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Slice of Suburbia- Saint Peter’s Village

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Saint Peter's VillageMy travels have taken me to a quaint little place in Chester County- today’s Slice of Suburbia is about Saint Peter’s Village.  The village is a historic 19th century village at the Falls of French Creek. Saint Peter’s Village was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, and now I see why.

Located near a narrow ravine along French Creek, Saint Peter’s Village began at the French Creek iron mines established in 1845. In 1880, granite quarrying began and the Excursion House Hotel opened, distinguishing the community as both an industrial village and recreational weekend retreat. The bulk of the residence and businesses were built following the hotel's opening. Today, the Inn at Saint Peter’s Village is a popular spot, with great food and ambiance, great for weddings, parties, or a romantic night out. St. Peter's Road is lined with private residences, a hotel and restaurant and number of small specialty shops.

By the 1970s, industrial operations had ended and the village was being touted as a local tourist destination. Historical preservation efforts, however, have led to the appearance of the village today that is almost entirely of its historic period. Local laws prevent exterior alterations to historic structures and limit new construction in designated areas in and around the village. The late Victorian-style structures give this area an old-time feel along the main road.

The Inn at Saint Pete'sSaint Pete’s is more of a weekend town. The bakery, the wine store, overnights at the Inn, happy hours, the art gallery and other shops are busiest during the weekends.

The one thing that really sets Saint Pete’s apart from other village is the presence of the ‘rocks.’ The boulder-strewn ravine of French Creek running directly behind the village is one of the area's most popular attractions. Hikers and photographers alike come out to jump the boulders and stroll the wooded trails.

This is such a calming, Zen place, many people come out to sit on the rocks, take pictures, fish and just generally hang out. The creek is really amazing after a storm or a heavy rain, where the water gushes over the boulders, creating it’s own musical song.

If you have the time, wander a bit further up Rte 23 to J Maki Winery on 200 Grove Rd in Elverson crafts delicious Champagne, Red Wine, White Wine & Ice Wine. The calm-inducing vineyards and gorgeous tasting barn portray an elegance in the countryside. J Maki has also won the Vinalies Internationales Awards for champagne and ice wine.

You can also wander up to French Creek State Park for some additional hiking, camping, fishing and horseback riding. French Creek has two lakes, Hopewell and Scotts Run, extensive forests and almost 40 miles of hiking trails. Adjacent to the park lies Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site that features a cold-blast furnace restored to its 1830s appearance. French Creek State Park is in Berks and Chester counties. You may reach the park from PA 345 south of Birdsboro, north of PA 23, and from the Morgantown exits of the PA Turnpike.

Come on. You know you want to. The leaves are changing. The days are crisper. Get out of the city to a getaway not too far away. Hike the boulders, have some wine, get a great meal and sleep happy dreams. Do it again, then come back to work on Monday refreshed!

Got a place I should check out for Slice of Suburbia? Let me know at engchik@comcast.net or leave a comment.

INFO-

French Creek State Park

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/index.aspx

 

J Maki Winery on Rte 23

200 Grove Road

Elverson, Pennsylvania

610-286-7754

http://www.jmakiwinery.com/

 

The Inn at Saint Peter’s Village

3471 St. Peter's Road

St. Peter's Village, PA 19470

Phone: 610-469-2600

Website: www.theinnatsaintpetersvillage.com