Visit Bucks County has compiled a list of 12 meetinghouses located throughout the County to create the Quaker Meetinghouse Driving Tour. The driving tour highlights each site’s history and architecture, taking drivers on a unique, scenic trip around the region.
The entire driving tour, if done in a single trip, can take most of one day to complete, which sounds like an ideal day to me, but less so for our two wiggly, young kids. So, instead, we decided to pick a few meetinghouses off of the driving tour and pair each with a fall activity at (or nearby) every stop spread out over several days!
Our first stop was the Solebury Friends Meeting for their harvest picnic and concert by local musician John Beacher. Living in New Hope, I drive by this meetinghouse several times a week and attended a wedding here a few years ago, but haven’t been back to spend much time on site. I’m so glad we did! We packed a lunch, a picnic blanket, and met up with friends on the meetinghouse lawn for a really special afternoon. It was a gorgeous day and I was surprised at how much of an expansive view there was looking out across surrounding fields. My six-year-old was a big fan of the playground near the Education Building and was especially excited to learn that it is available to visitors year-round – we’ll definitely be back soon.
A few days later, we popped over to Doylestown. Even though we come to Doylestown all the time for library, museum, and movie theater trips, I’ll admit I had to google where the Doylestown Friends Meeting is located. Tucked in between historic houses on East Oakland Avenue, the meetinghouse is a cozy, little surprise of a red brick building and is virtually unchanged in appearance from how it looked when built in 1835. Steps away from Burpee Park, the meetinghouse was a fun site for all of us to discover while walking toward Doylestown’s downtown.
Then, after a Halloween parade at my son’s school, I decided to take a Fall drive to get some last minute pumpkins and mums while visiting Wrightstown Friends Meeting, Makefield Friends Meeting, and Yardley Friends Meeting and letting my seven-month-old nap in the backseat. I put on some quiet music, took my tea to go, and had the nicest trip – no urgency, no strict schedule, just me, a sleeping baby, and some spectacular fall scenery.
The meetinghouses, dating from 1721, 1752, and 1956 respectively, were each located among some pretty incredible trees and tucked back a ways from the road. Still, they weren’t too hard to spot, and I felt like I was on a secret mini treasure hunt finding each one and pausing to appreciate their simple, stone architecture. It was a serene afternoon, and definitely not something I would have thought to do on my own without the driving tour.
By structuring my drive around locating each meetinghouse, I was really glad for the chance to slow down, travel roads that were new to me, and take in all that the area has to offer this time of year. And, with seven more stops on the driving tour, I’m looking forward to more meetinghouse days to come!
To structure your own driving tour, check out all twelve stops here. Most meetinghouses are public and are fine with visitors stopping to admire and take a quick photo. Tag us @VisitBucksPA and #ExploreinBucksCo with your photos on social media. Happy trails!