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 Travel Article Travel Article Archive  
February 2010 Email this to a friend

New Hope

By Jeff Balk

Raven, New Hope
At The Raven

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NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded article click DailyXtraTravel

In Bucks County, nestled along the Delaware River, New Hope is a bohemian retreat with much to offer. Besides beautiful countryside, restaurants here will thrill gourmets, while wine tastings at local wineries will impress oenophiles. Shops chock-a-block with beautiful crafts and antiques, quality playhouses, funky flea markets, comfortable inns, and gay friendly locals are also part of New Hope's allure.

The township of New Hope will celebrate gay pride week May 11-16th. The parade will be filled with the floats, flag-twirlers, Mummers, colorful entertainers, the music of bands, and gay families aplenty on May 15th, 2010. For more details see Newhopecelebrates.com.

To The Raven Resort (385 West Bridge Street), birds of many a queer feather flock. This local institution since 1979 is the center of gay life in New Hope, in a Cheers neighborly kind of way. The complex includes an inn (rooms boast marble baths) and an acclaimed restaurant with eclectic menu and extensive wine list. The oak-paneled walls, friendly staff and great music acts attract guests from around the world. Their piano bar is open weekends and certain other nights, and the pool in summertime is a huge draw, with glistening pectorals adding to the allure. There's also a grill at the cabana bar - famous for burgers, hot dogs, wraps and all the trimmings.

At the center of town, Havana (105 South Main Street), offers Caribbean and all-American cuisine, moderately priced, large plates or small, with specials on Lobster and Surf and Turf. They also present karaoke and live music acts from Jazz to blues, R&B, funk and Motown.

Getting around

Look for the mule-towed barge with singer serenading to have almost an hour of peaceful bliss, passing by cascades of flowers along the banks of the Delaware Canal. River Country rents canoes and rubber tubes provide another way to get onto or into the water.

For bicycle rentals, the New Hope Cyclery (404 York Rd) can supply a convenient and healthy strategy for getting around to experience all the local scenery.

Or just climb aboard the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad (32 W Bridge Street) passenger train and travel into the past, in 1920s vintage coaches, as you journey through 16 miles of scenic rolling hills. Board at either New Hope or Lahaska stations.


The 1833 Umpleby House Bed and Breakfast Inn (117 West Bridge Street) is steps from the village square but situated on two landscaped acres, a bit apart. It's relaxed and comfortable here, and for a little extra, guests may access the six pool and four court tennis club nearby.

Victorian splender awaits you at the 1870 Wedgwood Bed and Breakfast Inn (111 W. Bridge Street) a gracious Wedgwood-blue "Painted Lady" set in two acres of lawns and gardens. All eight guestrooms have fireplaces, and some have Jacuzzi and/or private porches. Saturday afternoon tea is an occasion here.

The Fox & Hound B&B (246 W. Bridge Street) is an easy walk to town, yet just outside the hustle and bustle on two landscaped acres. Formerly a Victorian farm house, their rooms have private baths, some with fireplaces and private balconies or patios. Their secluded sundeck and three-course breakfast are additional pleasures of a stay here.

Sitting on seven idyllic acres of serene gardens, Lexington House (Upper York Road, 263) is an escape from the ordinary with elegance and luxury in a house that dates from 1749. Although elegantly decorated with antiques, they are casual and relaxed.

The Mansion Inn (9 South Main Street), a grand bed and breakfast in an 1865 manor, is a luxurious treat, furnished in high quality antiques and art, and with private porches, and beautiful gardens.

The Raven (385 West Bridge Street) is an inn as well as a gay resort. They offer ten rooms, all with private bath, wireless internet and free admission to their pool in summertime. Weekend reservations should be booked as early as possible as they fill up fast.

The Wishing Well Guesthouse (144 Old York Road) is a former farm house with six guestrooms within walking distance of shops, galleries and restaurants, and just ten minutes walk to bus connections for New York and Philadelphia. Fireplaces, wooden floors, ceiling beams, antique furniture, a cozy dining area, and original stone walls contribute to the charming atmosphere.

In nearby historic Washington Crossing, Inn to the Woods (150 Glenwood Drive) is an enchanted bed and breakfast near the banks of the Delaware River (George Washington crossed nearby) with seven uniquely appointed guest rooms, each with fireplaces and private baths. Country breakfast is served daily, and hors d'oeuvres and refreshments in the evening.

Click HERE for more places to stay.

And more...

Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve (1635 River Road) is a 134-acre expanse of native plants in naturalistic settings of woodlands, meadows, a creek and a pond, with ever-changing wild flowers, birds and wildlife to see.

Rice's Market (6326 Greenhill Rd) a 30 acre outdoor market of antiques, collectibles, food, and Amish goods among 700 or so vendors, is open Summer Tuesdays and Saturdays, 7am to 1pm (Tuesdays only from December through March).

Updated and detailed rosters of special events, accommodations, shops, art galleries and resources for all of Bucks County are available at these two websites: Visitbuckscounty.com, and Newhopepa.com.

Author Profile:  Jeff Balk
Jeff Balk hails from St. Louis, Missouri, and lives in Rehoboth Beach when not travelling for The Guide.

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