Blogger, globetrotter and mama of two, Nubia DuVall Wilson, leaves the kids at home for the weekend to explore New Hope, PA. Nestled in bucolic Bucks County, New Hope is a historic town in Pennsylvania that offers parents the perfect setting for a kids-free getaway. Read on for her take on this quaint east coast escape.
About New Hope, PA
New Hope is a small town that lies on the west bank of the Delaware River, across from historic Lambertville, New Jersey, and only 65 miles from New York City and 40 miles from Philly. In 1776, George Washington and his troops stayed in New Hope before crossing the Delaware River to go to battle in Trenton, New Jersey. Today it is known for its art galleries, theater, and antique shops, but not many know it also boasts eight vineyards, stellar restaurants and a bustling nightlife scene that offers a wealth of outdoor patios. When my husband and I visited, we drove from New Jersey and enjoyed the hour-long drive that included sights of the countryside.
Where to Stay
There are a few boutique options in the New Hope area, such as the Fox & Hound or The Mansion Inn, but we booked a room at the AAA Four Diamond Inn at Bowman’s Hill. The luxury bed and breakfast (pictured above) is set on a 5-acre gated estate and the only AAA Four-Diamond property in New Hope (they’ve won it consecutively 10 years in a row). Just a three-minute drive from downtown, we appreciated the seclusion the Inn offered versus being on a bustling main street. The retreat features grounds with a terrace, jacuzzi, heated pool, and pond. Owner Mike Amery is British, which means the daily English Breakfast is spot on with baked beans, tomato, sausage, bacon, eggs any style, and bread. Guests can choose to eat in the rustic breakfast room or privately in their suite.
We stayed in the Orchard Retreat in the Carriage House, an addition where there are a total of four rooms that feature fireplaces, heated two-person whirlpools, heated towel racks, and private verandahs (three out of four). Since it was unusually chilly during our stay, the gas fireplace was used multiple times!
There are also four luxury suites, each with distinctive styles. Two suites have private verandahs (George Washington and Penthouse) and panoramic views of the grounds. The Penthouse Suite has a corner tub under a sky-like ceiling. The duplex Tower Suite features a private entrance with optional second bedroom (popular for girlfriend getaways) and a spacious living room with cathedral ceiling.
Downtown New Hope
Nektar has an airy, minimalist-yet- rustic decor and contemporary cuisine. In addition to an extensive wine, beer, and whiskey menu, the restaurant serves small plates, sandwiches, charcuterie meats,artisanal cheeses and salads with locally sourced ingredients. Try an old fashioned cocktail with Basil Hayden’s bourbon while savoring these dishes: Fried Cheese “Saganaki,” Panko-crusted Shrimp with Thai Chili Sauce, Goat Cheese & Smoked Salmon sandwich, and Goat Cheese & Potato Croquette.
Originally founded in 2006 by a 14 year old and 15 year old (seriously) out of a converted mill home in Buckingham, PA, Blue Moose officially opened in 2011 in New Hope. The BYOB restaurant serves brunch and a European prix fixe-style menu for dinner.
This restaurant brews its own seasonal beers and serves upscale American cuisine. Although the menu changes, mainstays include the Triumph Burger made from pineland farms grass-fed beef, beer-battered fish and chips, and the short rib with rutabaga polenta and caramelized pears. Appetizers with a twist include the Cozzie Piggies with puff pastry, fennel sausage, and bacon tomato jam.
A popular late-night spot on Fridays for dining and open mic night with live piano playing, Bowman’s Tavern and Restaurant has a delicious menu, great cocktails, and a high-energy crowd. Try the mushroom bruschetta, petite filet, and pan roasted branzino. Their happy hour special, Six Until Six, offers six-dollar tavern favorites (calamari, wings, mussels) and cocktails (French gimlet, Moscow mule) from 4 pm to 6 pm.
Climb the steps of this tower that rises 125 feet in the air atop Bowman’s Hill and offers a 14-mile view on a clear day. It’s also around the corner from the Inn at Bowman’s Hill. It commemorates what may have been a lookout point for Washington’s troops to watch for enemy activity on the Delaware River.
There are six wineries within eight miles of downtown New Hope. Popular Wycombe Vineyards is known for its all-you- can sample tastings accompanied by an elaborate gourmet cheese and charcuterie spread over the weekend for just $5.00. Friday tastings are complimentary (but there’s no food). Visits on Mondays through Thursdays must be by appointment. Owner Rich
Fine is known for producing very good dry wines. All the grapes are pressed in a traditional European fashion, using a hand-operated basket press, and fermented in smaller batches. Try the Chambourcin 2014, which is a red wine bursting with flavor or his version of an Alsatian Riesling. The beautiful grounds feature outdoor seating for picnics.