Local May 18, 2021

Doylestown, Pennsylvania: The “Best Small-Town Cultural Scene” Guide

Located a short drive outside Philadelphia, in the rolling green hills of picturesque Bucks County, is Doylestown, Pennsylvania. A peaceful, vibrant community with plenty to offer residents and visitors alike. The Borough of Doylestown was once proclaimed by USA Today to have the “best small-town cultural scene” in America, and it’s not hard to see why. With its historic roots, small-town charm, and convenient location, Doylestown is bursting with arts and culture. Making it a beautiful place to live, work, or visit. Read on to learn all about the history and culture of Doylestown and what it has to offer.


Location

Conveniently located approximately 25 miles to the north of Philadelphia and 70 miles to the south of New York City, Doylestown can be found in the heart of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Despite being located within driving distance of several major metropolitan areas, Bucks County is known for its beautiful green hills, well-preserved farms, and historic covered bridges. Providing an oasis of calm and serenity in southeastern Pennsylvania. It is accessible by the highway as well as by Amtrak, SEPTA, or bus; once there, residents and visitors can travel within and around Doylestown inexpensively on the Doylestown Dart bus.


History

Bucks County was founded by William Penn in 1682. However, Doylestown wasn’t founded until 1745, when William Doyle established a tavern and inn that would later grow into a bustling village. In 1810, the County Seat of Bucks County was moved to Doylestown. This helped attract increasing numbers of residents. Despite its humble origins, it has grown to boast a population of approximately 8,300 residents.

Doylestown may be small. However, history buffs will find plenty to interest them in both the town as well as its surrounding areas. With their historic cemeteries, barns, and covered bridges, this place and its surrounding areas in Bucks County are full of reminders of the past. For example, the site where Washington crossed Delaware during the Revolutionary War is only a short trip away. A visit to Doylestown makes one thing abundantly clear: no matter where you look, it is bursting with a rich history.

 

Things to See

Architecture and Craft

Doylestown is full of can’t-miss architectural attractions. Start with a tour of Fonthill Castle. With over 200 windows and 18 fireplaces, the castle is architecturally unique and visually stunning, and tours are available daily. After admiring Fonthill Castle, head next door to the Mercer Museum. It showcases more than 50,000 tools used in Pre-Industrial America. Such as a 2,000-year-old whale oil lamp and a Conestoga wagon. 

Art

Are you a lover of the arts? You can’t go wrong with an afternoon spent admiring the paintings at the Michener Art Museum. With an impressive collection of Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art — not to mention a wide variety of rotating exhibitions and even a sculpture garden — the Michener has been dazzling visitors since it was established in the former Bucks County Jail in 1988. Art lovers who prefer to take in a movie can spend a few hours off their feet while catching a flick at the County Theater. It’s a non-profit, community-based theater with a stunning Art Deco design and bold, thoughtful programming.

History

History buffs can find plenty to see in Doylestown. The Bucks County Civil War Museum is famous for transporting visitors back to a tumultuous time in American history and showcasing rare Civil War artifacts. Major figures in Doylestown history are discussed and celebrated on the popular Doylestown Cemetery Walking Tours. There’s even a self-guided driving barn tour for those who are curious about the history and architecture of Doylestown’s famous local barns.


Things to Do

The Great Outdoors

With Doylestown’s farms and gardens in full bloom — in places such as the Peace Valley Lavender Farm — there’s plenty to see, explore, and even eat. Burpee Park provides a quiet place to relax and enjoy a coffee right in the middle of town. And there’s also a playground for active kids. Looking to go even further off the beaten path and explore the natural beauty of Bucks County? Nearby Nockamixon State Park offers opportunities to picnic, swim, fish, boat, hunt, and more. Doylestown also prides itself on being a bike-friendly town. This means that it’s easy to leave the car keys at home and be eco-friendly while you explore.

Dining

Hungry? There’s no need to struggle on an empty stomach in Doylestown. Restaurants such as Honey offer an imaginative fine dining experience, with small plates and specialty cocktails. Meanwhile, The Lucky Well offers tender, authentic Memphis-style BBQ guaranteed to satisfy any meat-eater. Doylestown also boasts a wide variety of restaurants offering Indian, South American, and Italian fare. Residents can sample global fare without ever needing to leave Bucks County.

Finally, no meal is complete without dessert! And Nina’s Waffles & Ice Cream, with its wide variety of ice cream selections and hot, crispy waffles, never fails to satisfy.


Shopping

Forget big box stores and familiar chains. Doylestown is full of charming independent stores that have plenty to offer visitors and residents alike. From Monkey’s Uncle, a vintage-inspired t-shirt boutique, to Bella’s Boutique, which offers fashionable clothes, shoes, and accessories for women, there’s plenty of clothes shopping to enjoy.

Kids will love browsing Busy Bee Toys just as much as adults love perusing the independent Doylestown Bookshop. Shoppers of all ages will also love stopping in to pick up a sweet treat for later at Clusters Popcorn. No matter what you’re looking for, you can find it during a shopping trip in Doylestown.

 

Weidel Real Estate

Interested in learning more about Doylestown? We can help! Since 1915, we’ve prided ourselves on helping our clients find homes throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Not only do we have the experience to help you find the perfect house, but our commitment to customer service means that we’ll treat you like family while we help you find a place to call home. If you have any questions about Doylestown or would like to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us today.