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Independence Hall

I love visiting Philadelphia for the history it boasts. One of the most popular historic sites in this city is Independence Hall. It is a favorite amongst visitors and locals. Independence Hall is located across the street from the Liberty Bell, and there is a parking garage right under the museum for easy accessibility to it all. 

Tips for Visiting Independence Hall

Since you can only enter Independence Hall with a ticket for the tour, it might help to make a small plan ahead of schedule. Tours go from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day at 15-minute intervals. There is a basic security checkpoint before entering where they will check your personal belongings to make sure there are no pocket knives, pepper spray, or other weapons on your person. They advise you to bring as few/small bags as possible with you to minimize security time. The tickets are free for walk-up reservations, but there is a small $1.00 fee for reserving online.

For anyone with limited mobility, the first floor of Independence Hall is completely wheelchair accessible. There are also pamphlets available for those with a hearing impairment or loss as well as a FREE American Sign Language interpretive service. (If you are going to be taking advantage of this service be sure to book your tickets online at least two weeks in advance and email the Philadelphia Park system to let them know you are coming and need an interpreter.) There are many exhibits with Braille booklets for those with vision loss or impairment as well as audio descriptions of all the rooms.

Visiting the Historic Site

I always enjoy showing up just a few minutes early so I can take some time to look at the outside of Independence Hall. It is easy to get caught up in the bustle of the ongoing city life around you, but the grandeur of Independence Hall is worth admiring. I sometimes get goosebumps thinking about how our country came to be in that building; you can almost picture the men moving around in there arguing or writing about what they thought America should be. There is also a looming statue of George Washington right outside Independence Hall. After you get through the security checkpoint previously mentioned, you will be ushered into the building where the tour will begin.

One of the first rooms they will take you to is the Assembly Room where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The deep green table cloths and black chairs give a strong contrast to the cold gray walls. You will notice one specific chair facing all the others, and more than likely a tour guide will direct your attention to the symbol on the top of the chair’s back. It appears to be a sun. The common question is this, “Is the sun setting or rising?” It has been said that Ben Franklin liked to think of the sun as rising because he thought that the same thing could be said for the nation that was just birthed.

Across the hall is what appears to be a courtroom. This room has brighter orangish walls, and a weird cage in the middle of the room where the defendant would stand during the trial. This room is where the Constitution was later debated and signed by the members of the Constitutional Convention. Upstairs there are several large meeting rooms and offices where important banquets and meetings were held. There are so many details to catch that you will not want to miss touring this historic building.

It is from the porch of Independence Hall that the Declaration of Independence was first read to the public. Church bells rang out, fireworks were exploded, and the people celebrated this brand new nation.

It is such a thrill knowing that such a valuable piece of our nation’s history has been preserved so well. your day of history does not stop with your tour of Independence Hall. There are so many other historic sites in Philadelphia that you will want to visit. In the same square is the Old City Hall and the Independence Hall Visitor Center with some interesting displays that give further detail to the events that took place all those years ago. Like Independence Hall, a lot of these other sites are free or have a very small admission fee. This makes the historic sites of Philadelphia an affordable trip for all family sizes.

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