Liberty Bell, Philadelphia
Many people call the Liberty Bell a tourist trap, but I cannot help but think it is because of the time spent waiting in line. After all, there is no charge for visiting the Liberty Bell.
We visited the Liberty Bell in late September: perhaps it was the time of year, but there was no line, and we were in and out of the Liberty Bell Center in less than 10 minutes. Even if the bell pales in comparison to the symbol it has become, in a country as heavy on symbols as the USA, it is always nice to actually see one of them.
Unique Suggestions: Check first to see if there is a waiting line. If not, go inside, you may even learn something from reading one of the many signs leading to the bell.
Fun Alternatives: If there is a line and you can't stand to wait, go catch a glimpse of the bell from Market Street.
Do you really have to see an old bell? Well, I guess that's up to you, but just a little FYI . . .
You can see it through the glass on the outside of the building and you won't have to stand in the big, long line.
aside from everything else stated above, when you realize that its not even the REAL liberty bell, its a replica, it just adds insult to injury.
Like others have already If you are there and want to see it, go ahead, but its not that type of thing that you want to go out of your way to see.
NOTE: i was messaged by another VTer who told me that it is the REAL thing. This was not what I was told while there, but it might have been away for restoration.
Pointless waste of time. You have to spend a considerable amount of time to see the bell. However, you can easily see it from the outside through the large windows - and you don't have to wait at all.
Unique Suggestions: Really, just walk by and look through the windows...
Fun Alternatives: Head to South Street or the park north of the fine art museum for the uniquely Philadelphian experiences.
While it is true that it is JUST a bell, albeit a very old cracked bell, they just moved it to it's new digs. It took somewhere like 75people to move the bell, centimeter by centimeter, less that a block 3 days to it's new 12million dollar building. Before, you could pretty much look at it, now you can still do that , but there's more informative history style stuff in the building. You will only see a native Philadelphian nearby if they must use the public restroom, showing around boring out of town relatives, or cutting across the lawn to get to the bars.
Also - If you go to any of the historical stuff in the near vicinity, you will be frisked/searched in this post 911 time.
Unique Suggestions: Try and sneak in a touch. Also, the park rangers in charge of the tours have really great hats. I have a friend that became a park ranger just so he could wear the hat every day!