A few weeks ago, I spent a lovely long weekend away in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Located about one hour north of Philadelphia, upon arriving I was immediately taken by the winding back roads, the abundance of gorgeous 19th century stone farmhouses and the charming small towns that dotted the county’s countryside. I will be sharing much more from my trip in the coming weeks, but in the meantime wanted to share 5 things I loved about one small town I visited in particular… New Hope— my home base for the weekend.
5 Things I Love About New Hope, Pennsylvania
1.) There’s so much to do!
New Hope has been a bustling center of activity since the 1700s, when it became known as a center of mill work and transportation along the Delaware River. Back then, New Hope also happened to be located right on Old York Road, the main highway between New York City and Philadelphia, leading to an influx of cultured travelers who would help shape the town into the hub that it remains today. Landmarks like the Bucks County Playhouse show a glimpse of the history that has been preserved and today, there’s no shortage of activities that celebrate the area’s unique local history and scenery.
The New Hope & Ivyland Railroad‘s hour-long excursions are a favorite for kids of all ages, where visitors can ride in restored vintage trains from the 1920s along a route from New Hope to Lahaska.
Also, just outside of town, the 125-foot Bowman’s Hill Tower allows for expansive views of the Delaware River, while the Bowman’s Hill Wildlife Preserve is a lovely place to stop and smell the flowers, particularly in the spring months. Here, 2.5 miles of trails wind through the forests with matter of factly descriptive names like “Fern Trail,” “Azaleas at the Bridge” and “Meadow Path.”
TIP: Parking can be a bit hard to come by in town. Save yourself some time and spot-searching by first trying the parking lots on the outskirts of town.
2.) You’ll get two quaint, walkable small towns for the price of one!
The towns of New Hope and its sister city, Lambertville, New Jersey are split down the middle by the Delaware River, just about 8 miles where George Washington made his famed river crossing in 1776. Despite being separated by a mere .2 mile bridge, the two towns each have a distinctive personality which makes exploring them both especially worthwhile. New Hope attracts a hip and younger crowd, with vibrant nightlife while Lambertville feels more residential, with quiet streets featuring Victorian-style homes and slightly more upscale shopping.
I loved walking between the two towns, and found it to be a must-do.
3.) The vibrant nightlife and dining scene
In the evenings, the town’s restaurants and bars become abuzz with lively energy that extends into the late hours of the night. I was merely driving through, exhausted from full days of adventuring throughout Bucks County, but it was clear from the crowds that New Hope is the place to go if you’re looking to hit the town.
I personally played it a little more tame this time around, enjoying a beer tasting at the town’s Triumph Brewing Company and dinner of upscale vegan fare at the BYOB Sprig & Vine. The menu features modern American dishes with gourmet techniques and unapologetically bold flavors leading to a creative, one of a kind meal that even the most devout carnivores could appreciate.
4.) The Delaware Canal
The Delaware Canal State Park runs parallel to the Delaware River for 60 miles between Easton to Bristol, Pennsylvania. The Delaware Canal was created in the early 1800s to transport coal from the northern parts of the state to Philadelphia and was the longest-running canal in the country. Today, it’s a National Historic Landmark and popular path for walkers, runners and bikers that runs through the heart of downtown New Hope. (Plus, it makes the prettiest photo, don’t you think?)
5.) The Inn at Bowman’s Hill– a B&B that’s made for some serious R&R
Throughout Bucks County, you’ll find countless B&B’s, inns and other boutique properties. But one that shouldn’t be missed is the bucolic Inn at Bowman’s Hill— located just 10 minutes outside of New Hope. At this four diamond AAA luxe property, you’ll be warmly welcomed into the expanded home of worldly traveler Mike Amery.
The property features a small orchard, a pond with gazebo, indoor and outdoor patios, countless nooks for relaxing, a heated pool and a hot tub. Plus a menagerie of lovable animals like a friendly flock of chickens, Juanita the rescue dog and a duo of cats named Oscar and Hammerstein.
In terms of actual room design, the Inn has spared no expense— the rooms are all uniquely decorated and boast many upgrades. Some you can see– like steam showers, Jacuzzi tubs and even a painted night ceiling with fiber optic “stars” in the Penthouse Suite— along with many you can’t, like reinforced walls (a true treat in any B&B.) All of this results in a private, ultra luxe, ultra comfortable retreat.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU– DID I MISS ANYTHING YOU LOVE ABOUT NEW HOPE? PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!
**DISCLAIMER: Many of my meals, accommodations and activities for this trip were provided by Visit Bucks County. As always, all reflections and opinions are completely my own.**