Old City Philadelphia is the heart of the city’s historic district. This is where Ben Franklin and other early patriots lived and left their marks. If you’re visiting Philadelphia this season, be sure to check out at least a few of the following Old City Philadelphia attractions:
Places To Go:
1. Betsy Ross House. This tribute to the woman who stitched the first American flag may have been her house, or it may have been her neighbor’s. In either case, this 250-year-old brick townhouse has been furnished with 18th century period furniture and offers a glimpse at how Ms. Ross might have lived. Hours vary by season. Admission is $5.
Betsy Ross House; 239 Arch St., Old City, Philadelphia; 215 686-1252
2. Christ Church and Christ Church Burial Ground. This Georgian-style Anglican church counted among its congregation no fewer than 15 signers of the “Declaration of Independence.” Designed by London’s Christopher Wren, the church was once the Philadelphia place of worship for Benjamin Franklin and John and Abigail Adams. Hours vary by season.
Christ Church; 20 N. American St., 2nd St. north of Market St. Old City, Philadelphia; 215 922-1695
3. Elfreth’s Alley. The oldest, continuously open street in America is located in Old City Philadelphia. The
cobblestone lane is lined with two and three-story brick townhouses that date to the 18th century. It’s a walk back in time…and it’s free.
Elfreth’s Alley; Front and 2nd Sts. between Arch and Race Sts., Old City, Philadelphia
4. Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site. The author of “The Raven” and dozens of macabre stories lived at this house from 1843 to 1844. Today it’s furnished as it might have been during Poe’s time and is filled with Poe manuscripts and other memorabilia. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.
Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site; 532 N. 7th St., Northern Liberties, Philadelphia; 215 597-8780
5. U.S. Mint. This was the first U.S. Mint constructed in the United States. Opened in 1792, it remained in use until 1971. Today, the elegant building is open for tours and includes seven original Tiffany windows, exhibits on how coins are made and a display of the United States’ military medals. The U.S. Mint is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.
U.S. Mint; 5th and Arch Sts., Old City, Philadelphia; 215 408-0114
6. Arch Street Meeting House. Built in 1804, the Arch street Meeting House served as the annual site of the Philadelphia meeting of the Society of Friends. Today, the simple building houses a small museum and an interactive exhibit about William Penn. It is still used as a house of worship by the Quakers. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A donation of $2.00 is suggested.
Arch Street Meeting House; 320 Arch St., at 4th St. Old City, Philadelphia; 215 627-2667
7. African-American Museum of Philadelphia. This interactive museum, which opened in 1976, tells the story of a wide range of African-American Philadelphia residents from the days of the Underground Railroad through the women’s suffrage movement to the present. The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $10.
African-American Museum of Philadelphia; 701 Arch St., Old City, Philadelphia; 215 574-0380
One Last Stop…
When you visit Old City Philadelphia, be sure to make a reservation at the Morris House Hotel. This National Historic Landmark, built in 1787, has been lovingly restored to its 18th century grandeur and combines the coziness of a bed and breakfast inn with the service and amenities of a grand hotel.