Doylestown, PA - Some of Bucks County's most exciting attractions have teamed up for May's National Tourism Month celebration. The Bucks County Commissioners have even issued a proclamation declaring May "Be A Tourist In Your Own County" month. Commissioners Michael G. Fitzpatrick, Charles H. Martin, and Sandra A. Miller wrote: "We encourage all residents to support this innovative program by becoming a tourist in your own county, and also an ambassador, by spreading the news of Bucks County's unique history, beautiful scenery and wonderful attractions."
The Bucks County Conference & Visitors Bureau (BCCVB) has created the "Bucks County Passport to Savings," offering 50% off admission to participating attractions, 20% discounts on purchases at participating retail stores, and a variety of discounts in many Bucks County restaurants. Passports can be purchased online at BucksTravel.net, at Sovereign Banks in Bucks County, and at a variety of other area locations.
Whatever your interests, Bucks County offers unusual and fun ways to spend a day. Whether you're looking for Family Fun, seeking Arts and Culture, or exploring Bucks County History, these themed itineraries for day trips include opportunities to take advantage of the Passport's discounts while discovering some of the places that visitors from all over journey to Bucks County to see.
Start your day at Shady Brook Farm in Yardley. Founded in 1913 by the Fleming family, it is one of the last working farms left in Bucks County. You'll find a fantastic Farm Market with fresh fruits and vegetables, specialty foods, candles, crafts, plants, garden supplies, and more. Enjoy the Garden Festival!
If you plan ahead and order box lunches from Heavenly Ham, you can enjoy your lunch at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve on River Road in Solebury Township. Visit the Twinleaf Gift Shop and enjoy a guided walk on trails that meander through the Preserve's 80 acres, discovering the many native species of wildflowers, ferns, vines, shrubs and trees that grow along the banks of Pidcock Creek.
Next you'll stop in New Hope at the end of Ferry Street on the Delaware River and enjoy a scenic, narrated tour aboard the "Star of New Hope." The Wells Ferry Boat Ride will provide a little history, a glimpse of New Hope's varied architecture, and an environmental update.
Finish your "discovery" day at the Bucks County Audubon Society's Honey Hollow Visitor Center, where you'll see environmental exhibits and fascinating displays. Browse in the Honey Bee Nature Shop, then set off on one of the many trails and take in the beauty of Bucks County.
Total mileage between attractions: 15.2
Take a day or two to acquaint your family with some of our local famous artists and authors, and our newly canonized Saint.
Start in Doylestown at the James A. Michener Art Museum. Bucks County has long been a place of inspiration for artists, and was home to many important artists early in the 19th century. Learn more about them through the Permanent Exhibitions at this splendid historic site.
Next you'll visit Green Hills Farm in Hilltown Township, the home of Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning author Pearl S. Buck. The guided tour of this 1835 farm will immerse you in the furnishings and books once used daily by Buck. The home holds a rich collection of Pennsylvania country furniture alongside Chinese decorative screens, Oriental rugs and works by celebrated artists.
Now it's time to experience Christmas in May when you visit Byers' Choice Christmas Gallery in Chalfont. Their newly expanded Visitors Center features a Victorian street complete with cobblestones, gas lanterns, storefronts of the period and elegantly decorated townhomes. See the craftspeople construct the figures of their Caroler-sized museum display, then shop for your favorites in the retail shop.
Total mileage between attractions: 16.2
Side Trip: You may want to make a special trip to St. Katharine Drexel Shrine. Everyone will appreciate the beauty of the compound of the Sisters of The Blessed Sacrament and be uplifted by the story of Katharine Drexel. Become familiar with her enormous contributions to the education of young people of many backgrounds. See her burial place and the beautiful mission style buildings and chapel, conveniently located in Bensalem.
The rich history of our county makes this a day of great discoveries. Begin at Historic Fallsington, the pre-Revolutionary village where William Penn worshipped. Located on Meetinghouse Square just off Tyburn Road and Old Lincoln Highway, the three hundred year old village represents an enduring Quaker community and uniquely American architectural heritage.
Next you'll move ahead two hundred years as you head to Doylestown and "The Mercer Mile." You will be fascinated as you learn about historian, archaeologist and collector Henry Chapman Mercer, a true Renaissance man of the early 20th century. Mercer was born and died in Bucks County and his one-man building boom left us a legacy of three National Historic Landmark structures.
First visit Fonthill, a 44-room castle build entirely of hand-mixed concrete with more than 200 windows of varying size and shape. The interior contains many of Mercer's original decorative tiles, as well as over 900 prints and other objects gathered throughout his world travels.
Walk next door to the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works. Mercer was a leader of the Arts and Crafts movement of the 20th century, and this building produced tiles and mosaics for floors, walls and ceilings. The building reflects the Spanish influence on mission architecture, and operates today as a living history museum making reproductions of Mercer's original line of tiles.
Just a mile away you will find the Mercer Museum, which houses Mercer's amazing collection of furnishings, folk art and implements of early America. It dramatically represents the soul of early America and the heritage of Bucks County. This seven story building, again built entirely of reinforced concrete, will astound you with its exterior beauty as well as with the over 60 early American trades represented inside.
Total mileage between attractions: 26.2
Whatever your inclination, Bucks County has something to pique your interest, exite your curiosity, fascinate you with facts, and leave you with fond memories of our natural beauty and wealth of attractions. Enjoy Bucks County during National Tourism Month, and keep on enjoying the extended benefits on many of your Passport's discount coupons.