There’s something about New Hope, Pa., that compels visitors to wander through its winding streets all day long. It might be the feeling that there’s a surprise on every corner; it might be the distinct beatnik air that surrounds the town. Whatever it may be, New Hope is noticeably more eclectic than the average town.
For starters, getting to New Hope is an adventure in itself. It’s a good idea to park in Lambertville, N.J. (an
equally beautiful place to meander about), and walk across the Lambertville-New Hope Bridge. It takes roughly 10 minutes to get from Point A to Point B and the view of the Delaware River is well worth it.
Just ask sophomore Teresa Mistretta of Hillsborough, who has been visiting the town since her freshman year of high school. To her, New Hope is “eclectic and intimate.”
One of the first sights seen crossing into New Hope is none other than the Bucks County Playhouse. The theater is a terrific, albeit slightly expensive venue for entertainment; past shows have included Godspell, Hair and Into the Woods, plus the famed performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show every year.
Aside from that, New Hope also boasts an array of independently owned stores, which, paired with its scenic streets, is easily the town’s greatest aspect, Mistretta said.
“What I like is just walking around because there’s a lot to see,” she said. “We usually go shopping and stop in the little shops. There’s an organic coffee shop I love. Suzie Hot Sauce [is] a store entirely of hot sauce.”
Love Saves the Day is a must-see store, according to Mistretta. The blast-from-the-past shop has just about everything you can imagine, from Elvis records to original Barbie dolls to tons of vintage clothes. It’s one of Mistretta’s favorite stores.
“They have a random collection of crazy stuff that appeals to college humor,” she said. “I remember going there one time and seeing Edgar Allen Poe action figures — things you don’t find in a mall.”
There’s also the Four Seasons Mall to consider, but don’t be fooled by any pre-conceived notions of what a “mall” entails. The Four Seasons only has 10 stores, but each of them is worth a closer look.
“The stores are very small and intimate and you can find really unique things there,” Mistretta said.
But there is a small catch. Unless you enjoy gallivanting in winter weather, New Hope’s not entirely designed for the months of December through March. Still, the town tries its best and still manages to pull off a few cold-weather-friendly events, such as the Winter Festival held just last week.
“When it’s nice out, it’s good to go to New Hope,” Mistretta said. “On a nice day, it gets really crowded. If you have off from classes on a nice day during the week, then it’s definitely worth it. You’ll beat the traffic and the crowds.”
Like Mistretta, sophomore Brianna McIntyre is eagerly awaiting warm weather.
“When the weather’s bad, it’s not even worth it,” she said. “If it’s a nice day, you get to walk around the whole day and it’s really friendly.”
Boasting shops, a playhouse and a deliciously off-beat sense of sophistication, a trip to New Hope needs to be on every college student’s list of places to go this spring — just as soon as 30 degrees stops being the average high temperature.