Town

New Hope

A world-renowned suburb

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Photo by R. Kennedy for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Overview

Not many places rival New Hope’s special blend of quirkiness, history and joviality.

Travel + Leisure named New Hope as one of the country’s coolest suburbs worth a visit.

Visitors enjoy an abundance of art galleries, sophisticated dining choices, eclectic shopping and a lively theater scene.

This riverside town prides itself on its strong LGBTQ community, its concentration of artistic talent and its history in the East Coast shipping trade.

Adjacent to Lambertville, New Jersey — a more compact but equally adorable town connected by a pedestrian bridge — New Hope’s commercial district nurtures a business community appealing to wide-ranging tastes.

Main Street alone features dozens of shops that offer a variety of goods, from art and women’s fashions to leather and novelty items.

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Essential Info

A land grant from William Penn launched what became New Hope in 1710. Mills sprung up throughout the century and soon ferries and bridges helped facilitate trade between the burgeoning town and colonies north and south along the Delaware River.

Landlubbers can chug along the countryside by train on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad.

Because large coal ships from northwestern Pennsylvania couldn’t easily navigate this section of the river, canals were constructed and mules pulled Durham boats behind them from towpaths constructed along the shores.

The boats had to navigate 23 locks along the 60-mile stretch of river that were overseen by the locktender, whose Locktender’s House still stands as an interpretive center and place to see an old restored lock in action.

Landlubbers can chug along the countryside by train on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. Both a 1925 steam locomotive and a diesel engine carry passengers on a 45-minute narrated tour.

Getting Here

Traveling here from Philadelphia must be done by automobile. It’s an easy, somewhat picturesque one-hour trip up I-95 and Route 32. Metered street parking and surface lots are available but fill up quickly on summer weekends.

In The Town

Artists discovered New Hope en masse around the turn of the 20th century.

Today, Main Street is lined with art galleries galore, including A Mano Galleries, which sells contemporary crafts, jewelry, glass, furniture and kaleidoscopes.

Bucks County Gallery offers present-day and traditional works in acrylic, oil, watercolor and pastel mediums. Gallery Piquel features paintings and sculptures by artists from Bucks County and beyond.

Performers like Grace Kelly, Robert Redford and Liza Minnelli have taken the stage at Bucks County Playhouse since its founding in 1939.

Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope

Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope   — Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

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