Things To Do In Doylestown PA
A little bit of history to start -
When William Penn settled Pennsylvania in 1681, it had only been 11 years after his own persecution in England.
On the stand in England, William Penn, a peacemaker at heart, was being persecuted for his faith. In his defense, to the judge, he states, "Show me what law in England makes it a crime to worship God in my own way” (source: WNYC Radio Lab). Penn was then let free.
Then, Penn petitioned for a piece of land where all people of his own and others, could practice whatever they wanted, freely.
And so became Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania stands for “of the forest," that's the -sylvania part, and of course, Penn’s last name.
Settled for its rich woodlands, abundant streams and natural resources, and for religious freedom, Pennsylvania was and is a place like no other. Unlike the other thirteen original colonies, the land of Pennsylvania was anything but ruled hard with an iron fist.Thus, when Penn was later asked to preside over his first and only witch-related courtroom trial, it went exactly how one might expect.
According to author Harry Emerson Wildes, the governor knew what he was doing when he presided over his only witch trial:
"Art thou a witch?" Penn asked.
She denied that she was.
"Hast thou ever ridden through the air on a broomstick?" Penn inquired.
She was reported to be confused by the question.
"Well," said Penn, "I know of no law against it."
So there you have it, folks. A much different story than what happened in Massachusetts only six years later, and guess what… the above tale consists of Pennsylvania’s first and last witch trial.
Even if a witch had been witching around in Pennsylvania, Penn said he knew of no laws against such things, so carry on ladies and to keep the community peace, his only punishment was this: he asked both women to be on their good behavior for the next six months, and that both husbands pay a fine of fifty pounds, which they would later have returned (source: Pennsbury Manor).
Pennsylvania has always been chill about traditional wisdom.
A relaxed attitude and climate towards beliefs of all kinds is what makes Pennsylvania such an interesting place.
One of these such interesting places is Doylestown, PA.
Doylestown is a little place I like to call relaxed Hollywood.
It has all the major conveniences of Los Angeles.
There are famous people, musicians, artists of all kinds walking about, access to the train into the city, a public beach park, a one-way ticket to Asbury Park, and virtually none of the stress. All the shops are specialty, the people are friendly and most important of all, everyone his high off lavender so no one is disgruntled. Doylestown is about as bougie as it gets and due to it's proximity to all the major east coast cities, it's history as being a hub for intellectual and spiritual thinkers and it's abundance of small shops, it's an artist haven.
Planning on visiting Doylestown this weekend
here's an idea for a Day Trip -
Doylestown is one of my favorite day trips and there are a few hot spots I'd like you to check out while in town.
On your way in, make sure your first stop is at Peace Valley Lavender Farm, the only Lavender Farm I’ve been able to find to rival San Juan Island’s Pelindaba Farm, and it's great.
At Peace Valley, you’ll be able to find all walks of life discussing music publishing, energy healers giving little impromptu lavender classes, and little boys getting in trouble for opening up all the lavender packets and getting way ‘too relaxed.’ The farm has one of the best gift shops of the Lavender Farms this side of the eastern seaboard.
Stopping by this farm first will set the mood for the day and also you’ll be able to pick up souvenirs for anyone who wasn’t able to make it to this lovely day. They have more wares in Spring and Summer rather than Winter and Fall, but the good news is this: they're open year round.
Now that you’re all blissed out on lavender, it’s time for a snack.
Nonno’s Italian Coffee Parlor is where you want to head next, which is right smack in the middle of town, and while there, don’t forget to get a mini cone, the best snack they offer. Also, their iced coffees are made with coffee ice cubes. So, sip on it all day as you walk around and it'll never go bad.
After that, drive around and get your bearings on the downtown of Doylestown.
There are lots of shops, alleyways and cross streets, none of which you want to miss, especially if you are looking for something particular - like fine silks, rare records, and old video games - because they have it all.
My favorite shop is a conglomeration of shops called Serendipity Shops, and it's a great spot for buying gifts either for yourself or someone else.
Once you find something or somewhere that catches your eye, park anywhere, at a meter or in a free lot, and get out and walk around.
Free parking and street meter parking is abundant.
A few tips…
Walk the alleys. There are some great breweries, shops and live music tucked away back there that you’d otherwise miss.
If you’re into beauty, stop by Beans Beauty and if you plan, make a reservation at Fonthill Castle for a guided tour.
Cross Culture for Indian is the best.
The Zen Den. Head here if you want a quiet place to drink tea, eat a sandwich and talk or study. It’s a great place for casual business meetings and get-togethers among small groups of people, 2-3.
Heading out of town? Don’t forget to check out Best of France Antiques, 3686 Route 202, Mechanicsville, PA 18934 during their regular business hours of Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm on your way out of town. It’s a madhouse in there, in a good way, and you won’t regret it.
If you’re coming to Doylestown from the North, make sure to hit up Peace Valley Park and Peace Valley Winery and I suggest grabbing a bottle of their Stardust on your way out of town, and from the East, make sure to stop by Ringing Rocks State Park on your way out (because ps, it’s a vortex).
Staying in Pennsylvania for a while? I’d suggest your next stop be New Hope, PA and the statue yard of Hobensock & Keller. It's an experience.
Enjoy your trip to Doylestown, I hope to see you there.
Amanda Linette Meder
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