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Historic Attractions

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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

  • The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent

    New and improved history near Independence Hall

    City Stories Gallery at the Philadelphia History Museum.

    History renews itself this fall at the reopened and renovated Philadelphia History Museum. The historic 1826 building, located just around the corner from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, has been an exciting gateway into Philadelphia History for nearly 70 years.

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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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  • 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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  • Washington Crossing Historic Park

    Where Washington made his famous trip across the Delaware

    Washington Crossing the Delaware River reenactment on Christmas Day.

    See the spot where the General George Washington’s boats quietly took the soldiers to the battles of Trenton and Princeton

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  • Revolutionary Germantown Festival

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

    Reenactors at the Revolutionary Germantown Festival.

    You are never far from history when in Germantown, one of Philadelphia’s most historic neighborhoods. However, it is on full display 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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  • Mercer Museum

    A castle filled with pre-industrial tools and artifacts

    The Mercer Museum, Doylestown, PA.

    This towering castle, an imposing landmark in otherwise low-rise Doylestown, shelters a museum where the mundane becomes fascinating. Each themed room winding up the castle stairs has dramatic displays of tools, folk art and articles used in everyday life in early America — before mechanization.

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  • Tides of Freedom
    African Presence on the Delaware River

    Compelling new exhibition at the Independence Seaport Museum

    Independence Seaport Museum on the Delaware River.

    Uncover 300-years of history and the African experience along in Philadelphia during Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware River, a new exhibition at the Independence Seaport Museum.

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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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  • Paul Robeson House Museum

    Historic home of local Civil Rights leader

    Honoring the life, legacy, philosophy and historical significance of Philadelphian Paul Robeson.

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  • Penn Treaty Park

    Historic spot of peace along the Delaware River

    Penn Treaty Park in Northern Liberties.

    According to legend, Pennsylvania founder William Penn signed his treaty of peace with the local Lenape tribe under an elm tree just off the Delaware River in 1683.

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