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Signature City Philadelphia: National Treasures of History and Heritage

Program Number: 10238RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/21/2013 - 7/26/2013; 9/7/2015 - 9/12/2015; 9/8/2015 - 9/13/2015; 9/28/2015 - 10/3/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/9/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/23/2015; 11/5/2015 - 11/10/2015; 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;
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; Gluten Free    

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


Lodging is at a full-service hotel in Rittenhouse Square

9-28-2015, 5-5-2016, 5-30-2016

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

10-4-2015, 10-18-2015, 11-5-2015, 3-14-2016, 4-17-2016, 6-12-2016, 6-21-2016

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

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 as an administrator at the 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 has most recently been the coordinator of educational excursions for Walk Philadelphia and now works as a group leader for Road Scholar.
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.
Meals and Lodgings
   Club Quarters
  Philadelphia 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.
  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: $109 + 14 % tax as of 1-25-10 Reservations required in advance.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $109 + 14 % tax as of 1-25-10 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 11:30. 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
  Nearest city or town:  Wilmington DE and Trenton NJ
  Nearest highway: Interstate 95 and PA 76.
  Nearest airport:  Philadelphia International Airport - PHL
  From End of Program
  Location: Philadelphia
    (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 14 blocks from the station.


Parking garage





None - Car Required
Across from hotel


Per Person/One Way:


$21 Liberty Place - $15 at Latimer for 24 hours
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Liberty Place garage is across from hotel. Easy in-and-out access. 




Doubletree Hotel adjacent to parking garage. 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 CASHONLY – 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.




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 rail from the airport and get off at Suburban Station, 17th & John F. Kennedy Blvd. Walk 0.2 miles to hotel on corner of 17th Street.

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: Registration 4:00 PM/Dinner
(Sunday, July 21)
 Afternoon: 4:00 registration immediately followed by orientation then dinner.
 Dinner: At hotel
 Evening: Check with sponsor to see if an evening activity is planned, sometimes due to scheduling opportunities this may occur the first night.
Accommodations: Club Quarters
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: 18th C. History Lecture/Independence Hall & Liberty Bell/Dinner/Curtis Institute of Music Performance
(Monday, July 22)
 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: On 18th Century Philadelphia history about our Founding Fathers.
 Lunch: At hotel or restaurant
 Afternoon: After lunch we board the bus (10 blocks) to the Colonial City (America's most historical square mile) for a visit to The Liberty Bell (a national treasure) as well a a visit to Independence Hall (a national treasure) both of which are the corner stone of our American democracy. "The old cracked Bell still proclaims Liberty and Independence Hall echoes the words, "We the People." Explore Franklin's Philadelphia and learn about the past and America's continuing struggle to fulfill the Founders' Declaration that "all men are created equal."
 Dinner: At hotel or a local restaurant
 Evening: This evening we will attend the Curtis student performance at the Curtis Mansion on Rittenhouse Square. If the Curtis students are on Spring Break we will substitute this recital with a stroll around the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood Your coordinator will point out outstanding architecture and upscale landmarks for shopping and dining.
Accommodations: Club Quarters
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: 19th C. Landmarks- City Hall & Masonic Temple/Reading Terminal Market/Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts/Lecture
(Tuesday, July 23)
 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: A morning walk to City Hall and the Masonic Temple (just a short walk from our hotel) will highlight the outstanding 19th C. architecture that Philadelphia is famous for. Philadelphia City Hall is the largest municipal building in the world and is in the French 2nd Renaissance style. The interior of the Masonic Temple is beyond description - each of the 7 ceremonial rooms are decorated in different architectural styles reflecting Greek, Renaissance, Egyptain, Moorish and other styles.
 Lunch: A short walking distance from the Masonic Temple is the Reading Terminal Market- a food shoppers paradise replete with speciality items from all over the world as well as produce and food specialities from the Amish who have been bringing their goods since the opening of the market in the 1890's. Enjoy walking around the market before making your lunch selection- Philadelphia Cheesesteaks and Hoagies (local treasures) are everyone's favorites here as well as Bassetts ice cream first scooped at our centennial of 1876.
 Afternoon: Charles Wilson Peale (America's first 18 C. painter) is the founder of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts- the first art school in the United States. It is also a museum that houses only American art by American painters from the 17th to 21st centuries. An art historian will show you the Peale, Gilbert Stuart, Eakins and Wyeths as wll as the Mary Cassat (Philadelphia native) and others.
 Dinner: At hotel
 Evening: Enjoy a lecture on art
Accommodations: Club Quarters
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Old City (Christ Church, Betsy Ross House) Free Afternoon/Lunch & Dinner excluded
(Wednesday, July 24)
 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: With educator to Olde City to visit Christ Church, Elfreth's Alley, Betsy Ross House and 4th St. Quaker Meeting House.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own
 Afternoon: After lunch in the colonial city we will leave you to enjoy the rest of the afternoon to do things on your own. Coordinator will assist you with suggestions.
 Dinner: Dinner on own to meet with friends or to explore other restaurants on your own
 Evening: Free evening. There is no activity scheduled.
Accommodations: Club Quarters
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Physick & Powel Houses in Society Hill/Evening Activity
(Thursday, July 25)
 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: Morning lecture on 300 years of Philadelphia Architecture followed by a visit to The 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. BALANCE OF POWERS Learn more about the three 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, the people who work in them, and the checks and balances of our government.
 Lunch: Out
 Afternoon: A visit to the Society Hill neighborhood is not complete until you visit with an educator two historic houses. The Physick House dating to 1789 is the home of Doctor Phillip Syng Physick, known as "The Father of American Surgery". On view will be instruments that he invented to remove gall stones which are still in use today. The Powel House was the home to Samuel Powel first mayor of Philadelphia prior to the American Revolution and after it. It was constructed in 1748 and hosted the 25th wedding anniversary of George and Martha Washington and the marriage of Benjamin Franklin's daughter, Deborah to Benjamin Bache.
 Dinner: At hotel
 Evening: Evening activity to be announced later
Accommodations: Club Quarters
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Morning history lecture/Program ends at 11:00
(Friday, July 26)
 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: History/scientific lecture relating to Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, David Rittenhouse and other 18 Century savants.
 Morning: The program ends after our lecture Hotel check - out is noon.
Meals Included: Breakfast
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.

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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.

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