Bucks County is one of our favorite places to visit. Within a 20 minute radius, there’s plenty to explore. There’s the scenic Delaware River, lined with the quaint towns of Lambertville, Frenchtown, and New Hope. There’s a “wine trail” where you can taste wines from 9 different vineyards along a routed map. And of course, there’s the wonderful, glorious food and handmade crafts that you can find along the little shops. We stayed closeby at the Element in Ewing (go Starwood points!), which promotes green and eco friendly living. The next morning, we hopped in the car and checked out 3 of the 9 wineries (I think Mark could have hammered out another 3-4 wineries but by then I was so “wined-out” that I had to take a nice little nap on the car-ride back to New Hope). This is a great overnight trip for anyone living in the NYC area and makes for a perfect day trip for anyone closer in the NJ/PA area.

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Element Ewing Princeton

1000 Sam Weinroth Road East · Ewing, NJ 08628

http://www.elementewing.com/

The first thing we noticed was the full & half flush options on the toilet, the Seventh Generation Dishwashing fluid, and how the light is only dimly lit in the bathroom unless if you so choose to press a button to illuminate the bathroom. The building is LEED certified (of course) and there are even bikes for guests to borrow in order to rent a car from the airport or explore the nearby area (which unfortunately, there’s not much). We had a super pleasant stay, and if there’s anytime to use your points, it’s during a holiday weekend when hotel rates rocket. Breakfast was also super lovely- plenty of toast, bagels, English muffins, cereal, melons, apples, and oranges + a variety of spreads. We’d gladly stay here again.

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Karla’s Bar and Restaurant

5 West Mechanic Street · New Hope, PA, 18938

http://www.karlasnewhope.com/

Sitting outside Karla’s dining patio was exactly what I had envisioned my Saturday night in New Hope would be. String of white lights, check. Character oozing out of the walls, check. People-watching the tourists and youngin’s walk by, check. Delicious food, check. Cold beer. check check check check check!! Karla’s serves up some scrumptious and homey food and the ambiance has the atmosphere of a hole in the wall in the West Village. The mac and cheese was to DIE for! Probably the best mac and cheese I ever had because there was still gooey cheese throughout all the layers! Some of my photographs got corrupted as I was transferring them, but I think they are still lovely.  We would come back to Karla’s again.

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Bucks County Wine Trail

http://www.buckscountywinetrail.com/

You may never have known it, but the East Coast has some pretty decent vineyards scattered across the NY, NJ, and PA area. We tend to think of the West Coast when it comes to wine, but East Coast soil is actually perfect for growing grapes. In fact, we don’t even need to irrigate, whereas CA does. In fact, the climate closely mirrors to that of France’s. The only difference is, we don’t have an ocean to temper cold weather so a cold frost can wipe out the entire fruit. What we loved about visiting vineyards in Bucks County is how small each vineyard is. They’re mostly family owned businesses and sell only from their shops (no distribution in liquor stores). Each tasting session costs around $5-6 and you get to sample about a dozen bottles, if not more. Best part? They talk to you and answer any questions you may have (I usually have quite a few). We visited Rose Bank Winery, Rushland Ridge, and Wycombe Vineyards.

Our favorite was Rushland Ridge, where we met this sweetheart of a lady, Lisa. Lisa’s voice is just what you’d imagine the kindest grandmother to sound like. She’s not even old but she has a new grand-daughter and she was just gushing with joy about her Lila. Rushland Ridge is operated by her, her husband, and a fellow name Kip. It’s a 3 man team but they produced wines that we were most partial to and at a very, very reasonable price. We ended up snagging the Niagara for only $10. Rose Bank Winery would fare well for those looking for fruitier wines or even just fruit wines. Wycombe Vineywards errs on the dryer side of wines, and I’d reckon that those who enjoy full bodied wines would really have a fun time there. Plus, their goat cheese and balsamic vinegar they supplement is just fantasmic!

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Bucks Ice Cream & Espresso Bar

http://www.yelp.com/biz/bucks-ice-cream-and-espresso-bar-lambertville

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Lambertville Station Restaurant & Inn:
Canal Side at the Station

11 Bridge Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530

http://www.lambertvillestation.com/dining

After my nice little nap in the car-ride from the vineyards to New Hope, we stopped in Lambertville (parking is SO much easier there) and wandered around a bit to figure out where to eat. We ended up grabbing a bit of ice cream along the way from the Buck’s Ice Cream & Espresso Bar. On a hot day, ice cream is always a treat, but to be honest, it was a bit overpriced and underwhelming. We paid $5 for a medium cup (3 scoops). Still, I can’t say that we didn’t enjoy it due to the 80 degree weather. We settled on the Lambertville Station Canal Side Dining for dinner. Everything is reasonably priced for the location, although I was a bit taken aback by the small portion sizing of my kale & bacon salad. Then again, it was only $7, so what could I expect? Service was also a bit slow (it was busy) but overall, we had a pretty good experience. I would probably try someplace else next time.

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