Holidays in New Hope: Where Country Meets Cosmopolitan

From a steam train with Santa to a tres-chic hotel to unique shopping experiences, this riverside town offers the best of both worlds.

Passengers prepare to hop aboard the North Pole Express on the New Hope Railroad. / Getty Images

Nestled between Philly and New York, New Hope is the perfect backdrop for a city mouse looking to find herself. This Bucks County­ town on the Delaware River has the best of both worlds — a blend of wholesome charm and cosmopolitan luxury.

You can imagine a big-shot ad exec leaving her job for a chance at the small-town life in New Hope, then hopping into the classic Ford truck of her new handyman beau for a future of happily-ever-after.

Where to stay The newly renovated Logan Inn (from $310 per night) is more contemporary luxe than Colonial quaint. For example, there’s a room inspired by the pop artist Keith Haring. Upscale features like soaking tubs, private balconies, spacious suites, a whiskey lounge, a cigar club, and an open-kitchen restaurant deliver cozy-chic city-meets-country vibes.

Most festive activity Find one-of-a-kind gifts at New Hope’s hundreds of specialty stores, ranging from quirky gag purveyors and New Age shops to custom jewelers and fine-art galleries. Nearby Peddler’s Village, with its red-brick pathways and Colonial-style buildings, displays a million twinkling lights across its 42 acres and hosts gingerbread competitions and parades featuring Santa as well as 65 unique shops.

Best spot for a selfie Embark on New Hope Railroad’s Santa’s Steam Train Ride on a restored early-20th-century passenger train before visiting Santa’s Workshop at the station and snapping a pic with Old Saint Nick.

What to do after Head to the award-winning Bucks County Playhouse (a favorite of supermodel Gigi Hadid) for a show, then follow with a feast of locally sourced seasonal small plates at Stella of New Hope and a nightcap at Ferry + Main, Logan Inn’s bustling restaurant bar.

Published as “Know-it-All Guide: Joyful Jaunts” in the December 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.