I geek out a little bit over Benjamin Franklin.
Not only did he play a key role in ending the Revolutionary War and in drafting the Declaration of Independence, he was a brilliant scientist, journalist and inventor. And, the man loved to imbibe. So my first visit to Philadelphia was more of a quest to seek out all things Benjamin Franklin.
While a weekend is only a drop in the bucket as far as Franklin-centric attractions in Philly go, these are the essentials.
Things to Do and See
Frame your Franklin trip with a visit to the Benjamin Franklin Museum and delve into his beautiful mind; even the most learned Franklin devotee will discover something new. The museum is segmented by personality traits and is full of Franklin's personal effects and hands-on displays.
Franklin's advances to science shine at The Franklin Institute. Among its many avenues of exploration are an observatory, IMAX theater and a mirror maze. The Benjamin Franklin National Memorial graces the rotunda.
Outside, in Franklin Court, visit the ghost structure where Franklin's house once stood, walk through the print shop that details his career as a newspaperman and have your envelope stamped at the B. Free Franklin Post Office—the postmark is the same as when Franklin was the nation's first postmaster general.
Franklin is among the notable leaders who lie in the Christ Church Burial Ground. Even though he coined the term "a penny saved is a penny earned," it's customary to throw a penny on his grave for good luck.
Where to Eat and Drink
The good times flowed for Franklin and his fellow Founding Fathers at City Tavern; dine on throwback fare and order up a Poor Richards Spruce—it's made from a recipe written by Franklin himself.
The Kite & Key pays deference to Franklin's most famous of experiments and his love of the drink. The menu of vegetarian offerings—Franklin was a vegetarian in his early years—features a veggie burger named the best in the city by Philadelphia magazine.
Where to Stay
The Franklin Hotel at Independence Park, of course. Not only does it bear Ben's name, but it's smack-dab in the middle of these Franklin musts: the National Constitution Center, Liberty Bell and Carpenters' Hall.