Doylestown Vacations

Locally owned shops, exemplary early American architecture and a strong arts community make this small town a tourist favorite.

Enjoy all that Doyleston has to offer with its historic museums, excellent restaurants and more than 1,000 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Learn about 19th-century America at the Mercer Museum’s collection of more than 40,000 objects once belonging to local resident Henry Mercer. In the early 1900s, Mercer worried that the country’s rapid industrialization would eclipse America’s pre-Steam Age story. He spent 20 years gathering art, tools and other objects reflecting pre-industrial American life. Interact with the Animals on the Loose exhibit or trace your family history at the library.

Visit Mercer’s former residence, Fonthill Castle. Modeled after a 13th-century castle, it houses an intriguing maze of odd-shaped rooms, dead-end passages and various sized windows. Note the tiles decorating the castle’s walls, floors and ceilings. Mercer personally crafted or collected these from countries around the world.

The James A. Michener Art Museum has one of the world’s finest public collections of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings, characterized by a “plein air” style and focus on color, light and time of day. Admire works by some of the movement’s most famous artists: Walter Emerson Baum, Daniel Garber and George Sotter.

Explore the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. Here, watch artisans producing tiles according to Mercer’s designs. Purchase one as a souvenir. 

Investigate the commanding National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, a spiritual center and meeting place for the city’s Polish Roman Catholic population. The shrine centers on a reproduction of the Black Madonna icon found in Czestochowa, Poland. Admire the church’s enormous stained-glass panels. Sample traditional Polish dishes in the cafeteria on Sunday.

On Saturday morning from spring through fall, attend the town’s Farmers Market. Most of the market’s vendors grow or create their products within 15 miles (24 kilometers) of the market, making it a truly local experience.

Doylestown is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Reach it by car in about 1 hour from Philadelphia or 1.5 hours from New York City. It is connected to Philadelphia by rail.

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