Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Sep 30 2015

Montgomery County: Skippack

Quaint to its floorboards, Skippack embraces its historic appeal. Amid the covered bridge and old-fashioned lampposts, however, visitors find stylish gift stores and galleries and buzzing restaurants and bars that speak to a modern-day audience. With a mixture of European charm and hippie ease, this shopping-centric town has evolved through the years to become a popular tourist destination.

History:
Skippack’s origins date back to 1683, when German settlers overran Germantown and moved by boat up the Perkiomen Creek to a place where the shallow water prohibited farther travel. There they stayed and named the land “Schippach.” In 1795, Jacob Reiff opened the first store in town, thus beginning Skippack’s long reign as a shopping hub. When the Souderton, Skippack & Fairview Electric Railway Company was formed in 1901, trolley service brought visitors and more extensive development. (A trolley car has been preserved outside of Hotel Fiesole.) By the 1990s, Skippack’s still-rural charms inspired reverent redevelopment of its stores and restaurants.

Its Main Street:
The appropriately named Skippack Pike (Route 73) serves as the center of town. Many restaurants and shops are clustered in Skippack Village.

Arts & Culture:
Given the inspiring creekside setting, visual artists and art are plentiful in Skippack, most notably at Green Wolf’s Village Barn Shoppes, where visitors can find local creations at outposts including Andrea O’Driscoll’s Art by Heart Gallery. Locally minded boutique Pennsylvania Traditions houses early American reproductions of furniture, crafts, artwork and linens in a late-1700s barn. The interactive studio and gallery Black Sheep Pottery features a ceramic reference library of local artists’ work and offers ceramics classes. A local institution, Skippack Playcrafters stages six main theater productions every year.

The Great Outdoors:
History lives on in annual Revolutionary War encampment re-enactments on the Indenhofen Farm, a restored 18th-century homestead. Mill remnants and 18th-century homes are visible around Evansburg State Park, an ideal locale for picnics, trout fishing, golf, hiking and horseback riding. The Perkiomen Trail, a 20-mile stretch for biking, walking and jogging, can be accessed here too.

Food & Drink:
An elegant Parisian-style restaurant and wine bar, Brasserie 73 serves classic French cuisine. The mobile Love Hot Dog Company, popping up in the Skippack Farmers Market parking lot and the Food Truck Pod, slings exotic hot dogs, game sausages and toppings and keeps it fresh with a weekly changing menu. The Skippack Village Italian Market evokes the Philly spirit with an extensive array of hoagies, while The Fat Cat serves light breakfast and lunch fare and espresso. Hotel Fiesole’s Ratskellar and The Cabana Bar/Basta Pasta host live music, the former in a sophisticated lounge setting, and the latter, weather permitting, in an island-inspired outdoor setting.

Shops, Shops, Shops:
Foodie wares abound in Skippack: Le Butler’s Pantry’s extensive gourmet kitchen supplies; Skippack Sweet Spot’s retro candy, artisanal fudge, gelato, local raw honey and gluten-free baked goods; the Village Wine Cellar’s vintages from the local Crossing Vineyards and Winery; and The Grand Fromage’s exquisite cheeses (some of which are local), condiments and other makings for a Perkiomen picnic. Fashionistas adore Timeless Styles’ well-curated selection of vintage and new clothing and accessories and The Skippack Hope Chest’s new and gently used designer apparel, jewelry, handbags and accessories. In addition to the many antiques and vintage shops around town, there are monthly Trash to Treasure flea markets held one Saturday a month from spring through fall.

Events & Festivals:
Hardly a week goes by in Skippack without a special event, whether it’s the Winetober Fest (May and October), the Cars & Cigars Show (June) or the Village Carnival (July). October’s Skippack Days is the biggest event weekend on the calendar, as the town makes way for crafts, jewelry, art and other vendors, as well as music and family activities. From May through December, local businesses offer specials on First Fridays, which celebrate local art and music with activity spilling out onto porches and sidewalks. On Friday evenings from Thanksgiving through Christmas, the shops of Skippack Village stay open late and glow with festive lights during Illuminated Nights.

Getting There:
The best way to reach Skippack is by car. Parking is free in lots throughout town, except during events.

Where to Stay:

  • Hotel Fiesole, 4046 Skippack Pike, Skippack, (610) 222-8009, hotelfiesole.net
  • Courtyard by Marriott, 600 Campus Drive, Collegeville, (800) 321-2211, marriott.com

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

Contact(s):
  • E-mail

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