Lena having breakfast on the outdoor patio of our hotel.
After a very nice breakfast at our hotel taking advantage of their breakfast buffet, and eating outside on their patio, we packed up all our stuff and checked out. Our stay here was very nice and I’m sure we’ll use this hotel the next time we visit Philadelphia. After loading the car, we walked to our first destination of the day, the Liberty Bell. The line here wasn’t long…yet, so we checked out the bell and the very nice building and all the various displays.
Once we were finished checking out the Liberty Bell and attempting to get a picture or two without someone I didn’t know standing in front of it, we made our way over to the Independence Visitors Center.
Here is where you pick up the free tickets to go on the guided tour of Independence Hall, as well as get any info you might need to tour all the historic sites in Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, and the Visitors Center are free to enter, but not all sites are, so be prepared to pay for some of the other things to see. Here is a link to the Independence Visitors Center http://www.independencevisitorcenter.com/
The Liberty Bell with Independance Hall in the background.
Once we had our tickets for the Independence Hall tour, we had a few hours to kill before our scheduled tour time. We decided to walk over to the U.S. Mint building to see if they were open for a tour, but with it being a federal holiday today, it was closed. Next we walked over to the National Constitution Center, but with a $12.
OO entrance fee, we passed. The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center explores and explains this amazing document through high-tech exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. In the star-shaped Kimmel Theater, powerful music, a live actor and 360 degrees multi-media images tell the story of We the People. I’m sure the experience is well worth the entrance fee, but we didn’t have a lot of time and wanted to see a few other things near by. You are able to enter the building, but can not go past the main floor with out paying. We filled our water bottle, and headed back out after a short break in the cafeteria.
The National Constitution Center
Our next stop was the cemetery where Ben Franklin is buried, along with a few other historical figures. There was an entrance fee of $2.00 a person, but the money is used to maintain this historical cemetery. Another resident of this cemetery we found while walking around is a Red Tail Hawk.
I did manage a few pictures of him/her perch in a tree over the cemetery. After our walk among the 200 plus year old tomb stones, and paying our respect to old Ben himself, we made our way to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution. This is located in a very nice park area in the city and honors the many soldiers that died fighting the Revolutionary war under George Washington.
Christ Church Burial Ground where Ben Franklin's tomb is located.
During our walk around the area, we also checked out a rose garden, as well as a magnolia garden. Unfortunately the Magnolia trees were not in bloom, but the rose garden was nice.
It was getting close to our time for the tour through Independence Hall, so we made our way back and sat in the grass under the large trees until our tour time neared. The tour itself only took about 30 minutes, but was very informative. Lena was even picked by our tour guide and asked a question about why she had an interest in visiting the hall.
Her response was to learn a little bit more about the countries history she now calls her second home. Once our tour was over, we did a bit more walking around, then made our way to the last place we would be walking to for food. This place I found mentioned here on TB, but Lena had also heard about it, and it was Naked Chocolate Café!
Independance Hall from the street.
When we arrived, we were in heaven! We ordered and bit more than we could possibly eat, found a comfy place to sit, and enjoyed some of the best chocolate ever! After going into a chocolate coma, we made the short walk back to our hotel to use the bathrooms before we started our trip home.
Now, even though there was no way we could eat any more after all the chocolate was just had, we had to stop for one more cheesesteak. There were a few other places I wanted to check out for my comparison, but we could only choose one before we had to get on the road home.
I decided to make our last cheesesteak stop at Tony Luke’s. We found the place after going right past it once, but when we pulled into the parking lot, it was closed for the holiday. So back in the car and we headed to South Street to hit either Steaks on South or Ishkabibbles. The traffic on South Street was very heavy, almost a crawl, and there were a lot of people there. I wasn’t sure we would even find a parking spot, but luck would have it there was an empty spot on our side of the street very near Steaks on South. After placing our order to go, we got back in the car and started our trip back to Maryland.
Lena and me at Naked Chocolate Cafe
The trip home went much better than the trip up, and we were home in only 2 hours and 15 minutes. I was still suffering from my chocolate overdose, so I only ate half of my cheesesteak, but it was very good, much better than Geno’s and Pat’s and a lot bigger with more meat than the two combined!
There is so much more in Philadelphia to do and see, so we look forward to our next visit to this great city.
To those of you that made it this far, hope you enjoyed reading it and you find it useful during your trip to Philadelphia.
Good bye Philadelphia!