- Eat: City Tavern, Runner up: Mrs. K’s Koffee Shop
For those of you from Philly, apologies. For travelers- enjoy an excellant period themed meal with delicious food and good atmosphere. A tourist spot this is but don’t be put off. Owned and operated by PBS’s Chef Walter Staib, City Tavern serves up delicious food with a historical twist. Every dish on its menu is historically vetted. Don’t hesitate to sample George Washington’s porter, a beer crafted to the recipe developed by President #1 at his Mount Vernon home. If you have time travel down the road to Yards Brewing Company (about a 15 minute walk) to have another sip at lower prices.
- Play: Franklin Square: Home to a mini-golf course, playground and carousel, this is a good spot near the historical district to just have fun. In the summers you’ll find special events like twilight yoga, holiday weekend celebrations and more.
- Learn: Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and The National Constitution Center
Visitors take note, in order to tour the Pennsylvania State House, better known as Independence Hall, you need to get a ticket (free) across the street at the Visitor’s Center. Head past the Liberty Bell towards the National Constitution Center (another great spot if you have time and stamina to attend), the Visitor’s Center is in between the two. Tours last about a half hour and are heavily populated by school groups in the late morning and early afternoon. Make it your first stop on a day out and you’ll find a more personal feel with opportunities to ask questions.
Lines to lick the Liberty Bell (How I Met Your Mother reference anyone?!) are long and get longer as the day goes on. If just seeing it will do, peer through the windows facing Chestnut Street for a pretty good view.
The National Constitution Center houses a copy of the Constitution, printed in 1787 in The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser. Pretty neat, but if you only accept primary-primary sources you can find original in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Unlike the tours through Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, admission comes at a price, but includes any traveling or special exhibitions currently housed at the center. Check online to see what’s going on before you make a day of it.