Delaware River Towns

The Delaware River flows through five states and many beautiful little towns are sprinkled up and down the banks of this historic body of water. Growing up not far from the river on a southern stretch near the capital city in New Jersey, we associated the river as the place where George Washington crossed over near Trenton on Christmas to surprise the Hessians. Growing up, many teenage rides brought us to the Delaware River towns. Beautiful, quaint, sleepy, artsy towns made us feel like we were in another state and made for a perfect Saturday afternoon getaway.

Fast forward a few years to our middle aged teenage years, we found a local photographer online who organized a Delaware River Towns Photo Project. A weekend of photographing in six towns along the Delaware, capturing their true essence. Well hell, we are in, lets do it!

First stop driving north, Frenchtown, NJ. Small town feel complete with bike paths as the beginning of the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park is here. Frenchtown is one of those towns artists want to live in as it is picturesque, quiet and perfect for strolling, shopping and grabbing some tasty eats.

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This home perfectly captures the feel of Frenchtown. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.
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Water waiting for a thirsty kitty. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.
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Spring blooms in Frenchtown in the “heart” of the downtown shopping area. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.

Next stop was Milford, NJ. My first trip here. Very small, definitely does not feel like you are in Jersey while traveling through Milford. Scenes from old movies with young boys walking barefoot down a country road with fishing poles resting on their shoulders come to mind when cruising through Milford. I could easily see this town in the 1930’s and 40’s.  It’s the farthest north on this weekend trip for us. One side of the town twists up some hills with gorgeous country landscapes. The other side of town lines the river and offers a restaurant or three, an antiques shop and not too much else except quiet, small town living. In New Jersey. Yep, no typos here. This is New Jersey.

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Allen’s Antiques on Bridge Street is a must see in town. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.
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The bridge leaving Milford heading towards Pennsylvania. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.
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Perfect small town porch to spend an afternoon taking in the charming views and the hypnotic, calming effects of the river. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.

Back in the car, we start cruising south and stop in Stockton, NJ. Same setup as the other towns, small shops, places to eat, a bridge to Pennsylvania over the Delaware and plenty of American flags flying on front porches. I think this is the part I like most about visiting these towns. This is America. Stockton was definitely more “happening” than Milford. People were eating at outdoor tables and lots of people were walking around the day we went. Even had a curious four legged friend greet us from his window on the second floor of his home.

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Loved this happy creature as he (or she) was watching people walk down the sidewalk. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.
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Love me a home with an American flag hanging out front. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz lenhardt.
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The Delaware Canal in Stockton. Quiet, smooth, reflective. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.
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Old faded firehouse sign captures small town Stockton. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.
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Just a cool garden decoration. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.

Last stop on our day of driving up and then down the Delaware, was New Hope, Pennsylvania. We crossed a bridge to drive down the most gorgeous river roads lined with stone houses dating back to the Revolutionary War era. New Hope is the coolest town with plenty of people watching. This is where you find everyone –  the cool, hip, quirky, young, old, families and dogs in strollers. New Hope has plenty of shops, bars, restaurants, music, artists, theater, steam trains…there is something here for everyone. It is impossible to be bored in New Hope.

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One of the many, many shops in New Hope. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.
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Some New Hope quirkiness. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.
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New Hope also holds on to the small town charm of the Delaware River towns. Photo Credit: Amy Kurutz Lenhardt.

We only hit five of the six towns on this photo project but this project made us look closer at these towns and explore down alleys and side streets we normally don’t see. Always best to park the car and start walking around, so many discoveries to be had! There are plenty of gorgeous small towns along the Delaware, and big ones too! Come fall we may hit some more, stay tuned!

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