August 29, 2012
[Welcome to Uwishunu's Summer Daycation series. Can't take extended time off? Working with a shoestring budget? Want to sleep in your own bed? Not a worry. This month, we've been highlighting destinations in the Philadelphia area that make for the perfect day trip. August is the perfect month, after all, to capitalize on the chance to take a daycation. And we've done all the planning for you, so you'll even have enough time to come back and enjoy a summer night in the city so you won't miss a beat.]
We’ve arrived at our final daycation in Uwishunu’s Summer Daycation series.
Previously, we featured Ridley Creek State Park in Delaware County, Valley Forge National Historical Park in Montgomery County and Lake Nockamixon State Park in Bucks County. And now we’re featuring a fourth awesome option for a late summer/early fall day trip.
Just under an hour drive from the city, this Bucks County village combines the historical with the modern, leaving something for everyone to explore.
Check out our guide to spending a day in New Hope, below:
What To Expect
New Hope blends in the historical with the modern. From shopping, galleries and wineries to historic sites and ghost tours, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this Bucks County village.
The sophisticated yet country-casual spot is nearly 300 years old. It’s the perfect way to relax and escape a hectic lifestyle for a day.
The town is also proud to be gay friendly and welcomes all visitors to come and explore everything it has to offer.
Historic New Hope
It was here in New Hope that George Washington made his famous crossing of the Delaware. As an almost 300-year-old town, the town is steeped in American history and colonial culture. It’s the perfect place to brush up on your history.
• Shopping Old and New: Downtown New Hope is filled with shops and galleries for you to peruse. You can buy anything from Irish, Spanish and Celtic crafts to pipes. For the vintage and antique enthusiast, New Hope offers an eclectic variety of antique stores. You might even leave with a Victorian bird cage!
• Tours: There are many ways to take in New Hope. Whether it’s by carriage, foot, a Bucks County Trolley or the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, touring New Hope is easy. You can even take a ghost tour after dark.
• New Hope Historical Society: Pay a visit to the New Hope Historical Society for a greater understanding of New Hope’s place in American history. While you’re here, don’t miss the free tour of Parry Mansion.
• Bucks County Playhouse: The landmark Bucks County Playhouse reopened this year for its inaugural season. Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park is currently running through September 2. The playhouse is located in a former grist mill on the banks of the Delaware River, originally built in 1790.
• On the Water: Catch a historic boat ride on Coryell’s Ferry, a Mississippi-style paddlewheel boat. The ride offers beautiful scenery and a boats-eye view of the Delaware River’s varied wildlife through September.
New Hope Noteworthy
• Covered Bridges: Bucks County is home to more than ten covered bridges. Check out the beautiful red and white Van Sant Covered Bridge in New Hope. Some of the other covered bridges are also nearby.
• Bowman’s Hill Flower Preserve: This hilltop preserve brings you more than 1,000 species of native perennial woodland wildflowers, trees, shrubs and ferns and is a perfect spot for bird watching. Bowman’s Hill Flower Preserve also features the Penn’s Woods arboretum. Don’t miss the gazebo nestled among the tall trees.
• Friday Night Fireworks: Running through the end of August, New Hope offers a dazzling Friday night fireworks display over the Delaware River. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. Sounds like the perfect cap to your daycation.
• Rice’s Market: Summer’s the perfect time to check out the outdoor Rice’s Market. Open on Tuesdays and Saturdays, the market spans 30 acres, offering antiques, collectables, jewelry, crafts, fresh fruits and vegetables, Amish meats and baked goods.
Read on for more of New Hope’s impressive offerings.
New Hope Celebrates
With their exciting week-long pride festival in May, New Hope continues to be a LGBTA-friendly community.
New Hope Celebrates is dedicated to bringing you quality LGBTA programming throughout the year as well as a general guide to great gay friendly spots in town like the Raven Bar, tripling up as a club, restaurant and motel.
Check out their website for the full guide here.
In fact, the Huffington Post just picked New Hope as one of their “Top 10 Small Cities and Towns for LGBT Travelers.”
Wine & Dine
• Wineries: Learn how local wine is made at New Hope Winery. Tastings are offered daily for just $7 per person. Also, they have a calendar of special events from live music to crafts fairs. Channel your inner wino and check out nearby Crossing Vineyards and Winery and Sand Castle Winery or explore the whole Bucks County Wine Trail.
• Waterfront Dining: We were proud to highlight some of New Hope’s great restaurants in our past roundup. With picturesque spots right next to the Delaware River, you can have a meal at Tuscany at the Towpath House (see below), Francisco’s On The River and many other great waterfront restaurants.
How To Get There
It only takes less than an hour to drive to New Hope. Looking for some travel options? We’ve got you covered.
• Carpool: Taking a daycation is the perfect way to spend some time with family and friends. Bring everyone along and make the trip together. Perfect for trading off drivers after an action-packed day.
New Hope in Bucks County