6 Reasons Why You Should Move to Yardley, PA

6 Reasons Why You Should Move to Yardley, PA

An unofficial guide to Yardley Borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (Updated April 2024)

Yardley has so much to offer you and your family! This 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 around the boro town soon. - Jess

1. It’s still small (in all the best ways) and just hip enough

1. Me with our cute Yardley and Pennsylvania magnets at Krysset 2. A beautiful night picture of the Yardley mural

In 2018, 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, haha! Tom, my husband, is a UX designer and I’m a creative, a business owner, a former jeweler, and jewelry designer. 

We also love heavy metal, Tom lives in black, and we don’t have children. Plus, 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.”

Now in 2024, we’re 6 years living in Yardley and I'm 2 1/2 years as the owner of Krysset. I can’t go anywhere without bumping into someone I know. Neighbors always say hi; people wave or beep when they drive by and conversations spark on the sidewalk and at thefarmer's market. We’ve made some amazing friendships in our time in Yardley and it generally feels really welcoming here.

While Vault Brewery Co.,The Cellar cocktail bar–a great hidden gem located underneath 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! Of course, you'll know at least one other person in common and you’ll see them there next week, too.

Teachers, business owners, J&J execs, tech workers, artists, plumbers, contractors, liberals and conservatives, doctors, lawyers, realtors, 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 near the canal access point on East Afton Ave.

Yardley is located centrally between Philadelphia, New York City, Doylestown, PA, Princeton, NJ, the Poconos and the Jersey Shore.

It's pretty much equidistant to Newark and Philly airports plus Trenton Mercer County Airport is a short 15 minutes away for easy East Coast travel options.

In addition to great culture all less than 45 mins away in Doylestown, Princeton or Philadelphia, Yardley is also just a few short miles from cornfields, state parks with hundreds 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.

For household needs, we have five grocery store less than 15 minutes away from downtown including a brand new Wegmans in addition to Target, Homedepot, and all the usual big-box commerce.

But the best thing? We don’t have anywhere near the traffic and congestion that North Jersey and burbs closer to Philadelphia have.

In 2020, before Tom and I moved to Yardley, we spent an entire week nearby at an Air BnB nearby to try the commute from Trenton Transit Center to NYC.

Moving here, 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 are spent in a comfy train car catching up on emails and drinking coffee. Since so many jobs are more work-from-home-friendly now than ever, this is a totally doable commute if you don't have to be there 5 days a week. 

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. Nearby Hamilton, NJ also has an NJ Transit station as does Princeton Junction.

SEPTA (Philly’s version of the subway/lite rail) operates directly out of Yardley Borough.

From Yardley, you do have to drive to Princeton, but that’s easy. You have to 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.

On nice days in the summer, you'll find groups of tweens and teens wandering in town on their way to the Yardley Ice House or Starbucks. Of course there may be the occasional shenanigan you'd find with any group of awkward kids navigating their freedom but they come into Krysset pretty often, are always respectful, inquisitive, and delightful to chat with.

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 higher-tax NJ from the PA side of Washington's Crossing State Park. 2. Yardley Inn adjacent to the Delaware River in Yardley Borough

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 less in taxes and the proximity to the train pushed us to really focus on finding a home in Yardley.

4. Good things are happening here

From about 2009 to 2013, Tom and I lived in Lawrenceville, NJ (about 15 minutes from Yardley–and worth a visit with drool worthy spots like The Gingered Peach and Ooika Matcha).

We’d come over to the boro to grab a beer at the Continental Tavern and frequent The Vault when it first opened.

To be honest, back then there really wasn’t much in Yardley 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 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 well but there was a different wind blowing 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. 
New people discovered Yardley, moved in and the town had a new, fresher vibe on the horizon.

Beloved Kawaii Tori Sushi (formerly located inside Pretty Bird) moved into a strikingly renovated new space, Sol-Bol, LaLa Lobster, SEVA Yoga, Anej Skin Studio and Krysset all opened within months of each other.

Since then, the town is budding with new and exciting businesses like the stunning new co-working space, FZ Works, husband-and-wife owned PANNA Gelateria and Bakery, eco-minded Yardley Refillery, family friendly Boro Piercing, classic burger and shake joint Pretty Burger and our newest addition in 2024, Wildflower Valley - a women's boutique who's sister shop is located in trendy Dublin, PA.

The Cellar is slinging fantastic cocktails and up on the hill, Vault Smokehouse is a tucked away spot for some good beer, BBQ and great activities like concerts, brewfests, and craft markets.

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 years was that Yardley is all pizza places, hair and nail salons, banks and realtors. 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 in 2021, I wanted it to be a positive influence in town. For Krysset to be the change I wanted to see: a joyful place where we celebrate community, offer unique, quality goods and services that focus on local, independent, and small business.

It looks like I wasn’t the only one with that thought. And dang it feels good.

Canal-O-Ween is a fun, family activity that happens every October in Yardley. It kicks off with free pumpkin carving then the freshly carved jack-o-lanterns are taken to the canal, lined up for about a mile and lit every evening for a week!  It's a unique way to experience walking the canal and enjoy the fall weather.

The canal and adjacent towpath are a quiet reprieve everyone enjoys year round.

Above: The beautiful canal with adjacent towpath in the icy winter and sunny summer.

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 south of Yardley in Bristol, PA and runs all the way to Easton, PA.

It has multiple access points from the boro and surrounding neighborhoods. The main access point in Yardley Boro is on East Afton Ave just a short walk from our location on Main St.

There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the towpath so it’s a perfect place to walk, jog, or ride your bike. Bring the kids, too!

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 B to an A+.

Everyone enjoys it; with events like Canaloween, 5Ks and adjoining open spaces like Macclesfield Park and safe, easy access to Washington's Crossing State Park on both sides of the Delaware, it’s sure to be your favorite, too!

The canal is 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.

6. The Downtown (aka the boro)

Yardley’s downtown–lovingly referred to as “the boro”–is the kind of place where kids still ride around on bikes with friends, crowd the Wawa after sports matches, and line up in droves at the Yardley Ice House on a hot summer night.

It’s also the kind of place that has just enough going on to keep kids and adults alike happy and entertained, too!

You don’t have to go far for yoga, pilates, a gym, a good book, shopping, coffee, amazing pizza, a fantastic dinner out, a glass of wine, locally brewed beer, or a cocktail. It's all in the boro.

In addition to Krysset, there’s bustling retail shops in town for the first time in a long time! Commonplace Reader, The Yardley Refillery, and Wildflower Valley have joined ranks in recent years in addition to Yardley favs like Gianna Rose and Yardley Florist.

On Saturdays, pop by the Yardley Farmer’s Market, pick up veggies from Abe’s Acres, fresh bread, fruit, pickles, meats and even learn about composting with locally owned and operated Kona Compost.

Then head over to Pretty Bird, grab a coffee and walk down Main St. to Lake Afton and sit down on the bench near the Old Library and take in the view. You’ll be swelling with town pride in no time.

In addition to all the great businesses, our local boro-focused non-profit, Experience Yardley, hosts awesome concerts all summer long as well as events throughout the year like Canal-o-Ween, Restaurant Week and more.

Our parks and recs department organizes 5ks and events for kids like an annual Egg Hunt. Yardley Business Association puts on two parades every year, a wine and beer fest, tree lighting, as well as local favorite, Harvest Day, where food and craft vendors gather in Fitzgerald Field.

The Yardley HARB (Historical Architecture Review Board) has also done a great job of maintaining the historic charm of Yardley. Beautiful historic buildings line the streets and carefully curated additions like our "Yardley" mural on Buttonwood Lane and "Yardley Ducks" installations (both by Experience Yardley) dot the town with with delightful finds.

We do have a few chains (like Starbucks, Wawa, and CVS) but so far the boro has kept it pretty small and both locals and visitors alike seem to really appreciate that.

It’s doubtful that a Gap or Anthro are going to pop up in town and I think we’re all pretty OK with that.

Yardley isn’t the biggest (Doylestown) or the coolest (New Hope/Lambertville) small town in the area but what it does have to offer is a very high quality of life that allows you and your family to settle in with plenty of room to grow - personally, socially, and professionally. 

This town is special and it’s only going to keep getting better in the years to come.

(Article updated in April 2024) written by Jessica Gebauer,  Founder & Owner of Krysset Artisan Boutique

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