Philadelphia was the perfect place to hold the DNC Convention because it is nicknamed the Cradle of Liberty. This is the location where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed, forming the modern United States. Following are 10 patriotic things to do in Philadelphia.
If Walls Could Talk
Visit the Independence Hall Visitor Center to pick up a free, timed tour ticket and join a National Park Service Ranger for a guided tour through Independence Hall. You’ll view the room where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed. Admission is free. (520 Chestnut St.) [Note: National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year so visiting any unit of the NPS is a very patriotic thing to do in Philadelphia this week.]
Learn What Caused the Crack in the Liberty Bell
Read about American history and history of the Liberty Bell during a self-guided tour. Be prepared for airport-like security but, you should be able to keep your shoes on. Admission is free. (6th St. & Market St.)
Long Before Facebook…
As a teenager, Benjamin Franklin worked as a printer in Philadelphia, then London and back to Philadelphia where he published an informative and engaging newspaper. Part of Independence Park is the Franklin Court Printing Office run by the National Park Service. See a 1700s printing press in operation. Admission is free. (322 Market St.)
Sit Down, Listen to History
Look for yellow, oval signs reading “Once Upon a Nation“ and a bench to learn about history as told by engaging historic storytellers. Historic Philadelphia, Inc., an organization dedicated to sharing Philadelphia’s place in U.S. history, coordinates the program called Once Upon a Nation. The Storytelling Benches are located throughout Historic Philadelphia. Stories are free.
Walk in History’s Footsteps with Context
Context offers thematic tours led by Ph.D. and master’s level scholars and group size is limited to six people. A patriotic thing to do in Philadelphia is the Franklin Seminar to learn about Benjamin Franklin from his early beginning to his death. The walking tour visits Historic Philly including Christ Church (where I sat in Franklin’s pew), Franklin Court, and Second Bank U.S. Portrait Gallery.
Take a Run, Like Rocky
Running up the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a popular thing to do in Philadelphia. Tourists are often seen imitating Sylvester Stallone’s underdog-boxing character, Rocky Balboa, as he triumphantly ran up the museum steps in five Rocky films. And isn’t Rocky a patriotic character in American pop-culture? Running up the steps is free; museum admission is $20 for adults and view the entire fee schedule online. (2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.)
Love Trumps Hate
Election season is in full swing and let’s get real, the mud-slinging is in full swing and love trumps hate. Head to Dilworth Park to see and snap a selfie of the famous LOVE sculpture by American artist Robert Indiana.
Politics But Without an Agenda
City tour company Urban Adventures has created two patriotic tours relating to the DNC Convention, “I’m with Her: Hillary Clinton and Philly’s Founding Women” and “Feel the Bern: Bernie Sanders and Philly’s Revolutionaries” pretty patriotic. The first is about Philadelphia’s prominent women and their role in founding the U.S. and the second emphasizes Philadelphia’s working class history and more. Don’t worry, these tours promise to keep political agendas out of the agenda.
Collect Patriotic Souvenirs
No doubt, it will be easy to collect patriotic souvenirs during the DNC Convention in Philadelphia but a few places I found fun stuff included Philadelphia International Airport gift shops, Hard Rock Café (picked up a cool DNC pin, pictured) and One Liberty Observation Deck Gift Shop, for a Ben Franklin bottle opener, which, I’m sure he would appreciate, since he was a fan of beer.
Drink American Beer
Philadelphia is a terrific beer town with a respectable number of craft breweries and brewpubs. Across from the Liberty Bell and Independence National Historic Park is Independence Beer Garden where they serve 40 regional and national craft brews. Head over to 2nd Story Brewing for beer crafted in Philly and try the Declaration IPA. (2nd Story Brewing, 117 Chestnut St.; Tel: 267-314-5770; Independence Beer Garden, 100 South Independence Mall West; Tel: 215-922-7100)
There are dozens of other patriotic things to do in Philadelphia and hope this list inspires you to learn a bit more about our country’s beginnings. Check out the Visit Philadelphia website for more patriotic things to do. Additional posts may assist with your Philadelphia visit:
- Traveling Solo in Philadelphia: Where to Eat and Drink
- Traveling Solo in Philadelphia: What to Do, Where to Stay
- Sofitel Philadelphia’s Roof Garden Buzzes with Honey Bees
Planning on attending a political rally? My tips on attending a presidential rally is a great starting point to prepare.