With plenty of historic sites and things to see, Philadelphia is an excellent place to plan a trip to.
Arriving on a Friday evening, head straight out to the intersection of East Passyunk Avenue and South 9 Street. This intersection is the location of the two of the most famous Cheese steaks in Philadelphia, Geno’s and Pat’s. The founders were originally partners and have now forged the biggest rivalry in all of Philadelphia, but their cheese steaks are a great way to start your visit to Philly!
With an early start on Saturday morning, make your way towards the Independence Visitor’s Center. The Visitor’s Center is the place to get information on special events taking place around town and getting your attraction tickets. They also have numerous racks of brochures for all the attractions as well as free guidebooks. The center also has two theaters where they play two films which will provide you with a historical perspective on the city.
A block away from the Visitor’s Center is the Liberty Bell. After going through metal detectors, you will find yourself in a sun-lit showcase of America’s connection with the Liberty bell through the years. Numerous trinkets and historical pieces are displayed, giving you a perspective of what the Liberty Bell has meant to Americans throughout history. At the end of the room, sits the Liberty Bell, with Independence Hall in the background. You are not allowed to touch the bell, but you can take all the pictures you want, of this iconic bell that was cast in 1753.
Right across the street from the Liberty Bell is Independence Hall, the most popular visitor spot in Philadelphia. Free tickets for the tour can be obtained at the Visitor’s Center. The tour will take you through the room where the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The room has been restored to what it would look like back then.
The building next to Independence Hall is Congress Hall. This is where the first United States House of Representatives and the first United States Senate met. The House chamber is the place where the first act of succession of power from President George Washington to President John Adams took place.
After lunch, head over to see the location where Benjamin Franklin’s house used to stand. They have created a shell of where the house used to stand and you can look into the lower floor through display windows.
Take time to walk along the streets. As you walk through these historic streets, you will find the first bank in the United States, the first Post Office and a few blocks away, the place where many of the founding fathers went to worship, Christ Church. The Christ Church Cemetery is the final resting place of individuals like Benjamin Franklin, and William Bainbridge.
Nearby is Elfreth’s Alley. Elfreth’s Alley has been a residential neighborhood since 1702. This is the oldest neighborhood in the United States. The 32 homes on this block were built between 1728 and 1836. It is a great place to walk through time. There is a small museum, which gives visitors a look at Colonial life.
If you have time, visit St. Joseph’s Church. It is off the beaten path, due to the early anti-Catholic sentiment in the settlement. The Church is accessible through a side alley. It is a small Church and remains a place of worship today.
Take the evening to enjoy a meal in a nice Philadelphia restaurant. If you know what cuisine you are interested in having, the Visitor’s Center can help you make a selection.
On Sunday, start the day with a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ever wanted to make Rocky’s famous jog? You can take the same steps up to the front of the Museum and stand on the same spot where Sylvester Stalone stood during the filming of the movie. Van Gogh, Manet, Picasso, Monet, and El Greco are just a few of the artists whose incredible pieces you will be able to see at the museum.
Close by is the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul. The Cathedral is a beautiful structure, using as its model the San Carlo al Corso church in Rome. The Cathedral has one of the largest organs in the city, which has 4,648 pipes.
Enjoy your time in Philly!