Bob’s Hope

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Traveler staffers Mary Beth LaRue and Krista Rossow recently spent a day with National Geographic photographer Bob Krist and his wife Peggy in their charming small-town home of New Hope, Pa. MB dishes:

Just an hour north of Philadelphia, New Hope seems like a different planet. As the road winds into town, the scenery changes from forest and farmland to a quaint village with dozens of boutiques and restaurants lining the road. Families and couples stroll down the main drag, stopping for a beer at Havana or into Farley’s for a read. It first reminded me of a cross between Portland, Oregon, and Iowa City, but everyone else said it reminded them of Maine.

Bob and Peggy live just a couple of blocks off Main Street, in a former mill on a creek. An expanse of trees stretches up a hillside with a train that goes into town. When they restored the house (well, pretty much rebuilt; all that was standing before was a huge stone wall) they added a gorgeous deck perfect for stargazing or sunrise-watching.

Before dinner, Peggy took us for a quick tour of the town, which is best walked through, not driven past. We saw a couple of local star restaurants Tastebuds and Marsha Brown as well as eclectic boutiques like Heart of the Home and Nova Ice (102 S. Main St.; +1 215 862 9640), where I picked up a couple pairs of earrings and sunglasses for under 30 bucks. For dinner we crossed the Delaware River (just a ten-minute walk) to Lambertville, New Jersey. We made a quick stop at the Boathouse, an upscale bar designed by set designer Jim Hamilton to look like the inside of a ship, before a steak dinner at Hamilton’s Grill Room, a light and airy space overlooking the river. As we walked back on a footpath, the evening was silent and clear—the stars the most vivid I’d seen them since leaving Iowa. I would have happily traded the cheesesteaks we ate the next day in Philly for another night in the open air.