Interested in American History… Try Philadelphia & Gettysburg! (Part 1)

independence hall

Familiarization Tour to Pennsylvania

The weekend of November 7-9, 2015 we operated a familiarization tour to Pennsylvania for teachers in Ct, NJ & PA. While being from the Massachusetts area I felt it would be difficult to match the immense impact the state of Massachusetts had on the founding of our country but I was wrong.

While working with our partners at the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Philadelphia and Gettysburg we developed a varied itinerary that included the rich American history legacy, culture and fun opportunities the area offers.

Similar to Boston my vision of student travel in the Philadelphia & Gettysburg area is to offer more than just museums and what I call a vanilla itinerary. We hope to offer a more interactive program that engages the students to touch, feel, smell and taste the history and culture.

We started the program in Philadelphia with the perfect hotel property… The Wyndham Historic District Hotel located within a short walk of all the major historic sites. Upon arrival we were whisked away on a London style double decker bus for an entertaining city tour from Philadelphia Sightseeing Tours. This gave us a wonderful overview of this historic city. Dinner was at Romano Bistro a quality student friendly restaurant that offers a multi-course meal and meets the student tour budget. One of the difficult parts of a student itinerary is evening events. What after dinner tour that will provide a fun, safe experience that will get them ready for a restful night once back at the hotel? Specialty Tours offers “Philly Upside Down” that features pop music and DJ on the motor coach that matches the sights seen on evening tour of the city. It also includes a number of tour stops such as the Comcast Center that offers a fantastic 2000 square foot HD video wall that displays hours of unique programming and other fun interactive locations throughout the downtown.

The next morning we met our guide Anne from Specialty Tours. She was an excellent guide that entertained us with information on the Christ Church burial ground where Ben Franklin and his wife Deborah are interred. Anne also told us of Ben Franklin’s life as inventor, printer, scientist, postmaster, politician, statesman, and diplomat. He also developed the first firehouse and founded the University of Pennsylvania. Our tour included Independence Hall the location of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. It was also home of the first Supreme Court. This historic structure is 70% original and provides a moment to ponder that you are walking and using the handrail that these great men of America’s founding used.

For information on Student Education Travel or view or Philadelphia/Gettysburg sample itinerary and pricing please visit our website at To receive a customized itinerary and pricing please contact me at