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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 new home of the internationally known symbol of freedom

    The Liberty Bell in Historic Philadelphia

    The Liberty Bell has a new home, and it is as powerful and dramatic as the Bell itself. Throughout the expansive, light-filled Center, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images explore the facts and the myths surrounding the Bell.

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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

    Betsy Ross inside her home

    Did she or didn’t she? 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.

    A 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 is now open following a major two-year revitalization.

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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

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

    A grand 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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  • City Hall

    The largest municipal building in the country and the finest example of the Second Empire style

    Philadelphia City Hall

    City Hall is the largest municipal building in the United States, containing over 14.5 acres of floor space. It is an architectural treasure inside and out.

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  • Revolutionary Germantown Festival

    A special day to discover America’s history along Germantown Avenue

    Reenactors at the Revolutionary Germantown Festival.

    Saturday, October 4
    You are never far from history when in Germantown, one of Philadelphia’s most historic neighborhoods. That’s never more true than during the Revolutionary Germantown Festival, a day-long festival that celebrates the rich history of Germantown and features the annual reenactment of the Battle of Germantown, the only military battle ever fought within the borders of Philadelphia.

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  • Constitution Day

    Celebrate with special events and free admission to the Constitution Center

    Admission to the National Constitution Center is free on Constitution Day.

    Constitution Day, held at the Constitution Center in Old City, features special events, educational activities, timely constitutional conversations with federal judges and an inspiring naturalization ceremony.

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  • Campus Philly CollegeFest

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

    College students return to Philly in grand fashion during Campus Philly CollegeFest on Saturday, September 27.

    College students return to Philly in grand fashion during Campus Philly CollegeFest on Saturday, September 27.

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  • Cliveden

    A grand 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.

    View More
  • The Betsy Ross House

    The birthplace of the American flag

    Betsy Ross inside her home

    Did she or didn’t she? 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.

    View More
  • The Johnson House
    Historic Site, Inc.

    A 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.

    View More
  • Wyck

    The Quaker way of life preserved for 300 years

    Duck into the partially hidden garden along busy Germantown Avenue for a 2.5-acre oasis of color and scent at the historic Wyck House and gardens.

    Duck into the partially hidden garden along busy Germantown Avenue for a 2.5-acre oasis of color and scent at the historic Wyck House and gardens. You’ll be whisked back to the Colonial and Victorian eras as you walk through the rose garden, vegetable garden, lawns and other plantings, many of which are direct descendents of the original 19th-century plantings.

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  • Bastille Day Festival
    at Eastern State Penitentiary

    Wigs are welcome at this day-long reenactment of the French Revolution

    Eastern State Penitentiary

    Grab a pitchfork and storm the walls! Whether you’re a revolutionary or a royalist, there’s something for you in this celebration of all things French at Bastille Day at the Eastern State Penitentiary.

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  • Historic RittenhouseTown

    The site of the first paper mill in British North America

    Historic RittenhouseTown, the birthplace of paper in North America, is now a preserved village on idyllic Lincoln Drive in beautiful Fairmount Park.

    The birthplace of paper in North America, Historic RittenhouseTown is now a preserved village on idyllic Lincoln Drive in beautiful Fairmount Park.

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