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One of Philadelphia’s most prominent claims to fame is its place in the earliest parts of American history. Today, visitors of Philly can experience the birthplace of the nation, walk cobblestone streets in the original heart of the city, and check out the rooms where the Founding Fathers adopted the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Guests to the Historic District get more than just history lessons, as the area is also home to premier restaurants, beer gardens, boutiques, and art galleries.

Here’s what to check out around the district:

THE HISTORY IN HISTORIC

These iconic sites are must-visits when in the area, where the faded red brick and quaint cobblestone streets evoke a different time. Here are some of our favorite history-related spots to head to:

The Liberty Bell

One of the most recognized pieces of American history, the Liberty Bell is housed in a small museum that details its story. Floor-to-ceiling glass panes behind the instrument reveal nearby Independence Hall.

Independence Hall

Take a tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site, and see the inkstand used to sign the Declaration and George Washington’s “rising sun” chair.

Betsy Ross House

Learn about the origins of the American flag as an actress re-enacting Betsy Ross greets guests in her interactive 18th Century upholstery shop.

National Constitution Center

The three main attractions at this museum take an educational look at the nation’s most-famous document. Check out a multimedia theatrical production, an interactive exhibit full of photos, films, and artifacts, and Singer’s Hall, where 42 life-size bronze statues of the Founding Fathers reside.

City Tavern

Guests can dine as Benjamin Franklin and George Washington did at this restaurant that recreates the food, drink, and ambiance of the late 18th Century. The haute cuisine, costumed waitstaff, and Colonial-era decor create an authentic and entertaining atmosphere.

WHERE TO EAT

Spanning Society Hill and the Old City neighborhoods of Philly, the historic area of the city is also home to dozens of top-notch eateries. Whether you’re looking for a spot to grab lunch before hitting the sites, or you need a good place for dinner after a day of sightseeing, these are some of our top picks:

High Street on Market

Enjoy creative comfort food any time of the at this rustic, casual New American neighborhood favorite. Egg sandwiches and sweet and savory pastries highlight breakfast, sandwiches on artisan bread make lunch a treat, and an elegant but casual dinner featuring pastas dishes and a variety of family-style plates is always a good choice.

LaPeg

For a more sophisticated evening, head to the French brasserie in the FringeArts building. The Industrial chic vibe of the aged warehouse, paired with waterfront views, make for relaxed atmosphere. Be sure to indulge in the macaroni gratin, braised lamb shank, and expertly crafted cocktails.

Capofitto

If you’re in the mood for a slice, head to Capofitto for Neapolitan-style pizza baked in a wood-fired oven. Head in on weekend for a brunch with pasta, eggs, and pizza.

Amada

Amada is Chef Jose Garces’ inaugural restaurant in Philly and was one of the first to start serving tapas in town. Try the large Spanish-style plates like roasted pig and lobster paella.

MORE THAN THE TOURIST STOPS

When you’ve had your fill of the more touristy locales, there’s still plenty to do around historic Philly. Hit these spots for beer gardens, shopping, and other activities.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

Head to the waterfront for eats, drinks, hammocks, and thousands of colorful lights at this relaxing and cool beer garden on the Delaware River. Check out our guide to the waterfront here.

Franklin Square

This park offers a Philly-themed miniature golf course, a historic carousel, and burgers and shakes.

Independence Beer Garden

Over 40 beers on tap, a menu with a variety of dishes and snacks, and board and lawn games make for a relaxed and entertaining atmosphere at this Philly favorite that’s just steps from Independence Mall and the Liberty Bell Center.

2nd Street in Old City

Stroll along 2nd Street for dozens of art galleries, independent boutiques, and well-known restaurants. Check out Christ Church or catch a show at the Arden Theater.

Image via Flickr