Secrets to Summer Fun on the Delaware
by Lauren Ray
Summer in the Delaware River Towns – there’s nothing better! While many families pack up to head to the local shore points, the Delaware River Towns offers an alternative trip with plenty of sunshine, shopping, and sumptuous eats. There are lots of amazing ways to discover the scenic river destinations, but here are few suggestions to spend a beautiful day in the Delaware River Towns:
Founded in 1705, Lambertville is a New Jersey town along the Delaware home to well-preserved federal town homes, Victorian-era architecture, and of course, plenty to do.
- Where to eat in Lambertville. The Inn at Lambertville Station is a popular eatery that overlooks the Delaware. Book a room and enjoy a continental breakfast, then a day out roaming the town. For those more adventurous taste palettes, try Marhaba, a BYOB on the river offering classic Middle Eastern dishes. There’s also Full Moon, a café that’s been serving breakfast and lunch since 1979. Once a month, when the moon is full, they’ll offer a special dinner menu!
- What fun to have in Lambertville. Climb aboard the Splash Steamboat for a Cruise! You’ll get a scenic tour of the river, with Lambertville on one side and New Hope on the other and as s your journey comes to a close, you can enjoy fireworks lighting up the summer sky. This year’s fireworks cruises will take place June 2nd, July 7th, and September 1st. In addition to serving as a Fireworks Cruise, the Splash Steamboat also hosts a number of other events throughout the summer, like the Dragon Boat Racing Contest (June 2nd) and Lessons from the Turtle Tribe, presented by the Lenape River Experts. Stop in the Bucks Ice Cream & Espresso Bar from July 5th-31st to see Mike Mann’s collection of paintings. Part of Lambertville Scenes, his works are colorful, lively interpretations of life. On Saturday, July 8th, there will be a special meet and greet session to meet the artist himself!
New Hope was once a trading post and ferry terminal, but by 1940 it had developed into an arts community bursting with playwrights, directors, actors, painters, and other various performers. Today, the town is bursting with activity, particularly during the summer months.
- Where to get grub in New Hope. Martine’s Riverhouse Restaurant serves delicious seasonal dishes that are classically inspired on a beautiful river deck! From Grilled Atlantic Salmon to pork tenderloin, filet mignon, and lamb, there’s something for every taste on Martine’s menu. For something a little more laid back, the Blue Moose Restaurant & Cafe is a BYOB. They’re open Wednesday through Thursday, offering a pre-fixe menu and brunch Saturdays and Sundays.
- What to do for fun in New Hope. Celebrate the Summer Solstice at the 9th Annual Solstice Expo and Holistic Fare, where you’ll channel your inner peace, tuning up your mind, body, and spirit with advice from local experts. The event takes place June 17th and 18th from 10am to 6pm at the New Hope Eagle Firehouse. In July, The New Hope Film Festival will celebrate independent filmmakers in the community, with entries spanning a multitude of movie genres. The festival will take place July 21st-30th. In August, you can show off your retro vehicle or pass through to enjoy foreign and domestic cars at The New Hope Auto Show. A summer tradition in New Hope, this year’s auto show will only take place on Sunday, August 13th, due to construction at the school, so stop by and enjoy a day of fun in the sun!
Stockton is a tranquil town that sits along the Delaware River where it crosses at the Delaware Raritan Canal State Park. The Victorian-style inns, restaurants, and shops entice a number of visitors during the beautiful summer months.
- Where to eat in Stockton. Head to the Stockton Farmer’s Market, where you’ll find great local produce, delectable baked goods, and a plethora of local vendors and small business owners. If that doesn’t satisfy your craving, head to Curiosity Doughnuts for some pretzel-crusted fried chicken or their famous doughnut bread pudding.
- Where to romp in Stockton. Bull’s Island Recreation Area is full of quaint camping grounds to travelers seeking adventure. Saunter through the trails to see over 100 species of birds, animals and plants along this National Recreation Trail, as well as breathtaking views of the Delaware River and historical landmarks.
- Where to find culture on in Stockton. For another history lesson, head over to the Prallsville Mills, where you’ll find eleven structures still standing from 1796, including original saw, grist, and linseed mills. The Mill hosts plenty of events during the summer, in addition to hosting tours. On June 4th, you can hear Ralph Young, author of Dissent, speak as part of the 2017 Prallsville Mills Speaker Series. From June 16th-18th, the Mill will display the Aspara Gallery Collection, and on July 29th, the Run of the Mill 5K will take place. All are welcome to participate!
Frenchtown, once a bustling, industrial river town, now resembles New England (but it’s a heck of a lot closer). The area was founded in 1794 by French-speaking Swiss natives. The river gave residents an easy way to transport their trades, up under the Belvidere Delaware Railroad made it’s way into town. Now, the river creates a scenic environment for residents and tourists alike.
- What to celebrate in Frenchtown. There is no better day to visit Frenchtown this summer than July 15th. Celebrate Bastille Day in true French style, when stores throughout the town host special events. The streets are overcome with art, including everything from mimes to puppet shows, book signings, and historical reenactments. After you’ve strolled up and down Bridge Street, make your way to the open-air showing of a French film to conclude your perfect day. If you can’t make it into town on that date, there’s no need to worry.
- Where to dine in Frenchtown. When you get hungry, grab a bite to eat at The Platform Cookhouse, a subset of The Bridge Café. A seasonal pop-up restaurant going on it’s third year, The Platform boasts an ever-changing and eclectic menu of local eats. They use local ingredients to create delicious bites. It’s a great place to cool off and enjoy a lazy summer afternoon, as it’s located right on the river.
- Where to shop in Frenchtown. Pop in and out of the shops along Bridge Street; from the Book Garden to Jasper & June, you’ll find an array of exciting shops to find unique antiques and treasures. If you want to take a tour, stop in the Cycle Corner and rent a bicycle! You can ride along the river and soak up the sun and all the quaintness Frenchtown has to offer.
Make a day of shopping, food, and sunshine – get out and enjoy all that the Delaware River towns has to offer this summer!