City Walks: Exploring Philadelphia’s Neighborhoods

Walk the streets where our democracy was formed as you explore one of America’s most historic cities, from the Liberty Bell to early American homes.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22406RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Discover Philadelphia on foot and use all five of your senses to experience what three centuries of history, culture and urban planning have created. Not only is Philadelphia one of the most historically rich cities in the nation, it is also one of its most walkable and has been ever since its founding in 1682, when William Penn laid out a planned city with wide avenues and ample open spaces. Alongside your small group and on independent explorations, walk amid the many fine examples of Colonial, Federal, Greek Revival, Victorian, Gilded Age, Art Deco and contemporary architecture in the downtown core and adjacent neighborhoods, and experience the sights, sounds, scents and flavors of the city’s robust ethnic traditions.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking between three and six miles per day over city streets and cobblestones. Walking/standing at historic sites and museums.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Traverse through a "hierarchy of streets," experiencing the quiet charm of Society Hill and "littlest streets" of Washington Square West and savor a cheesesteak on Passyunk Avenue in “South Philly.”
  • Discover Philadelphia's dynamic murals with a local artist and explore "The Magic Gardens," a folk art environment and gallery space.
  • Experience Philadelphia’s bustling Chinatown, dating back to 1870s.

General Notes

Program limited to 16 participants. Includes independent time to explore the city. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials. If you would enjoy a less active program, check out "Signature City Philadelphia: Treasures of History and Heritage" (#10238).
Featured Expert
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Tish Byrne
An artist and historian, Tish Byrne is passionate about all aspects of her native city and its environment after having lived in and led explorations at the Physick House, which belongs to Philadelphia Landmarks. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts later becoming an administrative assistant to the Director of the school. Presently, she leads excursions for the mural arts program, is a docent at Historic Christ Church and leads explorations of Philadelphia landmarks.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Mitchell Kramer
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Warren Williams
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Tish Byrne
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Philadelphia - Portrait of an American City
by Wolf, Edwin 2nd
William Penn's Holy Experiment
by Bronner, E.B.
by Franklin, Benjamin
The Perennial Philadelphians
by Burt, Nathaniel
Building the City Beautiful: The Benjamin Franklin Parkway & the Philadelphia Museum of Art
by Brownlee, David B.

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