Packed Suitcase | 5 Things I Love About New Hope, Pennsylvania
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5 Things I Love About New Hope, Pennsylvania

5 Things I Love About New Hope, Pennsylvania

New Hope-- downtown


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.

Bucks County- New Hope Railroad 2

All aboard the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad


Bucks County- New Hope Railroad 3

En route to Lahaska on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad


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.”

Bucks County- New Hope- Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve 1

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve


Bucks County- New Hope- Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve 3

Me and the Fern Trail


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.

Bucks County- New Hope PA:NJ Line

The footpath along the New Hope-Lambertville bridge… and this fun photo op

Bucks County- New Hope Delaware River 2

A view of the Delaware River from the bridge


Bucks County- Lambertville

One of the Victorian-era homes in Lambertville


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.

Bucks County- New Hope- Sprig & Vine

Dinner at the BYOB vegan Sprig & Vine


Bucks County- New Hope- Sprig & Vine- dinner!

I LOVED my meal of kakiage soba noodles with tempura’d root veggies, nori-miso “butter”, kale rabe, english peas, watermelon radish, and sesame sriracha aioli. YUM! ($20)


New Hope- Triumph Brewing Company 2

After dinner drinks at Triumph Brewing Company


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?)

Bucks County- New Hope- Delaware Canal

The Delaware Canal in New Hope


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.

Bucks County- Inn at Bowman Hill- Front entrance

The Inn at Bowman’s Hill


Bucks County- Inn at Bowman Hill- Room

Our room– the lovely and exquisitely comfortable George Washington Suite


Bucks County- Inn at Bowman Hill- tub

The bathtub (!)


Bucks County- Inn at Bowman Hill- champagne

Celebrating my arrival with a glass of champagne by the pool


Bucks County- Inn at Bowman Hill- cat on back porch

The back terrace… and Oscar the cat. (Or was it Hammerstein?… Drat!)


Bucks County- Inn at Bowman Hill- back veranda 2

The back veranda




**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.**

  • Marie
    Posted at 12:06h, 26 October

    Pennsylvania is on my bucket list. With what you shared, I really want to prioritize this for my next travel. Hope when I travel, I can also love the places you loved.

  • Joe Annechino
    Posted at 12:14h, 11 October

    We’d like to visit New Hope/Lambertville this Wednesday (Oct. 13th).

    Can you confirm that the activities described above are still “open”?