Independence Hall in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania

Across from the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia (which I previously wrote about ), is Independence Hall. Although it was originally built between 1732-1756 as the State House of the Province of Pennsylvania, it became better known for other events that occurred there:

  • George Washington was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in the Assembly Room (1775)
  • Declaration of Independence was adopted (July 4th, 1776)
  • American flag design was approved (1777)
  • Meeting place for the Second Continental Congress, except during the time Philadelphia was occupied by the British Army (winter of 1777-78)
  • Articles of Confederation were adopted (1781)
  • U.S. Constitution was drafted (1787)

The tour begins in the East Wing, and offers a close up view of what is considered classic Georgian architecture. Great pains have been taken to restore the building, inside and out, to its original appearance, and much of the furnishings are period pieces, including the original “rising sun” chair that was used by George Washington as he presided over the Constitution Convention.

Independence Hall is located on Chestnut Street, between 5th & 6th, and is open for free tours year round.  Tour hours vary by season, and require a timed-entry ticket during peak season (generally March through December).

Tickets are available on the morning of your visit at the Independence Visitor Center (starting at 8:30 am), or in advance online, through the National Park Service, for a small handling fee ($1.50/ticket). If you’re opting for walk up tickets, arrive early to have the greatest choice of tour times, as the tickets go fast. Tickets are required for everyone, including infants. All visitors must also go through a security screening.

You should allow about 30-60 minutes to get through Independence Hall, depending on the crowd.

Photo credit: Jon Rochetti

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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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