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Walk in the Footsteps of
Benjamin Franklin Itinerary

See Philadelphia through the eyes of the famous founding father

Ben Franklin Museum

Outside the Benjamin Franklin Museum in the Historic District. Credit: J. Fusco for GPTMC

Description

Follow Benjamin Franklin through the streets of his adopted city, where he invented many institutions and products still in use today and where later generations have created many attractions that honor his legacy. The itinerary starts at the newly renovated Benjamin Franklin Museum, full of Franklin’s possessions, inventions and interactive games to help visitors better understand one of history’s most prolific men.

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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.

At the Benjamin Franklin Museum, you’ll get an overview of the man’s personality, lifestyle and contributions before stepping out to Franklin Court to admire the Ghost Structure that outlines the place where his house once stood. On the Market Street side of Franklin Court, you’ll find the B. Free Franklin Post Office, where you can get postcards hand-stamped just as one would have when Franklin was the first postmaster. Steps away at the Print Shop, National Park Service rangers demonstrate Franklin’s career as a printer and newspaper publisher using 18th-century techniques and machinery.

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.

317 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 965-2305
 

City Tavern

Colonial America is recreated at this authentic tavern in Old City

City Tavern

Drink and dine as Franklin and his fellow Founding Fathers did. City Tavern continues its Colonial tradition by recreating the food, drink and ambiance that comforted the framers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution as they argued over the documents late into many nights. During lunch, be sure to order a Poor Richards Spruce, a beer that Yards Brewing Company produces with a recipe written by Franklin.

Our Founding Fathers’ favorite haunt — and the fuel-provider during the writing of the Declaration of Independence, City Tavern recreates the Colonial Philadelphia experience

138 S. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 413-1443
 

Carpenters’ Hall

Meeting Place of the First Continental Congress

Carpenters Hall

Carpenters’ Hall, the site of the First Continental Congress, was once the home of Franklin’s Library Company and the American Philosophical Society (APS), two organizations he founded. The Library Company served as the young nation’s original subscription library and APS was founded by Franklin in 1743 “to promote useful knowledge.” Today at Carpenters’ Hall, exhibits capture the events that occurred there that led to the call for independence.

320 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 925-0167
 

Christ Church

Where Colonial America made its break with the Church of England

The Christ Church Sanctuary

Visit the place where Franklin and his family attended services and sit in Pew 70 to get his visual perspective on the inside of Christ Church, where he baptized his children and supervised several lotteries to finance the tower and steeple. A few blocks away at the Christ Church Burial Ground, you can see where Franklin and his wife Deborah are laid to rest, alongside Colonial America’s most noted figures. Toss a penny on his grave for good luck.

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

20 N. American Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 922-1695
 

Fireman’s Hall

The history of firefighting in an old firehouse

Old fashioned fire engines

To combat lethal fires, Franklin organized a group of volunteers to fight fires, and the idea soon caught on throughout the city. The Fireman’s Hall Museum commemorates this history of firefighting with artifacts that date back to this time period.

Nestled in the narrow streets of Philadelphia’s historic district, Fireman’s Hall is dedicated to the art and science of firefighting through the last three centuries.

147 N. 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 923-1438
 

Moshulu

Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Philadelphia skyline with your meal

Moshulu

For dinner, head to the Moshulu, a fully restored four-masted sailing ship, berthed at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River. While enjoying the breathtaking views and delicious fare, imagine what it must have been like for Ben to arrive here in Philadelphia as a 17-year-old runaway apprentice from Boston.

During the warmer weather months, you can enjoy a drink or a meal on the historic ship’s multi-level decks and take in the Philadelphia skyline and the shimmering lights on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

401 S. Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 923-2500
 

The Liberty Bell Center

Dramatic new home of the internationally known symbol of freedom

The Liberty Bell in Historic Philadelphia

Head to Historic Philadelphia for a visit to the Liberty Bell, a symbol of freedom and religious tolerance (Franklin was big on both), and Independence Hall, where Franklin and his peers wrote the two documents that declared liberty for the colonies and set up a freely elected government. Be sure to first pick up timed tickets for Independence Hall at the Independence Visitor Center, or order them online at recreation.gov.

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.

526 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 965-2305
 

The Liberty 360 3-D Show
at the PECO Theater

Let history surround you in this revolutionary, new 3-D show

Audience members at the new 3-D Liberty 360

fter your tour of Independence Hall, head across the street to the Historic Philadelphia Center for a viewing of Liberty 360, where you’ll discover the nation’s symbols of freedom with the help of narrator Benjamin Franklin. Inside the 360° theater, the 15-minute indoor show uses modern
3-D technology to spotlight the most treasured American value—liberty.

See Philadelphia’s history in a very new way! Liberty 360 in the state-of-the-art PECO Theater is Philadelphia’s first indoor, 360-degree, 3-D panoramic show, designed to the immerse viewers in the symbols of freedom.

600 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 629-5801
 

Jones

Upscale comfort food in a retro chic environment

Jones interior

Franklin once wrote to his daughter that he wished the turkey had been named the national bird. He also requested that a friend prepare a meal with potatoes in every course, and he was known to favor foods grown in America over those that had been imported. At Jones, the Thanksgiving Dinner lunch would have satisfied his taste for roast turkey, mashed potatoes and traditions that honor Native Americans. It will satisfy yours too.

Shaggy, stylish décor and unfussy, upscale comfort food are the focus at this moderately priced, 70s-themed restaurant.

700 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 238-9600
 

National Constitution Center

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

Exterior of the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center presents an interactive culmination of all of the democratic principles Franklin and his fellow framers worked so hard to ensure. Look for his life-sized statue in Signer’s Hall, and be sure to take a picture with Ben.

The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center explores and explains this amazing document through high-tech exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. In the star-shaped Kimmel Theater, powerful music, a live actor and 360 degrees multi-media images tell the story of We the People.

525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 409-6700
 

Franklin Square

Carousel rides, mini-golf, burgers and more

Play a round of mini-golf in Franklin Square, home to a course that replicates Philly landmarks such as the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in miniature. From the eastern edge of the square you can see Isamu Noguchi’s Bolt of Lightning…A Memorial to Benjamin Franklin that captures Franklin’s famous experiment in metal.

One of Philadelphia’s five original squares laid out by William Penn – and the only one dedicated just to fun!

6th and Race Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 629-4026
 

The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company

Top-rated drinking establishment serves up classy cocktails with Prohibition-style

Cocktails at the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company

Sip on hand-crafted cocktails at The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., one of the nation’s most recognized cocktail bars. Named after the largest alcohol ring in the country during Prohibition (which masqueraded as a bank), The Franklin employs bartenders who craft everything from scratch using only the freshest produce.

Channeling speakeasies of the Prohibition-era, The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company has only one focus: making the best cocktails around.

112 South 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA
(267) 467-3277
 

The Franklin Institute

One of the oldest and most beloved science museums in the country

Front of the Franklin Institute.

Gaze down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a scenic eyeful of the gorgeous Philadelphia Museum of Art and many of the city’s most stately cultural institutions. The Franklin Institute stands as a testament to many of the man’s great scientific experiments. Built partly with money raised by the Poor Richard Club, the museum is now home to a national memorial dedicated to Franklin, as well as the Frankliniana Collection, which contains his Ceremonial Sword used in the Court of King Louis XVI and the odometer he used to measure postal routes. There’s also an electricity exhibition highlighting lightning rods and Franklin’s electricity tube.

An innovator in designing hands-on exhibits before “interactive” became a buzzword, The Franklin Institute is as clever as its namesake. Its eminently touchable attractions explore science in disciplines ranging from sports to space.

222 N. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 448-1200
 

Kite & Key

Local bar that would make Franklin proud

Enjoy the evening air at Kite & Key.

A few blocks away lunch beckons at the Kite and Key, a craft-beer bar and restaurant named after Franklin’s famous experiments with electricity. Philadelphia magazine named its veggie burger this year’s best in the city.

Named for Ben Franklin’s famous experiment with electricity, Kite & Key has one cask, 16 taps, countless bottles and even some cans of local, domestic and foreign beers.

1836 Callowhill Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 568-1818
 

Details

Transportation

By foot in Historic District, by taxi or Septa for locations beyond

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