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7 Must See Historic Sites Around Philadelphia for Vets to see

Most of us know that Philadelphia is where the United States of America is the birthplace of the nation. There are so many things that Veterans of the United States Military should enjoy. So this Veterans Day or any day come visit Philadelphia’s Historical sites that vets will love.

It is great to remember where it all started and why we fought so hard for what we believe in. As a United States Marine Vet (01-05) it’s great to learn about what makes this country so great when it wants to be.

Not only is Philadelphia the Birthplace of the United States. It is also the birthplace of the Marine Corps. So if anything Marines should come and visit the area where Tun Tavern once stood. Sadly it is no longer around. But these other Historical Sites are and are a great place for veterans of any branch to visit while in and around Philadelphia. It makes you realize just what we enlisted for in the first place. At least to me it does. 

WASHINGTON CROSSING

Just a short drive from Philadelphia, along the Delaware River lies Washington Crossing Historical Park. If it wasn’t for this little area in Bucks County, PA this country might not even be here today. This is where General George Washington crossed the Delaware River and helped turn the course of the Revolutionary War in our favor.  

Every year on December 25th a group of reenactors cross the Delaware River just like General Washington would have. For many people in the area this has become a holiday tradition.

For certain holidays Veterans and active duty Military get free guided tours. Any other time the cost is $7 but you can do a free self guided tour.

Travel up the road a little and check out Bowman’s Hill Tower. This tower sits 125 feet tall on top of Bowman Hill. On a clear day you can see 14 miles around. 

While many people believe that the tower was there during the time Washington was crossing the river. The truth is it wasn’t built until 1929. However, it is believed that a lookout was in that very spot that Washington’s troops would have used to keep an eye on Britsh movement. Either way it is a great place to check out. 

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VALLEY FORGE 

About 40 miles to the west of Washington Crossing lies the third winter encampment site of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War at Valley Forge. Over 1.2 million people visit Valley Forge each year.   

Valley Forge National Historical Park

If you think you had it tough in Iraq or Vietnam. You should see what our brothers had to go through in the winter of 1777-78. This place will open your eyes that no matter what time period we served in. Each area had its own unique challenge. 

TUN TAVERN

Now many of you may never have heard of this place before. But those of you that have, I bet you got a little tingle. Sadly the site of our beloved birthplace is no longer around  But you can still visit the area. Just hide your beer if you decide to have one on the 10th.

Tun Tavern is the Birthplace of the United States Marine Corps. It was in Philadelphia and burned down towards the end of the Revolutionary War in 1781. Sadly it was never rebuilt. The actual location of Tun Tavern has I-95 going over it. So it couldn’t be rebuilt today even if we wanted it to. But fear not you could head over to Cookies Tavern off Oregon Ave in South Philly. It is now the unofficial bar of the USMC.  

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FORT MIFFLIN 

Fort Mifflin is one of the only sites in the Philadelphia area that played a role in both the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I and World War II. During the Revolutionary War, more than 10,000 cannonballs were fired at the Fort in November of 1777. Some of the damage can still be seen today.  If it wasn’t for the toughness of this Fort, General Washington and his troops may have never made it to Valley Forge.

During the Civil War, Fort Mifflin held prisoners from the Union and Confederate Army’s. After the Civil War it sat largely empty until WWI where it held ammunition for the Navy. Again in WWII it held ammunition for the Navy. 

Fort Mifflin was in serves for 183 years ending in 1954.

Active Duty Military and their families get in to Fort Mifflin for Free. Veterans with ID can get in for $4. Half the price of an Adult.  

MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

The Museum of the American Revolution is one of the newest museums in the area. It first opened on April 19, 2017 which was the 242nd anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775 (the first battle of the war). 

Several thousand objects are on display here including rare books, weapons, artwork and more. Come hang out under a life size recreation of the Liberty tree in Boston. Or climb aboard a replica Privateer Ship. With 3 floors and a basement the Museum of the American Revolution is a place to see with your own eyes.

Tickets cost $21 for adults or $18 for Active Duty Military. Sorry I couldn’t find a discount for vets. However, the Museum of the American Revolution is a part of the Philadelphia CityPASS. So you may want to look into that if you will be staying more than a day or two and visiting many other Philadelphia attractions. Check out our post of some of the top Philly attractions to visit

BATTLESHIP NEW JERSEY

Located across the Delaware River in Camden New Jersey sits the Battleship New Jersey. You can’t miss this 887 foot highly decorated Navy Battleship when looking out over the Delaware from Penn’s Landing. 

This battleship was in service during World World II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War. The Battleship New Jersey is America’s most decorated Battleship. Come explore all the history this ship has to offer.

If you are Active Duty or a WWII vet stop by the ticket booth for your FREE ticket. Veterans tickets are also available for $19.95 or you can get it as a part of the Philadelphia CityPASS. Take the ferry boat from Penn’s Landing over to the Camden Waterfront to save yourself some drive time.

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INDEPENDENCE SEAPORT

The Independence Seaport Museum is located along the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing. Here you can explore the Cruiser Olympia, the oldest steel warship afloat in the world. In was launched back in 1892 and is only 1 of 2 WW I warships that are still afloat. 

To get over to the Olympia, you must first cross over the deck of the Becuna. This submarine was launched in 1944 and served up until 1969. When walking around inside it is hard to believe it held a crew of 80 men. 

Tickets cost $18 for adults and that is for both admission into the Museum and both ships. Active duty and retired military tickets cost $14.

No matter if it is Veterans Day weekend, Memorial Day Weekend or any other day out of the year. Philadelphia and the surrounding areas are a great place for veterans or anyone to visit. So the next time you are looking for something to feed your brain with check out some of these places to remind yourself why you joined in the first place. Didn’t end up joining? That’s ok. Come see why it is important so many people before you enlisted. You may not have ever realized it but Philadelphia and the surrounding area have had a part to play in every conflict we have ever been a part of. 

Let us know in the comments below if you have ever visited any of these sites before or which ones you plan on visiting. Make sure to follow me on my different social media accounts by clicking the buttons below. Semper Fi. 

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