The history in Philadelphia is one of my favorite things about living in the city. If you don’t live in the city, you may know Old City Philadelphia as the place where the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are (plus tons of other places like Elfreth’s Alley, the Betsy Ross House, Christ Church, and more), but there’s a lot more to that area, especially in the nearby neighborhoods. You should definitely go to the historic sites when you visit (they are instrumental in the formation of America, after all!), but you should also take the opportunity to get off the beaten path and visit other parts of historic Philadelphia!
Many areas in Old City Philadelphia (and nearby neighborhoods like Society Hill and Washington Square West) are residential and a lot less busy than areas around Independence Hall, so it’s a great area to take a quiet stroll. You can see tons of beautiful old homes and buildings and get a feel for Philadelphia life at the same time. You should especially check out all the small side streets because some of them still have cobblestones, like Elfreth’s Alley! If you’re interested in the history of the area, you should check out Enchanted Serendipity’s post on Elfreth’s Alley, which also features one of the resident of the street’s home bakery. I love Old City and Society Hill so much that I used to walk Annika around there almost every day when I lived nearby.
This historic market on 2nd and Pine Streets dates back to 1745 and is still in use today on the weekends!
Seeing the historic homes is one of my favorite things about this area!
There are quite a few old cemeteries in the area
If you wander around Society Hill and Washington Square West, you’ll see lots of cellar doors
Old Pine Street Church was built in 1768 and John Adams attended services there
When I moved to Philadelphia, this was an old, dying tree, and they recently carved it into a statue
Even the lampposts still look old!
It’s pretty neat to see the locals embracing the colonial history of Philadelphia
I love how so many people keep gardens and window-boxes since backyards are scarce
Pennsylvania Hospital is the nation’s first hospital, and it was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1751
Many other areas in Philadelphia like Rittenhouse Square and Fairmount aren’t as old as the neighborhoods around Old City, but they are historic and beautiful! (If you like Victorian houses, you should definitely wander around Rittenhouse Square and Fitler Square, and even places outside center city like Chestnut Hill). There is always somewhere new to explore in Philadelphia! What’s your favorite area in Philadelphia? Comment below! 🙂