Independence Square Philadelphia And More
Independence Square in Philadelphia is the heart of the historic district. Independence Hall was actually the Pennsylvania State House and is the place where the Declaration of Independence was adopted as well as the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
The 2nd Continental Congress met in this room- Assembly Room– with each state getting a table. The chair up front was George Washington’s Rising Sun Chair which is real. A lot of the decorations inside are replications these days.
There is a tour of Independence Hall which runs every 15-30 minutes. This is the only way to get inside Independence Hall. Luckily in December it was not crowded so the nice rangers let us hop on a tour that wasn’t full. Normally you have to make advance reservations.
Staircase in Independence Hall:
I just keep playing the movie National Treasure in my head as I was walking around the grounds. While not the most historically accurate movie (treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence), it is a very entertaining movie where you learn a lot about U.S. History and see a lot of historical sites pop up in scenes.
The building across the street from the entrance to Independence Hall had a Ben Franklin statue wearing a toga. I was unaware he was Greek
The Liberty Bell is also in Independence Square. Go first thing in the morning to avoid the long lines. You also get less people in your Liberty Bell photos the earlier you arrive.
We wandered by Ben Franklin’s grave a few blocks away. It is good luck to leave a penny face up on it. Mom tried and it fell off- now she’ll have bad luck, we decided. Nice going, Mom.
Philadelphia is full of important graves. At Betsy Ross’s house we saw hers in the courtyard. I have been here a few times before and never noticed it. They moved her here in 1975 for the Bicentennial celebrations.
Mom at Betsy’s:
A new stop for me this trip was Elfreth’s Alley. It is the oldest continuously lived on street in the United States.
A lot of the homes are meticulously kept while a few were in need of some major repairs. There is a museum on the street that we didn’t go to. I enjoyed looking at all the small rowhomes. Some houses still had milk boxes for milk deliveries.
Philadelphia is great day trip for anyone doing a roadtrip along the East Coast. If you are lucky enough to be able to drive or take the train to Philly, carve out a day to visit some of the most important United States sites that helped shape our country. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco is a great place to stay as it is on Independence Square and don’t forget to eat a Philly cheesesteak or two!