While recently traveling to Philly for our friends’ wedding, we asked for suggestions on where to stay on the way out. A friend suggested New Hope, PA. the night-before and I booked a hotel the next morning. It was also the day-of-the-trip. Thus, we traveled completely blindly into the cutest little town on the PA-NJ border. It’s an easy hour and a half from the city–so you can leave Friday evening–and arrive in time for dinner and bar stuff. The town sits across the river from another town, Lambertville, NJ which is also really cute and lined with historic homes and businesses. The big draw for New Yorkers would be an easy getaway, at a cool retro motel with a pool, with a scenic drive in and a fantastic flea market about a 15 minute drive away. We were only able to scratch the surface here and are making plans to re-visit, but in the meantime here’s the best of what we found in Bucks County.
Where to Stay in New Hope: Bed & Breakfasts, This Rustic Motel or Airbnb
There’s a wealth of B&B’s, but we went with New Hope Lodge because it was (1) affordable but also because (2) we are a sucker for rustic motels that look like log cabins. Don’t be misled by the website–it’s a pretty cool spot, with a giant pool and a bar on premises. Very charming, and our room’s windows looked out over other wood buildings on the property and pine trees. (Pro tip: room #15 is the not only in the most affordable of rates there, but it’s also right next to the pool.) Because we were traveling off-season, it was easy to get into, but this place books up fast during the summer. It’s also very gay friendly which is perhaps helping it become a destination in the area. If motels aren’t your thing, there’s no shortage of B&B’s, inns and even AirBNB’s in the area. Check out this boutique hotel in Lambertville, or The Mansion Inn right on Main Street.
Eating and Drinking Around New Hope: Breweries, Dive Bars, and Restaurants
Whenever we go somewhere, we sniff out breweries. In New Hope, we were in luck finding Triumph Brewery. Getting the $11 flight of 10-ish beers is definitely worth it if your beer taste varies or you appreciate different styles. The food menu is totally local and sustainable and lists all the farms from sourced ingredients alongside each menu item. The night we went, the huge screens were playing a hockey game with a live band warming up during the end of the game. The space does feel a little generic (it’s located in a strip mall called Union Square), but the beer and food menu made up for it. (Another brewery in the area, River Horse Brewing Company, is also well-reviewed on Yelp.) For a more authentic New Hope bar experience, check out John and Peter’s which is an awesome dive bar equipped with a tiny backroom and stage for shows, with music 365 days a year. For breakfast, apparently there’s a famous breakfast spot in town called Fred’s where you need a key (aka a “membership”) to get in; while that does sound interesting, good luck being a tourist and getting in there. Instead, we opted for Ces’t La Vie, a cute french bakery with a patio overlooking the river.
What to Do around New Hope: Shopping at Flea Markets, or the Unique Shops Along Main Street
Both towns of New Hope and Lambertville are walkable, across from each other, and accessible by train. There’s more than a days worth of walking around, shopping, poking your head into the many galleries and antique shops. Two of the most notable are Love Saves the Day, a vintage shop that relocated to New Hope after leaving the East Village; and The Creeper Gallery, an antique shop whose aesthetic seems to be “anything unusual”–think taxidermy, gothic art and antiques. Last, our favorite part of this trip was the amazing outdoor flea market 15 minutes outside of Lambertville called the Golden Nugget, which we do pretty regularly.