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Spotlight: Independence National Historical Park

Spotlight: Independence National Historical Park

Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia is home to Independence Hall, where the words of the Declaration of Independence still echo.

Independence Hall Independence Hall glimmers under the spotlights of the “Pops! On Independence” concert, part of the park’s Fourth of July celebrations (NPS)

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal…” Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

What You’ll Find

Independence National Historical Park's Independence Hall is more than just a historic building—it is a building where ideas of freedom and independence took shape, leading to the birth of a nation. Here in the Assembly Room, the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. In the same room, George Washington was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army (1775), the design of the American flag was agreed upon (1777), the Articles of Confederation were adopted (1781) and the U.S. Constitution drafted (1787).

Getting There

Start your visit at the Independence Visitor Center, located on the corner of 6th and Market Streets in Center City Philadelphia. Find directions on the Independence Visitor Center website.

Stay Here

Check the Independence National Historical Park lodging page or try the Independence Visitor Center for deals on overnight stays in Philadelphia.

Make Sure You

Take a timed tour of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Reserve tickets in advance, or pick up free first-come, first-served tickets at the Independence Visitor Center.

Visit the Liberty Bell Center to learn why this famous bell symbolizes liberty and freedom. Find Benjamin Franklin’s “Ghost House” in Franklin Court and watch a park ranger demonstrate 18th century style printing. Ranger-led programs and guided tours of historic buildings are offered daily year-round, though hours for different park buildings vary.

Ask a park ranger at the Second Bank of the United States to demonstrate the physiognotrace and find out how Moses Williams used his skill with this ingenious machine to gain his freedom.

You’ll find a complete list of Things to Do on the park’s website including guided tours, and be sure to check out the Special Programs for Freedom Week. At the visitor center, you can pick up a copy of the Historic Philadelphia Gazette which also provides a schedule of events.

Try This

Beat the summer crowds and visit in January and February when no tickets are needed to visit Independence Hall. The park hosts programs like the annual Bell Tapping Ceremony on Martin Luther King Day, the flag raising at Independence Hall in honor of Lincoln, or the annual celebration of Ben Franklin’s birthday on January 17.

Ring up history! Download instructions for the park’s cell phone tour.

Eat This

Have an authentic 18th century dining experience at City Tavern, a re-creation of the tavern where our nation’s founders gathered to eat, drink and debate the meaning of democracy.

Don’t Forget

The Liberty Bell cracked long ago, but its voice has never been stilled. From the abolitionists who gave the bell its name, to the women who used the bell’s replica to promote women’s suffrage, to groups and individuals around the world fighting for freedom and liberty, the Liberty Bell rings out loud and clear. Today, the park continues to provide a meaningful location for hundreds of public assemblies throughout the year, as citizens gather in this historic place to express their beliefs.

Get Started!

Visit the Independence National Historical Park Plan Your Visit webpage or call the park at (215) 965-2305. Then reserve a timed ticket to visit Independence Hall.

Did You Know?

Independence Hall was built in 1732, the same year George Washington was born.