This small, scenic gem located by the Delaware River in Eastern Pennsylvania is home to a collection of quaint independent shops, charming riverside restaurants, wineries, and some other intriguing easy-on-the-eye attractions. When you’ve finished messing around on the river, make sure you squeeze in some of these fabulous things to do in pretty New Hope, Pennsylvania…
1. Catch a performance at Bucks County Playhouse
Nestled on the unique setting of a renovated grist mill along the bubbling Delaware River, Bucks County Playhouse is America’s “most famous summer theater.” Besides the historic mansions, world-class museums, and delectable dishes, the culture of New Hope shines through this live theater.
Celebrating performing arts for 70 years, the Playhouse features theatrical productions of new and classic plays and musicals with renowned Broadway artists. Relive the old days with the special events throughout the year and get a chance to meet the well-known actors & producers. Relish the local delicacies on the Deck restaurant with a stunning view of the waters after the event.
2. Go for drinks at the Great Barn Brewery
An authentic local farm to glass brewery, the Great Barn Brewery is the first farm microbrewery in Bucks County. Tucked away in the outskirts of New Hope, the 40-year-old barn preserves the historic land and brings out the real flavors with naturally grown ingredients. This bucolic brewery owned by Steve Ferguson and Maryana embodies the true essence of a freshly brewed beer.
Sample the varying styles of beers on a patio filled with live music and great food. Visitors can also grab a fresh beer from its taproom located in downtown New Hope. An ideal break from exploring the town, the cozy taproom along the beautiful Delaware River will keep you coming back.
3. Go on a wine tasting tour
A visit to the quaint city of New Hope is incomplete without exploring the beautiful countryside and rustic barns dotted by premier wineries. The moderate climate and the terrain of the surrounding area make Bucks County a top-notch grape-growing region of the East Coast.
Savor the crafted wines at the Bishop Estate Vineyards and Winery, Crossing Vineyards, Rushland Ridge vineyards and get home the best wine accessories. Enjoy a carefree day touring the award-winning wineries and delight your senses by sampling the local wines. Learn the nuances of winemaking and the heritage of family wineries or take in the scenic charm as you tour, be ready for a fun-filled day to toast.
4. Explore the cute independent stores
The charming town of New Hope provides a respite from the crowded streets, heavy traffic, and long lines. With many eclectic art galleries, antique shops, flea markets along Main Street, New Hope is every vintage lover’s dream. Wander along the vibrant streets as this riverside town puts the fun back into shopping with creative and inspired gifts for your friends and family.
Admire the handcrafted collections of glassware, sculpture, jewelry, souvenirs as you explore. Browse collections from Heart’s Afire Art Gallery, Angel’s Cards and Gifts, and Topeo Gallery for special occasions, holidays, or delight yourself.
5. Take a wander around Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve
Showcasing the extraordinary diversity of native plants and brilliant flowers, the Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is a hidden gem of this region. A quiet oasis of 134-acres, the preserve has over 700 species of native plants where visitors can explore the hardwood forests, meadows, steep hillsides, creeks, ponds, and wetlands.
Unlike the formal gardens, Bowman’s maintains the naturalistic settings in the lap of nature. Wander through the woods along the gorgeous Pidcock Creek or rest under the shade of old-growth; you’ll find plenty of light trails with lush greenery. A steep ascent up the road and you can view miles of the stunning area on top of Bowman’s Tower.
6. Canoe down Delaware Canal
Besides riverside dining and cultural attractions, New Hope is a great place to visit for outdoor enthusiasts. The Delaware Canal is the only remaining intact canal of the great towpath canal building era dating back to the 19th century. Once known for its mule-drawn canal boat rides, the 60-mile long towpath runs parallel to the Delaware River from Easton and Bristol.
Enjoy the ever-changing scenery with historic locks, beautiful wildflower, flowering trees, gardens with stunning views as you canoe. Paddle along, ride a bike, or take a view-filled walk, this vintage waterway makes for a quiet time and peaceful scenery by the waters.
7. Hunt for bargains in Rice’s Market
A true flea market of the region, Rice’s Market is a tradition of Central Bucks County. A fun, colorful market vowing the visitors for more than 150 years, the 30-acre market attracts several shoppers on Tuesdays and Saturdays from March to December. With over 400 vendors, you can find an endless array of products sold by local merchants, with some vendors willing to negotiate.
From antiques, custom-made jewelry, unique gifts, and clothes to plants, freshly baked goods, lovely crafts, decorations, and much more, there’s always something for everyone. It’s a cute place to browse a bit and find unusual things. Indeed a treasured spot for avid collectors while learning something about the local culture.
8. Go on a scenic boat ride – a must-do activity in New Hope for outdoor lovers
A tucked-away secret of the Buck County, the historic Delaware River enthralls visitors with its sparkling waters and beautiful views. Apart from endless adventures, the Delaware River has been a major source of inspiration for nature enthusiasts.
Unravel the secrets of this beautiful river as you take a relaxing boat ride to get the best views of New Hope and Lambertville. Catch the mesmerizing sunset, view the diverse fauna and flora, or watch the beautiful houses by the waters; this relaxing boat ride gives offers panoramic views from all sides. Away from the crowds and noise, this comfortable ride is unmissable when in town.
9. Share a wine at The Pour House at The New Hope Winery
A perfect place to stop for a bite while shopping antiques, the Pour House at the New Hope Winery offers beautifully crafted wines, seasoned cocktails and delicious food. Located between Peddler’s Village and New Hope, the Pour House, with its rustic settings & vintage décor, is a fun place to eat before catching a show.
Flourishing from their authentic bistro and tasting room to a charming barn-style restaurant, the Pour House serves a variety of their own seasonal wines and imported wines to satisfy any palate. Savor the refreshing wine straight from the winery paired with classic American dishes; this lively venue is the perfect place to hang out with your friends and enjoy the concert with soulful bands.
10.Take a ride down the New Hope Railroad
Get on board for a beautiful trip through the charming backwoods of Bucks County on the antique coaches of New Hope Railroad. Enjoy a historic ride in 1920s era steam-powered passenger car along the original 1891 route that connected the town with Philadelphia.
Embark your journey from New Hope to Lahaska, winding through the area’s history on a nine-mile excursion. The ride takes you back to the bygone era through the preserved farmlands, woods, valleys, historic homes, and rolling hills. Whether you take a steam train ride, open-air car, holiday-themed ride, wine excursion, or a Halloween ride, your trip will be with gourmet food, wine and gifts.
11.Visit the Nakashima Woodworkers
A wonderful oasis of Japan in New Hope, Nakashima Woodworkers, is a shrine for furniture lovers. Home to the father of the American craft movement and one of the greatest designers of the 20th century, George Nakashima’s artistic works celebrates the beauty of woods. The George Nakashima Woodworkers Complex is home to the eminent designer with various buildings scattered across wooded forests and open lawns.
His craftsmanship and style continues to live through his daughter and son along with the team. Take a tour of the woodworking shops and studio with gorgeous, functional wood art with Japanese minimalist designs and bring nature to your modern home with custom-made furniture.
12.Take a walk down the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Supported Bridge
It’s just a vehicle and pedestrian-friendly bridge but still makes for a fun walk as you hop from one cool state to another in a matter of minutes. The six-span truss bridge from New Hope to Lambertville spanning across the Delaware River was constructed in 1904.
As you walk to the center of the bridge, you can see the marked state of PA and NJ. Filled with artsy stores, restaurants, and cute shops on both ends of the bridge, visitors can enjoy the best of two pretty small towns has to offer. Take time to look over the wonderful river and watch the ducks and currents; if you’re lucky, you can also spot turtles sunning on the concretes.
13. Experience rare plants and interesting artistic sculptures at Paxson Hill Farm and Gardens
Nestled in the quaint woods of Bucks County, Paxson Hill Farm is a sprawling delight for nature lovers and avid gardeners. The 32-acre property of imaginative landscapes encompasses ever-evolving gardens with unique flowers, a hedge maze, small waterfalls charming bridges and even a hobbit house.
The naturalistic paths lead you to rare gardens with exotic plants and artistic sculptures around every bend. Keep your eyes open for surprises as you watch peacocks and emus roaming freely in the open field. With acres of gardens to explore, special events & tours around the year, this beautiful farm inspires you to build your dream garden with a variety of plants to take home.
14.Visit the Hearts Afire Art Gallery
A classic gift shop to add to your bucket list while exploring the charming town, Hearts Afire has many unique and handcrafted gifts for everyone. Located in the main street of New Hope, Heart’s Afire and the adjoining Heart of the Home is a special place for gift shopping and a little self-indulgence.
Choose from a wide range of carefully selected pieces, including artisan craft items, home décor, jewelry, clothing, glass creations, garden items and much more as you begin hunting for a perfect gift. Take your time to explore the tremendous variety of items and get yourself a Pennsylvania-made item to cherish. A cute place for those looking for rare, terrific pieces or great gift ideas, you’ll always find something interesting with every visit.
15. Hunt for antiques at the Old Church
Discover Bucks County and its vibrant antiques and art scene in the historic former Solebury Baptist Church, which has turned into an eclectic antique shop. Located on Route 202 in New Hope, David M. Mancuso refurnished the interior of the Old Church in 1978 with selected antiques and collectibles.
Choose from a remarkable collection of American and continental furniture, decorative, folk art, pottery, paintings, glassware, and accessories with an ever-changing inventory. The unique setting, quirky collections, and the small old school house add to this store’s charm as you stop over for antique shopping. The beautiful and well-maintained shop always offers something new to browse even if it doesn’t fit your décor.
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Gary is an award winning full time professional photographer and videographer with too much wanderlust for his own good. Fuelled by strong coffee, you’ll often find him wandering well off hiking trails in search of interesting photographic subjects or scenery to video. Self taught and with the use of pioneering digital techniques, he quickly built up a strong client base and has worked with many prestigious organisations, including GQ, BBC, London Fashion Week, Grazia, Sky, Metro, Vogue Italia. He specialising in evocative images of people, places and cinematic videography and his goal is to make the viewer look twice and engage. As well as a penchant for good design, the ketogenic diet and Hungarian Vizslas, he also has a huge affection for Chicago, Bucharest, Scandinavia, Croatia and absolutely everywhere in Italy. Find him on Instagram @garynansome and Twitter @garynansome