Just over the border of Lambertville, New Jersey, on the banks of the Delaware River lies the rose-colored New Hope, Pennsylvania. Art galleries, antique shops and water-view restaurants dot the narrow streets of this idyllic hamlet. Historic house and garden tours, film festivals, historical reenactments, farmers markets and theater are just a few of the choices in this quirky spot just 90 minutes from New York City!
The two-lane steel-trussed New Hope–Lambertville Bridge is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. Get out of the car and take a walk across to enjoy a 360 view of the serene and enticing Delaware River!
Take an historic ride on the steam train, New Hope & Ivyland Railroad through bucolic Bucks County. A walk or bike ride along the Delaware Canal towpath is a great way to avoid the summer crowds and get out of the sun!
One of the best parts of visiting New Hope is the dichotomy of people! In the 1950s, it became a haven for the LGBT community and you will see Pride flags proudly displayed at many businesses. It also attracts a number of peaceful bikers and hold-outs from the hippie era: You will see more than a few tie-dyed shirts hanging in windows. But there are plenty of families and couples touring the quaint setting in this welcoming one-square-mile town!
General George Washington famously crossed the Delaware just six miles from New Hope. But New Hope continued to be an integral part in the War for Independence. Formerly called Coryell’s Ferry, this ferry crossing was used countless times for messengers, supplies and military detachments. It was a military stronghold in 1776 just before the Battle at Trenton and served as one of the only river crossings free from British interference! General Washington also marched his troops from Valley Forge across this very crossing to the Battle at Monmouth. This ferry stayed in operation until the first bridge was built between Lambertville and New Hope in the early 1800s.
Some of the Revolution-era homes still standing claim to have unexploded shells or grapeshot (a mass of small metal balls or slugs packed tightly into a canvas bag) in their structures!
Bucks County Playhouse, a former gristmill, sits quietly on the shore of the Delaware. Its storied past includes performances from Hume Cronin and Jessica Tandy, Angela Lansbury, John Lithgow and Audra McDonald along with debuts by Grace Kelly and Dick Van Dyke along with Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park in 1963 with a young Robert Redford. Known primarily as a summer theater or “summer stock”, it has been showcasing Broadway shows “before Broadway” since 1939. After an elaborate renovation in 2011, it reopened one year later with hopes of bringing back that grandeur.
Just steps from the main streets of New Hope you can find yourself in the rolling hills of Bucks County where you might decide visit a winery or seek out covered bridges, or stop off for some fresh corn. Or head back over to Lambertville for some serious antique shopping.
Just a day trip to New Hope or a longer sojourn to the surrounding Bucks County might make you pick up the real estate section to see what a weekend home goes for! Enjoy!