, art galleries, coffee shops and restaurants that cater to virtually every taste. While you’re here, also be sure to check out and ride the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad for a scenic ride through the countryside.
If you like classic American dishes, you will love the chicken pot pie, surf ‘n turf, prime rib and more at the Cock & Bull restaurant in Peddler’s Village.
A National Historic Landmark, Laurel Hill Cemetery is 78 acres of history and art. Be sure to check out the sculpture garden and take in all of the horticultural masterpieces. You’ll soon discover why Laurel Hill is affectionately known as Philadelphia’s Underground Museum.
Built in the early 18 thcentury, this beautiful Palladian-style mansion served as a stop on the Underground Railroad and was an overnight destination for George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and many others.
Standing 125 feet tall, Bowman’s Hill Tower offers some of the most spectacular views of the Delaware Valley region. On a clear day, you can see for miles and will realize the arduous task Washington and his men faced as they crossed the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War.
The nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street, Sesame Place will help bring out your inner child with rides, attractions, shows and of course, Elmo.