Best Historical Sites to Visit in Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is known for its rich and interesting history. It’s no wonder why so many people travel to this destination year after year just to see its historical sites. If you’re planning a trip to Philadelphia, PA, you’ll want to create a detailed itinerary to ensure that you get the chance to see all of the city’s greatest attractions. Here’s a look at the top historical sites to visit.

The Liberty Bell Center

Located on Market Street in Philadelphia, The Liberty Bell Center is where visitors can go to see the iconic Liberty Bell. The Center spans almost an entire city block and the bell itself can be seen from inside and outside the Center. Discover interesting exhibits that tell the history of the Liberty Bell, including photos, artifacts, and details about how the bell received its crack.

Independence Hall

Do you want to see the location in which the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both debated and adopted? Then plan a visit to Independence Hall. The building is now the focus point of the Independence National Historical Park and offers a wealth of information about the city’s history and the history of the United States. There are many must-sees at Independence Hall, such as George Washington’s “rising sun” chair and the actual inkstand that was used to sign the Declaration of Independence.

The Betsy Ross House

The Betsy Ross House is one of Philadelphia’s most popular landmarks. This is the location where upholsterer Betsy Ross lived. It’s also the spot where she sewed the very first American flag. You can find the Betsy Ross House located in the Historic District of Philadelphia. During your visit, see the home, courtyard, a seasonal medicinal herb garden, the exhibition gallery, the museum store, and even Betsy Ross’s grave.

Elfreth’s Alley

You can find Elfreth’s Alley between the Delaware River and Second Street. This historic street dates back to 1703 and consists of 32 houses that were built from this time period up until 1836. The street also holds the Elfreth’s Alley Museum. Visitors can explore the historic alleyway while on a tour.

The President’s House

Located on High Street (now Market Street), The President’s House served as the “White House” from 1790 until 1800. This is when Philadelphia was the capital of the U.S. This house has a lengthy history. In the house lived nine enslaved persons of African descent, as well as slave quarters for Washington’s stable hands. Several important bills were also signed here, including the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, as well as the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. In 1800, the house became the Francis Union Hotel which ultimately failed. It was then gutted, leaving only the foundation and side walls.

Visiting Historic Philadelphia, PA

You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy a visit to Philadelphia. If you are planning to travel to this historic city, be sure to visit these famous landmarks and learn about the city’s unique history.

 

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Rome

In a city so filled with landmarks and Christian faith, it can be hard to decide where to go first. Your interests will govern your choices, but certain choices are almost obligatory landmarks. We faced the same dilemma with my roof replacement colleagues, in deciding where to visit and where not to, in our limited 24-hour stay in Rome.

In this guide, I shall try to give you my honest opinion and preferences, based on the most frequented places in Rome, Italy, from a historical context.

 

Vatican City

The Vatican is the smallest independent state in the world with an area of less than half a square kilometer. Most of the city is enclosed by the Vatican walls. Inside the Vatican, there are palaces and gardens, including St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. Peter’s Square. The city is ruled by the pope, who is the supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church. Inside St. Peter’s Basilica you will find Michelangelo’s masterpiece, Pieta and alters by Bernini and others, a must-see attraction.

 

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is without a doubt the best-preserved monument of Roman antiquity. It has remained intact for 2000 years. It was rebuilt after damage by fire in AD 80 and features extraordinary high technical mastery of Roman builders. It is a 43-meter dome and represents the supreme achievement of Roman interior architecture.

 

National Roman Museum

If you want to soak yourself in as much as Rome’s history, heritage, and culture, then you have to visit the National Roman Museum. This museum doesn’t house its entire collection in one spot. Instead, its exhibits can be found in multiple locations across the city. Roman artifacts and jewelry can be found within the incredible Palazzo Massimo ale Terme. Should you want to admire the incredible choice of marble and inspiring sculptures, then you visit Palazzo Altemps. Take a closer look at Roman baths found at the restored historical spot of the Baths of Diocletian.

 

Palatine Hill

 

The Palatine Hill is one of the seven Hills of Rome and has links to Roman mythology. Allegedly, it was where a wolf found the twin boys Romulus and Remus and took care of them until a shepherd rescued them. Palatine Hill is the place where Rome was founded. Today, you will find ruins, but during the Imperial era, the hill was completely built up with large palaces.

 

Spanish steps

Spanish steps represent a truly monumental stairway of 135 steps. They were built with French funding between 1721 and 1725 with the aim of linking the Bourbon Spanish embassy to the Holy See with French church, Trinita dei Monti. The steps are usually very crowded and attract tourists as well as locals who use them as a gathering place. May of each year, they are decorated with pink azaleas. At the foot of the Spanish Steps you will find the Piazza di Spagna – Spanish Square, and the Fontana della Barcaccia – which is a sober fountain designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

There are many other historical attractions including; Trevi Fountain, Vatican Museums, Roman Forum, Piazza Navona, and many others.

Must-Visit Places to Go in Baltimore, MD for History Buffs

Charm City is home to countless historical sites and monuments. If you enjoy learning about the history of America’s most influential cities, then you’ll love visiting beautiful Baltimore. During your stay in Baltimore, MD, be sure to visit the following best sights.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Oriole Park is a Major League Baseball ballpark that opened in April of 1992. This was the first “retro” major league ballpark built during the 1990s and early 2000s. Today, it is a popular place to visit, whether you’re into history or just a baseball fan. Take a tour of Oriole Park at Camden Yards and see the club level suites, press level and the Orioles dugout.

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Did you know that Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine actually inspired the iconic “Star Spangled Banner”? During the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812, Fort McHenry went under attack. After that, it stayed an active military post for over a century. In 1933, the location was managed by the National Park Service. Today, travelers can visit the park and learn about the fort’s vast history.

Fells Point

Fells Point is a neighborhood in Baltimore known for its live music, taverns, pubs and unique history. Walk the cobblestone streets and check out the main square. There is a whole lot of history to see and learn about in this area, including the development of the neighborhood’s Victorian homes. Some historic buildings in this area include The Robert Long House, Lloyd Street Synagogue, and the Saint Patrick Catholic Church.

USS Torsk

The USS Torsk is a Tench-class submarine that was laid down by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 1944. Its first launch was in September of 1944 and it was later commissioned in December. The sub was armed with ten torpedo tubes and acted as the backbone of the Navy’s submarine force during World War II. Visitors in Baltimore have the opportunity to tour this historic ship and get a glimpse of what it was like to be a part of the war decades ago.

Federal Hill Park

Federal Hill Park spans more than 10 acres on the south shore of the Inner Harbor. In the 1700s, the hill was mined for raw materials, such as bricks, sand for mortar, and red pigment for paint. In 1788, more than 4,000 people in Baltimore marched through the city in a parade organized by Commodore Joshua Barney, a Revolutionary War hero. The parade was designed to celebrate the ramification of the U.S. Constitution. At the end of the celebration, a 15-foot model ship was sailed out of the harbor, giving the park its name.

Visiting Historic Baltimore

Baltimore attracts more than 26 million visitors each year. Many of these travelers’ flock to the city to see the historic sites and learn about its unique history. If you are planning a visit to Baltimore, be sure to check out some of these amazing landmarks.

 

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Washington, DC

     If you are considering a place to visit in the United States that is full of history and many thought-provoking things to see, then one place to consider is Washington, DC.  As our nation’s capital, since 1790, Washington, DC is filled with museums, memorials, and places to visit that are rich in American history and culture.  A visitor could easily spend several days in Washington, DC, and still not see every historical site that is recommended by previous travelers; however, if you are looking for some ideas of places that shouldn’t be missed, then continue reading below for some information about our favorite spots in, and around, Washington, DC.

-The National Mall and Memorial Parks:  The heart of Washington, DC involves the National Mall and the beautiful area right around the Mall.  This grassy area, aligned with walkways, is surrounded by some of Washington’s most visited places.  Visitors will find several Smithsonian Museum buildings located along the edge of the Mall, as well as memorials, statues, and many other interesting things to see.

-Memorials in Washington, DC:  The memorials can be visited by walking, by car, or by tour bus.  These memorials include ones, such as; the Washington Monument, Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, WWII Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Roosevelt Memorial, and many others.

-The White House Visitor Center:  Unless you have scheduled well in advance, then you probably will not be allowed into the actual White House, but visiting the White House Visitor Center, that is operated by the National Park Service, can provide you with some interesting White House information.  The White House has been home to the standing U.S. President since 1800.

-Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum:  Ranked as the most popular museum in the U.S., this massive museum is home to the world’s biggest collection of historical spacecraft and aircraft.  The museum is located adjacent to the National Mall, and incorporates a second location, that can be found at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near the Washington Dulles International Airport.

-National Archives Museum:  This museum is located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a little north from the National Mall.  It is within this building that you can see the documents that helped to create our country; the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  There are also several other important documents that can be seen here, and visitors can easily spend a couple of hours in this museum.

-Arlington National Cemetery:  Located just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, in Arlington, VA, is this beautiful cemetery.  Comprised of over 600 acres of rolling hills, visitors can experience peace, devotion, and respect, as you see the U.S. Military at their assigned posts and walk around the final resting place of some very influential Americans.

-Smithsonian National Museum of American History:  This museum that is unique to our country, is home to a plethora of artifacts that helped to shape our American culture.  It is located along the edge of the National Mall, and as with all of the Smithsonian Museums, entrance is always free to the public.

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Boston

If you are traveling in the United States, and you are looking for a place to visit that is rich in history and has plenty of interesting sights to explore, then consider Boston as one of your stops.  Boston, Massachusetts is the capital of the state, and is one of the oldest cities in our entire country.  It was founded by English Puritans in 1630.  Throughout the city, visitors will find many historic buildings to explore, as well as a wealth of modern-day places to find entertainment, fine dining, and plenty of things to see and do.  With so much to offer and a great place to learn about the influences of the American Revolution that happened in this city, Boston is certainly a place for any history buff.

One great place to start with a historical tour of Boston is on the Freedom Trail.  The Freedom Trail was organized in the 1950’s and is a suggested path through the streets of downtown Boston.  The 2.5-mile path winds through the city and highlights many historical sights of the city.  Official tours are available along the Freedom Trail, or visitors are free to meander along the Trail at their own pace.  Some of the sights that are highlighted along the Freedom Trail include; the Massachusetts State House, the country’s First Public School, the Boston Massacre Site, the New England Holocaust Memorial site, the , the Old North Church, the USS Constitution Museum, and so much more.  The Freedom Trail can be enjoyed in one, very full, day, or can be spread out over several days, depending on how much time you wish to spend at each designated landmark.

Another interesting stop is Faneuil Hall.  This building is also called the “Cradle of Liberty”, as it is a place where many well-known orators have made famous speeches over the years.  First opened in 1743, Faneuil Hall has been the place where people like Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, and James Otis, Jr., have made public speeches on many controversial issues, including the “taxation without representative” speeches.  Today, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a place filled with interesting shops and restaurants.  This place is almost always filled with people, as they meander their way through the interesting venues and entertainment delights.

For folks who are interested in a natural escape in the midst of the bustling city of Boston, then one place that you should not miss is the Boston Public Garden and the Boston Common.  Boston Public Garden first opened in 1837 and consists of 24 acres of natural beauty.  Many people enjoy an afternoon stroll through the park or a leisurely ride on a swan boat around the park lake.  The park has walking trails and statues for all to enjoy, and is opened every day of the year.  Adjacent to the Boston Public Garden is the Boston Common.  The Boston Common was established in 1634 and holds the title for being America’s oldest public park.

Boston is a city with so much to explore, that a visitor can easily spend several days here and still have plenty of things to see.  Along with exploring the history of the city, you can also easily find delicious local restaurants, as well as many interesting shopping destinations, too.

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Athens

If you are a history enthusiast, then one destination that you may have great interest in visiting, is Athens, Greece.  There are many reasons to visit Athens, including; the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Acropolis Museum, the National Archeological Museum, and so much more.  Athens is the capital of Greece, is Greece’s largest city, and is the center of all things related to Ancient Greece.  The city is a mix of old and new, and it is a bustling place with a plethora of places to visit, things to learn, and philosophies to explore.

The historic buildings of the Acropolis are a must-see when visiting Athens.  Buildings such as the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, and several others that are located in the Acropolis are breathtaking and iconic.  The architecture of these structures has amazed people for such a long time, and the wonder of them will continue to inspire people for many generations yet to come.  Long considered a symbol of Greek civilization, the temple of the Parthenon has withstood the test of time and reminds people of the reason that it was constructed, as a temple to the goddess, Athena.

Another place that you may wish to see while in Athens is the National Archeological Museum.  This museum has acquired the title of being one of the greatest museums in the world.  Within the museum, you will find multiple artifacts of interests, mainly from archeological locations around all of Greece.  Although there were previous locations for the National Archeological Museum of Greece, the current museum was constructed in 1889.  Interestingly enough, during World War II, this museum was closed.  Many of the precious artifacts were taken out of the museum during this time, and they were sealed in special boxes and then buried, in order to prevent them from being destructed during the war.  When the war ended, the items were unveiled and were placed back into the museum.

A person should not go to Athens without tasting a variety of delectable, and local, foods.  This area is known for having some wonderful restaurants, and you should have no problem finding a delicious place that fits your budget and your taste buds, too.  A couple of local favorites may include; Atitamos, Dinner in the Sky, 2MAZI Restaurant, or Vassilenas.  Menu items, such as souvlaki, baklava, moussaka, saganaki, Greek salad, and many other items, can be savored and enjoyed by even the pickiest of eaters.

Many travelers believe that the best time of year to visit Athens is in the Spring and in Autumn.  Keep in mind that July and August are the hottest times of the year in Athens, and it may not be very comfortable for you to spend your days outdoors, as you enjoy the many historical sights.  Whether you are staying a few days in Athens, or if you can stay for several days, the people in Athens are generally welcoming, especially if you happen to know a little bit of the Greek language.  Athens is a place for anyone who enjoys history, art, culture, and a place that is beautiful and unforgettable, too.

London

    London is a fascinating city, with so much to see and explore.  From the very old buildings and rich history, to a thriving, new city, a little bit of everything can be found around this interesting travel destination.  The skyline of London is very distinguishable by some very popular structures.  Of course, the Clock Tower and Big Ben, can be easily spotted, as well as the House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the London Bridge, and the London Eye.  If you have some time to spend in London, then you have many interesting sights to explore, and several great dining and shopping destinations to check out, too.

Most visitors to the city of London are aware of the Changing of the Guard ceremonies that take place near Buckingham Palace.  This ceremony takes place most days throughout the year and is free for the public to view.  It is an interesting ceremony where the Queen’s Guard changes hands.  There is a lot of formality and English culture involved in this ceremony and the scenery is beautiful.

The London Eye, which is also referred to as the Millennium Wheel, first opened in the year 2000.  At the time, it was ranked as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, but it has since been surpassed.  From the London Eye, viewers can have remarkable views of the London skyline, while also enjoying a temperature-controlled environment.  The London Eye lasts about 30 minutes for one rotation and can hold a maximum number of 800 passengers.

A trip to London would not seem complete without a trip by Buckingham Palace and/or the Tower or London.  Buckingham Palace is not open to the public, except for a few months of the year, when you can prearrange a tour inside part of the palace, called the Royal Palace.  The Tower or London is open for tours, where visitors can learn a wealth of information on the history of the Tower, view the Crown Jewels, and interact with the Tower’s Beefeater Guards.

While in London, a stroll through Hyde Park is also a great way to spend a beautiful afternoon.  Hyde Park consist of approximately 300 acres of gorgeous, open nature.  In the park, you will find trails, statues, the Diana Memorial Fountain, and a lake, called Serpentine Lake, where visitors can enjoy fishing, swimming, and many other activities.  Hyde Park is a place that offers a sense of calmness and relaxation, in an otherwise busy and bustling city.

While in London, visitors will have no shortage of places to see and things to do.  Along with exploring all of the beautiful, old buildings and learning the rich history of the area, you also have the availability to some of the finest restaurants and shopping destinations around, too.  A couple of the best restaurants include The Wolseley and The Ledbury, among many other fine dining establishments.  As for shopping, many travelers like to plan a stop by Harrods.  Harrods is a multi-level department store that is home to some of the world’s best designer clothes, home goods, and many other accessories, too.

Paris

     The French capital of Paris is a beautiful city to visit, and there are a lot of interesting and historical sights to see while you are there.  Paris is known as the “city of love” or as the “city of lights”, and it has so much to offer to residents and visitors, alike.  From iconic landmarks, to beautiful scenery, and to some exquisite cafes and restaurants, Paris is a destination that has something to offer to anyone who plans to visit this remarkable city.

A trip to Paris doesn’t seem complete without a visit to the Louvre Museum.  Known as the world’s largest art museum, the Louvre is a Paris landmark unlike any other place.  This museum is filled with a variety of archeological exhibits, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and so much more.  Guests can easily spend hours walking through the exhibits and basking in the glory of such a wealth of artwork.

Notre Dame de Paris is another landmark that should be seen by any visitor; however, if you remember, this landmark suffered from a fire disaster in the Spring of 2019.  Although the cathedral is not opened yet for the public, due to renovations from the fire, this landmark is still an iconic structure that should not be missed.  Construction of Notre Dame began in 1160 and lasted for about one hundred years.  Through the centuries, the cathedral has had many renovations and modifications, but it is always quite remarkable to be the unique structure that it is, for all to enjoy.

Perhaps the most iconic structure in all of Paris is the Eiffel Tower.  The Eiffel Tower measures 1063 feet tall, and it is the tallest structure in all of Paris.  It is beautiful by day, as you can easily distinguish the lattice-type, wrought-iron design that was used in its’ construction.  By night, the Tower is brilliant and recognizable by everyone in the area.  The Eiffel Tower was built in the late 1880’s, and has been a main landmark for Paris ever since.  The Eiffel Tower is opened to the public every day of the year, and visitors can decide how high up into the Tower they wish to explore.

Near the Eiffel Tower is the gorgeous Seine River.  This river, that runs through the city, is a main waterway for river cruise ships and scenic riverboat cruises.  The full expanse of the river is 483 miles.  Enjoying a ride along the river is a wonderful, relaxing way to spend an afternoon, an evening, or a nighttime excursion.  The views are memorable and beautiful, and there are several options for visitors to enjoy.

Lastly, Paris is a haven for food enthusiasts.  From old, historic restaurants to newer, quaint cafes, travelers can find a plethora of food choices throughout the streets of Paris.  Perhaps some of the best fine dining establishments are Epicure, Boutary, or Pur’-Jean-Francois Rouquette.  There are many local places for you to treat your taste buds to, and many off-the-street markets and cafes that are easy to enjoy and are easily accessible.  Bon Appetite!