Step foot onto the lush landscaped grounds of the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, and you're instantly transported to the Victorian era—a time when ladies toted lacy parasols, gentlemen sported tall silk hats, and children played with coal-powered Game Boys. Beyond the stately mansion's immaculately manicured lawns and brick façade lie 17 restored rooms, replete with lavish Rococo and Renaissance revival furnishings, elaborate ceiling designs, and Victorian-era appliances such as cast-iron stoves and gas-lit chandeliers.
This museum of Victorian architecture and culture hosts weekly tours, as well as a monthly Upstairs Downstairs tour that explores the lives and challenges of women in Victorian-era Philadelphia. The mansion also stages theater performances throughout the year, featuring the works of Victorian-era greats including Charles Dickens, Bram Stoker, and Louisa May Alcott.
The iconic crack in the Liberty Bell. The Betsy Ross House, where Betsy sewed the first American flag. Swann Fountain's jets of spray. Aboard Wheel Fun Rentals' new-model Segways, tour groups cruise between Philadelphia landmarks like these at speeds of up to 12 miles per hour. Riders choose between two tours: a 90-minute Old City historic tour and a three-hour city tour that blends old landmarks with newer ones, such as China Town and City Hall, where the mayor stores nearby cities he has conquered. As the tours roll through town, expert guides share relevant facts and stories, to which participants listen on headphones.
Encompassing 15 historic sites, Historic Germantown: Freedom's Backyard preserves the rich history of the region with regular events, tours, and all-inclusive passes to their attractions. From the home of the 1777 Battle of Germantown to the first Mennonite settlement in America, the sites give visitors an opportunity to relive history and wear powdered wigs in public. Multiple museums house relics and paraphernalia from the beginning of the country through World War II. Events such as Germantown Works highlight the region's work ethic, and summer camps celebrate the annual tradition of having summer.
Knowledgeable, friendly locals enlighten visitors on their city's rich history, art, culture, and dining scene during Philadelphia Urban Adventures' informative walking excursions. Following a philosophy of responsible travel—which aims to support local businesses whenever possible—the guides steer sightseers through intriguing neighborhoods and districts such as Center City, the 9th Street Italian Market, and the campuses of Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. Along the way, they make pit stops at local pubs, cafés, galleries, and food trucks, working to cultivate an authentic experience for all guests. They also dispense helpful tips, such as how to talk to locals and where to find good views of cheesesteaks in their natural habitat.
The flavor-savvy guides of Chew Philly Food Tours acquaint both visiting and veteran Philadelphia taste buds with the dishes that encapsulate the city's culinary heritage. During each 2.5-hour journey, groups visit family-owned restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores— many of which have been around for decades—where merchants show off their specialties to curious palates.
Tidbits about local architecture, city history, and the philly cheesesteak's historic boxing victory against Chicago-style pizza spring from tour guides as tasters proceed with their 1.5-mile jaunt, which keeps feet moving at a moderate pace to accommodate guests of all ages and fitness levels. Once the last morsel has been devoured, groups disembark with a cache of coupons garnering discounts at the shops and eateries visited on the tour, so customers can return to toss pebbles at a bakery case to attract the attentions of the cupcake they have a crush on.
As the Ale & Arts Walking Adventure tour ambles among famous Philadelphia bars such as McGillin's Olde Ale House and Dirty Frank's Bar, you'll get to drink in the history and cultural significance of 10 distinctive murals, as well as the establishments where they are located. You'll also get to drink in several locally brewed beers served throughout the fact-filled tour. The Mural Arts Program was created to enlighten the public on the collaborative process of how murals transform public spaces and unite artists with the local community. Develop a new appreciation for public art and discover the history behind your favorite local bar with today's side deal.