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Join Us on the Grand Master's Liberty Tour to Philadelphia
Join Art and Barbara Weiss on the Grand Master’s Liberty Tour to Philadelphia, Penn. this August 2–7, where you’ll experience a lifetime’s worth of can’t-miss American and Masonic history and attractions.
Go behind the scenes with a VIP tour of the awe-inspiring Philadelphia Masonic Temple, visit the site of the Gettysburg Address, and dine at the Franklin Institute’s Fels Planetarium, plus so much more opportunity for historical and cultural sight-seeing—all in the company of California Masons.
Register by July 12 to guarantee your spot on this very special tour.
Grand Master’s Liberty Tour
August 2–7, 2021
Philadelphia Masonic Temple | Gettysburg National Park | Delaware River Cruise | Philadelphia Museum of Art | Independence Hall | Italian Market | Society Hill | Betsy Ross House | Congress Hall | Benjamin Franklin Post Office | Reading Terminal Market
Monday, August 2, 2021: Welcome to Philly!
Travel to Philadelphia (see list of flights below) 5–8 p.m.: Welcome event at hotel
Tuesday, August 3, 2021: Explore the City of Brotherly Love
Breakfast on your own
Small group tour option No. 1
Lunch on your own
Small group tour option No. 2
Dinner on your own
Wednesday, August 4, 2021: A Masonic Wonder
Breakfast on your own
Small group tour option No. 3
Lunch on your own
3 p.m.: VIP tour of the Philadelphia Masonic Temple
4:30 p.m.: Social hour at the temple
5:30 p.m.: Dinner at the temple
Thursday, August 5, 2021: Gettysburg Day Trip
Breakfast on your own
8 a.m.: Depart for Gettysburg
11 a.m.: Arrive in Gettysburg. Visit Gettysburg Heritage Center and Museum, tour the Friend-to-Friend Masonic Memorial, then lunch on your own.
1:15–3:15 p.m.: Gettysburg battlefield guided bus tour
4 p.m.: Depart for Philadelphia
7 p.m.: Arrive in Philadelphia
Dinner on your own
Friday, August 6, 2021: Celebrating a Memorable Week
Breakfast on your own
Small group tour option No. 4
Lunch on your own
7:30 p.m. Grand Master’s farewell dinner at the Franklin Institute
Saturday, August 7, 2021: Journey Home
Breakfast on your own
Guests will participate in four group events intended for all tour participants.
• Welcome Event (Monday, August 2, 5–8 p.m.) Meet Grand Master Weiss and all tour participants in a welcome reception featuring appetizers and beverages.
• VIP Tour and Dinner at the Masonic Temple (Wednesday, August 4, 3–7:30 p.m.) The Philadelphia Masonic Temple was constructed in 1873 and is considered one of the “great wonders” of the Masonic world. Resplendent with artwork, frescos, stained glass, murals, and sculpture, it is a visual treasure, inspiring Masons and non-Masons through art, architecture, history, and grandeur.
Enjoy a VIP tour and go “backstage” to see areas of the temple closed to the public. Afterward, enjoy a social reception with the Grand Master of Pennsylvania and a three-course dinner in the temple’s grand ballroom.
• Day Trip to Gettysburg (Thursday, August 5, 8 a.m.–7 p.m.) Guests will travel by bus to the Gettysburg Heritage Center and Museum, outside Philadelphia. After visiting the center, they’ll tour the nearby Civil War Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial. From there, guests will be free to dine at one of the many restaurants in the area. At 1:15 p.m., guests will return for a two-hour battlefield bus tour, which begins just a block from the restaurants. After the bus tour, we will return to Philadelphia in time to have dinner at one of the many restaurants in the city.
The Gettysburg Heritage Center Museum offers a new and unique perspective on the Battle of Gettysburg. The two-part, self-guided tour provides a visual and interactive experience from both the town and battle perspectives. Guests can watch a 20-minute orientation video.
The Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial was commissioned by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1993 as testament to brotherly love among Freemasons. It depicts wounded Union Captain Henry Bingham rendering aid to the fallen Confederate General Lewis Addison Armistead, both of whom were Masons.
On the two-hour bus tour, guests visit key sites from the Battle of Gettysburg as a guide provides context on the three-day battle, which was a turning point in the American Civil War. See Devil’s Den, Little Round Top, the location of Pickett’s charge, and more.
• Farewell Dinner at the Franklin Institute (Friday, August 6, 7:30–10:30 p.m.) Established in 1824, the Franklin Institute is one of America’s most celebrated science and technology museums. Art and Barbara Weiss will host a social hour in the space exhibit and then we’ll dine together in Fels Planetarium!
SMALL GROUP TOUR OPTIONS
Select from a number of elective small group tours on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. These tours are all optional and an additional cost.
• Double decker hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Philadelphia (at least 90 minutes up to all day at your choice; approx. $36 per person): Explore the best that Philadelphia has to offer on this bus tour of the city. Visit 27 of Philadelphia’s top attractions like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the United States Mint on a 90-minute loop in an open-top, double-decker bus. Learn about the history and heritage of one of America’s oldest cities. A tour pass is good for three days.
• Half-day private Philadelphia driving tour (4 hours, approx. $75 per person based on six people): Enjoy a personal and private introduction to the City of Brotherly Love on this half-day sightseeing van tour around Philadelphia and explore the highlights of the city. Visit all the must-see spots like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell exhibit, the South 9th Street Italian Market, City Hall, Love Park, the Rocky steps at the entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and much more.
• Horse-drawn carriage tour (1 hour, approx. $35 per person based on four people): Journey back in time on a guided, one-hour carriage ride through the tree-lined streets of historic Philadelphia. Visit Philly’s Independence National Historical Park, Society Hill, and Old City. This leisurely ride features famous locations like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House, Elfreth Alley, and more.
• Historical independence walking tour (75 minutes; approx. $22 per person): Philadelphia is the birthplace of American democracy. Discover historical sites on this expert-guided, 75-minute walking tour. See where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin lived and worked. Stop at some of the city’s most iconic landmarks like Independence Hall. Visit the Betsy Ross House, where the seamstress is said to have sewn the first American Flag. And tour Congress Hall, the original Supreme Court building, the Library Company of Philadelphia, Franklin Court at the Independence National Historical Park, and more.
• Old City walking tour (90 mins; approx. $29 per person): Walk in the footsteps of America’s founding fathers on this walking tour of Philadelphia’s Old City. Visit important landmarks such as Christ Church, the Benjamin Franklin Post Office, Carpenters’ Hall, and Independence Hall as a guide explains local history. See the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House, and more.
• Founding fathers walking tour (2 hours; approx. $45 per person): Experience the history of the United States on this guided walking tour around the birthplace of American liberty. Learn about Pennsylvania’s founder, William Penn, and see where George Washington lived. See the Betsy Ross house, the President’s house, Independence Hall, the Dream Garden glass mosaic, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution, Independence National Historic Park, and more.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE TOURS
• Taste of the Italian Market tour (2 hours; approx. $69 per person): Few Philadelphia neighborhoods can rival the Italian Market when it comes to culinary heritage—and on this small-group tour, visit a number of the area’s most delicious highlights. In the company of your chef guide, venture to a beloved local cheese shop, a Mexican tortilla maker, a classic South Philadelphia pizzeria, and more, enjoying generous samples and shopping discounts along the way.
• South Philly comfort foods tour (2 hours; approx. $75 per person): East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia is one of the city’s most in-demand restaurant rows. On this private walking tour, set off in the company of your guide and explore a number of the area’s culinary highlights. Try waffles and locally roasted coffee, enjoy a classic American burger lunch, and finish with made-from-scratch desserts. Come hungry, as you’ll be trying plenty of different delicacies that will add up to a hearty lunch.
• Flavors of Philly food tour (2.5 hours; approx. $45 per person): Eat your way through Philadelphia like a local on a 2.5-hour culinary walking tour. Follow your guide to the heart of the city and visit five distinctive eateries to sample iconic Philly favorites like cheesesteak, tomato pie, and soft pretzels. Make sure to save room for not one, but two desserts at the Reading Terminal Market.
• Museum of the American Revolution (Open Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., $18–$25): The American Revolution was dramatic and full of uncertainty—an era of unparalleled political and social upheaval. The Museum invites you and your group to explore this rich and complicated time and its connections to our world today. Through its unmatched collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, documents, and works of art, the museum considers the complexities of our nation’s history and uplifts stories that have gone untold.
• Philadelphia Museum of Art (Open Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., $18–$25): Whether you’re interested in the exhibits or just looking to re-enact that timeless montage from Rocky, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-see. After you’ve made it to the top of the stairs, visit one of the leading museums in the country. Modeled after the ancient Greek temples, the museum houses works by Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cézanne, and many others. You’ll also find entire structures from around the world, including a 16th-century Indian temple hall, a 17th-century Chinese palace hall, and a Japanese teahouse.
• USS New Jersey (Open Wednesday and Friday from 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., $20–$25): The USS New Jersey, our nation’s most decorated battleship, first launched on December 7, 1942, and was decommissioned in 1991. Make your way across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to be immersed in this impressive piece of American history and one of the most interactive battleship museums in the country. Sit in the chair from which Admiral Halsey commanded the 5th Fleet. Stretch out on the bunks where the sailors slept. Climb into the 16-inch gun turret and learn how the projectiles were loaded. From World War II to Korea, Vietnam, and active duty during the 1980s, this is among the can’t-miss U.S. Navy museum ships open to the public today.
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
With a prime Center City location just steps from Reading Terminal Market and Independence Hall, this stylish hotel places the best of downtown Philadelphia at your doorstep. Explore the nearby Philadelphia Museum of Art, City Hall, Barnes Museum and Franklin Institute. The hotel includes a complimentary gym and indoor pool and two in-house restaurants, as well as on-site Starbucks.
Tour package: $849 for double occupancy; $1,149 for single occupancy
- 5 nights lodging at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown (in-room Wi-Fi included)
- Welcome reception
- VIP tour, cocktails, and dinner at the Philadelphia Masonic Temple
- Gettysburg day trip, including private coach transportation to and from Gettysburg, admission to the Heritage Center and Museum, Friend to Friend Memorial photo, and bus tour through the battlefields. Lunch is on your own.
- Farwell dinner cruise on the Spirit of Philadelphia, including private coach transportation to and from the harbor, dinner, and entertainment.
- Tour gifts and mementos
RECOMMENDED FLIGHTS TO PHILADELPHIA
Travelers will make their own flight arrangements. Please plan air travel to arrive in Philadelphia by 5:30 p.m. on Monday, August 2, 2021. Below are recommended flights from various California cities with information available at the time of publication. Nonstop flights are available from Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. Recommended flights are nonstop unless otherwise noted. Below are examples of flights that were available as of May 1. Flight availability may change.
- Southwest No. 373/2212: Departs BUR 7:00 AM Arrives PHL 4:40 PM (one stop)
- No. 851/186: Departs BUR 7:00 AM Arrives PHL 5:00 PM (one stop)
- No. 5837/854: Departs BUR 6:50 AM Arrives PHL 5:03 PM (one stop)
- No. 5442/1593: Departs BUR 7:00 AM Arrives PHL 5:20 PM (one stop)
- Delta No. 3793/1108: Departs FAT 6:05 AM Arrives PHL 4:06 PM (one stop)
- United No. 1127/578: Departs FAT 7:20 AM Arrives PHL 5:03 PM (one stop)
- No. 2411/1920: Departs FAT 6:35 AM Arrives PHL 4:54 PM (one stop)
- No. 814: Departs LAX 6:31 AM Arrives PHL 2:30 PM
- No. 1799: Departs LAX 8:10 AM Arrives PHL 4:24 PM
- No. 2431/1920: Departs LAX 6:15 AM Arrives PHL 4:54 PM (one stop)
- No. 1177/2212: Departs LAX 6:50 AM Arrives PHL 4:40 PM (one stop)
- No. 130/186: Departs LAX 7:00 AM Arrives PHL 5:00 PM (one stop)
- No. 5572/1593: Departs ONT 6:14 AM Arrives PHL 5:20 PM (one stop)
- No. 1412/2533: Departs ONT 6:30 AM Arrives PHL 4:58 PM (one stop)
- Southwest No. 3103/2212: Departs ONT 7:00 AM Arrives PHL 4:40 PM (one stop)
- American No. 1382/2533: Departs SNA 6:45 AM Arrives PHL 4:58 PM (one stop)
- Delta No. 3854/1108: Departs PSP 6:05 AM Arrives PHL 4:06 PM (one stop)
- American No. 2425/2533: Departs PSP 6:30 AM Arrives PHL 4:58 PM (one stop)
- American No. 3103/854: Departs PSP 6:45 AM Arrives PHL 5:03 PM (one stop)
- Southwest No. 669/2212: Departs SMF 6:25 AM Arrives PHL 4:40 PM (one stop)
- Southwest No. 2110/186: Departs SMF 6:20 AM Arrive PHL 5:00 PM (one stop)
- Delta No. 2470/1108: Departs SMF 6:00 AM Arrives PHL 4:06 PM (one stop)
- American No. 2843/1920: Departs SMF 6:46 AM Arrives PHL 4:54 PM (one stop)
- American No. 1367: Departs SAN 6:15 AM Arrives PHL 2:41 PM
- American No. 433: Departs SAN 7:53 AM Arrives PHL 4:20 PM
- Southwest No. 1911/2212: Departs SAN 6:35 AM Arrives PHL 4:40 PM (one stop)
- Southwest No. 3378/186: Departs SAN 6:35 AM Arrives PHL 5:00 PM (one stop)
- American No. 465: Departs SFO 7:26 AM Arrives PHL 3:49 PM
- United No. 1593: Departs SFO 9:00 AM Arrives PHL 5:20 PM
- Southwest No. 2001/2212: Departs SFO 6:10 AM Arrives PHL 4:40 PM (one stop)
- Southwest No. 3481/186: Departs SFO 6:10 AM Arrives PHL 5:00 PM (one stop)
- Delta No. 2235/1108: Depart SLC 6:03 AM Arrives PHL 4:06 PM (one stop)
- American No. 1019/2533: Departs SLC 6:10 AM Arrives PHL 4:58 PM (one stop)
- United No. 2682/578: Departs SLC 7:12 AM Arrives PHL 5:03 PM (one stop)
- Delta No. 1164/1346: Departs SLC 6:15 AM Arrives PHL 5:04 PM (one stop)