Located north of the historical area, the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site is one of those attractions that is definitely off the beaten path. Getting there would take some effort, as you would be better off going there by bus, when coming from the Independence Visitor Center. That is because there is almost no shade going there, if going by foot.
The building was once the home of famed writer, Edgar Allan Poe, who spent some of his most productive years in Philadelphia. He lived in multiple houses during his 6 years here (1837-1844), but this was the only one that has survived to this day. Some stories written at this location included "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat". There have been a few other families who lived in that house, before the National Park Service took ownership of it.
Entering into the place, there are displays and artifacts on his life, as well as his wife Virginia and his parents. Plus the legacy that he left, as he would make popular the idea of a detective story. Who knew? They are interesting and informative, to learn more about the man and his family. And an interesting short film, that does tell the story of his life.
There is a self-guided tour of his home. There are various rooms, but almost all of them have no actual furniture or any other displays. Instead, they are just drawn on the walls. You are given a description paper, that gives information on the rooms. Not really much to see, you just have to imagine what it was like. This could be a hit or miss.
There is also the walkthrough of the cellar, which inspired the story "The Black Cat". While I have not read that story itself, I can definitely understand the feel of the cellar, having read some of his other stories. And a reading room, where you can listen to the audio version of Poe's stories.
So is this worth telling this tale? I would say, definitely worth visiting, if you are a fan of his works. As for people who never heard of Poe, I think it is a skippable attraction. While I think this place could interest non-fans as well, I don't think it is really worth going out of your way to see it. And believe me, it is really out of your way!
Admission is free, and it is only open from Friday to Sunday. Also, on those days, it is closed from 12 noon to 1 PM, so visiting this place can be tricky. And on a day when the weather is not nice, that can be a problem. So make sure you check their web site or call them ahead of time, just to be sure.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.