First settled in 1681 and named after the English city, Bristol, Pennsylvania is a historic borough on the banks of the Delaware River opposite Burlington in New Jersey. It played an important role in Philadelphia’s development during the American Industrial Revolution as the terminus of the Delaware Canal, connecting the city with the mineral resources of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.
Bristol has retained its charm, with beautifully restored houses clustered in its historic districts and mansions once belonging to industrial movers and shakers. With its riverside setting and storied shipbuilding site, it’s a popular place to rent an RV to discover the natural sights and fascinating history of Bucks County.
The Great Outdoors
Book a motorhome rental in Bristol and visit Silver Lake Park, which sprawls across 460 acres just to the north of the city. Begin your visit at the Silver Lake Nature Center to learn about the local ecology and nature-related crafts, then explore one of the trails that lead through the adjacent Delhaas Woods, which encompasses the Coastal Plain Forest and Unglaciated Bog. The park is renowned for its meadows, with bushy bluestems, New York aster and button sedge of special note.
A short drive west takes you to the Neshaminy State Park, which lies where the Neshaminy Creek meets the Delaware River. There are four miles of hiking trails to explore, including the tree-lined Logan Walk - the former driveway leading to the estate of Robert R. Logan. Soak up the views of the Philadelphia city skyline from Logan Point or enjoy a stroll along the peaceful River Walk Trail.
If you want to combine nature with history, drive north to the Tyler State Park, which is comprised of a historic farm that nestles in natural woodlands. It’s home to a mansion that was built by George F. Tyler in the 1920s and is dotted with 18th-century stone dwellings that offer a fascinating insight into Pennsylvania’s early farm life. Aside from hiking through the park and spotting native wildlife and birds, don’t miss a visit to the famous Schofield Ford Covered Bridge.
Pick up your travel trailer rental in Bristol and pull into Oak Grove Park, which offers a range of 30 and 50-amp full hookups in Hatfield. There are more than 60 gravel-covered RV sites to select from, and pets are welcome to stay, with an on-site laundry where you can catch up on your washing. There are numerous picnic tables where you can enjoy a meal, and there’s also a children’s play area.
Or, head across the Delaware River into New Jersey to stay at the Indian Rock RV Park & Campground. It sprawls across 30 acres and is well shaded by pine and oak trees, with spacious sites that offer water, electricity, and sewer connections. There’s a swimming pool where you can cool off during the summer months, as well as a children’s playground, volleyball and basketball courts, as well as mini golf facilities.
If you just need a place to park, you can make the 10-minute drive to Levittown and its Walmart where you may be able to set up for a night or two with the manager’s permission.
Exploring the City
Park your RV rental near Bristol and explore the historic town on foot. Admire the Georgian Revival detailing on the Jefferson Avenue School and visit the ornate Dorrance Mansion that offers an insight into the lavish lifestyle of early Victorian industrialists in Bristol. The borough is also home to the Harriman Historic District, which is considered a well-preserved example of a government-planned neighborhood of the World War I era.
Stop in at the Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Museum, which occupies a Queen Anne-style residence along the banks of the Delaware River. Wander through the rooms that have been furnished as they would have appeared in the late Victorian period, providing a retreat for family members after they'd returned from work at the Grundy Mill. It featured modern conveniences for the time, such as central heating and indoor plumbing, together with a charming garden complete with boxwood-edged parterre beds and a pergola adorned with wisteria.
Bristol’s charming commercial district is packed with art outlets, specialty retail shops, and dining establishments where you can while away an afternoon. Then stretch your legs or enjoy a ride along the Bristol Spurline Park Rail Trail that follows part of a 19th-century railroad spur and canal towpath to the Bristol Marsh. It was originally established in 1834 by the Philadelphia and Trenton Railroad to transport goods from the bustling port of Bristol.
Bristol has a couple of supermarkets where you can pick up grocery supplies and also has a good selection of fast food restaurants and eateries. There are also gas stations if you want to fill up your camper rental in Bristol.
Whether you’re visiting Bucks County for its historical boroughs or riverside parks, book an RV in Bristol and start exploring.