Beautiful Bucks County
Where George Washington crossed the Delaware River
Jan 17, 2020 at 7:00 AM in Things to Do by
Situated just northeast of Philadelphia and about a two-hour drive from New York City, it's no wonder the sophisticated city folk of these two cosmopolitan centers came to embrace the rural splendor of Pennsylvania's Buck County with such verve. Everyone enjoys a day in the country and here with its combination of bucolic beauty and rich history you can easily while away weeks. As of the early part of the twentieth century, many illustrious people even set up residence here, including Pearl S. Buck, James Michener, Stephen Sondheim and Dorothy S. Parker (followed by many from her Algonquin group of literary giants). Today Bucks County still attracts a long string of artists, authors and entertainers, always a good sign that this is a cool place to be. Once here, you, too, will likely fall beneath the charms of beautiful Bucks County.
If you like rolling farmland, meadows dotted with wildflowers, historic towns and sites, rivers, canals, locks, sluice gates, covered bridges, an abundance of parks, farmer's markets and real country fairs, then you'll love Bucks County. Plus, the influx of creative types made sure to establish all kinds of wonderful theater groups, arts and crafts festivals, music programs and a variety of other forms of entertainment and events that take place all year long. From chic clothing boutiques to art galleries to antique markets to gourmet food stores and more, shopping in Bucks County is also tops. And in terms of dining out, there's something for every taste and budget in settings that range from the cozy confines of an historic inn to an outdoor deck that affords fabulous river views.
If you look at the Bucks County side of your Discovery Map, you'll see the Delaware River to the far right. That's the same river General George Washington famously crossed. He had camped in Bucks County before making his way across the Delaware and successfully attacking the British on December 26, 1776, the turning point of the American Revolution. (As you can tell from the date and as you may remember from your history class, it was a surprise attack.) Throughout Bucks County you can see and visit many buildings, mostly made of stone, from the colonial era. Founded in 1682 by William Penn, Bucks County was named after Buckinghamshire, the county in England from which this colonial proprietor hailed.
The Delaware River has served as a conduit to history throughout the centuries. Whether you're in a car, on a bike, paddling around in a kayak or canoe or jogging along the riverfront, try to take time to explore. The little towns along River Road are especially worth taking in. At Point Pleasant, for example, you'll find an eclectic jumble of establishments to visit. It's also where you can hook yourself up with some watercraft at Bucks County River Country, a reputable outfitter for all kinds of water fun. Just north of there and across the river in Frenchtown, New Jersey, you can rent a bike at Cycle Corner of Frenchtown. From there you could pedal south to The Stover Mill Gallery where regional artists are showcased in a grist mill that dates back to 1832; it's such an extraordinary setting for just about anything, particularly art.
Or if you're into parks, head west to Tohickon Valley Park, Ralph Stover Park or Stover Mill Park. And if you want to go to a really unusual park, go north to Upper Black Eddy to Ringing Rocks Park where, as the name suggests, you can indeed hear rocks ring (and practically sing). Note that this is covered-bridge country and it's most fun to go over these old bridges on a bike or on foot. (If you're in your car, at least put your windows down.)
Farther south on River Road, you'll find charming Lumberville and its renowned footbridge across the Delaware. Stop into the Black Bass Hotel for a look at an eighteenth-century inn. Or even better, book a room or enjoy a meal at The Restaurant, their dining establishment that delights both for its fine cuisine and views of the Delaware River.
Know that the northern part of Bucks County, known as Upper Bucks, stands out for its nature, colonial history and farmland. Peace Valley Lavender Farm, Hellerick's Family Farm and Moyer Farm rank as some of the must-sees in this northwest corner of the county where going to a farm means lots more than just picking up some produce or flowers.