The harsh winter of 1777 spent in Valley Forge by George Washington's Continental Army was in many ways the turning point in making the army into a real fighting force. Though one-in-ten of the men who wintered there died, the camp came to symbolize the perseverance of the army and later the whole American people. Valley Forge National Historical Park remains the most popular attraction in this small southeastern Pennsylvania town.
Valley Forge can be reached by car rental from Philadelphia and New Jersey via Interstate 76 West. It takes about half an hour to reach Philadelphia International Airport, the nearest air gateway, by rental car to Valley Forge from I-76 by taking 476 south and then 95 north.
SEPTA bus routes 125 and 139, which both stop at the Valley Forge Visitor Center, are the only public transportation options which travel directly to the park. Neither of the rail stations on park property currently welcome trains, but this may change in the future if the Schuylkill Valley Metro project is established. National travel deals can be arranged with the Valley Forge Trolley Tour and Step-on Tour or the Revolutionary Shuttle.
For history buffs, fans of America, and the just plain curious, the Valley Forge Museum is a must see. Before driving a rental car in Valley Forge to view the park itself, stop off in the museum to view Revolutionary War artifacts and to see a short insightful film on the encampment and its conditions. Museum lovers may also enjoy seeing some of John James Audubon' original oil paintings at the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, the artist's first American home.
Beyond the history, the park also has plenty of hiking trails, opportunities for biking, bird watching, boating, fishing, horseback riding and great interpretive programs. An afternoon in the park for a picnic or even just a hike in the winter is a great way to experience the park.
For supplies for a picnic, or a less rustic location to stay, nearby Philadelphia is one of Americaеs premier cultural cities and popular car rental day trip. For more revolutionary history, Philadelphia was a nucleus of American Independence and is today a vibrant metropolis. Among the fascinating sites in the city are Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and one of Americaеs principle symbols of freedom, The Liberty Bell, located in Congress Hall. Plenty of national travel deals are found in Philadelphia as well.
The modern King of Prussia Mall, the nation's biggest shopping center in terms of dedicated retail space, could not be more different than the nearby historic Valley Forge National Historical Park. One of the most popular of this gigantic shopping centre's 365 shops, however, is a Smith and Hawken shop dedicated to outdoor garden living products. The King of Prussia Mall also features 40 different restaurants and eight large department stores.
Valley Forge National Historical Park is filled with enforcement personnel and very safe. Most crime in nearby Philadelphia occurs in the city's southwest, north central, and western areas. No matter where you go in the United States, however, travel insurance is highly recommended.