As you wander Lambertville’s quaint downtown, with its boutiques and antique galleries, eateries and watering holes, historic sites and canal towpath, you might find it hard to imagine it as it once was: An industrial town known for its factories, where locomotives, wheels, rubber, hairpins, and toilets were built. Today, it’s a funky little town as eclectic as its visitors: Citified day-trippers arriving in BMWs; leather-clad motorcyclists balancing on Hogs; and young families riding bicycles and walking.
Go for a walk, and you’ll encounter charming neighborhoods filled with beautiful old homes, pocket parks filled with laughing children, and plenty of residents who traded in the charms of the big city to live in tiny Lambertville. It’s no wonder, then, that Forbes Magazine ranked Lambertville one of America’s 15 prettiest towns, on par with Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard and Kapa’a in Hawaii. Yep, you read that right. Lambertville is as pretty as Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii!
One of the most charming things about Lambertville is its accessibility. No matter where you live, you’re very near to amenities: A corner store, a coffee shop, a park, a place of worship. There is even a pedestrian bridge over the Delaware River into New Hope, PA. Residents of these twin cities often join forces to promote their towns. One such event, the Lambertville–New Hope Winter Festival, features a parade, chili cook-off, concerts, ice sculptures, music, food, and activities for kids. Proceeds from the event – which spans nine days – support local parks, recreation, food banks, and social services. In the spring, Lambertville hosts The Shad Fest, a weekend-long event featuring a craft show, food, activities for the kids, and scores of posters created for the event by local artists. Other special events are equally eclectic, attracting lovers of beer and history, for example.
Fun fact for history buffs: George Washington really did sleep here! During the Revolutionary War, when Coryell’s Ferry served as an outpost and crossing point for General George Washington and his troops, the Colonial Army camped in an orchard at the corner of Bridge and Union streets, and Washington and his officers found shelter at the Holcombe Farm. Just south of town, in Titusville, is where General Washington led his troops across the water, a feat that’s reenacted every Christmas morning. Lovers of history might also enjoy weekly walking tours during the summer months, ghost tours in New Hope, or a visit to Howell Living History Farm, a working farm that captures what farm life was like between 1890 and 1910.
In 1992, a group of volunteers founded the Lambertville Area Education Foundation, with a goal of generating resources to enhance education experiences in math, science, technology, literature, and the arts. To date, the group has raised $250,000, which has benefited students at the K-6 Lambertville Public School, Stockton and West Amwell elementary schools, and South Hunterdon Regional High School, where Lambertville middle schoolers attend grades 7-8 before transitioning into grades 9-12.
Overlooking the banks of the Delaware River, tiny Lambertville (just 1.3 square miles) is home to about 4,000 residents. Its homes span an array of architectural styles, from Italianate mansions to duplexes to farms. Average home sale price is around $375,000. From Lambertville, it’s easy to reach New York City and Philadelphia, Princeton, and Trenton.