Quakertown has been keeping history alive since our country's birth. The Red Lion Inn is where John Fries mounted a rebellion against taxes in 1799, something most Americans can still relate to!
You don't need to be a Quaker to move to Quakertown, a little borough of just over 8,900 residents in Upper Bucks County. It's a convenient place to live, bordering both the Delaware and Lehigh Valley metro areas, with easy access to Philadelphia, Allentown, and many of the other business centers of eastern Pennsylvania. It is a historic town, with roots going back over two centuries - and families that have called it home for just as long.
Moving to Quakertown
Have a Good Eye
Many of the houses in Quakertown are on the dated side - only 1% of them have been built in the current century. This means you'll need to thoroughly inspect every place you look at during your apartment search to make sure it isn't too drafty or outdated. Many landlords will update their amenities as needed, but don't be afraid to pass over places that seem a bit worn - with over half of the houses dating back to World War II or earlier, be prepared to inhabit history.
Having the usual paperwork will make things go smoothly - make sure you have references and some pay stubs ready just in case they are requested. You'll also need a security deposit, usually two or three months' worth of rent. Bucks County as a whole can be fairly expensive with one of the highest average rents of any county in the state. However, Quakertown is near the bottom of the county in terms of average rent for a town. Even so, try filling that piggy bank before starting your search!
You'll want to start your house hunt in Quakertown at least a month before you need to move. The convenience of the area makes it an enormously popular destination for folks who have to commute through the region, especially since it's easily accessible with four major highways and regional bus services passing through. Accessibility means competition from other renters, so you'll need a head start to be victorious.
Neighborhoods of Quakertown
Quakertown is composed of roughly three main neighborhoods, albeit small ones. One of the beautiful things about living in Quakertown is that every area is historic and chalk full of history, so anywhere you pick will be steeped in tradition.
Borough Center: Full of historic houses and composed mainly of single family detached housing and town homes, you can find some apartment buildings here with two bedroom apartments or the odd 1 bedroom apartment for rent. It's a convenient neighborhood that is easy to walk with plenty of retail and leisure activities around, from grocery stores to shoe shops. One of the highlights of the downtown area is Sine's 5 & 10, a throwback 5 & 10 store complete with a soda fountain, and over a century of experience making people smile. Those of legal age looking for something on the bitter side can pop in for a beer at the Red Lion Inn.
West End: A bustling neighborhood centered around the Route 309 corridor, housing in this neighborhood is a mix of single-family homes and townhouses. It's a mix of residential, retail and business, split in half by the high-speed roadway. You can walk the neighborhood, but be careful to not become roadkill as you're crossing the major road.
East Quakertown: An urban mix of owners and renters, this neighborhood is mostly residential, with a little bit of light industrial and retail spots. Just a bit younger than the downtown area, this neighborhood is tightly packed, with 36% of the homes being row houses or attached homes. You'll definitely be thankful for the invention of the automobile, as this area isn't as walkable.
Living in Quakertown
Just to the east of Quakertown is Nockamixon State Park, a hugely popular destination for Quakertown residents throughout the year. Lake Nockamixon offers boating and fishing in the summer, and skating and ice fishing in the winter. Below the dam at the bottom of the lake, more adventurous residents can use the Tohickon Creek for whitewater rafting after heavy storms. Trigger happy residents are also welcome to the park, with about 3,000 acres set aside for hunting with turkey and white-tailed deer are the most common game animals. If you're too wiped out from a day of activities to head home, you can rent a cabin or stay overnight at the park's youth hostel.
What Quakertown lacks in diverse cuisine, it makes up for in the abundance of choices. The strip along Route 309 is stocked full of national chain restaurants serving standard American fare, and of course, more pizza shops than you can shake a fist at. That being said, you can still find good produce in the area, as the surrounding region has a good agricultural background. Those with a more DIY attitude can even rent a plot at the the nearby Richland Township Community Garden, and grow their own veggies!
Quakertown Alive! keeps the town hopping throughout the year, planning festivities and events. The spring event, Arts Alive!, brings out the whole town and brings in folks from throughout the area with wine tasting, arts and crafts, and entertainment. If you prefer a different sort of libation, just wait until late summer for the Upper Bucks Brew Fest, hosting craft brewers from Bucks County and beyond. They'll also keep you on your toes throughout the fall and winter with different Alive! events every year.
Aside from the previously mentioned Sine's, much of the shopping in the area is national chains and recognizable names, as the artisan community hasn't quite gotten kick-started yet. If you want some eclectic goods, head down to the Quakertown Farmers market, where you can get anything from musical instruments, to surplus army goods, to locally raised produce. Don't leave without grabbing one of Fleck's Sticky Buns, though - they alone make the trip worth it.