Built between 1698 and 1700, Gloria De Episcopal Church is the oldest church in Pennsylvania and one of the country's oldest. John Smart and John Buett constructed this building of Flemish bond and black header brick. The building, originally the Swedish Lutheran Church for about 150 years, became a national park service site in 1946. The first Lutheran ordination ceremony in America happened within its walls. The church's cemetery contains many graves dating back to the late 1600s, including Sven Gunnarsson, who founded the New Sweden colony. This South Philadelphia church contains many Christian artifacts dating from the late 1600s and early 1700s, and you can tour the cemetery and the church.
RV Parks & Campgrounds Near Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church National Historic Site
Philadelphia has many different places to explore. Staying in a Philadelphia campground will make the trip even more fun, so bring your RV as it will allow you to move about the city to take in the sights. If you do not have one, rent one on RVshare.com. You will find many great options, and you can relax because 24/7 roadside assistance covers you no matter what.
RV Rentals Near Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church National Historic Site
Things To Do Near Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church National Historic Site
When you visit Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church National Historic Site, the first thing you may notice is the flags flying outside the church. These four flags represent America, Sweden, and Christianity, and the fourth flag is a special flag that Benjamin Franklin designed before the start of the American Revolution. Once inside, notice the baptismal font as it is one of the oldest in continual use in America. The Hook and Hastings organ dates to 1903.
Schuylkill River Trail
USA Today readers voted the Schuylkill River Trail running from Philadelphia to Landingville as the best urban trail in America. This paved and crushed stone trail that mainly follows abandoned railroad tracks is 75 miles long in 2021, with another 120 miles planned. You can see many historical artifacts as you hike along this trail.
Downtown Philadelphia, 19102
Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail
The Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail runs by some of the oldest bridges in Philadelphia and by a beautiful waterfall. A lot of this trail is Fairmount Park, which is Philadelphia's largest municipal park. This paved and crush stone trail is well-marked.
Fairmount Park Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19119
Ben Franklin Trail
Learn about the time that Ben Franklin spent in Philadelphia by following this trail. See where he drafted the Declaration of Independence, where he invented the lightning rod, and the part he played in abolishing slavery.
Benjamin Franklin Museum, 317 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
Independence National Historical Park
Visit Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention met, at Independence National Historical Park. This 55-acre park is also home to the Liberty Bell, the first federally chartered U.S. bank, and many other historical buildings. Get a drink or a bite to eat at the recreated City Tavern. Engage with this site's numerous reenactors.
525 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
Betsy Ross House
You and your loved ones will love the interactive historical programming at the Betsy Ross House. Tour the home where she sewed the first United States flag. Ask questions as you see the reenactor playing Betsy Ross sewing a flag.
239 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Consider starting your visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the Great Stair Hall to see the gilded Diana, who was created in 1893 to be the weathervane at Madison Square Gardens. Then, head to the New European Galleries to see works by masters, including Renoir, Monet, Manet, Degas, and Cézanne. Learn about Philadelphia's role beginning in the American Revolution by strolling through the American Art Collection and see rare racehorse armor in the arms area.
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
Museum of the American Revolution
Learn the stories of ordinary people behind the American Revolution. See temporary exhibits to learn about diverse topics, such as the first women voters who cast their ballots in New Jersey in 1776 and the role that Irish soldiers played in America's victory. Boredom will not strike when you go to this museum because there are live theatrical performances, exhibits to see, demonstrations to participate in, and crafts to make.
101 South Third Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
Nearby Shops and Restaurants
If you are looking for unusual items, including toys, artwork, housewares, or clothing, head to Thunderbird Salvage. You never know what you will find because they scour the country daily looking for unusual items. You may even nab vintage sports memorabilia from the Philadelphia Eagles or the 76ers.
2441 Frankfort Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19125
The Resource Exchange
The Resource Exchange, operated by Philadelphia's Creative Reuse Center, offers salvaged and repurposed items for sale. You can often find art supplies here at a steep discount. They also provide materials for do-it-yourself projects that have often come from movie sets.
1800 North American Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122
McGillin's Olde Ale House
McGillin's Olde Ale House served its first customer in 1860, and they have been delighting customers ever since. They offer a full pub menu with burgers, nachos, and wings, along with your favorite cocktails, wines, and draft beers that you can enjoy on the patio or inside. This restaurant often celebrates even minor holidays with special drinks and entrees.
1310 Drury Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
After starting as a bakery in 1918, Tacconelli's Pizza was transformed into a brick-oven pizzeria following World War II. The upscale pizzeria operated by the fifth generation of the same family is so popular that it is a great idea to call ahead to reserve your dough.
2604 East Somerset Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19134
How To Get To Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church National Historic Site
If you are at Independence National Historical Park, getting to Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site is easy as they are only 2 miles apart. Head north on North 5th Street. Turn right on Race Street and take another on North Christopher Columbus Boulevard. Finally, turn right on Christian Street, and the church will be on your left.
916 S Swanson Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
Fee: Entry fee $0
Touring the Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site can be a great addition to your Philadelphia RV road trip. It is the church where Betsy Ross was married. The cemetery surrounding the church contains some of the oldest graves in the city. You will not want to miss seeing many of the artifacts at this church, including the models of the Fogel Grip and the Kalmar Nyckel hanging from the church's ceiling. These two ships brought many of the first settlers to New Sweden in about 1640. There are many fascinating things to do in Southwark and the surrounding neighborhoods, so bring your RV. If you do not have an RV, find perfect options to rent on RVshare.com.