Lonely Planet Writer

New in Travel: the story of the American Revolution will come to life in Philadelphia in 2017

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One of the United States’ most famous stories is set to get a revolutionary re-telling with the opening of a new museum in Philadelphia.

The Museum of American Revolution will sit in the heart of historic Philadelphia.
The Museum of American Revolution will sit in the heart of historic Philadelphia. Image by Museum of American Revolution

The Museum of American Revolution opens 19 April 2017 in the historic heart of Philadelphia. It will cover 32,000 square feet full of exhibits, theatres and programme space. The core of the museum will be spectacular exhibits full of several thousand objects, manuscripts and artworks from the tumultuous revolutionary period.

Some of the items currently in storage and waiting for their permanent home include George Washington’s very own Headquarter’s Tent, which served as his office and sleeping quarters for much of the war. There will be an extensive collection of firearms and weapons and plenty of personal items used by ordinary soldiers, including diaries and camp equipment.

There will also be immersive elements to the museum, allowing visitors to join the Sons of Liberty protecting the rights of colonists, board a privateer ship and even recreate the sensation of being on the front line of a battle.

A replica of the Liberty Tree will be at the museum.
A replica of the Liberty Tree will be at the museum. Image by Museum of American Revolution

The museum will be laid out chronologically and bring visitors from the early roots of the conflict in the 1760s all the way through to the challenges that the United States faced in building a new nation and its legacy around the globe. The museum says it expects approximately 500,000 visitors every year and hopes it will encourage people to seek out Philadelphia’s other revolutionary landmarks.

The Museum is also uniquely placed in the middle of American history, lying just two blocks from Independence Hall, a block from Benjamin Franklin’s home and and across the street from Carpenter’s Hall, where the very first Continental Congress met. Philadelphia’s rich history has previously been recognised by UNESCO as it was named the USA’s first World Heritage City in November 2015.