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Bucks County, PA

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New Hope & Ivyland Railroad

New Hope & Ivyland Railroad

Doylestown Business District

Doylestown Business District

Bucks County Playhouse

Bucks County Playhouse

Bucks County, about an hour's drive northeast of Philadelphia, could have remained 625 square miles of sleepy countryside full of old stone farmhouses, lush hills, and covered bridges if it hadn't been "discovered." First, New York artists and intelligentsia bought country homes here in the '30s. More recently, suburbanites and exurbanites bought or built year-round houses, eager to live in an area of relative peace and quiet within a long commute of New York and Philly.Over the years Bucks County has been known for art colonies and antiques, summer theater, and country inns. Cookie-cutter housing developments are now planted where grain once grew, however. It's not unusual to find suburban sprawl and hyper-development adjacent to an old clapboard farmhouse or ancient stone barn. Yet many areas of Central and Upper Bucks County remain as bucolic as ever—a feast of lyrical landscapes, with canal and river vistas, rolling hills, and fertile fields. Driving back roads is one of the county's pleasures, and making your way through quiet little towns, stopping at historic sites, checking out antiques shops, and staying overnight in an appealing inn make for a classic weekend getaway.That a river runs through it—or, more accurately, alongside it—has long left its imprint on the county. The Delaware has provided its share of challenges, from the ice-choked seeming impassibility that made General Washington's nighttime crossing such a surprise to floods that have forced some businesses to close and some buildings to be razed. But the river also provides outdoor opportunities. Canals carved into both its banks are now popular recreation arteries, and the river itself is great for fishing, floating, or gazing at as it rolls along.

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Things You Can't Miss

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A Dazzling Castle Full of Art
A Dazzling Castle Full of Art

Medieval-style Fonthill was the home of artist-scholar Henry Mercer, who filled its 44 rooms with decorative tiles and prints from around the world.

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Randy Duchaine/Alamy

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Follow the Bucks County Wine Trail
Follow the Bucks County Wine Trail

Dotting the landscape from Newtown to Quakertown are nine family-run wineries offering varieties from Riesling to Merlot to port.

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Andre Jenny/Alamy

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A Nobel Prize-Winner’s Legacy
A Nobel Prize-Winner’s Legacy

Tour the Pearl S. Buck House to see belongings of the writer of 'The Good Earth', including her typewriter and antiques from her life in China.

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Getty Images

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Insider Secrets to Cheap Vacations

New York Times columnist Seth Kugel shares insider tips that will help you save money the next time you travel.

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Courtesy Seth Kugel

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10 Beautiful Gardens in America

New York Times columnist Seth Kugel shares insider tips that will help you save money the next time you travel.

Image Credit

Barry Winiker

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10 Beautiful Gardens in America

Looking for gardening ideas? Get inspired by the Biltmore, Monticello and other historic gardens in the U.S.

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Barry Winiker

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7 Amazing One-Tank Trips

Planning a weekend trip? Discover why you should consider visiting Bucks County, Lake Conroe and 5 other places where you can escape for the day.

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David Sucsy

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Hike or Bike a Scenic Riverside Path
Hike or Bike a Scenic Riverside Path

Visit Delaware Canal State Park and enjoy a trip along a beautiful towpath trail once used by mules to pull boats on a 19th-century canal.

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Philip Scalia/Alamy

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The Past Brought to Life
The Past Brought to Life

The massive Mercer Museum displays 40,000 artifacts, from fire engines and a Conestoga wagon to blacksmith tools and medical instruments.

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Image Credit

Randy Duchaine/Alamy

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