Experience centuries of Pennsylvania history as you stroll down Elfreth’s Alley in Philadelphia. Dating back to 1702, the quaint street has earned recognition as the United States’ oldest continuously used residential street. A visit to America’s oldest street promises a peek into Philadelphia’s history.
Elfreth's Alley, snuggled in between the Delaware River and Second Street, boasts 32 residencies that were constructed between 1720 and 1830. The historic street earned National Historic Landmark status in 1966. The photo above is from the 1940s.
Elfreth's Alley quickly became a popular street on which to live and remains that way today. Preserving the historical street became a neighborhood cause from the 1930s through the 1960s as Philadelphians worked together to ensure Elfreth's Alley retained its colonial charm and, more importantly, would not be torn down as the city evolved.
Today Elfreth's Alley attracts a wide variety of residents and draws tourists from all over the world who want to experience America's oldest street.
Discover the storied history of Elfreth's Alley with a visit to Elfreth's Alley Museum, located at 124-126 Elfreth's Alley. The museum welcomes visitors on a walking tour of both the museum and the alley every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Admission costs only $5.
Elfreth's Alley Museum invites visitors to its Bits & Bites of History every first Friday of the month at the Pop-Up Gallery. The event generally features a historian, an author, or an expert on some historical aspect relating to the street.
Bits & Bites of History runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and features free tours of the museum.
Sneak a rare peek inside the homes on Elfreth's Alley during the two times residents open their homes to visitors each year. Every June the nation's oldest street travels back to the colonial past on Fete Day. Play traditional games, listen to music, and learn how to make colonial crafts at this popular holiday that has been a tradition since the 1930s.
Embrace the holiday cheer and maybe even run into Benjamin Franklin at Elfreth's Alley's annual Deck the Alley, slated for December 3 this year. Deck the Alley is the only other time residents allow visitors a glimpse into their homes. Enjoy traditional refreshments. Listen to the carolers. Snap photos of the carefully and uniquely decorated homes along Elfreth's Alley.
Stroll down America’s oldest street, embracing the beauty and history of the past, then
stop by this unique restaurant in Philadelphia that allows you to dine in a bank vault.