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The Presidential Itinerary

Experience 200 years of Presidential history in the Birthplace of Freedom

Betsy Ross House


On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States of America. And there’s no better city to revel in the hope, passion and occasional absurdity of the the Presidency than Philadelphia.

This itinerary will take you on a tour more than 200 years in the making — you’ll discover where George Washington slept and, during his Presidential campaign, where Sen. John McCain ate dinner; where Grover Cleveland’s remains are kept and where President Obama spoke on race relations. And of course, you’ll find out which cheesesteak the candidates prefered — possibly the most important vote anyone could ever cast.

Friday 5 p.m.

Surf and Turf

After you’ve checked into your hotel, you’ll be hungry for dinner. And tonight, you’re going to do as the Presidential hopefuls did — when Sen. John McCain visited Philadelphia on Labor Day 2008, he made a stop at Rittenhouse Square’s posh Devon Seafood Grill.

Serving fresh seafood from both coasts — such as oysters, chipotle shrimp enchiladas and twin lobster tails, as well as freshly prepared “turf” selections — Devon is certainly a place to see and be seen when you’re on the campaign trail.

225 S. 18th Street
Devon Seafood Grill
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Friday 7 p.m.

Getting Gross with Grover

The Mütter Museum is a riveting storehouse for the anatomically strange. At nearly 150 years old, the museum houses an amazing collection of fluid-preserved specimens, photos, plaster molds and other odd glitches of humanity — including a piece of Grover Cleveland’s cancerous jawbone.

Located in the College of Physicians, the museum stays open until 9 p.m. on Friday nights, making it the perfect place to wander through after dinner.

Be warned that some of the objects on display can be disturbing, so prepare the members of your party who are easily grossed out.

19 S. 22nd Street
The Mütter Museum
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Friday 9 p.m.

Casual Cocktails

After the spectacle at the Mütter Museum, you may or may not be hungry — but you’ll definitely be ready for a cocktail. So walk the few blocks to Twenty Manning , where comfortable seating (and, weather permitting, excellent sidewalk seating) makes their homespun cocktail creations all the more relaxing.

If you’re in the mood for a bite, try their dim sum or the Twenty Manning “chop chop” salad.

261 S. 20th Street
Twenty Manning
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Saturday 9 a.m.

Top of the Morning!

Today, we’re going to explore the earliest days of the Presidency, spent right here in Ye Olde Philadelphia.

You’re going to need a good wake-up for this one, so start your day at Old City Coffee. You can either grab a spot at one of the outdoor tables or take your treats to go. The very quaint Church Street has been here since the days of George Washington — but we assure you, the muffins are quite fresh.

221 Church Street
Old City Coffee
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Saturday 10 a.m.

Independence Starts Here

After you’ve got your coffee or tea, head over to the Independence Visitor Center , where you can get free timed tickets for the tour of Independence Hall (if you want to lock in a ticket time for your family, you can order them online for $1.50 a piece).

Adjacent to the IVC is the President’s House Commemorative Site, which, in 2010, will be home to a new museum that will include an outdoor exhibit honoring the slaves that George Washington kept. Walk around the future site, honoring both the former home of Washington and the memory of those enslaved there.

Then visit the Liberty Bell Center and you’ll see the Liberty Bell in all its cracked glory.

6th and Market Streets
Independence Visitor Center
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Saturday 11 a.m.

House of the Rising Sun

Cross the most historic Chestnut Street, and there it is — Independence Hall .

Once inside, you’ll be standing in the room where our Founding Fathers brainstormed, debated over and eventually signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution — and you can see George Washington’s famous “rising sun” chair, which allowed Benjamin Franklin to decide that the future of the colonies was, indeed, a bright one.

5th and Chestnut Streets
Independence Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Saturday 12 p.m.

We the People

And now, for a real Presidential whopper. Walk along Independence Mall to the giant building on Arch Street — the National Constitution Center , the world’s only museum devoted to the U.S. Constitution and the story of “We The People.”

Indeed, when President Obama gave his legendary speech on race relations at this site in March 2008, he began by quoting the Constitution’s famous Preamble: “We the People, in order to form a more perfect union.”

525 Arch Street
National Constitution Center
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Saturday 1:30 p.m.

Lunch with a Side of Liberty

For lunch, enjoy a most colonial experience at the City Tavern.

Choose from thoroughly delicious 18th-century fare — like roasted duckling, salmagundi (a colonial classic) and “Martha Washington Style Colonial Turkey Pot Pie” — while being served by colonial re-enactors.

The tavern was originally constructed in 1772 and, while drafting the Declaration of Independence, eight of the delegates (including General Washington) dined here every day. Though the original tavern was demolished, the current dining room reopened in 1976 for the country’s Bicentennial Celebration.

138 S. 2nd Street
City Tavern
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Saturday 3 p.m.

Historic House Calls

And now, for some historic houses — and there are a lot of them.

Start with the Todd House , the home of John and Dolley Todd. When John died in 1793, Dolley went on to marry future President James Madison. Then walk north to Franklin Court , the “ghostly” frame of Benjamin Franklin’s former home. After that, it’s just another block north to Betsy Ross’ House . If you want to feel still more of colonial-era Philadelphia, take a walk down Elfreth’s Alley , the nation’s oldest, continually occupied residential street.

239 Arch Street
The Betsy Ross House
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Saturday 4:30 p.m.

Bring Out the Best China!

Just one more stop before dinner — the National Liberty Museum . This cool and tucked-away site explores the diversity of the American experience through more than 125 works of art — including a life-sized sculpture made of jellybeans and a massive 2.5-story glass piece entitled “Flame of Liberty,” which demonstrates both the beauty and frailty of liberty.

And speaking of precious pieces, the museum includes authentic White House china from several First Ladies’ collections, including Martha Washington, Mary Todd Lincoln and Jackie Kennedy.

321 Chestnut Street
National Liberty Museum
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Saturday 7 p.m.

Jet-Set the Table

When Former President Bill Clinton visited Philly in April 2008 to support his wife, former Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, he dined at the place most befitting a well-traveled man such as himself — the Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar .

Jet-setting is the name of the game at the Continental, where you can try Asian fare like Szechuan shoestring fries, Mediterranean favorites like grilled octopus with pita and spinach, or a Mexican dish like the BBQ chicken quesadilla.

Don’t want to stray from the States? Keep it simple with the cheesesteak spring rolls or the wildly popular lobster mashed potatoes. And by all means, order one of their signature martinis.

138 Market Street
Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Saturday 8:30 p.m.

Ghosts, Ghouls and Goblins

Just when you thought it was safe, you’re going to walk off your dinner in search of haunted Philly.

The Ghost Tour of Philadelphia is a candlelit walking tour that combs Independence National Historic Park and Society Hill for chilling stories. The tours run from April through November, though the ghosts of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and other Founding Fathers are said to roam the streets all year!

5th and Chestnut Streets
Ghost Tours of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Saturday 10 p.m.

Toasting and Tasting

Once you’ve had your fill of ghosts, it’s time to get your fill of beer at Triumph Brewing Company — a fitting place to imbibe if you’re an Obama supporter.

Philadelphia has been called “America’s best beer-drinking city,” and that’s a title we’re very proud of. So at Triumph, try several of their home-brewed, straight-up Philadelphia beers, and know that you’re tasting Philly at its finest.

While you’re walking back to your hotel, keep your ears perked for updates on the Flyers game (if they’re playing that night). Alaskan Governor (and former Republican VP Candidate) Sarah Palin ceremoniously dropped the puck at the Flyers’ 2008 home opener, and here in Philadelphia, that’s quite the honor — we sure love those Flyers.

117-121 Chestnut Street
Triumph Brewing Company
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Sunday 10 a.m.

The Heart of the Matter

To get to (what many call) the heart of Philadelphia’s dining culture, head south to Philly’s fabled Italian Market .

Here, you’ll find dozens of produce vendors selling the freshest of vegetables at the most reasonable of prices. Philadelphia is a huge proponent of the buy fresh, buy local movement, and it’s nowhere more apparent than the Italian Market on Sunday morning.

Before you leave the neighborhood, stop in to DiBruno Bros. (930 S. 9th Street) — this was President Obama’s alternative to a cheesesteak during one of his stops in Philly.

And here’s a special insider tip: If the line is short (though it never is), grab an unbelievable brunch at local favorite Sabrina’s .

930 S. 9th Street
DiBruno Bros.
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Sunday 11:30 a.m.

It’s Cheesy, But It’s True

Thought we were going to host you for a weekend in Philadelphia without offering you a hot and juicy cheesesteak? Think again. Here in Philly, every potential Presidential candidate gets grilled (pun intended) on his/her cheesesteak of choice.

Start out with a trip to Tony Luke’s , where Gov. Sarah Palin stopped in September 2008 while blazing her campaign trail. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, hop over to the hot corners of Pat’s and Geno’s , who’ve each been campaigning for the title of “Philly’s Best Cheesesteak” for a collective 120+ years. Geno’s got the attention of Presidential hopeful Rudy Guiliani before he dropped out of the race. And Pat’s got the nomination from 2004 candidate John Kerry — but he went with the decidedly un-Philadelphian order of Swiss cheese.

Well, the choice is yours. Exercise your right to vote!

1237 E. Passyunk Avenue
Pat’s King of Steaks
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Sunday 1 p.m.

Fly, Eagles, Fly!

Year in and year out, there’s one team that consistently gets Philadelphia’s vote — the Philadelphia Eagles . Vice President (and former Delaware Senator) Joe Biden is just one of the millions of local Eagles fans who tune in each week for the Eagles’ gridiron action.

If you can score one of their coveted tickets, head over to Lincoln Financial Field before game time for good ol’ fashioned Philly tailgating.

1020 Pattison Avenue
Lincoln Financial Field
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Hotels + More

The Basics


If you’re traveling from New York, New England, DC, Baltimore, Harrisburg, etc., Amtrak is easy – Book online at Amtrak or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.


If you drive here, stash your car off-street until you leave. Though you might enjoy an occasional cab, trolley or carriage ride, there’s nothing you can’t reach on foot. Parking regulations are enforced in the historic area, and you may find yourself getting towed with un-municipal efficiency.

Start at the Center

The Independence Visitor Center (IVC) — the exclusive pick-up location for free tickets to Independence Hall — offers personalized trip-planning services, free WIFI, brochures and maps, informational exhibits and films, a gift shop, two cafes and tickets to all major tours and attractions in the Philadelphia region. Located at 6th & Market Streets across from the Liberty Bell, the IVC is your one-stop-shop for tickets, souvenirs, itinerary planning, maps and more. Stop at the IVC when you arrive in Philadelphia, or call 800-537-7676 to speak to a live concierge.


You can’t get much closer to the action than the Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, which combines modern design, sustainable practices and a sleek restaurant/bar (Square 1682) to make your Philly stay all the more swanky.

The Independent, meanwhile, is a new boutique hotel right in Center City. Each guest room features its own unique design, while the building — an example of Georgian-Revival architecture — is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Philly Overnight® Hotel Package is a popular getaway — and a terrific deal. It’s available throughout the year and gives you free parking (worth $50 or more) and special offers and discounts – in addition to deluxe accommodations in Center City Philadelphia. Check out the package, then pick your favorite hotel.

More food and drink, please!

Of course, what we’ve recommended is just a sample of the amazing range of food and drink in Philadelphia. Take a closer look at the city’s Dining and Nightlife offerings and pick your favorites.

117 S. 17th Street
Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA 19103



Center City and South Philadelphia


On foot or in a taxi


36 hours or so (Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon)


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