Over the years we have taken our many exchange students to Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. We have expanded our visit of the area and made our own walking tour. We just came back from a tour with this year's exchange student and his host family who told us they enjoyed our walking tour. So, I thought I would share it with others.
Start at Independence Visitor Center as soon as they open in the morning. Except for a few months in the winter you must get a timed ticket to take the tour of Independence Hall. If you prefer not to arrive so early, you can get timed tickets on-line for a cost of $1.50 each.
From the Visitor Center cross Market Street to the President's House Site and the Liberty Bell Center.
After viewing these cross Chestnut Street to visit Independence Square. The Great Essentials exhibit in the West Wing and Congress Hall tour can either be visited before or after your Independence Hall tour.
From Independence Square cross 5th Street on Chestnut and stop at the Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank of the United States.
From there continue on Chestnut Street to Carpenter's Hall.
After visiting Carpenter's Hall cross Chestnut Street and continue a short distance to the sign for Franklin Court. Turn left into the rear entrance of Franklin Court to view the "ghost house" in the courtyard. There is also a museum and gift shop to the left side of the courtyard. As you walk toward the front of the courtyard you will see the entryway. On the far side of the left building is the Old Print Shop where you can view historian/rangers using the printing press. If you leave by the front entrance you can view the Market Street houses. Turn right. On the other side of the entryway to the courtyard you will come to the Old Post Office.
Continue on Market Street. Cross the street at 3rd Street and continue on Market Street. On the left just before 2nd Street you will see Christ Church. Walk through the small park to enter the church. Historians are in the church to answer any questions you may have and to explain the various things in the church. A donation is requested; however, it is not required. Our exchange students always find the historians very informative so a donation is well worth the experience.
From Christ Church walk toward 2nd Street. Turn left on 2nd Street and walk 1 1/2 blocks to Elfreth's Allen on the right side of the street. Elfreth's Alley is known as the oldest residential street in the United States. Be sure to visit the even smaller street on the left that leads to a small courtyard.
Upon leaving Elfreth's Alley, backtrack on 2nd Street to Arch Street. Turn right onto Arch Street until you get to the Betsy Ross House on the right. There is a courtyard there with a fountain and grave site. You can also visit the gift shop and take a tour of the house (fee charged).
Turn right after your visit. At the corner of Arch & 3rd Streets, cross the street. Continue on Arch Street. You will arrive at the Arch Street Friends Meeting House (tours available - not sure if there is a fee) and then the Christ Church Burial Ground where you can see Benjamin Franklin's grave from the sidewalk or take a tour (fee charged) to also see other graves.
On the far corner of Arch and 5th Streets is the Free Quaker Meeting House at which point you are back to the Independence Visitor Center park.
If time allows the National Constitution Center offers many exhibits and events (fee charged).
I hope you all enjoy our tour as much as we do.
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