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“Worth it if you're topic-interested and a patient reader”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of United States Mint

United States Mint
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$31.99*
and up
Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour
Ranked #7 of 75 Tours in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: As close to the proverbial money-tree as you'll get. The U.S. Mint turns out 1.5 million coins per hour, and you can see how they do it.
Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
45 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Worth it if you're topic-interested and a patient reader”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012

The tour is free, and thus it is a good value (if it were not free, it would not be a good value as it stands). It is a self-guided tour, and this accounts for half of the vast disparity in ratings you will see in other reviews. It consists of a long series of displays, which are equal parts text and samples with occasional multimedia or interactive video screens, and it details the entire process a new coin takes from idea to circulation; about halfway through, there are also windows viewing the actual working "factory" floor. My wife and I were interested in the topic and took time to read every bit of the displays, and we found that we enjoyed the tour a lot and both learned things (despite already both being quite knowledgeable on the topic). We observed many other visitors, and they seemed to be equally divided into (a) families where at least one adult was taking the time to read each display to the group and discuss, and (b) families where they were largely ignoring the displays and just rushing from window to window to look in at the factory. It was very apparent that the "type a" families were having a great time, while "type b" families were cranky and unsatisfied. Use this to decide if *you* should visit... if your family likes to patiently read all the text in museum displays, this tour will be rewarding; if your family prefers action and human interaction and is impatient with or uninterested in lots of reading, you might want to skip this tour.

The other factor that appears to account for the vast difference in ratings between other reviews is whether the factory is in operation at the time of the visit. We visited at midday on a Thursday, and every area of the factory was busy at work. The tour windows are high above the factory with thick glass, so there is no direct interaction with the factory or workers; however, several times, we saw workers glance up to see if any children were passing by on the tour, and if so, they would stop for a moment to wave, and then to hold up the coin or medallion they are working on (this was very kind of them). I can see, however, where the tour might be significantly less interesting with views of a silent and deserted "factory", so I recommend making sure to go on a weekday and not on a holiday.

Those that visit should also be forewarned that (a) you cannot take any photos whatsoever in the mint, and (b) to enter the mint you must pass through the most sensitive and finnicky security screening metal detector I have ever encountered (and I have encountered many, at airports, federal and state buildings, major landmarks, historical sites, etc.)... I had to go so far as to remove the belt from my pants entirely because the very small buckle (smaller than average size, and just the simple kind that is attached to a very cheap belt) was still setting it off, and there is no comfortable or private place after the screening to "put yourself together again" (I had my belt, camera, phone, glasses, wallet, etc. in my arms whilst trying to hold my pants up, all while people were coming rapidly through the checkpoint behind me, and no place to stop and restore my accountrements and my dignity). The screeners were very friendly and helpful, though, as much as possible; be prepared, and this shouldn't spoil a visit.

In all, go if you are interested in how the U.S. makes coins, willing to take your time and read lots of displays, and able to go on a weekday during business hours. If you are missing one of these three components, you might do well to skip it.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank GregJHipius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Wheeling, Illinois
Level Contributor
111 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“US Mint gift shop”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012

We arrived too late to take a tour.
However we were able to go into the gift shop which was well worth the visit.
The US mint gift shop is filled with unique and interesting items.
They offer proof sets of the current and older us coins. Many other products featuring US coins are available.
Fascinating displays
If you can't take the tour of the US Mint, you might want to spend some time in the US Mint gift shop.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Steve-the-paperman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gladwyne, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
342 reviews
190 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 376 helpful votes
“Nothing much to see”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2012

If this is the "new" tour, I'd hate to see what they had there before. It was Saturday, and no workers were on the floor. No coins being made. The self-guided tour is nothing more than walking down a long dark hallway then turning around and walking back. Tour over. Even if they were making coins, you still wouldn't be able to see much of anything anyway. I suppose the new items installed were maybe a dozen 15 inch touchscreens that showed some processes along the walk. Shame the place has been open for only a few weeks and some of them were already not working. Not that you were missing anything, they ran about 5 to 10 second clips over and over when you touched them. Children will be bored to death. Most adults too. I think they spent the vast majority of the remodeling money on the gift shop. There you can buy a t-shirt that says "US Mint" for a mere $40. Seems they'd rather take in money here than send it out. Admission is free, with a photo ID, so if you have absolutely nothing else to do and have a need to waste 30 minutes, this is the place.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Trip117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucerias, Mexico
Level Contributor
117 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“interesting tour”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2012

We toured the mint recently. While they were not making any coins, the tour was interesting. Lots of boards with information about the process.
One tip, they guard required us to provide government issued photo ID to go on a tour. No other attraction required this.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank sioux4noff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“interesting”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2012

nobody was working while we toured. I guess they only work a few days a month, when they get called in to make money. They do not have to produce money on a daily basis - that was very interesting to find out.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Judi H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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