Try not to get a lump in your throat when you cast your eyes on this symbol of American independence. Inscribed "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land, Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof," the iconic bell began life in the tower of the Pennsylvania State House ringing lawmakers to meetings. Today it is the centerpiece of a small, modern museum with exhibits that depict its far-reaching effects around the world. If you’re visiting Philadelphia on a budget, you’ll be happy to know that admission is free.
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
For 20 bucks, you can visit this huge museum, PLUS the Rodin Museum, Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building and the Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove historic houses, and your ticket covers two days. It’s an almost unbeatable deal to see such a comprehensive amount of art and history. You can also go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art on a Wednesday night, or all day on the first Sunday of each month, pay whatever you like, and spend the evening contemplating original works by Charles Eames, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and many more classic and modern artists. Don’t forget to run up the “Rocky” steps.Read MoreAAA / Patricia Miller
President's House Site
600 Market St.
This free outdoor museum was built on the site of the third presidential mansion, home to presidents George Washington and John Adams. Fragments of brick walls hold illustrated panels and videos that depict the life of Washington’s slaves, who worked in the house. Visitors can also see the actual kitchen’s foundations, archeological fragments and the outline of the mansion. This site is across the street from the Independence Visitor Center
; browse in the amazing gift shop and get free maps and information about local attractions.Read More
Reading Terminal Market
51 N. 12th St.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, Philadelphia won’t let you down when it comes to chowing on mouthwatering eats. With about 80 vendors, Reading Terminal Market is so large you might be overwhelmed. Check out all the food places (you’ll find almost any cuisine you desire), then choose one or more that suits your taste buds. Try a cheesesteak from By George, Carmen’s Famous Italian Hoagies & Cheesesteaks or Spataro’s, since you can’t leave Philly without noshing on one of these world-famous sandwiches. Not a cheesesteak person? Hit up DiNic’s. Their roast pork sandwich is so killer that it’s been touted as the "Best Sandwich in America." The market is open daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m., so don’t plan to eat dinner here.
AAA Travel Editor Patricia Miller
Patricia Miller is a AAA Travel Expert.
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