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Welcome to the county seat of Bucks County, a spectacular place that's home to magnificent castles, unique specialty shops, exceptional dining options and one-of-a-kind pieces of American history.
Downtown Doylestown is a bustling collection of independent stores that are sure to provide a unique and memorable shopping experience. Stop by the Doylestown Bookshop, a true independently-owned store. Because of its commitment to preserving the tradition of reading and independent shops, the Doylestown Bookshop received a grant in February 2014 from renowned author James A. Patterson as part of his "Saving Bookstores, Saving Lives" program. The Bookshop is the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind works and get lost in a day of shopping and reading. About five miles away is the unique Peace Valley Lavender Farm. Peace Valley uses its home-grown lavender in all its products, including bath soaps, culinary spices and potpourri. This Doylestown favorite is a great place to visit, especially in June and July when the lavender fields are in bloom! Celebrate Christmas year-round at Byers' Choice, Ltd. located in nearby Chalfont. Home of the famous Carolers® figurines, Byers' Choice features a life-size London Street you can stroll through as well as the opportunity to watch skilled artisans craft the figurines by hand. Pick up your favorite Caroler at the on-site gift shop! While in Chalfont, be sure to stop by Peace Valley Winery to pick up a few bottles of your favorite vintage. Not sure which to buy? Ask for a tasting of the delicious wines grown and produced on-site.
Wake up your senses with a delicious gourmet breakfast at the Zen Den. Conveniently located downtown, this café offers rich and savory fare such as their fresh quiche or grilled pound cake in a cozy atmosphere complete with performances from local musicians and monthly rotating art exhibits from local artists. Make sure to stop by their "funky, chic boutique" on-site for some organic-only coffee and tea selections. For some of the freshest seafood in the region, come to the Lobster Claw Doylestown, a locally-owned seafood market and restaurant that offers tasty fare at great prices. Choose a delicious deli-style seafood sandwich or treat yourself to a fresh lobster at market price for a meal you won't soon forget. Enjoy craft beer, live entertainment and American fare with a pinch of the South at M.O.M.'s, Maxwell's on Main, located right on Main Street. Let the award-winning bartenders match the perfect drink with everything from burgers to grilled swordfish. If you're looking for more dining options, take a walk along East State Street, also known as Doylestown's Restaurant Row for its collection of independently owned restaurants and outdoor cafes.
Feel like royalty when you walk through Doylestown's magnificent concrete castles. Built by archeologist and collector Henry Mercer between 1908 and 1912, Fonthill Castle is an eclectic mix of Gothic, Medieval and Byzantine architecture. Each of the 44 rooms that make up this structure is adorned with beautiful handcrafted tiles. Explore the exhibits housed within each room that perfectly preserve the past. Celebrate America's founding at Fonthill's Old-Fashioned Fourth of July, an annual event offering a day of family fun, food, games and crafts. About one mile from Fonthill's front door sits Mercer's other castle, The Mercer Museum. Built to house Mercer's elaborate collection of historical artifacts, the museum now holds more than 50,000 items representing 60 early American trades, displayed exactly as Henry Mercer left them a century ago. The collection includes everything from cigar store statues to a Conestoga wagon, to a collection of chairs
suspended from the ceiling!
Doylestown's history extends beyond its castles. This bustling town is filled with other pieces of history, including the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works. Built by Henry Mercer to produce handmade tiles, Moravian became one of the most prominent pottery studios in the country. This "working history" museum still produces handmade tiles in the same fashion that Mercer perfected more than 100 years ago. Be sure to head downtown for a brief tour at the Bucks County Civil War Museum. View unique artifacts from the American Civil War, including an authentic Abraham Lincoln life mask.
Browse the masterpieces on display at the James A. Michener Art Museum. Home to an impressive collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings, this museum hosts rotating exhibits as well as permanent displays like the Nakashima Room, dedicated to the work of Bucks County woodworker George Nakashima. Catch a film at the County Theater, a historic art deco movie house that dates back to the 1930s. County Theater specializes in independent, foreign and art films. Just outside Doylestown, see the Bell Capital of America in Malmark Bellcraftsmen, a family-owned working factory where they've been creating handbells for 40 years. For a true experience of art and culture, visit Doylestown during the annual Doylestown Arts Festival. Every September, the downtown area is filled with more than 150 exhibitors, live musical entertainment, kids' crafts, food vendors and more.
Make a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, America's only shrine dedicated to the Polish icon, also known as the Black Madonna. All are welcome to visit and pray at this Catholic shrine and take in the beautiful sculpture of the Trinity and Our Lady's Icon. Each summer, the Shrine hosts its annual Polish-American Festival. Midway games, stage shows, a crafters' village and traditional Polish foods are just a few of the entertainment options offered at this free and enjoyable festival.
After a long day of discovering the treasures Doylestown has to offer, stay awhile at one of the local bed & breakfasts or hotels. The only full-service B&B in Doylestown, Hargrave House is an excellent place to rest your head. Spend a night or two in one of their seven guest suites which offer all the amenities of home and more to ensure your stay is comfortable and stress-free. Relax in one of the 78 guest rooms offered at Hampton Inn Doylestown for the night and don't forget to recharge yourself the next day with their delicious hot breakfast selection, included in your stay. The extended-stay Homewood Suites Doylestown is ideal for guests staying for a longer period of time. Enjoy complimentary evening dinner and drinks Monday through Thursday.
Browse historic and contemporary handmade tiles from more than 50 artists, dealers and collectors at the annual Moravian Pottery and Tile Works Festival happening in May and take advantage of a free tour of the Tile Works. Join in on a community tradition and spend your Fourth of July in an old-fashioned celebration at Fonthill Castle complete with food, games and more fun entertainment. Eat and drink local at the Annual Beer Event hosted at Fonthill Castle which features local food, beer and spirits. Bring the whole family to Doylestown's largest festival of the year, the Doylestown Arts Festival. Join a variety of artists and artisans who will have their work on display and enjoy the free live music presented at numerous locations throughout the downtown area. Every winter, the Mercer Museum presents Under the Tree: A Century of Holiday Trees and Toys, a tradition that perfectly captures the excitement of Christmastime from a child's point of view. The annual exhibit features decorations and an array of toys and games that once delighted children on Christmas Mornings all amongst the splendor of trees decorated to the tastes of earlier eras!
Photo of Peace Valley Lavender Farm courtesy of Sara Brace
Photo of the Zen Den, courtesy of Visit Bucks County
Photo of Fonthill Castle by Bob Krist, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia
Photos of Moravian Pottery and Tile Works by Bob Krist, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia
Photo of James A. Michener Art Museum by Bob Krist, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia
Photo courtesy of Homewood Suites Warrington
Photo of Doylestown Inn by R Kennedy, courtesy of Visit Philly