The Delaware River is the lifeblood of the Delaware River Towns. The river provided food and water for those that first settled upon its banks. It has proved a steady and reliable source of commerce, transportation, and recreation.
This story is very similar to every river in the world so I pose the question- what makes the Delaware River Towns so special?
Of course, the Delaware River is one of the natural highlights of the region. The beauty of its endless flow has inspired residents, visitors, and artists for centuries.
The scenic landscapes surrounding the river includes valleys, bluffs, picture perfect lookouts, and endless pastures filled with grazing livestock. In fact, a 34 mile stretch of New Jersey’s Route 29 that runs parallel to the river was designated a National Scenic Byway in 2009 and a National Wild & Scenic River in 2000.
Wildlife also abounds. Various birds and mammals including deer, raccoons, fox, and even bears depend upon the Delaware for survival and can be common sights.
The Native American tribe known as the Lenni Lenape called the area home much before the arrival of European settlers. As a hunting, gathering and farming tribe the river provided the necessities for survival.
In colonial times the Delaware River Towns served as an important connection between New York City and Philadelphia. George Washington’s famous Delaware Crossing is the most notable instance of the strategic importance of the river towns.
Other exciting history includes Vice President, Aaron Burr, best known for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, once resided in New Hope and James Wilson Marshall the man who started the 1849 California Gold Rush was previously a citizen of Lambertville.
Colonial buildings, some still with the remnants of British shelling from the Revolution, still stand in the major towns and every corner of the River Towns. The famous Dutch Colonial style is also a staple of the area.
The area’s population boom of the mid-19th century is quite apparent throughout any main street. The abodes of the past are alive and well throughout the region.
Art & Antiques
Lambertville and New Hope have carved a reputation as an art and antique hub. However, throughout the entire region is pockets of art and antique centric areas. Dozens of local artist studios and galleries can be found from main streets to tiny back road cottages.
Antique hunters adore the River Towns for the myriad of shops, open air and flea markets. Treasures from the past can be just around any street corner or bend in the road.
Food & Beverage
Amazing food is not hard to find. The River Towns boasts a broad array of food and beverage options- from a roadside burger and hot dog joints to contemporary fine dining- from historical colonial taverns to lush rolling vineyards you can find it here.
Fishing, boating, rafting, and swimming are all common Delaware River activities. The surrounding landscapes provide ample hiking, bird watching, and biking opportunities through lush forest and pleasant pastures.
When enjoying these activities please remember that the river is not a lake or pool. The Delaware is known for its strong current and must be respected at all times.
As residents and visitors will surely notice there is something special about the Delaware River Towns. The all but forgotten sense of community is very alive throughout the River Towns.
Strangers will warmly greet strangers walking past them on the sidewalk, neighbors rally to one another’s aide when needed. Whether you live here or are just visiting the inclusiveness of the Delaware River Towns is highly visible.
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