Philadelphia is a city that is full of attractions that tell the story of early American history. If you are about to take your first trip to the City of Brotherly Love, make sure you have the 10 can’t miss attractions in Philadelphia on your list.
Learn America’s Origins at Independence National Historical Park
Independence National Historical Park is the birthplace of our nation. There are more than two dozen historical sites inside this park for visitors to get a great history lesson. Stroll the grounds and see the iconic Liberty Bell, explore Independence Hall, The Presidents House and many more. The hours of operation for each site vary, so check the National Park website for information.
See America’s Origins at the Museum of the American Revolution
Learn all about the people and stories involved in the founding of America at the Museum of the American Revolution. Opened in 2017, the museum has a large collection of artifacts and artwork from the revolutionary period. The museum also hosts a number of events and programs for children, families and students. The museum is open Thursdays through Mondays from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Learn About the Creation of the American Flag at Betsy Ross House
Visit this tiny house on Arch Street and learn all about the creator of our country’s flag, Betsy Ross. At the Betsy Ross home, visitors can also enjoy several activities including story time and movie nights. Group tours are also available. Betsy Ross House is open Thursday to Monday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Walk Along Quaint Elfreth’s Alley
See 300 years of Philadelphia history one street at Elfreth’s Alley. Here you will get a glimpse of Old Philadelphia walking along the cobblestone street lined with row houses preserved with period history. These quaint houses are decorated with wonderful architectural details including Flemish Bond brickwork and old fashioned flower boxes and shutters. There is a museum on the alley open to the public that was made from two adjoining houses built in 1755.
See the Vast Collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art contains many collections of impressionist, Renaissance and American art. Besides the collections, the museum also offers many educational resources, live performances and events, and even a program for the whole family, Art Kids. While on the property, be sure to visit the Sculpture Garden located outdoors. The museum is open Sundays, Mondays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM, Fridays 10 AM to 8:45 PM, and is closed Tuesday through Thursday.
See the Work of a Master at Rodin Museum
The largest collection of Auguste Rodin’s sculptures outside of Paris is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. There are 150 works in the collection at the museum made from bronze, marble and plaster. Highlights at the museum include The Gates of Hell and The Thinker. The Rodin Museum is open Friday to Monday from 10 AM to 5 PM. The admission fees for entry into the museum are a suggested rate, while the garden area is free year-round.
Pretend You are the Heavyweight Champion at the Rocky Steps
Ever since the hit film Rocky came out, locals and visitors alike have recreated the film’s most iconic scene on the steps of the Philadelphia art museum. In fact, the museum steps and the famous statue of Rocky Balboa from Rocky III are arguably the most popular attractions in the city. It is a rite of passage in Philadelphia to take a snapshot in front of the statue and/or at the top of the stairs with your arms raised in victory.
Recreate at Race Street Pier or Cherry Street Pier
The Race Street Pier and the Cherry Street Pier are great recreational spots. These adjacent piers are located on the Delaware River and offer stunning views of the waterfront. Race Street Pier has two levels for recreational use, plus a multitiered sitting area located at the waterfront. Cherry Street Pier is an indoor and outdoor public space that has a marketplace and food and beverage vendors.
Learn Science at The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute is one of the leading science centers in the United States. Come to the museum and have a hands-on learning experience with exhibits like Your Brain and the Giant Heart. One highlight here is the Fels Planetarium, where you can do some cosmic exploration. The museum also has a great deal of special events and rotating exhibits on its schedule. The Franklin Institute is open Wednesday to Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM and weekends from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Sample Scrumptious Philly Food at Reading Terminal Market
Many visitors to Philadelphia say the food here is out of this world, and they are right. At the Reading Terminal Market, located in Center City, you can sample some of the best food that Philly has to offer. A Philadelphia institution for over 127 years, the market has fresh produce and meats, seafood and baked goods, cooking supplies, plus much more. Shoppers also have a wide selection of restaurants in this National Historic Landmark to cater to every taste. The market is open daily from 8 AM to 6 PM year round and is closed on major holidays.
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