October 31 – November 5, 2019
Day five was set to be a busy and adventure-filled day. Our first stop was Wawa, which is a well-known Pennsylvania grocery chain. Kristina and I had been making jokes about it the whole trip, so we decided to make sure we stopped once while I was there. We got breakfast, and then we continued down to the Visitor Center area in downtown Philly.
Today’s agenda item was touring Independence Hall. This is where both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were drafted and adopted. As someone into history, especially artifacts and on-site historical events, this was a highlight of the trip already. The tour for Independence Hall is free, but the tickets run out quickly. Arrive first thing in the morning to the visitor center to claim them and make sure you double-check the hours.
We waited for a while for the tour and then we were brought through the multiple connected buildings. We were shown offices, the congressional meeting rooms, and some original documents.
Our next stop was walking around the area in search of new sites and something for lunch. We passed quite a few interesting things along our way.
We settled on City Tavern for lunch and took our time enjoying a meal there. Then we were off on our next adventure.
Christ Church Burial Ground
Our next stop was the Christ Church Burial Ground, which is a two-acre historical burial ground where the graves of Benjamin Franklin and other leaders can be found. There are over 1400 grave markers. A virtual map can be found here. Going into the burial grounds costs $3, but you can view most of it through the gates, including Franklin’s grave (where it’s a tradition to toss a penny).
US Mint Philadelphia
Our next destination was the US Mint facility in Philadelphia. We weren’t able to take any photos inside, so these are the only photos I have. Unlike the Canadian mints, this was more of a currency museum versus showing the production of coins. It was an interesting museum with a whole lot of information about coins.
Benjamin Franklin House
Our next informal stop was walking by the Benjamin Franklin House & Museum. The house is actually simply a steel structure that outlines how Franklin’s house was when it was still standing. You’re also able to walk through the actual passageway that he did when going to his house.
National Museum of American Jewish History
Our final stop of the day was the American Jewish History Museum. We picked this primarily because of their Ruth Bader Ginsberg exhibition happening. They have a variety of other exhibits that “preserve, explore, and celebrate the history of Jews in America.” We were only able to visit the RBH exhibit, but there’s certainly more in the museum worth exploring. They also offer free hour-long tours of the main parts of the museum daily at 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM.