6 Reasons Why You (& Your Young Family) Should Move to Yardley, PA
Yardley has so much to offer and this list just scratches the surface but I think it's great insight into what makes Yardley special and amazing. I’ll be seeing you at Krysset and in town soon. - Jess
1. It’s still small (in all the best ways) and just hip enough
After coming from 5 years in Jersey City, I was a bit worried my husband and I wouldn’t fit into Yardley - we’re, like, sooo cool and edgy. Ha! ;) Tom (my husband) is a UX designer/manager and I’m a creative, a business owner, and jewelry designer (pre-Krysset).
Not all that weird, but we also love heavy metal (I’m not talking Metallic - that’s like easy listening in our house), Tom lives in black, generally looks pissed off (he’s not) and we don’t have children. I have an aversion to HomeGoods and “live, laugh, love” signs that can only be described as a “repulse” (like impulse - but repulsive).
We didn’t know anyone in Yardley when we moved here and we always tend to be the odd couple out… even more so in a suburban town (or so I thought).
A few weeks into our new home, my neighbors’ 20 something son was standing outside with a heavy metal t-shirt on, and later that day I notice his dad’s license plate was the name of another metal band. We got to chatting and it turns out they’re both really into metal and go to shows all the time.
I thought to myself –with a sigh of relief– “Ok, we’re gunna be all right.”
So we’re 3 ½ years in Yardley now (only one month open at my new shop and gallery, Krysset) and I can’t go anywhere without bumping into someone I know. Neighbors always say hi and people wave when you drive by. We’ve made some amazing friendships in our short time in Yardley and it generally feels really welcoming here.
At The Vault Brewery or the wine bar at Yardley General or your kid’s soccer game, you’re bound to strike up a conversation. I bet your new friend will know where you live (or they live next door or down the road - it’s a small town) and have at least one other person in common with you. You’ll see them there next week, too.
Teachers, business owners, politicians, artists, plumbers, contractors, hipsters & squares, liberals & conservatives, and yes, doctors, lawyers, and accountants, all call Yardley home.
From every walk of life, from every background, you’ll find it here with a touch of small-town Americana that can only be described as aspirational.
Yardley will welcome and embrace you with open arms… heavy metal and all.
1. Tom at The Vault 2. My sister & I apple picking nearby
2. Location, location, location
1. Sunset at Shady Brook Farm 2. One of my favorite buildings in town adjacent to Krysset
It’s also just miles from cornfields, state parks with 1000s of acres, rolling Bucks County hills, and dozens of small colonial-era towns filled with beautiful stone buildings, unique shops, and mouth-watering restaurants.
It technically qualifies as Philly Burbs but access to SO MUCH goodness in such a short distance is not common.
And the best thing? We don’t have anywhere near the traffic and congestion that North Jersey and burbs closer to Philadelphia have.
Before Tom and I moved to Yardley, we spent an entire week nearby at an Air BnB to try the commute from Trenton Transit Center (which is 12 minutes from Yardley Borough and easy to access) to NYC.
We knew that Tom would be in NYC for work 2-4 times a week and at some point in the future, working out of Philly could be a possibility for one or both of us.
“Commuting to New York City from Pennsylvania? Are you nuts?” Yeah, we totally got that a few times.
We’re not nuts and neither are you if you move to Yardley, I promise!
Tom’s commute from Yardley to Chelsea is 1.5 hours door-to-desk. 55 minutes of that is spent in a comfy train car catching up on emails and drinking coffee. Since so many jobs (including his) are more work-from-home-friendly now than ever, this is a totally doable and easy commute.
Both NJ Transit and AMTRAK (which might fit into your budget with all the money you’re saving by not paying NJ taxes) both run out of Trenton Transit Center.
SEPTA (Philly’s version of the subway/lite rail) operates out of Yardley Borough.
You have to drive to Princeton, but that’s totally doable. You gotta drive most places here and Princeton is only ~20 mins from Yardley.
I do miss living in Jersey City from time to time…
But Tom and I hop in the car for a weekend drive through winding, wooded roads dotted with country estates and wide vistas on rolling green hillsides. Soon we’re in Lumberville and find ourselves overlooking the Delaware River with a glass of wine at the Black Bass and I don’t remember why I miss it so much anymore.
3. Schools (great) and taxes (better than NJ!)
Yardley has really good public schools plus plenty of private schools to choose from if that’s your jam.
There’s “old-school” school spirit here, too. You’ll find families on evenings and weekends at local elementary and high school sports games where parents hang by the sidelines and the lights will still be burning bright for games after dark.
I don’t have kids but I know plenty of people who do and they all have two things in common…
They live in Yardley and their kids are awesome.
Yardley is just a great community to be part of and it shows in the kids more than anywhere else.
And while Makefield and Lower Makefield (the townships in and surrounding Yardley) don’t have the lowest taxes in the area, they are an arm and a leg less than across the river in similarly rated school districts in New Jersey.
1. The view to high tax NJ from the PA side of Washington's Crossing State Park.
During our house hunt, Tom and I did look in NJ, as well –mainly Pennington and Titusville areas– but ultimately we decided that we wanted to be close to a good downtown vibe.
That plus paying fewer in taxes and the proximity to the train pushed us to really focus on finding a home in Yardley.
We don’t regret it and neither will you!
4. Good things are happening here
To be honest, back then there really wasn’t much in Yardley (or the surrounding area) for 20 something Tom and Jess. Eventually, we moved to Jersey City.
But open spaces and a new chapter in life called us back.
Not too much had changed in Yardley in the 5 years we were gone (that’s a generalization but its how it felt). A great new coffee place opened (Pretty Bird, part of The Vault family) and the mainstays in town –like the Yardley Inn, Charcoal, Cramer's Bakery and Rosa Bianca’s– were still throwing it down super well but there was a different wind blowing in town that felt like good things were coming.
Then the pandemic hit and a funny thing happened....
After loss, came growth and the wind blew just a little stronger.
Our beloved Kawaii Tori Sushi (currently located inside Pretty Bird) announced it was renovating a new space in the boro and would expand.
Sol-Bol, LaLaLobster, Eliyahu’s Yardley Pizza, Seva Yoga, One South Main, Anej, Krysset (my shop!), and more all opened within months of each other.
It’s a lot of upward momentum for a small town and each new business is being received with enthusiasm.
The running joke in town for a long time has been that Yardley is all pizza places, hair and nail salons, banks and realtors.
Well, we still have all of those but this little renaissance seems to be at the very beginning with more to come.
When I opened Krysset, I wanted it to be a positive influence in town... for it to BE the change I wanted to see. Really amazing quality and unique goods with a focus on local, independent, and small business.
And it looks like I wasn’t the only one with that thought. And dang it feels good.
During the pandemic, the canal was a welcomed reprieve where everyone was thankful to safely stretch their legs.
1. The beautiful icy winter canal and adjacent towpath
5. The canal (aka the towpath aka Delaware Canal State Park)
A list of great things about Yardley has to include the Delaware Canal State Park!
The nearly 60-mile long state park starts in Bristol, PA (just south of Yardley) and runs all the way to Easton, PA.
It has multiple access points from the boro and surrounding neighborhoods. The main access point in the downtown is right next to Krysset on E. Afton Ave.
There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the towpath so it’s a perfect place to walk, jog, or ride your bike (The kids, too! I will go out on a limb to say: bring the whole fam and have fun but help them stay to one side so everyone can pass safely.).
Lots of people pop into Krysset during their canal walks and its a welcome nearby 5 minute break for me, as well!
Fishing and kayaking are also permitted. You’ll often see families with a line in (or a fish on!) camped out next to the towpath near the Black Rock Rd. entrance where there’s a bit of room to spread out.
Access to the canal brings Yardley’s outdoor game from a solid B to an A+.
Everyone enjoys it and with events like Canaloween, it’s sure to be your favorite, too!
It’s an amazing way to experience nature, the river and canal, get some exercise, relax and explore the small historic towns dotting the towpath mile after mile.
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