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Old 10-22-2019, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant
2,183 posts, read 2,782,501 times
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I'd like to take hubby on a trip to PA to see the area I used to live. I lived in Allentown which I didn't really care for but remember really liking Doylestown and New Hope. I'm sure there are many more that I never saw while I lived there.

Would like to stay within an hour drive of Philly. We tend to like towns that are vibrant with walkable cores that have shops/restaurants where we can park and get out and explore for the afternoon, so something along the size of Doylestown or larger, but under 50K.

Other towns we like to give an idea of what we are looking for - Williamsburg, VA, Newburyport, MA, Annapolis, MD, Sonoma, CA, Newport, RI - not sure how to describe them - pretty, quaint, compact, charming, lively (people out and about walking around) is what comes to mind.

Last edited by macalan; 10-22-2019 at 06:08 AM..
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:48 AM
 
557 posts, read 404,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macalan View Post
I'd like to take hubby on a trip to PA to see the area I used to live. I lived in Allentown which I didn't really care for but remember really liking Doylestown and New Hope. I'm sure there are many more that I never saw while I lived there.

Would like to stay within an hour drive of Philly. We tend to like towns that are vibrant with walkable cores that have shops/restaurants where we can park and get out and explore for the afternoon, so something along the size of Doylestown or larger, but under 50K.

Other towns we like to give an idea of what we are looking for - Williamsburg, VA, Newburyport, MA, Annapolis, MD, Sonoma, CA, Newport, RI - not sure how to describe them - pretty, quaint, compact, charming, lively (people out and about walking around) is what comes to mind.
Not sure how long you've been gone from the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area, but both Bethlehem and Easton are worth a trip. They have changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Also, this list might feature smaller towns than you're looking for, but it's a pretty good list: https://philly.curbed.com/maps/small...nia-towns-cute.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
226 posts, read 68,273 times
Reputation: 155
West Chester and Ardmore would be my top picks. West Chester's downtown has such a nice vibe, leafy streets, and it has the college which is a plus in my book. It's about an hour drive to downtown. Ardmore is near the city, on the Main Line and showcases Lancaster Avenue, Suburban Square and the Ardmore Music Hall. Both would make for a very enjoyable excursion.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Pa
184 posts, read 125,175 times
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West Chester Borough always something going on.

https://west-chester.com/370/Events

While in the area if you like gardens and mansions within 30 minutes of West Chester you have Long Wood Gardens. Also in the area is DE you have the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library; the Mt. Cuba Center; the Hagley Museum and Library; and Nemours Mansion and Gardens.

Depending on when you plan to visit West Chester University music program is top notch with many FREE concerts

https://www.wcupa.edu/music/eventsCalendar.aspx#/?i=1

Just a few restaurants in West Chester to check out

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...nsylvania.html

Last edited by TLC1957; 10-22-2019 at 08:06 AM..
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
4,686 posts, read 2,893,507 times
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You can definitely make a trip out of bucks county. Doylestown has nice museums/restaurants, New Hope has the theater and very lively main street along the river, Peddlar's Village is an awesome unique place. The ride up rt. 32 aka River Road is one of the more secluded and scenic roads anywhere. You could stop at places along the way like Washington's Crossing or Bowman's tower. The NJ towns along the river, Lambertville/Stockton/Frenchtown, are also very nice.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Pocopson
354 posts, read 142,449 times
Reputation: 371
Philly suburbs with charming and walkable downtowns (pushing the limits about being an hour from Philadelphia):
  • New Hope (and adjacent Lambertville, NJ)
  • Haddonfield (NJ)
  • Doylestown
  • Kennett Square
  • West Chester
  • Media
  • Ardmore
  • Glenside
  • Phoenixville
  • Newtown
  • Newark (DE)

The above list is roughly in order of being pretty, but it's really hard to differentiate one from the next. I take no offense if anyone disagrees with the order.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:23 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,919 posts, read 5,333,309 times
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Ardmore and West Chester for sure.

There are tons of other wonderful towns as mentioned, but those two offer the most in terms of activities to keep you busy for a day. Plus the surrounding communities are beautiful for a nice drive.
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Old 10-22-2019, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,095 posts, read 645,582 times
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I would HIGHLY recommend checking out historic downtown Lancaster, PA.

There are many wonderful art galleries, quaint shops, the oldest farmer's market in the nation located in a beautiful historic building and many other great elements to explore. It is located under 90 minutes from Philadelphia, and the countryside surrounding it is absolute bucolic, if you go Rt. 30 and drive through the Amish country to towns like Intercourse and Strausburg.

In the Philadelphia area more immediate, I would recommend Chestnut Hill, West Chester, Wayne, Newtown, Abington, Media, Phoenixville. With West Chester, Media and Chestnut Hill topping the list. Although Chestnut Hill is within city limits, although it has a more suburban flair with a beautiful cobblestone main st.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,583 posts, read 7,677,868 times
Reputation: 4509
Great suggestions so far. A couple other candidates: Ambler and Wayne in the Philly area.

If you venture a little further west, Lancaster is a great suggestion. West Reading, Ephrata and Lititz are also great, vibrant smaller communities in that direction.

As others have noted, Bethlehem and Easton, with which you might be familiar having lived in the Lehigh Valley, have really come a long way in the vibrancy/revitalization department over the past decade.
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant
2,183 posts, read 2,782,501 times
Reputation: 807
Thanks all for the suggestions! I haven't lived in PA since the mid 80s so I'm sure lots has changed. I forgot all about Bethlehem! We used to go for Christmas, and I remember there was a great music festival I think in August that lasted a few days. Don't remember what it was called. I don't remember Easton at all.

We have been to Winterthur which was beautiful. We stayed in Chadd's Ford which was very pretty (but very rural) and drove through (quickly) Kennett Square and I think had lunch in West Chester. I remember going to a really interesting big book barn somewhere near there and thinking how pretty the countryside was.

Not that we will send much time there (we're not really city people) but will base there. Has Philly gone through any kind of revitalization? When we went to Winterthur we based in Philly. I don't remember where we stayed, but I was able to walk to the Apple store on Walnut St and to Rittenhouse Square (lovely!). But much of Philly seemed kind of down on it's heels - dirty and lots of homeless and the smell of urine in the streets. It also had the reputation for very high crime. That was @ 2011.

Thanks again for all of the help. Looking forward to our trip. What time of year would be best to go (we won't be going until next year)?
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