It would be a sin to say any other city in America has more religious history than Philadelphia. Not only is if filled with several “first” churches, but it offers a variety of great breweries, wineries, and distilleries you will pray to try. Plus, it’s difficult to argue with Ben Franklin who said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
Note to Visitors: Please check each attraction for available dates and times for services and tours.
Start your journey with a visit to the reconstructed home of religious freedom proponent and Pennsylvania founder William Penn at Pennsbury Manor. Take part in demonstrations and hands-on activities for a lively and interactive experience of what life was like 300 years ago, or explore the 43 acre country estate, including the gardens and the banks of the Delaware River.Read More >
A prime example of the Gothic and early Romanesque styles that dominated architectural design when the building was erected in the early 20th century, the Bryn Athyn Cathedral sits atop a hill overlooking the Pennypack Creek Valley and has been the central place of worship for the Bryn Athyn Church since its dedication in 1919. The church and its members welcome all guests to visit the Cathedral for tours, worship services and special events.Read More >
Quench your thirst with a 200 year-old American tradition. Dad's Hat Rye® uses locally-sourced ingredients to distill their famous whiskey. Head to the distillery to see what goes into making this traditional spirit, then enjoy their delicious Pennsylvania whiskey.Read More >
Dine on contemporary American cuisine made with fresh, seasonal ingredients at the oldest continuously operated Inn in America, circa 1681. Join the list of many dignitaries who were guests at the Inn during the Victorian era, including General George Washington and Presidents John Tyler, John Adams, James Madison and Millard Fillmore — just to name a few.Read More >
Serving fine new American cuisine, the Kelch House provides the essence of romantic dining. Choose from their signature crabcakes or hand carved steaks, and top off your meal with a homemade dessert.Read More >
Tucked away on a quiet street off Rittenhouse Square, this boutique hotel is ideal for a relaxing night's sleep. You'll enjoy the enchantments of one of the city's most celebrated neighborhoods, as well as the hotel’s unique design, its dedication to detail and the highest standards of hospitality.Read More >
Start Day 2 of your road trip with a glimpse of America’s religious history. Christ Church, founded in 1695, was the first parish of the Church of England in Pennsylvania and later became famous for the Revolutionary-era leaders who worshiped there. Tour the church’s burial ground, which has earned the distinction of one of America’s most interesting Colonial and Revolution-era graveyards. In fact, it’s the final resting place of many leaders including Benjamin Franklin and four other... Read More >
Step inside this 19th century Quaker meetinghouse and explore dioramas, displays of Quaker artifacts and rotating special exhibits celebrating the contributions of the Society of Friends. Built on a burial ground originally deeded by William Penn in 1701, the meetinghouse is active to this day and home to the Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.Read More >
There is no better way to explore Philadelphia’s most treasured shrines and learn about the lives of Saints than by taking a Catholic Shrine Tour of Philadelphia. This unique, limited time experience includes visits to the shrines of St. Rita of Cascia, St. John Neumann, Miraculous Medal and St. Katharine Drexel, a docent tour at each of the shrines and a box lunch of your choice.Read More >
A visit to Rowhouse Spirits gives visitors a first-hand look at the evolution of the modern American craft movement – from craft beer to craft spirits. Rowhouse owner Dean Browne works out of a tiny shed on the property of Philadelphia Brewing Company, where he worked for years as a brewer. Tour the 1,200 square foot space and taste small batch gin and other herbal spirits.Read More >
Farmicia has established itself as one of Philadelphia’s most consistent and unpretentious places to find an excellent meal in Old City. Popular entrees include the lamb tenderloin, eggplant cannelonni, the sun-dried cherry glazed duck breast and the St. Peter’s Fish, all made with organic, locally grown produce and meats.Read More >
Enjoy bird’s-eye views of Philadelphia and dine on creative American cuisine at R2L, 500 feet above the city on the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place. Wall-to-wall, unobstructed, breathtaking panoramic views that span for more than 40 miles enhance a memorable meal with professional, attentive service.Read More >
A stay at this restored 18th century mansion, now an intimate boutique hotel, is a great way to see the city. Here, you‘ll enjoy the best of both worlds: the comforts of a cozy bed and breakfast plus the amenities of a modern hotel.Read More >
Stay the night at one of the city's most striking examples of Art Deco design–a landmark 1929 building that has been restored to its original grandeur, and beyond. A Kimpton Hotels property, guests can expect luxurious, stylish touches and superb amenities that celebrate contemporary luxury.Read More >
Visitors interested in Jewish history won’t want to miss the first dedicated Rodeph Shalom sanctuary, built in 1871 on its current site at Broad and Mount Vernon streets in Philadelphia. The building was designed by Frank Furness, considered the most exciting Philadelphia architect of his time, and inspired by the great Synagogue of Florence, Italy. To this day, the temple is one of few in the United States that retains its distinctive Moorish-Byzantine style.Read More >
Located in the heart of Philadelphia, the Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church proudly serves as the mother church of the nation’s first black denomination and rests upon the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African-Americans. Visitors to the National Historic Landmark can tour a museum with original artifacts and exhibits from the church’s beginnings in 1787.Read More >
Raise a glass at Pennsylvania’s first 100 percent wind-powered brewery. Yards has been brewing their Philadelphia Pale Ale, Extra Special Ale, India Pale Ale, Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale and General Washington Tavern Porter since 1995, and offers tours of their environmentally sustainable brewery along the Delaware River.Read More >
This nationally acclaimed New American bistro offers a menu inspired by the Mid-Atlantic region, featuring fresh, seasonal dishes. The restaurant’s hip, stylish and sophisticated interior makes for an unforgettable dining experience.Read More >
In anticipation of Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute will open "Vatican Splendors" September 19. The exhibit will include more than 200 works of art and religious artifacts that together trace the evolution of the Roman Catholic Church more than 2,000 years. Guests can tour 11 galleries showcasing the history of Christianity, including objects such as mosaics, frescoes, maps and documents.
Founded in 1984, Mural Arts has evolved into an internationally recognized leader in community-based public art. Over the past 30 years, Mural Arts has served more than 30,000 people and created more than 3,600 incredible works throughout the city. The program recently announced a new mural in honor of the 2015 World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis’s visit. It will be displayed on the external walls of Saint Malachy School in North Philadelphia. A guided spirituality tour is also available.
With owners trained in beer-making from Bavarian purists, you’d think these guys would know a thing or two about brewing. And you’d be right. Stop in at one of three area locations (Downingtown, Kennett Square and Parksburg) for a tour. They’ll be happy to show you around and let you sample the goods.
The largest winery in Pennsylvania, Chaddsford Winery is housed in a charming 17th century dairy barn. Located between world-famous Longwood Gardens and the Wyeth family’s Brandywine River Museum, Chaddsford Winery is an ideal location to stop and sip on an array of award-winning wines.
Founded in 1732 by German settlers, Ephrata Cloister is recognized as one of America's earliest religious communities. The establishment houses a collection of European style buildings where nearly 300 members worked and worshiped throughout the first few decades of its founding. Visit the National Historic Landmark that proudly offers daily tours, special programs and ongoing research opportunities to the public.
Looking for a different type of “spirit”? In 1829, the first prisoner walked through the doors of Eastern State Penitentiary. It closed its doors as a penitentiary in 1971, and now lies deteriorated and empty. It is said that the lingering spirits of the isolated prisoners still haunt the cell blocks of this National Historic Landmark, making it one of America’s most haunted prisons. Participate in a tour or special events offered year round.
For another “spirits” encounter, visit Gettysburg, one of the most haunted towns in America. Many of the historic homes and inns around the county are said to be haunted by spirits left behind from the Civil War and other periods. Tour the streets, bridges and buildings and discover for yourself what has lingered.