COVID-19 Travel Resources and Reopening Guidelines

Explore Philadelphia with Confidence

February 16, 2021

Tours, museums, and attractions that have taken the PHL Hospitality Health Pledge.

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in history by strolling by Philadelphia’s historic sites, admire art at a local museum, or simply spend time exploring the outdoors, do so with confidence knowing local businesses have taken the PHL Hospitality Health Pledge.

The best way to start any Philadelphia trip is by visiting the Independence Visitor Center along Independence Mall. There, you’ll find a plethora of resources to help guide your time in the city, such as the Official Visitors Guide and a digital welcome wall that highlights top picks for things to do nearby. The friendly staff at the Visitor Center will answer any questions you may have, from where to take the best photos, which cheesesteak to try, what museums are now open, and more. To keep visitors safe, the Visitor Center has implemented a number of new health and safety protocols, including reduced building capacity limits, social distancing markers, and more. Don’t miss the gift shop inside, which is the largest one in the city offering Philadelphia-themed souvenirs and other locally made items.

Masks are required at the Betsy Ross House, even for Betsy herself. Photo courtesy of the Betsy Ross House.

After you’ve gotten your bearings at the Visitor Center, head outside and immerse yourself in America’s most historic square mile. Home to the seamstress who had reportedly sewn the first American flag, the nearby Betsy Ross House is open for visitors to navigate the 18th-century home and workshop. Masks are required on-site and advanced tickets are required to access the courtyard, house or museum store. Philly Tour Hub’s History in HD walking tour will guide you through Philadelphia’s many historic sites, passing by Independence Hall, Carpenters’ Hall and other locales that are a critical part of the founding of the nation. If you’d prefer a little less walking, opt for a Philly By Segway tour instead. Both tour companies have implemented new protocols to keep visitors safe, such as the requirement to wear masks, ample physical distancing throughout the tour, and more. Self-guided tours are also encouraged, as you will easily spend hours discovering tiny cobblestone streets and duck in and out of the many locally owned boutiques in Old City.

Photo courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution.

To learn more about the events of the American Revolution, don’t miss the interactive and immersive exhibits at the Museum of the American Revolution, which is keeping visitors safe by instituting new guidelines and procedures. One-way routes through exhibits have been implemented to help enforce social distancing, masks are required for all visitors and staff, hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the building, and purchasing tickets in advance online is strongly encouraged as visitor capacity will be limited. While there, don’t miss the new When Women Lost the Vote exhibit, which details a time from 1776-1807 when women and free people of color could legally vote in New Jersey — over a century before the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Wheel Fun Rentals along Kelly Drive has introduced enhanced safety measures, including the full disinfecting of all rental items after each rental, with extra attention given to high-touch areas such as handle bars. Photo by E. Cunicelli for PHLCVB

Fresh air awaits in Fairmount Park, a 2,000+ acre landscape of parkland, trails, historic landmarks, and more flanking the winding Schuylkill River – all within city limits and just a short walk (or bike ride) from Center City. There, you’ll discover the iconic Boathouse Row, six historic homes (known locally as Park Charms), miles of trails, plenty of riverside picnic areas, and some of the best views Philadelphia has to offer. To aid in your exploration, you can rent a bike from Wheel Fun Rentals along Kelly Drive, who has implemented enhanced health and safety measures to keep riders safe.

Signage and markers on the floors help visitors keep appropriate distance while exploring the Independence Seaport Museum. Photo courtesy of the Independence Seaport Museum.

On Philadelphia’s other shore, you can stroll the Delaware River, stopping at public parks and piers such as Race Street Pier to rest and enjoy the cool river breeze. The Delaware River Waterfront is also home to the Independence Seaport Museum, which chronicles maritime history and highlights Philadelphia’s waterways. Part of its collection includes the historic cruiser USS Olympia, which is docked further south along the river and is open for tours. The museum is keeping guests safe by requiring face masks and by placing hand sanitizer stations in high-trafficked areas, among other procedures. NOTE: The Independence Seaport Museum is currently closed, but will reopen on March 20, 2021.

Al Capone's Cell at Eastern State Penitentiary. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

To spend some more time indoors, take a trip to America’s most historic prison, Eastern State Penitentiary, to navigate the once-abandoned cell blocks while learning about the history of the building and the nation’s prison system. Don’t miss the cell of infamous mobster Al Capone, which has been restored to showcase his rather lush living conditions while incarcerated in the penitentiary in 1929. Eastern State’s new protocols include the requirement to purchase tickets online in advance and for guests over the age of 2 to wear a face mask while on the property. NOTE: Eastern State Penitentiary is currently closed until March 12, 2021. Connect with the museum online by accessing one of its virtual tours or other digital resources.

Photo courtesy of The Barnes Foundation.

For a more artistic museum experience, visit The Barnes Foundation, which is home to one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Early Modernist paintings – all carefully arranged beside metalwork and furniture, just as collector Dr. Barnes intended them to be presented to the viewer. The museum’s new health and safety measures introduce contact-less payment solutions, the requirement for masks to be worn, capacity limits, and other policies.

Masks are required throughout the Penn Museum and one-way routes will guide you through the galleries while maintaining proper social distance. Photo courtesy of J. Whalen for Penn Museum.

Home to the largest sphinx in the Western Hemisphere, the Penn Museum offers visitors a glimpse into ancient civilizations with artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece and Italy, Mesopotamia, Asia, Africa, and the Americas spread throughout several galleries, including several recently reimagined spaces. New health and safety measures implemented by the museum include one-way routes throughout the galleries, capacity limits, timed, contact-less ticketing online, and the requirement for staff and visitors ages 2+ to wear face coverings.

For a full list of museums that have recently reopened or are preparing to reopen soon, click here.

Cover photo courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution

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