historical cities

Be sure to visit Boston’s Old State House, where American history comes to life. (Photo: Getty Images)


Boston vs. Philadelphia: A Battle of Lasting Legacies

If you’re looking to revolutionize your vacation plans, it’s time to plan a trip to one of America’s oldest towns — Boston or Philadelphia. With so much to see and do in each of the historical cities, you’ll never run out of ways to enjoy your upcoming getaway. If you’re struggling to decide which destination to visit first, keep scrolling to learn more about each city’s unique features.

American Landmarks

Boston: Founded in 1630 by English settlers, Boston served as the setting of revolutionary developments in the history of the United States. Take a trip down the Freedom Trail and visit longstanding destinations including the Old State House, where the Declaration of Independence was first read to the people of Boston.

historical cities
Spill some tea in Boston. (Photo: Getty Images)

Further exploration will lead you to discover Paul Revere’s House, the site of the Boston Massacre and Old North Church. Then be sure to check out the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum before stepping back in time on the cobblestone streets near Boston Common, a 50-acre urban park.

Philadelphia: It’s no mistake that Philadelphia was named a World Heritage City by UNESCO. Centered around the world-class Independence National Historical Park, the city is overflowing with iconic sites and historic neighborhoods.

Within minutes, you can go from touring the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall to taking pictures with the Liberty Bell and exploring the former home of Betsy Ross. It’s time to let out your inner history nerd!

Thriving Cultural Settings

Boston: As the home of Harvard University, established in 1636, Boston is a highly educated city with endless opportunities to celebrate learning and the arts. If you’re traveling with the family, visit the New England Aquarium and the Boston Children’s Museum.

Art lovers can browse masterpieces at The Institute of Contemporary Art, and theater aficionados can see musicals and plays across the city. Those looking for something a little different can get tickets to see the Blue Man Group, boasting a long-running show at the Charles Playhouse.

historical cities
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is home to a rich collection of works. (Photo: Getty Images)

Philadelphia: It’s fitting that the city in which Benjamin Franklin called home for most of his life has continued to be a hub of culture. Get a taste of innovation at the Benjamin Franklin Museum and The Franklin Institute, then head to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and feast your eyes on an incredible collection of over 240,000 pieces after climbing the steps that helped make Rocky a champion.

Don’t leave the city without stepping inside The Constitution Center, which presents the history of the Constitution through a series of interactive exhibits, before seeing a show in the Philadelphia Theatre District.

historical cities
Get the story of the U.S. Constitution. (Photo: Getty Images)

Location, Location, Location

Boston: Anchored by a waterfront setting, Boston’s location provides for an array of exciting dining and entertainment experiences. There’s no shortage of seafood restaurants, but you can also savor mouthwatering fare from a range of countries as you explore the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

If you fly into town, get around the area with Boston’s expansive “T,” a well-oiled system run by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or take a taxi to the harbor and set sail on a Boston Harbor Cruise to see whales in their natural habitat.

Philadelphia: One trip to Philly, and you’ll see why it’s called the City of Brotherly Love. No matter which season you visit, attend lively events that bring the entire community together. If there’s not an event going on – no worries!

Head to Spruce Street Harbor Park to grab food truck fare and hang out on a hammock while enjoying views of the Delaware River. It’s family-friendly, but it’s also a great date spot. When it’s time to fuel up for more adventures, take your pick of premier Philly cheesesteak establishments, or head to Reading Terminal Market for a fresh selection of mouthwatering meals. Top off your visit with a sunset cruise from Penn’s Landing.

Book Your Getaway

Ready to create a legacy of your own in one of these historic cities? Search for Boston and Philadelphia vacation packages, and find exclusive rates on flights, accommodations and car rentals with Vacations by Marriott.

This article was published through a partnership with Vacations by Marriott. Read the original story: Boston vs. Philadelphia: A Battle of Lasting Legacies on the blog.