It’s easy to fall in love with New Hope, Pennsylvania, a charming town on the Delaware River in Bucks County. Located between Philadelphia and New York City, this historical borough of 2,500 or so residents is a mix of shops, restaurants, small inns and bed & breakfasts, galleries, Colonial-era stone houses and enchanting water views. Known for its arts scene, it has been a hotspot for creativity since at least the 1930s, when the Bucks County Playhouse was founded by a group of New York-based playwrights who had summer homes in the New Hope area.
The town itself is notable for its boutiques, many art galleries and wide array of restaurants, not to mention some of its long-time, much-loved shops, such as Farley’s Bookshop and Topeo, a highly respected gallery of American crafts. Mixed in are edgy shops that keep alive the town’s reputation for embracing individuality. Visitors also enjoy the New Hope & Ivyland steam railroad as well as the Bucks County Children’s Museum, located in Union Square.
For those who want to live in the heart of the borough, the north end of town has a mix of single-family homes with water and canal views, while the south end features two significant condominium buildings, Waterworks and WaterView. Some recent new construction a few blocks off of Main Street has added townhouse-style living. Those who want to live in New Hope should be aware that the town is part of Solebury Township, though some parts of Buckingham Township also have New Hope addresses.
While a number of physicians maintain offices in town, residents generally go to Doylestown Hospital or St. Mary Medical Center in Newtown, both about a 20-minute drive. For highly specialized care, they often rely on healthcare facilities in Philadelphia, a world-class city for healthcare less than an hour away.
Ask anyone who has lived in New Hope for 20 years or more, and they’ll tell you the town certainly has grown well beyond its riverfront area. Just west of Bridge and Main Streets are shopping centers where local residents do their grocery shopping and banking, where students attend New Hope-Solebury public schools and where residential communities with townhomes, single-family residences and estate homes have sprung from former farm fields in the past two decades.
These newer developments truly have helped New Hope grow because behind the façade of quaint buildings and historical homes is New Hope’s most important asset: a community of caring, supportive individuals who love where they live and are willing to give their time and expertise to keep New Hope’s arts scene and businesses thriving. From supporting the Free Library of New Hope and numerous other organizations to beautifying the streetscape with planters of seasonal flowers to funding the Friday Night Fireworks that take place on select evenings and draw hundreds of extra visitors to town, engaged community members are the fiber that holds this special town together. It’s safe to say that most New Hope residents will tell you they not only love where they live, but they feel lucky to reside in such a special place – indeed, this is the substance behind the style in this little river town.