Fodor's Travel 

Within walking distance of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Constitution Center, and the First Bank of the U.S., the Museum of the American Revolution resides in the heart of historic Philadelphia. It appropriately opened on April 19th, the anniversary of “the shot heard ‘round the world” when fighting broke out between English and American forces in Lexington, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775, starting the American Revolution.

Divided into four parts—Road to Independence (1760-1775), The Darkest Hour (1776-1778), A Revolutionary War (1778-1783), A New Nation (1783-present) — the museum’s impressive collection has been in the making for more than a century.

Several thousand artifacts, many of which have never been shown before, include General George Washington’s actual tent that he used as his war headquarters; a pair of English holster pistols carried throughout the war by a German American Brigadier General; an early 19th century summer coat worn by a Revolutionary War soldier; and a pair of infant shoes crafted from the stolen coat of a British soldier.

There’s a section on Native American involvement in the war with amazing life-like statues that you can walk among, a replica 18th-century privateer ship that guests can board, and a replica of the Liberty Tree, where colonists gathered in Boston to organize against the British.

Timed tickets ($19) are good for two days. We reckon you’ll spend between 2 and 3 hours wandering through the exhibits, but that doesn’t include watching the orientation film, Revolution, or the multi-media experience surrounding Washington’s War tent.

Cross Keys Café, the onsite eatery, is named after a nearby 18th-century tavern. The menu includes salads and sandwiches, as well as Revolution-era classics like Philadelphia Snapper Soup and Tun Tavern Bread Pudding.