To really know historic Philadelphia, get a sense of yourself in its unfolding history. Experience Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House, and other key places to get a feel for all that connect us through the centuries.
Even (especially!) long-time city residents will find enrichment in this brief but essential guide.
Philly Knows How to Mix Revolution and Refreshments
Rare is the city that really pulls this off.
Along Philly’s Historic Trail, good planning has ensured that restaurants and beer yards abound. And there’s always entertainment and art in the middle of the revolutionary era sites.
So, yes. Cultural enrichment seekers have endless opportunities to stop for fun and refreshments.
City founder William Penn, who first came to Philadelphia by way of the Delaware River, would surely approve.
The spot where Penn first stopped has a straightforward name: Penn’s Landing. Here, you can get lost in the free music and festivals at Spruce Street Harbor Park, ad even enjoy free yoga at Race Street Pier throughout the autumn season.
Cherry Street Pier is a haven for arts and open-air fairs, also created on a century-old pier.
Yep, Philly’s got this down.
Go to: 301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
Read More: Philadelphia's Alleys Beckon You
Framed! Here’s Where the Constitution Was Written
Visit Independence Hall to put yourself in the very place where the rebel colonial types declared their freedom, establishing a new country in the process.
Watch awe-struck visitors gather to gaze on one of the original copies of the U.S. Constitution in person, and learn about the creation of Congress.
Just like in D.C.—but with more refreshments!
Get oriented at the Independence Visitor Center, where you can, of course, grab a drink and bite to eat. Then you can collect your free tickets for a time slot you’ll reserve to tour Independence Hall.
Go to: Independence Visitor Center, 599 Market St.
Iconic and Sobering: The Liberty Bell and President’s House
Proclaiming “liberty throughout the land” and for all its inhabitants, the famously cracked Liberty Bell is a symbol of freedom-seeking.
Thus it is fitting that right next to the Bell is The President’s House. Its purpose is to memorialize the lives of nine enslaved people who served Martha and George Washington at the locale of the country’s first presidential mansion.
Day or night, gaze at the famous bell, and come watch the videos that bear witness to the reality of slavery for some, even as freedom rang for others. This is something every Philadelphia resident and visitor should see.
Go to: Market Street, between 5th and 6th St.
A Philly Go-Getter: Ben Franklin
Franklin was quite the multi-tasker—an inventor, a politician, and our earliest postmaster. The renovated Ben Franklin Museum offers interactive displays that let you get to know Ben as a person.
A short walk away is the American Philosophical Society, the salon which Ben Franklin started, you know, in his spare time. Take a peek at colonial documents and maps, Native American artifacts, and plenty of cool industrial and scientific tools.
Go to: The Benjamin Franklin Museum at 317 Chestnut St., and the American Philosophical Society Museum, at 104 S. 5th Street
Costume Party: Betsy Ross House
You have to see the Betsy Ross House at least once. It’s a time machine, taking you back to the daily life of this fabled sewing pro of the 1700s.
Be advised that this house is three centuries old! The winding staircases are a challenge to navigate.
But the gallery and the courtyard where Ross is buried, and the medicinal garden, are all accessible.
This season the Betsy Ross House Courtyard is open most every day, 10 - 5, through November. It’s open until 8 pm on First Fridays through October. On First Friday nights there are films to enjoy.
Go to: 239 Arch Street.
Find Yourself In Philly. Your Charming Apartment Home Awaits You.
Carlyle will revolutionize your home life with colonial charm at our beautiful rowhouse apartments at 124 Market Street, with quick access to I-95 and the excellent public transportation near Penn’s Landing.
Loft-style interiors offer plenty of modern amenities, such as large, updated kitchens with breakfast nooks, laundry appliances and central heating and air conditioning. What’s more, they have wonderful views and easy access to Philadelphia's fascinating historic trail.
Ready to explore these or any of our Philly apartment properties? Call 215.545.1039, and make your new home a stop along your next historic trail tour.