Through nearly four centuries, Pennsylvania has enjoyed a vibrant range of history, culture and art. The Keystone State took center stage for many formative events in early American history, from the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia to the Continental Army’s grueling winter at Valley Forge. Less than a century later, the Battle of Gettysburg marked the turning point of the Civil War.
In addition to seeing these momentous landmarks, visitors can explore world-class museums, formal gardens, eclectic eateries and so much more. To help travel groups narrow down their choice of attractions, we outlined a sample four-day itinerary of four key regions in the state.
Characterized by cobblestone alleys and beautiful city squares, Philadelphia exudes an energetic, chic atmosphere with Old World charm.
Visitors can start their days with breakfast at the historic Reading Terminal Market, which is below a former train terminal. The indoor market is the oldest continuously operated farmers market in the country, with a wide selection of Cajun, Middle Eastern, Asian and Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. Some choice breakfast options include Beiler’s Donuts, the Dutch Eating Place, the Down Home Diner and Old City Coffee.
After visiting prestigious historic sites such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Thomas Jefferson’s house, groups can delve deeper into Colonial history at the new Museum of the American Revolution, which opened in 2017. The state-of-the-art museum brings history to life through interactive displays and short film experiences; also featured are powerful artifacts such as George Washington’s war tent and the first newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence.
Just a few minutes from the Museum of the American Revolution, City Tavern is an appropriate lunch venue to complement your group’s historical sightseeing. The three-story Colonial tavern is a detailed reconstruction of the original City Tavern that George Washington, Jefferson and other notable figures once frequented. Guests are greeted by servers clad in period attire and led to candlelit tables, where they can feast on authentic 1800s cuisine such as lobster pie, mallard duck sausage and Martha Washington’s chocolate mousse cake.
The Barnes Foundation is another of the city’s must-see attractions. Founded in 1922 by Albert C. Barnes, the museum houses some of the most distinguished impressionist art in the world, featuring the work of renowned artists like Renoir, Picasso, Cézanne, Matisse and Rousseau.
As the day winds to a close, groups should be sure to stop by the One Liberty Observation Deck, also known as Philly From the Top, for an unparalleled view of the glittering cityscape. After a 75-second elevator ride, visitors step out into a 360-degree, glass-enclosed space more than 850 feet above downtown Philadelphia.