By Colleen Morrison
Whether you’re looking to add to your wardrobe, home décor or antique collection, the Delaware River Towns are rich in unique, boutique, and charming shops that fit every need and want of the visiting shopper. Below are just a few must-shop stops to explore during a day out in the River Towns:
Blue Fish Clothing
62 Trenton Ave, Frenchtown, NJ
For those looking for boho-chic clothing, Blue Fish Clothing should be their first stop on their shopping tour of the River Towns. The shop’s clothing is inspired by nature, made from certified organic cotton and hand-dyed and printed, making each piece a one-of-a-kind, sustainable work of art for the wearer.
12 W. Bridge St., New Hope, PA
The bright purple building on Bridge St. houses the boutique collection of flattering floral dresses and skirts, leather and snakeskin hand bags, and gemstone and metal jewelry that is both powerful, feminine and elegant. The shop is perfect for those looking for out-of-the-ordinary style gained from a beautiful collection of unique pieces.
36 W. Bridge St., New Hope, PA
Just outside the hustle and bustle of downtown New Hope, Swarm quietly sits just over the train tracks next to Triumph Brewery and features a curated collection of artisan clothes for women who love to keep their looks interesting and never ordinary. Among the unique fabrics and patterns, like a train-print dress and graffiti-inspired cardigan, are breezy floral shirts, light jackets and hip denim all perfect for those looking to update their style for the season in a unique way.
Blue Raccoon Home Furnishings
6 Coryell St., Lambertville, NJ
Blue Raccoon is for those who are unafraid of a lot of color, bold patterns and unique shapes in their décor. Combining modern design with cozy cottage charm, It’s hard to walk around without pointing at every single candle, pillow, lamp, chair and towel and saying, “Look at this!” or “I HAVE to get this!” A porcelain bear-wearing-a-crown cookie jar, green and yellow pear candles, and multi-colored wool trivets are the perfect cherries on top of an eclectic-themed home.
Of Iron and Oak
202 N. Union St., Lambertville, NJ
A relative newcomer to Lambertville, this custom, hand-made furniture studio creates beautiful, versatile and funky couches and chairs in customizable colors, lengths, depths, and styles reminiscent of both a time long ago and one yet to come, resulting in timeless pieces that really are the epitome of “cool.” The names alone, like The Heston, The Hemingway and The Kubrick, convey the strong, magnetic, luxurious presence all of the studio’s pieces command in a room. And with customizable options down to the finish on the nail heads, buyers can make a true connection with the furniture and create something completely unique for their homes.
39 Bridge St., Frenchtown, NJ
Minimalist, clean, elegant shapes define Modern Love’s contemporary collection of home goods. Muted colors, white ceramic and light-colored woods permeate the kitchenwares, from the slender decanters topped with wooden spherical stoppers to the geometric drink rocks and salt bowls. The “Modern Love Made” brass, triangular plant trivets and hanging mobiles are simple but breathtaking additions to the modern home.
The Selvedge Yard
110 S. Main St., New Hope, PA
A shop that celebrates the culture of motorcycles, muscle cars and rock & roll, TSY is an authentic place for adventure-seekers looking to bring home some art, menswear, accessories, home goods and gear that epitomizes American-made grit. Among its offerings are men’s grooming supplies and products, leather-scented artisan candles, hot rod prints, chrome flasks, and American flag cutting boards, as well as elegant motorcycle helmets perfect for the motorcycle-enthusiast who knows a thing or two about style.
The People’s Store
28 N. Union St., Lambertville
In the River Towns (and possibly all of the Northeast), no other town rivals Lambertville’s antique offerings. Among the best stands The People’s Store, a four-story, sprawling treasure trove that warrants a day trip by itself. It’s impossible to define what the store carries as it touches just about every period and place, from American to Asian to European, industrial to art deco, heavy wooden armoires to delicate glass sculptures, and everything in between. Built in 1839, the store has been a favorite of serious antique hunters and casual browsers for many, many years and definitely should be the first stop during any antique shopping day in the River Towns.
5 S. Main St., Lambertville, NJ
Head toward the giant clock face leaning up against a storefront lit up by vintage theater bulbs on South Main St. to find America Designs. Inside, you’ll find even more clocks as part of its collection of 19th and 20th century clock tower dials ranging from two feet to 10 feet tall, acquired from train stations, city building and churches from all over Europe. Most are made from hammered iron and copper with gold leafing that shines through the rust, which only manages to add to these clocks’ big personalities. The shop custom engineers and installs working motors so buyers can not only admire the work but know what time it is in the process.
James Curran Antiques & Restoration
204 N. Union St., Lambertville, NJ
For 17th, 18th and 19th century British furniture, there’s no better place to find exquisite period pieces than James Curran’s gallery, NJ’s largest importer of English antiques. Shoppers will find fine examples of Queen Anne, Georgian and Regency period furniture made of rich mahogany, walnut, satinwood and antique oak. From desks, chairs and tables to bookshelves, chests, mirrors, and more, this gallery has everything buyers need to properly transport their homes back in time to 1800s London.
Golden Nugget Antique Market (open Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays only)
1850 River Rd., Lambertville, NJ
For the ultimate morning of treasure hunting, the Golden Nugget outdoor/indoor market is a picker’s dream with countless vendors set up outside at tables piled high with anything and everything you could possibly think of, riding the line between valuable collectibles and “one man’s trash …” Visitors will find vintage and new jewelry, books, action figures, clothing, bottle openers, local wine, gemstones and crystals, comic books, dolls, cookware, instruments, vinyl records, buckets of metal letters, tubs of dresser knobs, new and antique furniture, war memorabilia … and the list continues on indefinitely. It must be seen to be believed and is the perfect way to kick off a day of exploratory shopping (just don’t wear your good shoes – prepare to get dusty!).
Love Saves the Day
1 S. Main St., New Hope, PA
The first step to shopping at Loves Saves the Day is getting past the impressive window displays that change with the season or holiday – such as towering mannequins wearing horse masks over ’80s prom dresses surrounded by disco balls and floating wigs – that showcase why the store is a destination for lovers of all things vintage and weird. Once inside, visitors will find a mix of vintage clothes and accessories, like a whole room of old prom and wedding dresses as well as men’s suits and toys, and contemporary gag gifts and goods, like bacon Band-Aids and Family Guy lunchboxes. It’s the definition of eclectic and definitely worth a stop to find your new favorite pair of cat-eye sunglasses or yellowed TIME Magazine.
17 W Ferry St, New Hope, PA
Curious Goods certainly lives up to its name with it’s impressive collection of beautiful and unusual items, including painted tea cups bonded to stakes for outdoor display and framed vintage advertisements of Jello recipes. The shop houses a mix of collected vintage items, like typewriters and glassware, and repurposed creations made from new and old items, like necklaces of keys and painted furniture, that blur the line between vintage and modern. It’s the kind of place where you won’t see the same things twice, so it’s always a must-stop during any trip through New Hope.