By the time October rolls around, many of us have exhausted our vacation days after summertime trips and setting up holiday getaways.
Luckily for New Jerseyans, we already live in an autumn wonderland, so there isn’t much need to wander far.
Right around the corner from Central Jersey is New Hope, Pennsylvania, a quaint, historic and charming borough full of antique shops, boutiques and fine restaurants and bars, surrounded by a woodsy quiet and separated from our state by only the Delaware River.
In autumn, New Hope becomes a haven for falling leaves, sweeping breezes and, of course, seasonal and haunted activities — all just a short drive from home. If you plan to make your way across the river for just the day or the whole weekend, don’t miss these stopping points in New Hope.
1. Shop the streets
New Hope is home to some seriously eccentric shops, making it quite the stopping point for those looking to pick up something different. Visitors should wander River Road, Ferry Street and Bridge Street, some of the most scenic and historic streets, which feature the largest concentration of interesting stores.
Some of the shops that travelers shouldn’t pass up are Farley’s Bookshop, which offers a diverse collection of books young and old, Love Saves the Day, a vintage shop that holds collections of nostalgic clothes, toys and trinkets, and Suzies Hot Shoppe, which has enough hot sauce to have you running next door to Fran’s Pub for a cold drink. However, the best way to find the coolest shops in New Hope is to simply take a walk down the street.
2. Get spooked on ghost tour
New Hope is a decidedly historic and, thus, as some believe, haunted borough, which makes it an ideal place to get scared as October sneaks up on us with a ghost tour.
By meeting at Main and Ferry Streets in New Hope at 8 p.m. any Friday or Saturday night in October (including Halloween) through the third week of November, you can follow a lantern-led walk and learn about the phantom hitchhiker of the New Hope, a historic inn where Aaron Burr periodically appears and other happenings. To find out more, visit ghosttoursofnewhope.com or call 215-343-5564.
3. Grab taste of borough at New Hope Winery
With a mix of wines ranging from light, fruity whites to sophisticated reds, those stopping in New Hope can try a sampling of the winery’s offerings by visiting the rustic 18th-century barn located between New Hope and Peddler’s Village in Flemington.
For $10, thirsty travelers can taste five wines from the wine list and pick up a New Hope Winery etched glass from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Find more information by visiting newhopewinery.com or calling 215-794-2331.
4. Stay at Logan Inn B&B
As visitors enter New Hope, they will feel like they are taking a step back in time — and where they stay for the night should reflect that, too. Established in 1727 as an inn, The Logan Inn is one of the borough’s historic lodgings and features 16 individually decorated rooms that combine Colonial style and modern luxuries.
Located on West Ferry Street, the Inn has views of busy Main and Ferry streets and offers double to king beds. Plan your stay by visiting loganinn.com or calling 215-862-2300.
5. Shop 100-year-old shopping center Rice’s Market
With its various boutiques and specialty stores, New Hope was made for savvy shoppers. To get a taste of the shopping that New Hope has to offer without having to trudge along the streets, check out Rice’s Market, a 100-year-old 30-acre outdoor shopping market that typically houses over 400 vendors and 8,000 shoppers in a single day.
Vendors offer products such as antiques and collectibles, Amish meats and baked goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, jewelry, clothing and handbags. The oldest and largest outdoor market in Bucks County is open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. from March until December. Find more information at ricesmarket.com or call 215-297-5993.
6. Take stroll through Washington Crossing Historic Park
Surrounded by gently falling leaves and the Delaware River, there is no better way to enjoy a fall day outdoors than with a bike ride or walk through Washington Crossing Historic Park. Those with an outdoorsy spirit can wander the Delaware Canal Towpath from the park, which extends from Bristol to Easton and is the only continuous intact canal remaining from the historic canal-building era of the early and mid-1800s.
Also, don’t miss Bowman’s Hill Tower at the Park, which provides a 14-mile view of the Bucks County and Hunterdon County Valley along the Delaware River. Plan your visit by going to washingtoncrossingpark.org or calling 215-493-4076.
7. Grab a flight at Triumph Brewing Co.
If you’re strolling through downtown New Hope, stop by the Triumph Brewing Company, which features its own craft beers alongside local and seasonal entrees. The brewing company, which also has a location in Princeton, often features live music on weekends.
The large outdoor patio is a great place to hang out to get that autumn breeze, or stay warm inside on the restaurant floor or by the bar. Get more information attriumphbrewing.com or call 215-862-8300, or visit from 11:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday or after noon on Sundays.
For those looking for a seasonal destination that doesn’t need indoor pools or hot weather to prove its tourist appeal, head to New Hope to get a taste of what fall is all about.