Historic Philadelphia
“America’s Most Historic Square Mile.”  History comes alive as you walk in the footsteps of our Founding Fathers along the brick walkways and cobblestone streets of William Penn’s “Green Countrie Towne.”

An AHLT guide will bring to “life” the colonial era in Philadelphia as you tour the following sites:
  • Independence Hall – Dating back to 1732, built to be the new State House for the colony of PA. Site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution
  • Liberty Bell – Original State House bell.  Today, the most cherished symbol of American freedom
  • President’s House site – Representation of the private home used by Presidents Washington and Adams until the 1800 move to the White House
  • Congress Hall – Original structure that served as U.S. Capitol building from 1790-1800 and where the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution
  • National Constitution Center – Museum dedicated to the better understanding of the U.S. Constitution & the story of “We the People”. Many interactive displays
  • Christ Church Anglican church founded in 1695 where many of the Founding Fathers worshiped. 
  • Elfreth’s Alley – Oldest continuously occupied residential street in U.S.
  • Franklin Court Print Shop & Museum – A working tribute to the genius of one of the most famous patriots of the 18th century.
  • Betsy Ross Home – Example of 18th century working person’s home, relating the story of Quaker, Elizabeth Griscom Ross who is thought to be the seamstress who sewed the1st American flag
  • Society Hill – Stroll its charming streets to see colonial era homes, churches, taverns, cemeteries and marketplace.  Guided tours of the historic Powel and Physick houses are available.

 

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Cultural Philadelphia
The Benjamin Franklin Parkway, known as the “Champs Elysee of America”, is the center of cultural Philadelphia, with many sites located within a few blocks

Commentary from your AHLT guide will provide an added dimension as you visit such cultural sites as:

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art – One of the top museums in the U.S. showcasing an internationally renowned collection of more than 225,000 works of art including Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Cezanne’s The Bathers,  Picasso’s, Three Musicians. Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase along with acclaimed special exhibitions. 
  • Rodin Museum – A little treasure housing over 200 works of the famous French sculptor, Auguste Rodin, including The Burghers of Calais
  • Barnes Foundation – Moving to downtown Philadelphia in 2012.  World-renowned private collection of more than 800 works with heavy representation of the works by such artists as Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso
  • Museum of American Art of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts – Oldest art school and art museum in the U.S. The building, one of the finest examples of High Victorian Gothic style architecture,  is an architectural delight! 
  • Architectural tours of City Hall – French Second Empire design resembling the Louvre in Paris.  Visit the Mayor’s Reception Room, Conversation Hall, Council Chambers and more.
  • Mural Arts Program – Founded in 1984 as part of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network, this widely acclaimed program is responsible for the creation of over 3,000 murals.  Enjoy a driving tour highlighting a selection of these wall paintings with commentary on subject and technique.
  • Theater & Concert Halls – Attend a performance of the Philadelphia Orchestra or the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts or enjoy a theater production at one of several venues. 

 

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Valley Forge
This is the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army.  No other place associated with the American Revolution symbolizes the sacrifice and triumph of the soldier.  There was no battle here but nonetheless a victory over hunger, disease, low morale and the forces of nature.

Allow your AHLT guide to free your imagination for a realistic glimpse into the lifestyle of the Continental Army during their winter encampment  at Valley Forge.

  • See reconstructed huts described by Lafayette as “scarcely gayer than the dungeons of Europe”
  • Stop by the Grand Parade where troops were trained under Baron von Steuben
  • Visit Washington’s Headquarters – An original 18th century home built by the Potts family
  • Delight in the beautiful windows and architecture of the Washington Memorial Chapel
  • Visitors Center showcasing many 18th century artifacts and film, Valley Forge - A Winter Encampment.

 

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Brandywine Valley
An historically rich area where one of the major battles of the American Revolution (Battle of Brandywine) was fought, where fugitive slaves sought refuge through the Underground Railroad, where artists gathered to capture the beauty of the landscape and where two families, the duPonts & Wyeths, left their indelible mark. 

This fascinating region becomes even more interesting when an AHLT guide provides commentary to enrich your experience as you visit such sites as:

  • Brandywine Battlefield State Park - Site of a major battle of the Revolutionary War – September 11, 1777
  • Brandywine River Museum - Converted grist mill exhibiting three generations of Wyeth family art – Illustrations by N.C. Wyeth,  watercolors, dry brush and egg tempera paintings by Andrew Wyeth and works by his son, Jamie
  • Longwood Gardens - World famous garden on over 1,000 acres highlighted by a 20-room conservatory and spectacular fountains.
  • Winterthur Museum & Gardens -  Unrivaled collection of over 89,000 pieces of American furniture & decorative arts from the period 1640 - 1840. Guided tour of museum & narrated train ride of the garden
  • Hagley Museum - First duPont home in America & site of their first powder yards
  • Nemours -  Exquisite 102-room  Louis XVI French chateau for A.I. duPont on a 300 acre site, filled with fine period antiques, carpets & paintings.
  • Tour and tastings at several local wineries including the nationally renowned Chadds Ford Winery
  • Delaware Museum of Art – Renowned for its collection of Pre-Raphaelite art & illustrations by Howard Pyle

 

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Lancaster/Amish
Two cultures living side by side providing the visitor with a most interesting contrast in lifestyle to explore. 

An AHLT guide will expand your understanding of the unique traditions and lifestyle of the Pennsylvania “Dutch” community. Your tour could include some of the following: 

  • Visit the English city of Lancaster including the Central Market, oldest publicly owned farmers’ market in U.S. or historic sites such as Wheatland , home of President James Buchanan and  Rockford, 18th century home of General Edward Hand. 
  • Explore the beautiful farmlands in your coach, an Amish buggy or spring wagon or the Strasburg Railroad passing picturesque working farms where mules and horses pull farm machinery,  see one room school houses, cemeteries, and more.
  • Enjoy a delicious family-style meal in an Amish home or restaurant
  • See the stories of the Bible come to life at Sight & Sound – an unforgettable experience!
  • Visit Ephrata Cloisters – Home of a fascinating communal society of the mid 18th century
  • Shop at private quilt shops, road side stands and charming centers such as Kitchen Kettle shops of Intercourse
  • Theater Options – Attend a Broadway show at either Dutch Apple Dinner Theater or the Fulton Opera Theater.  Other venues include  the charming Freedom Chapel Dinner Theater or the unique “Living the Experience,” an interactive journey back to the time of the Underground Railroad.

 

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Bucks County
“I decided on a region where the landscapes are varied, where farm and industry lived side by side, where sea was near at hand, mountains not far away, and city and countryside were not enemies.” Pearl S. Buck of her home in Bucks County

Background commentary provided by your AHLT guide will certainly enhance your experience in this beautiful area as you visit the following sites:

  • Green Hills Farm -  Home of Pulitzer & Nobel Prize winning author, Pearl S. Buck
  • Mercer Mile - Castle-like reinforced concrete structures built by the eccentric Henry Chapman Mercer. Tour Fonthill, his home & the Mercer Museum, housing his collection of tools from early America.
  • James A. Michener Art Museum - Collection of American Art & New Hope School of Art in renovated 19th century prison.  Michener’s personal memorabilia on display. 
  • Peddler’s Village - Charming village of country shops, antique stores and restaurants. Seasonal events.
  • Historic New Hope / Lambertville - Stroll through the quaint shops & galleries of these scenic, historic towns.  Take a “ghost” tour!  Ride the New Hope-Ivyland RR
  • Washington Crossing State Park - Site of Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware on Christmas Day, 1776.

 

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