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Historic Attractions

The paths to understanding American history all converge in Philadelphia and its historic countryside. Even before William Penn founded the city and built his estate in Bucks County, Native Americans and Swedish colonists recognized the region as an attractive place for trade and settlement.

Here Americans defended their liberty, achieved technological success, and forged the ideals of the American Dream. Today’s visitor can enjoy the legacy from more than three centuries of political, economic, social, and cultural achievements — all within the Philadelphia area.

Featured Listings

  • Independence Hall

    Birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

    Independence Hall

    They risked everything — “their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor.” During the blistering summer of 1776, 56 courageous men gathered at the Pennsylvania State House and defied the King of England. Eleven years later, representatives from 12 states gathered to shape the U.S. Constitution, finally creating one unified nation.

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  • The Liberty Bell Center

    Dramatic home of the internationally known symbol of freedom

    Visit the Liberty Bell in Independence National Historic Park and grab a photo with Independence Hall in the background.

    The Liberty Bell stands prominently in a glass chamber overlooking Independence Hall. Throughout the expansive, light-filled Liberty Bell Center, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images bring the bell to life by exploring the facts and the myths surrounding it.

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  • Independence National Historical Park

    The birthplace of American democracy

    The Liberty Bell Philadelphia

    Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Historic Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park (INHP) is located on the site of many of the seminal events that carried the nation through its founding as a global leader of democratic ideals.

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  • The Betsy Ross House

    The birthplace of the American flag

    The home of the famous seamstress is a must-see historic attraction for visitors and locals alike.

    Ask Betsy Ross about her role in making the first American flag yourself when you visit the iconic home of America’s most famous flag-maker.

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  • The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation

    Commemorating the lives of nine enslaved Africans at the nation’s first executive mansion

    The President’s House on Independence Mall.

    President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation explores the paradox of slavery and freedom at the nation’s first executive mansion, in which Presidents George Washington and John Adams lived during their terms and where nine enslaved people served the first president.

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  • The Johnson House
    Historic Site, Inc.

    Germantown’s vital stop on the Underground Railroad

    A reenactment at the Johnson House in Germantown.

    It’s easy to imagine 19th-century freedom fighters Harriet Tubman and William Still meeting at this Quaker home in Germantown, owned by four generations of the abolitionist Johnson family.

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  • Benjamin Franklin Museum

    Revitalized museum dedicated to the life and legacy of America’s favorite Renaissance man

    Outside the Benjamin Franklin Museum in the Historic District.

    Dedicated to the life, times and legacy of Philadelphia’s famous founding father, the Benjamin Franklin Museum invites you to explore a variety of exhibitions.

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  • Bartram’s Garden

    America’s birthplace of gardening

    Exploring Bartram’s Garden

    John Bartram purchased the 102-acre farm along the west bank of the lower Schuylkill River, three miles southwest of colonial Philadelphia, in 1728, and turned it into America’s first garden. Today, visitors can join a morning bird walk, catch a breeze along the River Trail, stroll through the upper kitchen garden and the fragrant flower gardens or visit the riverside meadow, brimming with grasses and wildflowers.

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  • Christ Church Burial Ground

    Visit the graves of Benjamin Franklin and other early American leaders

     Visit the graves of Benjamin Franklin and other early American leaders at the Christ Church Burial Ground.
    Visit the graves of Benjamin Franklin and other early American leaders at the Christ Church Burial Ground.
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  • Cliveden

    A grand Germantown mansion with a fascinating — and bloody — history

    One of the most lavish mansions of its era, Cliveden is stocked with furniture and artifacts designed to evoke Colonial times.

    Now a six-acre oasis in the middle of a bustling Philadelphia neighborhood, Cliveden was an estate in the suburb of Germantown built just before the Revolutionary War by the Chew family. One of the most lavish mansions of its era, Cliveden is stocked with furniture and artifacts designed to evoke Colonial times.

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  • Campus Philly CollegeFest

    A day of discounts, giveaways, entertainment and free admission to museums

    Philadelphia welcomes back college students during Campus Philly CollegeFest, a day of discounts, giveaways, entertainment and free admission to museums.

    September 11, 2016
    Philadelphia welcomes back college students during Campus Philly CollegeFest, a day of discounts, giveaways, entertainment and free admission to museums.

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  • Second Bank of the United States

    A who’s who of Revolutionary War-era portraiture

    The Second Bank is known for its extensive collection of portraits by Charles Willson Peale.

    The Second Bank of the United States packs a large punch in a relatively small space, filled with an extraordinary collection of portraits of the men so vital to 18th-century America’s development.

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  • Elfreth’s Alley

    The nation’s oldest continuously inhabited residential street

    While a modern city has sprung up around it, Elfreth’s Alley preserves three centuries of evolution through its old-fashioned flower boxes, shutters, Flemish bond brickwork and other architectural details.

    Elfreth’s Alley was home to the 18th-century artisans and trades-people who were the backbone of colonial Philadelphia. While a modern city has sprung up around it, the alley preserves three centuries of evolution through its old-fashioned flower boxes, shutters, Flemish bond brickwork and other architectural details.

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  • National Constitution Center

    The world’s only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution

    The National Constitution Center is the world’s only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution.

    The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center explores and explains this amazing document through high-tech exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays.

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  • Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church

    The oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African-Americans

    Founded in 1787, the Mother Bethel AME Church rests upon the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African-Americans.

    Walk on hallowed ground when you visit Mother Bethel AME Church, the mother church of the nation’s first black denomination. Founded in 1787, the church rests upon the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African-Americans.

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  • Museum of the American Revolution

    An expansive collection of art and artifacts from the nation’s Revolutionary Period

    A new museum in the heart of Philadelphia’s Historic District, the Museum of American Revolution brings an expansive collection of art and artifacts from the nation’s Revolutionary Period

    Opening April 19, 2017

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  • Christ Church Burial Ground

    Visit the graves of Benjamin Franklin and other early American leaders

     Visit the graves of Benjamin Franklin and other early American leaders at the Christ Church Burial Ground. Visit the graves of Benjamin Franklin and other early American leaders at the Christ Church Burial Ground. View More
  • Christ Church

    Where Colonial America made its break with the Church of England

    Steeped in history, Christ Church is where Colonial America made its break with the Church of England.

    Where Colonial America made its break with the Church of England.

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  • Independence Hall

    Birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

    Independence Hall

    They risked everything — “their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor.” During the blistering summer of 1776, 56 courageous men gathered at the Pennsylvania State House and defied the King of England. Eleven years later, representatives from 12 states gathered to shape the U.S. Constitution, finally creating one unified nation.

    View More
  • The Liberty Bell Center

    Dramatic home of the internationally known symbol of freedom

    Visit the Liberty Bell in Independence National Historic Park and grab a photo with Independence Hall in the background.

    The Liberty Bell stands prominently in a glass chamber overlooking Independence Hall. Throughout the expansive, light-filled Liberty Bell Center, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images bring the bell to life by exploring the facts and the myths surrounding it.

    View More
  • Independence National Historical Park

    The birthplace of American democracy

    The Liberty Bell Philadelphia

    Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Historic Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park (INHP) is located on the site of many of the seminal events that carried the nation through its founding as a global leader of democratic ideals.

    View More
  • Powel House

    A luxurious mid-Georgian 18th-century mansion

    Once the home of Elizabeth and Samuel Powel, an 18th-century power couple, the Powel House simply drips elegance.

    The home of Samuel Powel, Philadelphia’s first mayor, is the epitome of 18th-century elegance. On any given evening during its heyday, the guest list frequently included Washington, Adams, Franklin, the Marquis de Lafayette and other luminaries.

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  • Independence Seaport Museum

    An interactive museum exploring Philadelphia’s maritime heritage

    Sailing on the river outside the Independence Seaport Museum.

    With historic vessels to board, an underwater ROV to maneuver and a mock cannon to fire, Philadelphia’s maritime museum conveys what the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers have meant to the city over the years.

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  • Physick House

    The 18th-century mansion of the “Father of American Surgery”

    Dr. Philip Syng Physick was one of the most accomplished physicians of his time, and a tour of his 18th-century mansion in Society Hill includes some of the medical and surgical tools he invented.

    Dr. Philip Syng Physick was one of the most accomplished physicians of his time, and a tour of his 18th-century mansion in Society Hill includes some of the medical and surgical tools he invented.

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  • Washington Square

    A leafy retreat with tree-shaded benches, located steps from Independence Hall

    Washington Square is one of William Penn’s original five squares set aside to establish parks for the public.

    Washington Square is one of William Penn’s original five squares set aside to establish parks for the public.

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