I booked my tickets in advance online so I could go when I wanted without waiting in line. The tickets are free but there is $1.50 service charge per ticket. You can just go to the Visitor Center and get free tickets if any are available. The web site tells you to pick up the tickets an hour in advance at the Visitor Center. Our tour was for 9:00 AM, the Visitor Center opens at 8:30 which is plenty of time to get your reserved ticket. Make sure you are in the correct line.
We were early enough that we could sit outside on the benches waiting for our tour to begin. It was pleasant regardless of the wilting heat. Our tour started promptly at 9 with the Park Ranger Service. One suggestion I do have for them is to organize the line a little better. We had no problem but I could see if there was a large group of people it could be chaotic. They could take a tip from Disney who does lines well.
Our Ranger, Tom, was very good. We started with a mini lecture in a hall. Fortunately the building was air conditioned. He gave us the "back story" briefly on why the Declaration of Independence and Constitution came about. Originally, the building was the Pennsylvania State House erected in 1732. From there the facts flowed. We were taken to the Assmbly Room and saw the original chair where George Washington sat. We went upstairs and saw where gatherings were held and the Governor's office. Very interesting.
The next building was Congress Hall where the Senate and House of Representatives met. John Adam's original chair, as Vice President, was still there. There are also original paintings of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI because of the close relationship of France to the fighting colonies.
The next buidling was on your own. It housed an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation and the US Constitution.
All in all this is a great tour to learn about our beginnings as a nation. So much US History!
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