Bucks County, Pennsylvania—Walking down the streets of Doylestown or New Hope in the 1930s or 40s, you might have glimpsed humorist Dorothy Parker at a lunch counter or satirist S. J. Perelman hanging at the hardware store with a bunch of Pulitzer-Prize-winning writers. Bucks County became such a well-known haven for creativity that the New York media began to call it "the genius belt."
The Pennsylvania Art Impressionist movement was born in New Hope in 1900 and made Bucks County internationally famous. It remains a haven for creativity. And it has the Bucks County Playhouse, a former mill first turned into a theater in 1939. It was this playhouse that helped lay the foundation for the city's gay scene in the 1950s.
In the mid-century, New Hope, conveniently located at the midpoint between Philadelphia and New York City, became a destination for LGBT travelers. While many LGBT visitors were passers-through, others fell in love with New Hope and made it a permanent home. In 1979, the popular Raven opened in an already-established LGBT destination, La Camp at the Brookmore Motel. The Raven appears to be on hiatus following management issues, but the New Hope Lodge located across the street is a cute alternative. Each May, New Hope hosts one of the East Coast’s biggest and best Pride festivals (New Hope Celebrates), with a parade that crosses the bridge into Lambertville, New Jersey.