Ever wonder how some towns get their unique names? Well, in 1790 the first nail factory ever in the United States was built in Phoenixville, Chester County, PA. Originally named French Creek Nail Works, the factory was renamed Phoenix Iron Works thus giving the town its name of Phoenixville.
Today, Philadelphia Magazine listed Phoenixville as one of the “10 Most Awesome Neighborhoods To Call Home” (from March 2010). We’ve listed some of our favorite reasons that this town is truly an awesome place to visit or reside.
(Photo Credit: BridgeStreetChocolates.com)
Bridge Street Chocolates is sure to satisfy the sweet tooth in all of us. The 2015 winner of the Best of The Main Line and Western Suburbs award, Bridge Street Chocolates is located right in the heart of downtown Phoenixville. Chocolates made right on premise, this sweet shop offers an abundance of chocolate variations to choose from. Specialty treats created at Bridge Street can also be found at the Phoenixville Farmers Market and Kimberton Whole Foods.
(Photo Credit: TheColonialTheater.org)
The Colonial Theater all began as the vision of one man, Harry Brownback. He was dedicated to building a theater to “satisfy New Yorkers but at a fraction of the cost to theater patrons”. He began his dream of building such a place in the early 1900’s by combining two storefronts on bridge street to create the now Colonial Theater. Surviving two World Wars, the Great Depression and the turbulent 1960’s, the Colonial Theater continues to keep Brownback’s dream alive. The Colonial Theater’s claim to fame was being featured in the 1957 movie “The Blob”. Each year the theater hosts the popular “BlobFest” with reenactments from the movie. Today you can see feature, classic or documentary type films for a fraction of the cost of a conventional theater.
(Photo Credit: PhoenixvilleFarmersMarket.org)
There’s nothing quite like farm to table food. It just tastes unlike anything that you can buy in the grocery store. Phoenixville Farmers Market is open year round, however the main growing season kicks off each April. Held each Saturday from 9am – 1pm, the farmers market displays locally grown fruits, vegetables and baked goods. The farmers market is committed to providing high quality goods to the community while sustaining local businesses. The Phoenixville Farmers Market is a family affair and has live local music each Saturday starting at 10am.
(Photo Credit: sandcastlewinery.com/taste-phoenixville)
Taste Phoenixville is home to wines created at the SandCastle Winery in Erwinna, PA. Taste offers wine by the glass, wine flights, and a small plates menu. Taste also sells olive oil and balsamic vinegars for visitors to sample. Food and Wine classes as well as private tasting parties are held right at the store.
(Photo Credit: facebook.com/forge-theater)
The Forge Theatre has been bringing live theatre performances to the community of Phoenixville for 50 years. The Forge Theatre offers a wide range of talent. From former professionals to everyday individuals, all the staff at the Forge Theatre share in the love and appreciation of the performing arts. The Forge Theatre holds six annual performances and also promotes community service and education.
The shows held at Forge Theatre are across the gamut – from classics like Oliver to contemporary, musical and non musical, comedy and drama.
(Photo Credit: canoeandkayak.biz)
Port Providence Paddle is a great summertime activity to do right in Chester County PA. Canoes, kayaks and river rafting tubes are all available to rent right at Port Providence Paddle. After you are done drifting down the Schuylkill Canal, you can have lunch at the “Fitz” which is adjacent to Port Providence Paddle. Shuttle service provided where applicable. A portion of all rental proceeds go to the Schuylkill Canal Association to maintain the historic river canal.
(Photo Credit: FitzwaterStation.com)
Fitzwater Station is located in a restored 19th century building right along the historic Schuylkill Canal. The building was a stop along the anti-slavery underground railroad before and during the Civil War. It was also a popular spot to the bargemen that worked along the Schuylkill Canal at the turn of the century. A flourishing history – The Fitz is a perfect place to sit outside and enjoy the sights along the canal.
(Photo Credit: GolfPickeringValley.com)
Pickering Valley Golf club is one of the most scenic courses in Chester County, PA. Open to the public, Pickering Valley is a family owned and operated course. There is a natural turf driving range and putting green available to all golfers. Perfect for golfers of all abilities, Pickering Valley is a great place to host an event. From company outings, social gatherings, or fundraising events – Pickering Valley Golf Club is an ideal location. Children can also learn to golf or brush up on their skills through the PAL program. Ages 7-13 are offered golf clinics right at Pickering Valley Golf Club.
(Photo Credit: SteelCityCoffeeHouse.com)
Steel City Coffee House is not your average coffee house. Live performances, open mic nights and much more can be found at this modern unconventional coffee joint. Come in for your cup of joe and fabulous fare, but also listen to emerging local talent. Poetry readings, comedy, dance and music are all held at Steel City. Steel City is also a BYOB on select evenings.
(Photo Credit: LocalHarvest.org)
Frog Hollow Farm is located in the heart of Kimberton, PA near Seven Stars Dairy Farm, the Waldorf School and Kimberton CSA (Community Shared Agriculture). Frog Hollow farms sells organic eggs, coffee, baked goods including granola, breads and cookies, and various crafts. Perfect for picking up your necessities and supporting local business.
(Photo Credit: HiddenTrenton.com)
Valley Forge National Park was the site of the winter encampment for General George Washington’s Continental Army from 1777 – 1778. The time spent here was significant in that it unified the army, and ultimately lead to the turning point in the Revolutionary War. Present day, the park contains historical buildings, recreated encampment structures, memorials, museums, and recreation facilities. Encompassing 3,500 acres, Valley Forge National Park is visited by over 1.2 million people each year. Guests can see restored historic structures such as the log huts, and monuments built by the states in which the Continental soldiers came. The park offers 26 miles of trails that are used for hiking, biking, jogging and walking. There are picnic areas throughout the park for visitors to take in the history as well as enjoy the beautifully preserved grounds.
There is so much history right at our fingertips in Chester County, PA. These are just a few of our favorite historic and modern day places in Phoenixville and Valley Forge, PA. Did we miss any of your must see destinations? Let us know!
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