(Photo by Pat Loeb)

If you’re the romantic horse-drawn carriage ride type, there’s perhaps no better city in America for partaking in the romantic throwback from a bygone era than through Philadelphia. Not only are you traveling through town in the same style of stately coach was used more than two centuries ago, but you’ll also have a view of the original buildings where our founders forged a great nation. Here are some spots where you can hitch a ride.

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Trusted Tours
The Carriage Stand at 5th & Chestnut Streets across from Independence Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(800) 213-2474
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; 6:30pm
Price: $27.00 – $80.00

Trusted Tours provides a guided historical tour that includes a mile long trip through Philadelphia’s Independence National Historic Park. Your tour guide is dressed in customary 18th century style and provides historical facts in the language of the day. This tour is roughly 20 minutes long and remains within the area of the National Constitution Center.

Philly Tours
The Carriage Stand at 5th & Chestnut Streets across from Independence Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(888) 478-1479
Hours: Mon to Fri – 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.;
Sat to Sun – 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m..
Price: $31.95 to $85.95

Philly Tours offers horse and carriage tours as well as other types (like Delaware River excursions by boat). This carriage tour will take you along some of the majestic streets in Olde City and past famous early American landmarks like the Betsy Ross House. It runs about one hour, and your trip will expand into other areas of Philadelphia, such as Society Hill. You’ll receive insightful narration regarding the nation’s largest collection of 18th Century homes and churches, too.

(Photos by Paul Kurtz)

Philadelphia Carriage Company
Independence Mall at Chestnut St. between 5th and 6th Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 922-6840
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; 6 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Sat to Sun – 9:30 a.m.- 10:30 p.m.
Price: $30 to $80

Philadelphia Carriage Company offers a variety of options for your horse and carriage tour, including evening rides. Their longest tour will take passengers by The First and Second Bank of the United States and Ben Franklin’s grave site. Your tour also includes a trip down cobblestone Elfreth’s Alley and a gallop past Carpenter’s Hall, which hosted the First Continental Congress in 1774 and was home to Franklin’s Library Company.

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76 Carriage Company

The carriage stand at 5th & Chestnut Streets across from Independence Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 389-8687
Hours: Mon to Fri – 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Sat to Sun – 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Daily – 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

76 Carriage Company, as its name implies, also provides horse drawn tours of the sites of Revolutionary War-era Philadelphia. The company has different tour and time options, including a romantic evening tour. And since their sister company is Philly Trolley Works, they also offer trolley tours around town. 76 Carriage Company prides itself on having certified drivers who are trained in the history of early Philadelphia, as well.

Olde City Carrriage
Carriage stands on 5th and 6th streets between Chestnut and Market Streets.
2214 Blair St
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 836-2450
Hours: Daily; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Price: $25 – $80

Olde City Carrriage offers more than just a horse and carriage tour. True entertainment can be enjoyed simply by walking from carriage to carriage and speaking to the drivers. Incidentally, there are walking tours available too. Most carriage drivers are trained actors and historians and wear fabulous Colonial attire. These purveyors of history have their Philadelphia facts down to a marvelously crafted piece of work that’s part learning experience and part street theater. On your next romantic adventure, be sure to stop by Olde City Carriage for a quaint trip back in time.

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Darren Hunter is an author, lecturer, and freelancer covering travel and outdoors around Philadelphia. His third book, The Exile Project, was set in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park at Valley Green. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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