Business Government

In Bucks County, Gov. Shapiro, First Lady Finish Statewide RV Tour

The governor and first lady wrapped up their tour of the state in Bucks County.

Gov. Shapiro and First Lady Shapiro tour Peddler’s Village on Sunday.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

Gov. Josh Shapiro and First Lady Lori Shapiro ended their statewide RV tour at Peddler’s Village on Sunday.

The RV branded with the state’s new tourism brand, “The Great American Getaway,” pulled in just past 10 a.m. and marked the end of a tourism and economic development swing that crossed nearly the entire state.

Credit: Tom Sofield/

“This is an amazing place,” the governor told shortly after stepping off the RV. “We just want to come out and encourage people to get out to Peddler’s Village, get out to our towns across Pennsylvania and make this your great American getaway.”

The the governor’s tour was more than just visiting the state’s tourist attractions; he was focusing on growing the state’s tourism industry, which already generates $76 billion in economic impact and supports more than 486,000 jobs a year, according to a 2024 report from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and Pennsylvania Tourism Office, which is more commonly known as Visit PA.

Credit: Tom Sofield/

With the state preparing for major events in 2026, including America’s 250th anniversary, the NFL Draft, the FIFA World Cup, and the MLB All-Star Game, the focus on tourism has intensified.

The governor’s proposed budget includes an additional $18 million for tourism and additional investment in the coming years, he said.

Credit: Tom Sofield/

Peddler’s Village CEO Bob McGowan and Visit Bucks County President and COO Paul Bencivengo spoke with the governor about the destination and the importance of tourism.

Credit: Tom Sofield/

During their visit to Peddler’s Village, the Shapiros stopped at Mama Hawk’s Kitchen and Coffee and Sticky Situations, talking with the owners and purchasing their goods. They also purchased several types of popcorn from Clusters Handcrafted Popcorn.

At each stop, the state’s first family dropped off a goodie bag featuring products made in the state, including fresh honey from bees at the Governor’s Residence.

Credit: Tom Sofield/

The governor and his wife also talked to visitors to Peddler’s Village.

Peddler’s Village, which is among the larger tourism draws in the county, holds a special place for Shapiro and the first lady. The two, who celebrated 27 years of marriage over the weekend, went on dates there years ago. The first lady is a Lower Bucks County native.

“We used to go here on dates, and it was a ton of fun,” said Shapiro, who lives in Montgomery County when not at the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg. “It just brings back memories of walking around here, and we brought our kids here. We love to come around.”

Credit: Tom Sofield/

After talking about Peddler’s Village’s impact, Bencivengo mentioned other big tourism destinations in Bucks County, including Middletown Township’s Sesame Place.

The governor quickly pointed out to a reporter that the first lady worked at Sesame Place in her youth.

In 2023, Bucks County attracted 8.2 million visitors, generating $1.2 billion and supporting over 28,000 hospitality jobs.

“Hosting Governor Shapiro and his wife, Lori, was a great opportunity to showcase what makes Bucks County unique as a visitor destination. We discussed economic development and what visitor spending means for our local economy,” Bencivengo said.

Credit: Tom Sofield/

Peddler’s Village CEO McGowan said: “The governor truly understands the importance of travel and tourism in our state and specifically in Bucks County. As Peddler’s Village is a family-owned shopping and hospitality destination consisting of a unique collection of independent “mom & pop” shops, having the Governor make the effort to highlight the Village on his tour of the state means the world to us. His commitment to driving tourism throughout PA is so important as we continue to work hard to provide our surrounding community and visitors with a compelling reason to visit.”

Credit: Tom Sofield/

During the Shapiro family’s trip, they camped at state parks, fished and jetskied on Lake Wallenpaupack, met with small business owners, stopped by the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, took in a baseball game in Lancaster, rode bikes in Ohiopyle, blew glass in Pittsburgh, toured Independence Hall, ran up the iconic Philadelphia Art Museum Steps, and visited a brewery.

After spending much of the time in the RV with his family, the governor said there were “tight quarters, but we really enjoyed.”

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.