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For a slice of Americana, look no farther than Doylestown, Pennsylvania. This Central Bucks County town of approximately 8,400 residents dates to the mid-1700s. Stroll through its residential and business districts and you can’t help but feel charmed by the blocks of historical homes, unique shops, restaurants, restored movie theater and interesting museums. It is the sort of town where traditions hold strong – visit on Memorial Day and see the country’s oldest parade in honor of those who served in our armed forces. To tour Doylestown is to see a range of historic districts and neighborhoods and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
Museums and cultural activities are plentiful for a town the size of Doylestown. Notable places to visit include the James A. Michener Art Museum, named after native son and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, James Michener; the Mercer Museum, an outstanding collection of pre-Industrial tools collected by prominent 19th– and early 20th-century resident Henry Chapman Mercer; Fonthill, Mr. Mercer’s castle-like, all-concrete home designed by him and incorporating astounding quantities of Mercer tile; and the Moravian Tile and Pottery Works, Mr. Mercer’s “family business” in the 19th and 20th centuries.
As the county seat of Bucks County, it is home to the courthouse, and, accordingly, many law offices.
Doylestown Hospital serves residents with all manner of specialists, including specialized cardiac and cancer treatment centers. Philadelphia and its many world-class medical specialists are less than one hour away.
As a place to call home, many people enjoy Doylestown because of its walkability and variety of housing options. While its historical homes are coveted and tend to sell quickly there are townhouse and condominium communities within walking distance of the center of town as well as twin or duplex homes. Parts of Doylestown, Buckingham and Solebury townships may have a Doylestown address, according to the U.S post office, but most of Doylestown is contained in the 18901 and 18902 zip codes.
Commuters can take a SEPTA train from the station in the center of town to Philadelphia, SEPTA buses to points in the greater Philadelphia area, and a bus to New York City and select destinations in New Jersey. Doylestown’s location makes it convenient for those working in the Fort Washington/King of Prussia areas as well as in Quakertown and such New Jersey employment centers as Somerville and Princeton.
It should be mentioned that Doylestown would not be the well preserved place that it is without the efforts of its residents dating back to the 1960s, when the county proposed an urban renewal scheme that would have decimated dozens of historic buildings. From that point on, through good economic times and bad, various groups have worked together to strengthen its business district and keep its picture-perfect streetscapes attractive for generations to come.