487 Square Miles of Story Ideas
Writers, editors, bloggers and journalists (print or video) find the richness of Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, as fertile ground for endless story ideas that capture imaginations, build readership and create lasting impressions.
The area's heritage goes back to pre-Colonial days when Native American tribes like the Lenni Lenapes enjoyed the fertile soil, abundant wildlife, plentiful water supplies and relatively mild temperatures.
The exact source of the county' name has been lost to history; however, the most common explanations cite:
- Revolutionary War hero, Richard Montgomery
- The Welsh county of Montgomeryshire (named after one of William the Conqueror's main counselors, Roger de Montgomerie)
Regardless, locals now affectionately call it "Montco," and it is the third most densely populated county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is 18 miles west of downtown Philadelphia and shares its border with this major metropolitan center.
The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board can readily meet your editorial needs, whether that's a one-on-one interview, a Fam Tour, stunning photography or b-roll of one of the most picturesque areas in the country. We have had placements on a national level with organizations such as CBS Sunday Morning, USAirways Magazine and even the Clue Crew from Jeopardy!
If you believe we can be of assistance, please contact us as follows:
Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board
Attn: John Golden, Director of Communications
1000 First Avenue - Suite 101
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Phone: 800.441.3549, ext 7985 or 610.834.7985
After hours only: 610.420.6337
(M-F: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST)
For History Publications
Valley Forge is considered to be the birthplace of the U.S. Army, a distinction born of General George Washington's strategic decision to camp here from December 1777 to June 1778. Washington's ability to guide his men through a winter of disease, deprivation, death and desertion imbued the troops with enough grit and determination to see them through the remaining seven years of the Revolutionary War and emerge victorious. Washington also used his time here wisely, undertaking a training program that united the military tactics of 13 separate fighting forces into one U.S. Army.
Valley Forge National Historical Park, the 3,500-acre site of that encampment, remains a vibrant symbol of determination and the price that must be paid to win and retain freedom. Parks staff and volunteers run a steady calendar of historic presentations, lectures, demonstrations and children's programming to ensure that its key role in the formation of the U.S. is never forgotten.
If you represent a publication related to the American Revolution and the Colonial period, our resources are as engaging as they are extensive.
Arts and Culture Reporters
The accent on arts and culture has brought unique museum experiences to Montgomery County. Among the standouts:
- Tucked away on Valley Forge Mountain is the Wharton Esherick Studio Museum. This former painter, furniture maker, and sculptor is heralded by the national art and design community as the "Dean of American Craftsmen" for his leadership in developing non-traditional designs, and encouraging and inspiring artists and craftspeople by his example.
- Nature serves as the backdrop at Abington Art Center's 27-acre sculpture park, where artists are invited to respond to the landscape with temporary installations that change throughout the year. The center rotates its inside exhibits frequently, giving local and nationally known talent the chance to shine.
- The American Treasure Tour is a whirlwind tram-car trip through automated music machines, classic cars, advertising icons, and other whimsical pieces of the past. The nickelodeons, music boxes and band organs all spring to life in demonstrations of musical magic and engineering wizardry. The collection also includes advertising icons, Hollywood movie posters and automated figures from former department store windows. It's not easy to encapsulate the experience of this 90-minute tour, but one of the best descriptions has been from the writer who called it "...Gramma's attic on steroids."
- The Stoogeum could well be the funniest museum in all of North America. This three-story collection is a tribute to the knockabout comedy of The Three Stooges. Memorabilia from their 40 years in show business is lovingly presented (the curator is also the president of The Three Stooges Fan Club) and is stunning in its comprehensiveness. An 85-seat theater shows a continuous run of the trio's knuckleheaded antics on a big screen.
Photojournalists have published stunning work featuring these and other local attractions and events. The curators at these museums are eager to tell their stories, providing excellent resources to arts and culture pages in magazines, newspapers, blogs and online publications.
Girls' Night Out Features
The appeal of a group of friends on the town for an evening is creating a large demand for suggestions on where to go and what to do. Your readers can find what they're looking for in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
- The King of Prussia Mall, the largest retail-shopping complex on the East Coast, features upscale items for the trendiest fashionistas. Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom's, Neiman-Marcus, Tiffany & Co., and Williams-Sonoma are just a few of the 400-plus stores in store for visitors. The Mall features a number of after-hour events and even provides a personal shopping service, guaranteed to become an instant gal-pal for an outing of fashion and fun.
- Just a few miles away is Philadelphia Premium Outlets with more than 150 outlet stores and savings of 25 to 65 percent every day on brand name designers. The collection of stores - really more of a European-style promenade - encourages wandering and chatting while hunting for bargains.
- Irresistible Main Streets, like Ambler, Ardmore and Skippack Village, are full of eclectic shopping, excellent eats and entertaining evenings.
- The Valley Forge Casino Resort offers more than 450 guest rooms among two hotels, seven dining spots, two retail outlets, a country music-themed nightspot, fitness center and, especially popular with BFFs, a spa. It's a vibrant addition to the Montco nightlife, where clubs and theaters provide big-city entertainment with much easier commuting, and Lady Luck can be tempted in a variety of ways.
The Fitness Market
Journalists needing information on the burgeoning outdoor fitness trend can find a wealth of health in Montgomery County.
- Fifty-five miles of biking trails traverse the county and even connect Center City, Philadelphia to Valley Forge National Historical Park via the 22-mile Schuylkill River Trail. At the Park, 20 miles of multipurpose trails traverse rolling hills dotted with replica soldier huts. The 19-mile Perkiomen Trail leads north to Green Lane Park where visitors can rent boats and fish in the spring and summer and catch weekly concerts.
- For adventure seekers there is Spring Mountain Adventures. Open year-round, Spring Mountain is an adrenaline addict's dream offering skiing, snowboarding, zip line canopy tours above the treetops, geo-caching and even extreme biking. To the mountain's east side, Woodside Lodge at Spring Mountain nestles in its quiet setting aside the Perkiomen Creek. This completely remodeled B&B was a former 1920s era inn, and every bit of its original charm (glass doorknobs, transoms above every door) has been retained.
- John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove is this French-born artist/naturalist's first home in America. Here he developed his revolutionary painting style, and a wire armature to capture birds and animals in naturalistic poses. The grounds are still much as they were when Audubon found them-a sanctuary for birds and wildlife. In summers, the center attracts paddlers to its canoe tours on the nearby Perkiomen Creek.
Traveling with Kids
Mommybloggers are constantly seeking family fun to bring to their readers. They flock to the greater Valley Forge area for its abundant kid-friendliness.
- More than 150 animals are featured in natural settings at the Elmwood Park Zoo, an area must-see. It is home to one of the largest open-air bald eagle exhibits in the country and visitors, especially young children, will marvel at bison and elk, wolves and cougars and alligators. Both kids and adults alike can't wait to hand-feed the giraffes that arrive every summer, and the excitement of the zoo has been kicked up more than a notch with the addition adult- and child-sized ziplining and a Bird of Paradise exhibit.
- The young and young at heart can burn through some of their unbridled energy at Arnold's Family Fun Center. Video games, glo-bowl, laser tag, mini golf and plenty of snacks are favorites; but the big attraction is the go-kart track. For a lower-tech afternoon, Sky Zone provides an indoor trampoline park where kids can literally bounce off the walls. Smaller jumpers can enjoy BounceU.
On the Sports Beat
- The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center has the flexibility to host large-scale tournaments, as it did in 2013 with the Blue Chip Basketball League Playoffs, one of the most high-profile college recruiting opportunities for girls in the country. The halls are also the spot where, each fall, the fur does fly at the National Dog Show by Purina, a televised competition hosted by Seinfeld's John O'Hurley and Westminster Kennel Club commentator David Frey.
- Montgomery County is home to the Mid-Atlantic region's premier basketball/volleyball destination, Competitive Edge Sports. In 2013, it was the destination-of-choice for the first-ever Philadelphia Brotherly Love Classic, organized by the North America Gay Volleyball Association.
- With over 40 public golf courses, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, has no shortage of links from which visitors and locals can "hit it flush."
For a taste of some of the story possibilities in Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, see our blog, The Pursuit. This twice-weekly publication is dedicated to "Stories Made in Montco," bringing readers an up-close-and-personal view of our most memorable locals and their engaging, funny and often moving tales. In addition, download our backgrounder to get you started.