Bucks County Versus Upstate

  |  January 2, 2013

So, we cheated on upstate New York over the holidays. We had good reason — vacationing with friends who live in Washington, D.C. and needing a place halfway between there and NYC — but it wasn’t easy. For one thing, there aren’t nearly as many houses for rent outside Philly, especially ones that can accommodate large groups and offer views and hiking and glistening streams. I mean, when you’re going up against the Catskills and Hudson Valley, competition is stiff.

We ended up with a place that must have been wonderful before, say, 1963, when suburban development began to encroach — by now, it’s pretty much engulfed the otherwise totally charming 18th century farmhouse in which we stayed. What was good was this: we encountered no traffic, and the trip took only two hours, and it felt like less than two hours since it took us into two more states. Psychologically, somehow, it seemed closer than the Catskills.

Of course, Jersey is often one big parking lot, and the countryside outside of Philly doesn’t have the wonderful feeling of away-ness that upstate New York affords — some spots in the Catskills seem more like tiny towns in northern Vermont than places a hop-skip from NYC. But we’ve been asked to do some poking around Bucks County, and we’re curious if our readers have ever stopped to consider it. Of course, many of our readers are full-time upstaters and transplants, or people who long to relocate permanently, and perhaps PA doesn’t fulfill that fantasy. We’re happy to keep poking around ourselves, but so far, we’re not sold.

Read On, Reader...