Newtown, Pennsylvania, is a picturesque Bucks County borough near the center of the county. Mention Newtown to people who have visited there, and at least one person in the group will say, “I’d love to move there.” It’s easy to be charmed by its mix of residences, small shops, restaurants, a movie theater (the oldest operating movie theater in the U.S.) and service providers such as yoga studios and spas, all very walkable for in-town residents. The streetscapes are almost Normal Rockwell-like, lined with historical homes from the 18th and 19th centuries, and its central business district is on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the past 15 years, this town of approximately 2,300 residents has grown as in-fill construction added new homes and townhouses in Newtown Township, all carefully designed to integrate well with existing borough homes.
The borough’s place as the county seat between 1726 and 1813, when it was replaced by the more centrally located Doylestown, is a testament to its importance in Colonial and then Federal-era life. Gen. George Washington set up headquarters there after his victory at the Battle of Trenton and prior to the Battle of Princeton. The oldest frame house in Pennsylvania, the c. 1686 Bird-in-Hand at 111 S. State St. in Newtown, held Hessian prisoners in its basement back in the 18th century. This home, beautifully restored, is just one example of many historical properties treasured by Newtown residents.
It’s not just the visual appeal of Newtown that makes it such a desirable place to live, it’s the town’s proximity to I-95 for commuting to New Jersey and Philadelphia and its 20-minute travel time to the Trenton, N.J., train station for New York City/Northeast Corridor commuters.
This location near major travel routes is the primary reason more people have moved to Newtown’s suburban areas in Upper Makefield Township. Upper Makefield is one of Bucks County’s wealthiest ZIP code 18940. A drive around the township’s country roads, with long driveways branching off, will illustrate the level of wealth lurking behind privacy fences and gated entryways.
A more affordable option is adjacent Newtown Township, where there are more homes in a wider array of prices. Students in both Newtown Township and Upper Makefield Township attend the top-rated Council Rock School District.
For recreation, Tyler State Park is a few minutes from the borough and offers many miles of walking paths, bicycle trails, cross-country skiing in winter and even disc golf. Its 1,711 acres provides ample space for exploring.