Independence National Historic Park
Lonely Planet review for Independence National Historic Park
This L-shaped park, along with Old City, has been dubbed 'America's most historic square mile.' Once the backbone of the United States government, it has become the backbone of Philadelphia's tourist trade. Stroll around and you'll see storied buildings in which the seeds for the Revolutionary War were planted and the US government came into bloom.
You'll also find beautiful, shaded urban lawns dotted with plenty of squirrels, pigeons and costumed actors. These days, the park looks spiffier then ever. The only downer is the barrier that now surrounds the park's top two sites - Independence Hall and the bell - installed as a security precaution.
Independence Hall is the 'birthplace of American government,' where delegates from the 13 colonies met to approve the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. An excellent example of Georgian architecture, it sports understated lines that reveal Philadelphia's Quaker heritage.
The Liberty Bell is Philadelphia's top tourist attraction. Made in London and tolled at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, the bell became famous when abolitionists adopted it as a symbol of freedom. In 2003, the Bell was moved into a much-improved building and a fantastic Independence Visitors Center.