New Hope also enjoys a long and storied history. The name New Hope actually came about in the late-18th century when one of New Hope's founders rebuilt two mills that had burned down. Once completed, the new structures were dubbed "New Hope Mills," as a symbol of optimism for the community. William Penn is believed to be the original owner of the land, prior to signing it over to someone else in 1681. George Washington is also associated with New Hope, based on the community's proximity to Washington's Crossing.
Two museums in New Hope offer additional information about the region's background. The James A. Michener Art Museum features a permanent collection of Pennsylvania impressionist paintings and rotating exhibits highlighting the cultural history of Bucks County. The Parry Mansion Museum is decorated in period styles, each room offering an interpretation of a different time period. The mansion was originally built in 1784 by New Hope's founder and was taken over by the New Hope Historical Society in 1966.
A strong arts culture is one of the region's most defining characteristics. Just in the tiny village of New Hope, residents can enjoy performances at the Bucks County Playhouse, cabaret at Odette's and chamber music at Stephen Buck Theater. Independent artists and entrepreneurs also operate art galleries and antique dealerships throughout the community.