Whether it’s to usher in change or bid farewell to the way things were, now is a seminal time to visit America. With the result of the election still reverberating around the US, many people within the continent and across the Atlantic are reacquainting themselves with its dramatic history.
A good place to start is the birthplace of the free world: Philadelphia. There is a myriad of new openings taking place all over the city in 2017, with the Total Philly Tour being a perfect introduction for all newcomers. The newly launched tour will take visitors to the city’s hidden gems and hotspots such as the famous Italian Market and historical district, ending with a well-deserved tour of the local bar and pub scene with resident beer experts. Yes, that someone’s actual job.
The cultural scene in the city is ever expanding, with the opening of the new Museum of the American Revolution in April. It is located in the historic heart of the city, aptly on a site across the street from Carpenter’s Hall, where the Constitutional Congress first met. Celebrating the city’s colourful and influential history, the museum will feature permanent and temporary exhibition spaces covering the creation of, and conflict surrounding, the birth of a new nation. Also see Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated or simply amble around the city taking in the 18th-19th-century houses, new restaurants and great shopping.
Decidedly older, the Franklin Institute has been a stalwart of Philadelphia’s cultural scene since it opened in 1824. Despite its age, it has constantly paved the way for innovation in the city and now opens its Virtual Reality Experience. With the click of a button, visitors will be transported through outer space, encounter a blue whale, peek inside a brain and tour the solar system.
Just down the road and worth a visit is Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Battle of Gettysburg of 1863, which took place just two hours from the nation’s capital, marked a huge change in the direction of the Civil War and was also the site of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. There are numerous museums that explore this rich history. Also visit Appomattox Court House National Park, where the surrender was signed on April 9, 1865. Some travel agents, such as Leger Holidays, do specific battlefield tours with specialist guides sharing their in-depth knowledge of warfare and the impact of war. The tours take place all over the world and vary from 3 days to 14 days.
With the future so unpredictable there is no better time to become immersed in the past.