Old City Philadelphia
Halfway through our Saturday, we decided to pick up and go to Philadelphia since it’s about an hour and 45 minutes away from Baltimore. We spent about 4 hours in Old City with the goal of learning/living in some history and seeing what it had to offer us. Unfortunately the lines for the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall were too long to fit in our short visit, but it was pretty spectacular just seeing it from the outside. In the photo on the left, see if you can spot both Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell 😉
Things to Do
Betsy Ross House
Just a few blocks away, we explored Betsy Ross‘ house. It was very cool to see inside of where she used to live, her history, and how she came to be. Another empowering woman moment. Interesting facts:
- She kept the last name of her first husband; she married three times! She is buried next to her third husband in a grave on that plot of land.
- Making flags for the U.S.A. was dangerous at that time; if the British soldiers found out, she would have been sent to prison.
Elfreth’s Alley and Christ Church
We walked outside of Christ Church (built in 1744) and tried to spot Ben Franklin’s gravesite as we made our way to Elfreth’s Alley. The gates to the church were closed, so we could only speculate. The houses in Elfreth’s Alley were built between the early 1700s-1836, and people still inhabit them today! It was such a cute and picturesque alley. We especially loved the crooked lantern in Bladen’s Court 🙂 Interesting Facts:
- Elfreth’s Alley is the nation’s oldest residential street
- Two neighbors wanted access to their backyards and created an alleyway off of Elfreth’s Alley. They called it Bladen’s Court
- The shoe is NOT in the alleyway, but it is close to it off of 2nd Street 🙂 See below.
It was fun to go down all the other alleyways to relive the days of old, as we headed to Penn’s Landing. This is an area along the Delaware River facing the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Currently, Winterfest inhabits the area which was a great surprise. There was ice skating and activities for all to enjoy here. We felt like we were at a ski resort when relaxing at The Lodge.
The last thing we did was drive around the circle at City Hall, the largest municipal building in the U.S. I’ve driven around this building multiple times and it always takes my breath away! At nighttime, the lighting on it is perfection and makes it even more dramatic.
We ordered out from Sonny’s Cheesesteaks (when in Philly…), then ate it inside at The Bourse food hall so we could actually enjoy what we were eating without our fingers turning to icicles. The Bourse was founded in 1891 and was used for exchanges of stock, maritime, and grain-trading. Across the street from the Betsy Ross House was ICI Macarons; I’ve heard from a few people that they are better than the ones in Paris… I would have to agree (if I had ever been to Paris)!
We parallel parked on a street near the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. It uses the ParkMobile App, so be sure to have that downloaded on your phone before you go. You can also pay at the kiosk on the sidewalk. There’s plenty of parking garages you can look up ahead of time. But, I would recommend parallel parking if you can do that, it was definitely cheaper.