48 Hours in Philadelphia, PA – Our Visit to Center City

Are you a history buff? I never really was in High School. It seemed so boring, and not important in my daily life. However, with us visiting all 50 states, I have a much better appreciation for history and really enjoy learning more about how the past created and changed the US. Last month we spent 48 Hours in Philadelphia and learned so much about the American Revolution. We also had a wonderful time checking out some of the local attractions and exploring the City of Brotherly Love. There were quite a few things we wanted to see and do, but the main thing was a tour of Independence Hall. That was where we started our visit on our first day in Center City.

48 hours in Philadelphia - Independance Hall 3

A historic civic building in Center City is where both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted by America’s Founding Fathers. The structure forms the centerpiece of the Independence National Historical Park and was designated a World Heritage Site in 1979. Completed in 1753 as the Pennsylvania State House, it served as the first capitol of both the United States and of the Province and later the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was the principal meeting place of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1781, and was the site of the Constitutional Convention, at which the U.S. Constitution, the longest-standing written and codified national constitution in the world, was ratified on June 21, 1788. Note of importance: Tours are free, but you have to make reservations. Click on this link to reserve your tour.

48 hours in Philadelphia - Independance Hall 2

Visiting Independence Hall was a great way to start our 48 hours in Philadelphia. After we left the tour, we spent some time walking around Independence Square, and just absorbing the enormity of where we were and the history that happened so many years ago. We also had some fun taking a few pictures and people watching. We eventually made our way to check out the Liberty Bell.

48 hours in Philadelphia - Liberty Bell 1

Originally placed in the steeple of Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, previously called the State House Bell or Old State House Bell, is an iconic symbol of American independence. Today the Liberty Bell today is located across the street from Independence Hall in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park.

48 hours in Philadelphia - Liberty Bell 2

In its early years, the bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens about public meetings and proclamations. It is believed that the first ringing of the Liberty Bell was on July 8, 1776, when, along with other bells in Philadelphia, the Declaration of Independence was first read to the public. While no contemporary account of the Liberty Bell’s ringing exists, most historians believe the Liberty Bell was among the bells rung that day.

48 hours in Philadelphia - Reading Terminal

By the time we were done with Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, we were getting hungry so we head to grab some food while checking out Terminal Market. Originally opened in 1893 under the elevated train shed of the Reading Railroad Company, eventually the city of Philadelphia advocated moving public markets from the streets into indoor facilities for both safety and sanitary reasons. The Reading Company then proposed using the Reading Terminal complex as the site for a new convention center.

48 hours in Philadelphia - Reading Terminal Crafts

The site was chosen for the convention center, and today the Market still occupies the ground floor and basement levels of the Reading Terminal’s former train shed. Over one hundred merchants offer fresh produce, meats, fish, artisan cheese, groceries, ice cream, flowers, grilled cheese, baked goods, smoothies, flowers, crafts, books, clothing, and specialty and ethnic foods. We had a great time checking out all the vendors and eventually grabbed some food.  This place is huge and amazing.

48 hours in Philadelphia - MOA

Much later that afternoon we ended up at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We didn’t have time to check out the museum itself, but Gene wanted me to take some pictures of him in front of the bronze Rocky statue on the grounds of the museum. If that wasn’t enough, he even wanted to run up the stairs, also known as the Rocky steps, like Sylvester Stallone did in the original Rocky movie. FYI, he DID IT! For those who haven’t seen the movie, the Rocky steps are 72 stone steps leading up to the East entrance of the aforementioned Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia. The scene is widely considered one of the most iconic in the history of modern films. Like Gene, many tourists often mimic Rocky’s famous climb, which has become a physical metaphor for an underdog rising to a great challenge. Here is a video of him running up the stairs.

While in Philadelphia, we were doing a dog sit through Trusted House Sitters and had to get back to take care of the dog before it got too late. We ended up eating at a local place and hitting a craft brewery. It was a great way to spend our first 48 hours in Philadelphia. We started the next morning taking a tour of the Museum of the American Revolution.

48 hours in Philadelphia - Revolution Museum 1

Dedicated to telling the story of the American Revolution, this museum was opened to the public on April 19, 2017, the 242nd anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Permanent and special exhibition galleries, theaters and large-scale tableaux portray the individuals and events and engage people in the history and continuing relevance of the American Revolution.

48 hours in Philadelphia - Revolution Museum 2

The museum was incredible, and I learned so much more about the Revolution. There were so many interesting exhibits, but the one that was the most alluring was the one called Witness to Revolution: The Unlikely Travels of Washington’s Tent.  It is a special exhibit which shares the story of individuals from all walks of life who saved Washington’s tent from being lost over the generations and who ultimately fashioned this relic into a symbol of the fragile American republic. It was such an amazing piece of history to be able to see and experience. So hard to believe it is over 225 years old.

48 hours in Philadelphia - Love Park

Later we took the Phlash bus around the city. It is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to spend 48 hours in Philadelphia seeing historic attractions and cultural Institutions. It goes by Besty Ross’s house, the Ben Franklin Museum,  the Zoo, the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, and Love Park (where we took a cheesy photo under the Love Sign). You can also see a picture of us in front of the Love Sign at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.  There were so many more, but those are the ones that I remember the most. It’s kind of like a mixture of a regular city bus and a Hop on Hop Off bus, but there isn’t commentary shared as you drive around.

48 hours in Philadelphia - Citizens Bank Park

While in Philadelphia we also had to make sure to visit Citizens Bank Park and watch a Phillies game! They were playing the Texas Rangers and had a very good game. However, before the game even started, we had a wonderful surprise. The famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses were making multiple stops around the Philadelphia area on their 2024 cross-country tour, and their first stop was outside Citizens Bank Park an hour or so before 1st pitch.  It was so amazing to see these beautiful horses again.

48 hours in Philadelphia - Clysdales

It was a great way to end our 48 hours in Philadelphia. There was so much to see and do in Philadelphia, and we only scratched the surface of this historical city. We easily could have spent weeks exploring the city and learning more history. Philadelphia is definitely on our list to visit again in the future. I hope you enjoyed reading about some of these local attractions and plan  your own visit someday. Let me know if you’ve been to Philadelphia, and your favorite things to do while in the city. Safe travels.


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3 thoughts on “48 Hours in Philadelphia, PA – Our Visit to Center City

  1. Wow, what a packed 48 hour visit. It sounds like your time was filled with learning and witnessing beauty and wonder all around the city. I didn’t know about that art gallery, and it sounds like a very interesting exhibit all around. Thank you for sharing all the pictures!

    1. I was definitely a whirlwind 48 hours, lol. We did have a great time though. 🙂 Thanks for the msg. Happy travels.

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