Bucks County

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Bucks County was once sleepy, forested backcountry along the Delaware River. In the 18th century, The York Road carriage route cut through the country to link New York with the then-national capital of Philadelphia, which lies south of the region. Even though the original carriage path has been replaced by the mammoth Northeastern corridor superhighway I-95, and the region is technically a suburb of Philly, Bucks County’s towns and villages retain a colonial atmosphere. Locals divide the county into three separate regions: “Upper Bucks” in the north, “Central Bucks” in the middle, and “Lower Bucks” in the south. Below you’ll find a list of the towns and regions worth visiting in this picturesque region.

Bucks County Cities and Regions

New Hope

Located in Central Bucks, New Hope was originally established in 1710 and quickly became a tavern-filled ferry crossing to New Jersey. Today, the town’s authentic colonial charm (a scenic canal and towpath, cozy inns, historic homes) has made it one of Bucks County’s most visited destinations. An animated art scene and a happening waterfront, with bars, cafes, and eateries fronting the Delaware River, add to the trendy, yet folksy, appeal. The town’s laidback, gay-friendly atmosphere draws thousands from Philadelphia and New York on summer weekends.

Yardley

A quaint riverside hamlet of 2,500 in Central Bucks, Yardley is a former ferry and canal village along the main colonial thoroughfare between New York and Philadelphia. These days a Roman Aqueduct style railroad bridge crosses the river into New Jersey. Spend an afternoon downtown strolling along the picturesque waterfront of Delaware Avenue and Clinton Street for spectacular vistas of the river and canal.

Doylestown

In the mid-1700s, when William Doyle set up shop at a lone tavern on an isolated carriage path in central Bucks County, he probably had no idea that his outpost would later blossom into the thriving county seat of the region. Today, Doylestown has a small-town Americana feel, with historic homes from the 1800s and a tree-lined downtown district of restaurants and storefronts. The spires of the eclectic Mercer Museum, situated two blocks south of the town square, and the James Michener Art Museum add to the town’s vibrant cultural scene. Nearby, forests and meadows of Peace Valley Park and 365-acre Lake Galena provide outdoor recreation opportunities. 

Bristol

Located in southern Bucks County at the terminus of the Delaware Canal and on the banks of the Delaware River, Bristol has thrived as a popular port, factory, and shipbuilding town for two of its three centuries of existence. Historic homes and quaint shops line Radcliffe Street – the downtown waterfront and home of the oldest continuously operating inn in the U.S., King George II, with a register dating back to 1681. This area is popular with boaters looking to sail on the Delaware.

Quakertown

Quaker Friends and German farmers settled the pastoral meadows and forested countryside surrounding Quakertown in upper Bucks County. The town’s unpretentious remoteness made it the perfect hiding place for the Liberty Bell during the American Revolution. Today, the area is home to writer Pearl S. Buck’s historic farmstead. The pastures, forests, and hills of Nockamixon State Park are about five miles away, providing an opportunity for a serene hike and retreat along Lake Nockamixon.

Newtown

Located in lower Bucks, quaint Newtown, with its small town feels, is characterized by streets of gray stone homes. Bistros, antique shops, artist galleries and studios, boutiques, and inns line State Street downtown, where an annual October beer festival draws merry crowds of thirsty suds-seekers to sample about 80 craft brews. Nearby, Lake Luxembourg and woods of Core Creek Park offer outdoor activities such as canoeing, fishing, and hiking.

Levittown

Located 25 miles from center city Philadelphia, Bill Levitt’s iconic, mass-produced suburban housing units and developments of the ’50s have matured into Bucks County’s largest town with over 50,000 residents. Many of Levitt’s original structures are preserved in the Levittown Historical District.

Langhorne

This Pennsylvania crossroads is now a thriving Philadelphia suburb that is chock-a-bloc with historic, colonial houses and tiny shops. Sesame Place amusement park (home of Big Bird) is 4-miles east of the town center, making Langhorne a reliable home base for families. Chains like Sheraton, Courtyard, and Holiday Inn Express rule the roost here.

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