Road Scholar : Home
Signature City Philadelphia: National Treasures of History and Heritage

Program Number: 10238RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/14/2013 - 4/19/2013; 3/14/2016 - 3/19/2016; 4/17/2016 - 4/22/2016; 5/5/2016 - 5/10/2016; 5/30/2016 - 6/4/2016; 6/12/2016 - 6/17/2016; 6/21/2016 - 6/26/2016; 9/6/2016 - 9/11/2016; 9/11/2016 - 9/16/2016; 9/21/2016 - 9/26/2016; 10/2/2016 - 10/7/2016; 10/12/2016 - 10/17/2016; 10/23/2016 - 10/28/2016; 11/10/2016 - 11/15/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Price starting at: $998.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Signature Cities; History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Philadelphia is America’s most remarkable hometown, enriched by centuries of history, heritage, culture, and connections. Led by experts, experience its lively diversity as we explore neighborhoods such as Society Hill, Independence National Park, the Italian Market, and elegant Rittenhouse Square. You’ll also learn about the role of civic institutions, architecture of different eras, and savor the flavor of our flourishing dining renaissance.


• Retrace the footsteps of our Founding Fathers — and Mothers! — from William Penn to Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross as we walk to Olde City sites including Independence Hall and Elfreth’s Alley.
• Marvel at distinctive architecture spanning three centuries of achievement on Society Hill, at City Hall, and the Masonic Temple.
• Experience the rich tradition of the arts and culture of Philadelphia at a public event.

Activity Particulars

Walking 1/2 mile (about 6 city blocks) when visiting sites in Old City. Walking/standing at historic sites and museums. Some use of public transportation, getting on/off city buses..

Date Specific Information

3-14-2016, 4-17-2016, 6-12-2016, 6-21-2016, 9-6-2016, 9-11-2016, 10-2-2016, 10-23-2016

Lodging is at a members-only hotel in Rittenhouse Square.

5-5-2016, 5-30-2016, 9-21-2016, 11-10-2016

Lodging is at a full-service hotel in the heart of Philadelphia's arts district.


Lodging is at a full-service hotel in the heart of Philadelphia's arts district. Extend your trip by enrolling in the program Cape May Getaway (#22434) on 10/17 to explore the history and culture of this unique seaside town. Free transfer between Philadelphia and Cape May provided at the start and end of the program.

Coordinated by The Philadelphia Society For The Preservation Of Landmarks.


An appealing and walkable metropolis, 300-year-old Philadelphia is steeped in the beliefs that founded the American Revolution and today is a vibrant city of diverse neighborhoods and internationally recognized cultural institutions.

Lodging varies by date. Please call or visit for more info.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Fred Vincent

Fred Vincent is a native Philadelphian who taught science in the public school system for 30 years, then worked at Franklin Institute and Temple University before retiring in 1999. After serving in the Peace Corps as a volunteer in a small village in Sri Lanka, Fred discovered how much he missed cities and began to develop an interest in urban planning. Fred enjoys leading walking excursions through Philadelphia, and looks forward to sharing his city as a Road Scholar group leader.
Jackie Bagley

Jackie Bagley has been an educational excursion leader for over 20 years and received her formal training at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, in 1979. While at the University of Chicago, she completed her B.A. degree in the intellectual history of the 18th century. Her master’s work at the University of Chicago covered the Colonial and Revolutionary periods as her major and Egyptology as her minor.
Nancy Webster

Nancy Webster is a student and teacher of history. After receiving her B.A. magna cum laude from Radcliffe College of Harvard University, Nancy’s interest in early American history took her to William & Mary College where she received a double M.A. degree in American studies and museum curatorship. Today, she lectures and consults on planning, preservation and historical research. She is a member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars, Fellows in American Studies, the Friend’s Historical Association, Women Historians of the Delaware Valley, and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Nancy is also curator and a board member of the Delaware Historical Society.
Edward Mauger

Edward Mauger left a successful career as associate dean at Rutgers University to launch a company based in Philadelphia that celebrates the 18th century. His publications include “Benjamin Franklin: A Musical Life,” and the popular history title “Philadelphia Then and Now.” Edward has been featured on ABC's Good Morning America, PBS's History Detectives, and the History Channel. His in-depth research has served as foundation for a series of unique learning explorations in historic Philadelphia.
Nick Cvetkovic

Nick Cvetkovic is a longtime resident of the Philadelphia area and an expert on the history, religion and culture of the German community in early Philadelphia. He leads field trips in both English and his native German. A retired computer consultant and graduate of Drexel University, Nick is a docent at the Elfreth's Alley Museum and active in the German Society of Pennsylania.
Meals and Lodgings
   Club Quarters
  Philadelphia PA 5 nights
 Club Quarters
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Club Quarters is a private hotel available to members only. It is housed in an architecturally significant building constructed in the 1920's in the then-popular Georgian Revival style, for Provident National Bank.
  Contact info: 1628 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103 USA
phone: 215-282-5100
  Room amenities: Speaker phone, voice mail, cable television, data port with high speed internet access, hair dryer, tea/coffee maker, iron, refrigerator and room service. Handicap rooms are available, however they only have a queen bed. No cots are allowed in the room due to size and insurance. Two rooms can be requested adjacent to each other if separate beds are required.
  Facility amenities: Instant check-in/fast check-out, 24-hour member services desk, fitness facility, and delivery of exercise equipment to room available at extra charge, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, washer and dryer available.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $116 + 15. % tax as of 4-1-13 Reservations required in advance.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $116 + 15. % tax as of 4-1-13 Reservations required in advance.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel lobby 4:00 pm. You will be staying at Club Quarters that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 12:30 after lunch. Hotel check out is 12:00pm. You will be staying at Club Quarters the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Across the street from Club Quarters Hotel at Liberty Place 1 & 2 complex. Entrance on 17th St between Market & Chestnut. $21 per day Monday through Sunday (includes the discount).
To Start of Program
  Location:  Philadelphia PA
  Nearest city or town:  Wilmington DE and Trenton NJ
  Nearest highway: Interstate 95 and Interstate 76
  Nearest airport:  Philadelphia Internation Airport - PHL
  From End of Program
  Location: Philadelphia PA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

30th Street-Philadelphia


From Train Station






Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


10 minutes 


Pick up any cab at 30th Street Station. The hotel is 13 blocks from the station.




From Airport






Per Person/One Way:


$28.00 flat cab rate -airport/center city hotel
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


20 to 30 min depending on rush hour traffic 


The rate is for the cab (which can transport up to 4 persons).




From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Lady Liberty
phone: 215-724-8888


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


20 to 60 minutes depending on number of hotel drop offs and rush hour time 


After retrieving your luggage, go to the Ground Transportation Desk and call the extension for Lady Liberty for pick-up from your terminal.




From Airport




Public Transportation
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$1 (Senior- must show medicare card), $5 regular
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


25 minutes 


Take the SEPTA (S.E. PA Transportation Authoirty) airport train from the airport and get off at One Penn Center at Suburban Station, 17th St. & John F. Kennedy Blvd. Walk 2 full blocks south to Chestnut Street. Entrance to Club Quarters Hotel is at corner of 17th & Chestnut Sts. to left of Rite Aid pharmacy.


Parking garage





None - Car Required
Across from hotel


Per Person/One Way:


$22 Liberty Place - $15 at Latimer for 24 hours
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Liberty Place garage 24 hrs $212across from hotel- easy in and out access 


Latimer Discount Parking is 4.5 blocks from the hotel. Latimer Garage- 1510 Latimer Street (Between Locust & Spruce) $15 for 24 hrs incl. tax: 215-545- 9274 CASH ONLY – no credit cards. After parking, exit garage and turn left on Latimer St, cross 16th, at 17th & Latimer St turn right and walk four blocks to 17th & Chestnut St. Hotel entrance is next to Rite Aid Drugstore on corner . Attendant parks and retrieves the car.

Driving Directions
  From east: I-95 south to 676 west to Broad Street...
  From north/west: PA 476 south to 76 east to 676 east to Broad Street...
  From south: Take I-95 north to 676 west to Broad Street exit which feeds into 15th Street, Turn right onto JFK Blvd., then left onto 17th Street and left onto Chestnut Street. Hotel Club Quarters is next door to Rite Aid on corner OF 17th Street and Chestnut.
Elevation Note: Sea level

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival & Check-in, Registration & Orientation, Welcome Dinner
(Sunday, April 14)
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Available from 3:00pm.

REGISTRATION & ORIENTATION: 4:00pm in our private conference room. Register with the program staff and receive your Road Scholar arrival packet containing your name tag, up-to-date schedule, and other important information.

The Program Coordinator will greet you with a warm welcome, introduce everyone, and provide key staff contact names and phone numbers. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to weather or other local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

LATE ARRIVALS: If you arrive after the orientation session has concluded, pick up your packet at the hotel front desk. If you arrive after our Road Scholar group dinner has concluded, the restaurant in the hotel, Davio's, serves until 10:00pm. If you are going to be significantly delayed for any reason, notify the administrator of Philadelphia Landmarks Road Scholar, Margaret Biddle, at 215-205-4480.

 Dinner: Davio's, situated inside the Club Quarters building, is widely considered the leading Northern Italian restaurant in Philadelphia. It has been featured in Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best of Philly” and awarded the Winde Spectator Award of Excellence for five consecutive years. The dramatic dining room is a backdrop for expertly prepared regional Italian foods with a “focus on the grill."
 Evening: Take the rest of the evening to explore on your own, begin making new friends, or simply relax in comfortable surroundings and prepare for tomorrow's busy schedule.

“Signature City Philadelphia” introduces America’s most remarkable hometown, enriched by centuries of history, heritage, culture, and connections. Guided by experts, you will experience its lively diversity as we explore neighborhoods such as Society Hill, Independence National Park, the Italian Market, and elegant Rittenhouse Square. You’ll also learn about the role of civic institutions, architecture of different eras, and savor the flavor of our flourishing dining renaissance.

Accommodations: Club Quarters
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: 18th Century Philadelphia, Independence National Historical Park with Independence Hall & Liberty Bell, Curtis Institute of Music Performance
(Monday, April 15)
 Breakfast: Our breakfast at Davio's offers hot and cold cereal, hardboiled eggs, bagels and pastries, orange juice, coffee, and tea.
 Morning: LECTURE: 18th-Century Philadelphia. When William Penn founded it as the capital of his colony in 1682, Philadelphia was little more than a “greene countrie towne.” But by the 1750s, it had become the largest city and busiest port in British America — second only to London in the British empire — and the cultural capital of the colonies. Philadelphia played a crucial role before, during, and after the American Revolution. The “Founding Fathers” met here to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and hammered out the Constitution here in 1787. It was the national capital from 1790 to 1800 while Washington, DC was being established.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own. Eat out in the Rittenhouse neighborhood, at any of the nearby eateries on your own, or have a gastronomic adventure with something completely different. The group leader will be happy to offer suggestions
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Independence National Historical Park. We will board the bus for the 10-block trip to what was the heart of the old colonial city, Ben Franklin’s Philadelphia. Independence National Historical Park encompasses several square blocks where the dream of a free country of independent citizens became fact. The documents that form the cornerstone of our democracy — the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution — were created here. We will explore two national treasures: the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, which has become a shrine to the ideals that resulted in the United States of America: “We, the People” and “All men are created equal.”
 Dinner: Dinner at a popular restaurant (whether Davio's or another eatery nearby).
 Evening: PERFORMANCE: Curtis Institute of Music. One of the world's leading conservatories, the Curtis Institute on Rittenhouse Square educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis's distinctive "learn by doing" approach. The Student Recital Series features performances of solo and chamber works in Field Concert Hall.

In the event that there is no performance scheduled for this evening, we will have a stroll around the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood as your Group Leader points out distinctive architecture and landmarks. Curtis in not in session from May 12 through October 10 and over Spring Break in Mid March or early April. Another activity will be substituted

Accommodations: Club Quarters
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: 19th-Century Landmarks, City Hall & Masonic Temple, Reading Terminal Market, Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts, Evening Program
(Tuesday, April 16)
 Breakfast: Our breakfast at Davio's offers hot and cold cereal, hardboiled eggs, bagels and pastries, orange juice, coffee, and tea.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Monuments of 19th Century Architecture. We will walk several blocks to City Hall and the Masonic Temple. City Hall (1871) is the largest municipal building in the world — larger than the U.S. Capitol! Designed in French Second Empire style, it sits at the center of William Penn’s original city plan. A National Historic Landmark, the Masonic Temple is headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania. The exterior resembles a Norman cathedral. The interior features amazing varied ceremonial halls, each in a different style: Corinthian, Ionic, Italian Renaissance, Norman, Gothic, and Oriental/Egyptian.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own at Reading Terminal Market (vouchers provided). A short walk from the Masonic Temple, Reading Terminal is a paradise for “foodies” with an amazing variety of choices from the region and the world. The Amish have been bringing their goods here since the market opened in the 1890s. Make your selections from this gastronomic bazaar that is home to more than 80 merchants offering an extraordinary array of fresh baked goods, produce direct from the field, unusual spices, free range meats and poultry, flowers, ethnic foods, and much more -- including Philly Cheesesteaks, Hoagies, and Bassett's ice cream first scooped at the centennial of 1876.

NOTE: After lunch, we will regroup for our afternoon field trip.

 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts. Charles Wilson Peale, America's foremost 18th Century painter, founded this, the first art school in the United States. Today it is also a museum that houses only American art by distinguished painters throughout our history. An art historian will show you the Peale, Gilbert Stuart, Eakins and Wyeths as well as works by Philadelphia native Mary Cassatt and others.
 Dinner: Dinner at a popular restaurant (whether Davio's or another eatery nearby).
 Evening: EVENING PROGRAM: We will enjoy an event or activity from what is on when the program takes place. It could be a musical event, a guest speaker, or something else to capture your fancy. Details will be published here closer to the date of the program.
Accommodations: Club Quarters
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Old City Field Trip including Christ Church and Betsy Ross House, Remainder of Day On Your Own to Explore at Leisure
(Wednesday, April 17)
 Breakfast: Our breakfast at Davio's offers hot and cold cereal, hardboiled eggs, bagels and pastries, orange juice, coffee, and tea.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: An educator will lead you to historic sites in the Old City neighborhood including Christ Church, Elfreth's Alley, the Betsy Ross House, and Friends Heritage -- the Quaker Meeting House at 4th and Arch.

Our field trip concludes in the Old City. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore the city on your own, to see and do what is most appealing to you. Your free time begins with lunch and continues through the evening.

 Lunch: Lunch is on your own. Eat out in the Old City neighborhood, return to the hotel and Davio's or any of the nearby eateries on your own, or have a gastronomic adventure with something completely different. The group leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
 Afternoon: FREE AFTERNOON: Explore on your own. The group leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own. Rendezvous with friends old or new to enjoy the cuisine of your choice.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Have a night out on the town to experience more of what Philadelphia has to offer. Want to attend a concert, play, or other event? Best to plan in advance as tickets may be scarce. Or feel free to relax in the Club Quarters lounge or curl up in your room. Your choice, your preference.
Accommodations: Club Quarters
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Society Hill Field Trip, Physick and Powel Houses, Evening Program
(Thursday, April 18)
 Breakfast: Our breakfast at Davio's offers hot and cold cereal, hardboiled eggs, bagels and pastries, orange juice, coffee, and tea.
 Morning: LECTURE: Three Centuries of Philadelphia Architecture.

FIELD TRIP: National Constitution Center. The Center's permanent exhibition -- "The Story of We the People" -- tells the story of the Constitution, its history, and its contemporary relevance through more than 100 multimedia exhibits, film, photographs, text, sculpture, and artifacts. It also features a powerful, award-winning theatrical performance, "Freedom Rising", and Signers' Hall. Learn more about the checks and balances of our three co-equal branches of government as you explore giant models of the Capitol, White House, and Supreme Court. Public Program demonstrators lead you through an entertaining look at the buildings and the people who work there.

 Lunch: Lunch is on your own at The Bourse (vouchers provided). A short walk from the National Constitution Center. It is a composition of several eateries offering a variety of food selections to satisfy anyone's palate.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Society Hill. This charming district has cobblestone streets and the largest concentration of original 18th- and early 19th-century architecture anywhere in the country. Led by an educator, we will explore two historic houses. The Physick House, dating to 1789, was the home of Doctor Phillip Syng Physick, known as "The Father of American Surgery". You will see instruments he invented that are still in use today. The Powel House was the home to Samuel Powel, first mayor of Philadelphia. It was constructed in 1748 and hosted the 25th wedding anniversary of George and Martha Washington and the marriage of Benjamin Franklin's daughter.

At the conclusion of the field trip, we will return to the hotel.

 Dinner: at Davio's or another popular restaurant nearby.
 Evening: EVENING PROGRAM: We will enjoy an event or activity from what is on when the program takes place. It could be a musical event, a guest speaker, or something else to capture your fancy. Details will be published here closer to the date of the program.
Accommodations: Club Quarters
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: 18th Century Savants, Closing Lunch, Program Concludes
(Friday, April 19)
 Breakfast: Our breakfast at Davio's offers hot and cold cereal, hardboiled eggs, bagels and pastries, orange juice, coffee, and tea.
 Morning: LECTURE: Learn about some of the most notable "savants" -- those who achieved great things in their fields -- including Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, David Rittenhouse, and other fascinating figures.
 Lunch: Our closing lunch at Davio's is at 11:30am, when the program concludes. Please note that hotel check-out is by 12:00 Noon.

We trust you have enjoyed this educational adventure and will return for other rewarding Road Scholar programs in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
  Philadelphia PA Academy Of Natural Science of Drexel University
Founded in 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is America's oldest natural history museum and one of the world leaders in biodiversity and environmental research. The Academy carries out its mission to encourage and cultivate the sciences, exploring the diversity of the natural world and sharing these discoveries through innovative exhibits, publications, and educational programming. Open 10 am–4:30 pm, Monday–Friday and 10 am–5 pm, Weekends and Holidays For additional information, visit
  American Swedish Historical Museum
The oldest Swedish Museum in the United States. Founded in 1926, the Museum has been dedicated to preserving and promoting Swedish and Swedish-American cultural heritage and traditions for more than 80 years. Open Tuesday – Friday, 10 to 4 and Saturday- Sunday, 12 to 4 For additional information, visit
  Atwater Kent Museum
The Atwater Kent Philadelphia History Museum is the only cultural institution solely dedicated to Philadelphia history, from the founding of the city in 1680 to the present today. Come here to see how Philadelphians have come to be known for their passion, the ability to join together during adversity, and their capacity to rebound and innovate. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For additional information, visit
  Barnes Foundation
Celebrated for its exceptional breadth, depth, and quality, the Barnes Foundation's art collection includes works by some of the greatest European and American masters of impressionism, post-impressionist, and early modern art, as well as African sculpture, Pennsylvania German decorative arts, Native American textiles, metalwork, and more. For additional information, visit
  Battleship New Jersey Memorial & Museum
The second ship to be called "New Jersey" the BB62 is the most decorated battleship to ever serve in the US Navy. Explore one of the largest and longest serving naval ship and learn its history, from WWII all the way to action in the Middle East. For additional information, visit
  Betsy Ross House
Located at 239 Arch Street, The Betsy Ross House was home to not just Betsy, but to dozens of artisans and shopkeepers over the years before it was opened to the public as a museum in 1937. Explore the over 250 year-old house of one of the most famous seamstresses of the US. Open January and February 10am-5pm, Tuesday through Sunday; March through November 10am-5pm, everyday; December 10am-5pm, Tuesday through Sunday For additional information, visit
  Center for Architecture (AIA Philadelphia Bookstore & Design Center)
The Center for Architecture performs the charitable and educational work of AIA Philadelphia and serves as the physical home for the Chapter in Center City Philadelphia. For additional information, visit
  Christ Church
Welcome! Christ Church, founded in 1695, is a wonderful place to explore Colonial and Revolution-Era history. Its burial ground, which includes the tomb of Benjamin Franklin, is an authentic historic site for learning about the lives of early Americans. Visiting Hours are Monday-Saturday - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM and Sunday - 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Visits are free For additional information, visit
  Dental Museum at Temple University
Founded in 1938 by the dental school's faculty historian, Dr. Harold Faggart, D.D.S., the collection features some of the finest museum quality dental antiquities in the country, ranging in date from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Highlights of the collection are currently on permanent display in the Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Weaver III Historical Dental Museum, on the third floor of the dental school. The museum exhibition celebrates the long, distinguished history from which the Kornberg School of Dentistry evolved, featuring a rich array of unique dental artifacts that also present the history of dentistry in America. For additional information, visit
  Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone For additional information, visit
  Edgar Allen Poe House
Described as horrifying, mystifying, and full of genius, Poe’s writing has engaged readers all over the globe. The six years Poe lived in Philadelphia were his happiest and most productive. Yet Poe also struggled with bad luck, personal demons and his wife’s tuberculosis. In Poe’s humble home, reflect on the human spirit surmounting crushing obstacles, and celebrate Poe’s astonishing creativity. For additional information, visit
  Elfreth's Alley
The thirty-two buildings along Elfreth's Alley were built between the 1720s and 1830s, and today they reveal the fascinating stories of everyday life, the spaces that America's founders knew. You can learn the house-by-house story of the Alley's early residents through our guidebook, available online and in our Museum Shop. The Museum is located in 124 and 126 Elfreth's Alley. For additional information, visit
  Franklin Court
In this one area, you visit the United States Postal Service Museum, The Franklin Print Shop, and the Franklin Museum. Also, you can look deep underground into Franklin's privy, under the beautiful 54-foot high steel skeleton "Ghost Structure" designed by Robert Venturi. For additional information, visit
  Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Founded in 1824 in Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania inspires people to create a better future through historical understanding. One of the oldest historical societies in the United States, it is home to some 600,000 printed items and more than 21 million manuscript and graphic items. Its unparalleled collections encompass more than 350 years of America’s history—from its 17th-century origins to the contributions of its most recent immigrants. The society’s remarkable holdings together with its educational programming make it one of the nation’s most important special collections libraries: a center of historical documentation and study, education, and engagement. For additional information, visit
  Independance Visitor's Center
Free time is Wednesday afternoon and evening. Meals are still included at the hotel on that day. For additional information, visit
  Independence Hall
NOTE: Must first obtain free, timed tickets at Independence Visitor Center. "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal..." Independence Hall echoes these words. Nearby the old cracked Bell proclaims liberty. The spirit of Franklin is alive in his adopted city. Become part of America's journey in discovering its past. For additional information, visit
  Independence Seaport Museum
Founded in 1960 as the Philadelphia Maritime Museum, Independence Seaport Museum is the region's primary repository of art, artifacts and archival materials documenting the diverse maritime history of the Greater Delaware Valley, and the history of the Port of Philadelphia and the other major urban ports of the Delaware River. Located on Penn's Landing at 211 S. Columbus Blvd & Walnut Street, a short walk from the historic district and many shops and restaurants. For additional information, visit
  Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Kimmel Center Inc.’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience from throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. It began to take shape in 1996 when two projects came together: The Philadelphia Orchestra's ongoing plan to build a new home for itself, and a plan of then-Mayor Edward G. Rendell to provide a much-needed venue for some of Philadelphia's most prominent performing arts companies and for touring presentations. With the generous consent of the Orchestra, which had acquired a property at Broad and Spruce Streets, the two plans were merged under the supervision and management of a new organization, the Regional Performing Arts Center (RPAC). Today Kimmel Center, Inc. incorporates public amenities and operates three major venues: •The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which is home to Verizon Hall (2,500-seat concert hall), Perelman Theater (650-seat recital theater), and Innovation Studio – a 2,688 sq. foot black box theater, •A renovated and upgraded Academy of Music (2,900 seats), which is owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, •And the Merriam Theater (1,841 seats), which is owned by the University of the Arts and still houses student activities and projects approximately 10 weeks out of the year. For additional information, visit
  Liberty 360 & Lights of Liberty
Inside the 360-degree PECO Theater, Benjamin Franklin guides you on this inspiring journey that explores the stories behind American symbols like the Liberty Bell, the bald eagle, and the Statue of Liberty . How and why did these symbols come to signify freedom in our country? Come and watch the Liberty 360 3D Show to find out. The new Lights of Liberty Show will combine the majestic architectural treasures of Independence National Historical Park with cutting-edge technology for a breathtaking nighttime walk through our nation’s past. For additional information, visit
  Liberty Bell Center
NOTE: No tickets are required to visit the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell Center is located on Market Street between 5th and 6th Streets. The building is open year round, though hours vary by season. The Liberty Bell Center offers a video presentation and exhibits about the Liberty Bell, focusing on its origins and its modern day role as an international icon of freedom. Taped presentations about the history of the Liberty Bell are offered in a dozen languages for the convenience of foreign visitors. The Liberty Bell itself is displayed in a magnificent glass chamber with Independence Hall in the background. For additional information, visit
  Masonic Temple
The Masonic Temple, built in 1873, is a historic Masonic building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Located at One North Broad Street, directly across from Philadelphia City Hall, it serves as the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Free and Accepted Masons. The temple receives thousands of visitors every year who visit the ornate structure including its seven ornate lodge rooms, where today a number of Philadelphia lodges and the Grand Lodge conduct their meetings. The massive granite cornerstone, weighing ten tons, was leveled on St. John the Baptist's Day, June 24, 1868. The ceremonial gavel used on that day by Grand Master Richard Vaux was the same gavel used by President George Washington in leveling the cornerstone of the nation's Capitol building in 1793. For additional information, visit
  Mummers Museum
The Mummers Museum opened in 1976, and is dedicated to the Philadelphia celebration of the new year. The museum houses a rich collection of mummers' paraphernalia and memorabilia, including spectacular costumes, a few of which date back to the turn of the 20th Century. It includes an on-site gift shop offering unique mummers products, an online store accessible from this website, and a luxurious banquet hall which is available for rental.The museum conducts interesting programs for both children and adults, and offers complimentary outdoor string band concerts during periods of mild weather. For additional information, visit
  Mütter Museum
America's finest museum of medical history, the Mütter displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th century "cabinet museum" setting. The goal of the Museum is to help the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body while appreciating the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease. For additional information, visit
  National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center is the first and only nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed: the U.S. Constitution. Located on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia, the birthplace of American freedom, the Center illuminates constitutional ideals and inspires active citizenship through a state-of-the-art museum experience, including hundreds of interactive exhibits, films and rare artifacts; must-see feature exhibitions; the internationally acclaimed, 360-degree theatrical production Freedom Rising; and the iconic Signers' Hall, where visitors can sign the Constitution alongside 42 life-size, bronze statues of the Founding Fathers. For additional information, visit
  National Liberty Museum
The National Liberty Museum is dedicated to preserving freedom and democracy by fostering good character and understanding for all people through education. We invite you to explore our exhibits of glass art and heroes from around the world that show the strength and fragility of democracy and recognize the role each person plays in safeguarding our freedom. For additional information, visit
  National Museum of American Jewish History
The National Museum of American Jewish History, on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, presents educational programs and experiences that preserve, explore and celebrate the history of Jews in America. Its purpose is to connect Jews more closely to their heritage and to inspire in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience and the freedoms to which Americans aspire. For additional information, visit
  New Jersey State Aquarium
The fifth largest aquarium in the country, Adventure Aquarium is the only aquarium in the world with hippos and the only aquarium in the U.S. to exhibit Great Hammerhead Sharks. See the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, including the 550,000-gallon Shark Realm exhibit, and a 40-foot suspended Shark Tunnel. For additional information, visit
  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is a national leader in fine arts education that brings together artists and the public through exceptional teaching programs, a world-class collection of American art, major exhibitions, and widely accessible public programs. The museum is internationally known for its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. Its archives house important materials for the study of American art history, museums, and art training. For additional information, visit
  Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art - in partnership with the city, the region, and art museums around the globe - seeks to preserve, enhance, interpret, and extend the reach of its great collections in particular, and the visual arts in general, to an increasingly diverse audience as a source of delight, illumination, and lifelong learning. For additional information, visit
  Philadelphia Zoo
Like many other Philadelphia landmarks and institutions, the Philadelphia Zoo is an American first. The Philadelphia Zoo’s 42-acre Victorian garden is home to more than 1,300 animals, many of them rare and endangered. The Zoo, fulfilling its mission of conservation, science, education and recreation, supports and engages in conservation efforts to protect endangered species around the world. Cheetahs, hippos, giraffes and much more make the Zoo Philadelphia's leading family attraction with over 1.2 million visitors last year. For additional information, visit
  Please Touch Museum
Since 1976, Please Touch Museum has been the Children’s Museum of Philadelphia. Our museum was the first in the nation whose target audience was families with children seven and younger. We have grown into one of the best children’s museums in the nation, have become experts in play and have had our programs for under served families in the region nationally recognized. Our mission to enrich the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play, enables us to lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning and cultural awareness. For additional information, visit
  Polish American Cultural Center
The Polish American Cultural Center and Museum Exhibit Hall are a focal point for many Polish American affairs in the greater Philadelphia area. Annually, more than one million tourists visit Philadelphia's historic district. The Cultural Center's Exhibit Hall, located in the heart of this district, and open to the general public 300 days a year, admission free, allows thousands of tourists to experience Polish history, culture and pride. In addition to welcoming tourists from around the world, the Center hosts meetings, lectures and other events to promote public awareness and appreciation of Polish heritage. For additional information, visit
  Rodin Museum
Since 1929, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has administered the Rodin Museum and its collection. Over the years, several large sculptures originally installed outdoors were taken inside to protect them from the elements, and the original plantings became overgrown. The building, its galleries, and its grounds have been renovated to restore the Museum to its original vision, and new conservation treatments have made it possible to return sculptures to their intended places in the garden. The Museum has reopened with an inaugural installation dedicated to The Gates of Hell, the defining project of Rodin's career and one that consumed him for almost four decades. For additional information, visit
  Rosenbach Museum and Library
The Rosenbach seeks to inspire curiosity, inquiry, and creativity by engaging broad audiences in exhibitions, programs, and research based on its remarkable and expanding collections. Our programs are designed to eliminate barriers between the visitor and the collection, and to encourage people to bring their experience, knowledge, and opinions –or just an open mind—to connect with the collection in a very personal way. The Rosenbach is a place of active engagement that reinforces the relevance of historical collections to contemporary issues. For additional information, visit
  Second Bank of the United States
The Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank of the United States, located on 420 Chestnut Street, between 4th and 5th Streets, "People of Independence" exhibit in the Second Bank includes 185 paintings of Colonial and Federal leaders, military officers, explorers and scientists, including many by Charles Willson Peale. Designed by William Strickland, this building, built between 1819 and 1824, is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States. The Second Bank was incorporated in 1816 and was one of the most influential financial institutions in the world until 1832, when it became the center of bitter controversy between bank president Nicholas Biddle and President Andrew Jackson. The bank ceased to exist in 1836 after Jackson vetoed the bill to renew its charter. The building continued for a short time to house a banking institution under a Pennsylvania charter. From 1845 to 1935 the building served as the Philadelphia Customs House. For additional information, visit
  The Franklin Institute
In the spirit of inquiry and discovery embodied by Benjamin Franklin, the mission of The Franklin Institute is to inspire a passion for learning about science and technology. Since its founding in 1824, the institute has done that by having exhibits that allow new and exciting access to science and technology in ways that would both amaze and delight Mister Benjamin Franklin. The Franklin Institute's universal appeal is reflected in the diversity of its audience—from world famous working scientists to involved citizens of any age; from elementary school through university level students; from inner city to suburban families. All are drawn here by a common interest in science and technology. For additional information, visit
  University Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology
Founded in 1887, the Penn Museum has conducted more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions around the world. Three gallery floors feature materials from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Canaan and Israel, Mesoamerica, Asia and the ancient Mediterranean World, as well as artifacts from native peoples of the Americas and Africa. With an active exhibition schedule, a membership program, and educational programming for children and adults, Penn Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage For additional information, visit
  Wagner Free Institute of Science
The Wagner Institute’s nineteenth century exhibit hall – a soaring three-story space – houses an extraordinary collection of natural history specimens including mounted birds and mammals, fossils, rocks and minerals, insects, shells, dinosaur bones, and the first American saber-toothed tiger, discovered on a museum-sponsored expedition to Florida in 1886. Gathered largely by founder William Wagner and Institute curators and faculty during the nineteenth century, the collections are displayed in cherry-wood and glass cabinets dating from the 1880s and maintain their original “systematic” scheme, providing a rare view of a Victorian science museum. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Concise History of Philadelphia

Author: Avery, Ron

Description: Small paperback book telling the history and politics of Philadelphia from 1682 to 1976

A Guide's Guide to Philadelphia

Author: Curson, Julie P.

A Layperson's Overview of Three Centuries of Philadelphia Architecture

Author: Hinde, Kenneth A.


Author: Franklin, Benjamin

Building the City Beautiful: The Benjamin Franklin Parkway & the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Author: Brownlee, David B.

Philadelphia - Portrait of an American City

Author: Wolf, Edwin 2nd

Philadelphia Then & Now

Author: Mauger, Edward Arthur

The Perennial Philadelphians

Author: Burt, Nathaniel

William Penn's Holy Experiment

Author: Bronner, E.B.

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2015 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768