The Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau has embarked on a "Weekends Rule!" marketing promotion, spreading the news that the area is much more than a historical destination. The messaging - especially in urban areas such as midtown Manhattan - includes reminders that our Open Spaces/Fun Places offer beautiful, green vistas and a lively nightlife.
As the warmer summer weather invites you to put the great in the "great outdoors," the following recommendations are waiting just outside.
The 3,500 acres of Valley Forge National Historical Park include 19.5 miles of designated, marked trails for hiking, jogging or biking. The Joseph Plum Martin Trail - named for an American Revolutionary diarist who enlisted in 1775 at age 15 - provides a detailed look at the encampment experience in less time than it takes to pack your sweaters back into the attic. Its 6.6-mile loop passes the Valley Forge icons: the Muhlenberg Brigade, the National Memorial Arch, Washington Memorial Chapel, and the von Steuben Monument overlooking the Grand Parade.
"Can you row a boat?" "I don't know, canoe?" goes the old pun. If you can canoe (or even if you can't) float on over to the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. Canoes, paddles and life vests provided for a leisurely jaunt down the Perkiomen Creek. The trip is cool, calm, beautiful - and yes, even educational, as you're paired with a naturalist pointing out highlights. Don't worry, landlubbers, full instructions are given before each launch. Trips are available mornings, evenings and afternoons, where you can enjoy your packed-at-home picnic lunch.
The 2013 Concerts at the Manor series at Abington Art Center presents first-rate entertainment in an open-air setting. With a blanket below and the moon and stars above, it's a chance to kick back and leave the office stuffiness behind. Food is available for purchase, and upcoming programs include the music of early rock and roll, blues, top forty, reggae, Latin-jazz and salsa. Kids Fest! features hands-on art workshops, lawn games, food, an art exhibition, and music to get everyone dancing and singing!
If the beach is too far for a weekday hop, but you still crave fruity drinks in a tropical setting, slip out of that coat and tie and into your Hawaiian shirt for the Tiki Bar at Spring Mountain. You can dine on alligator kabobs - and grill them yourself, along with other beef, chicken and seafood dishes. Combine the main course with a salad and baked potato, and you've got a great al fresco meal. The signature drink here is the Hurricane (they'll ring the bell when you order one), which, like the storms that lash the Caribbean, can pack a punch. There's music, too, including live performances on Thursday nights.