The boroughs of Bristol and Morrisville were prominent industrial centers along the Northeast Corridor during World War II. Suburban development accelerated in Lower Bucks in the 1950s with the opening of Levittown, Pennsylvania, the second such “Levittown” designed by William Levitt.
Among Bucks’ largest employers in the twentieth century were U.S. Steel in Falls Township, and the Vulcanized Rubber & Plastics and Robertson Tile companies in Morrisville. Rohm and Haas continues to operate several chemical plants around Bristol. Waste Management operates a landfill in Tullytown that is the largest receptacle of out-of-state waste in the USA (receiving much of New York City’s waste following the closure of Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, NY 40 miles (64 km) away).
Bucks is also experiencing rapid growth in biotechnology, along with neighboring Montgomery County. The Greater Philadelphia area has become the second largest area of biotechnology in the United States, only behind Boston. It recently pushed San Francisco and Washington, D.C. to lower rankings. It is projected by 2020 that one out of four people in Bucks County will work in biotechnology.
Another important asset of the county is tourism. The county’s northern regions (colloquially referred to as Upper Bucks) are renowned for their natural scenery, farmland, colonial history, and proximity to major urban areas (particularly Philadelphia, but New York City, Allentown, Reading and Atlantic City are also within a two-hour radius).
Bucks County is home to ten covered bridges that are still open to vehicular traffic. Two other bridges, both located in parks, are open only to non-vehicular traffic. All Bucks County bridges use the Town truss design. The Schofield Ford Bridge, in Tyler State Park, was reconstructed in 1997 from the ground up after arsonists destroyed the original in 1991.
Popular attractions in Bucks County include the shops and studios of New Hope, Peddler’s Village (in Lahaska), Washington Crossing Historic Park, New Hope and Ivyland Railroad, and Bucks County River Country. Rice’s Market near Lahaska is a popular destination on Tuesday mornings. Quakertown Farmer’s Market (locally called “Q-Mart”) is a popular shopping destination on weekends. The county seat of Doylestown is also home to several points of interest for tourists, and also is home to Fordhook Farms, the famous trial farm of the Warminster-based Burpee Seeds, which also serves as a bed & breakfast inn. Doylestown also has the trifecta of concrete structures built by Henry Chapman Mercer, including the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, the Mercer Museum and Fonthill, Mercer’s personal home.
Southern Bucks (colloquially referred to as Lower Bucks) is home to two important shopping malls, Neshaminy Mall and Oxford Valley Mall, and Sesame Place, a family theme park based on the Sesame Street television series. Also within Lower Bucks County is Parx Casino and Racing in Bensalem, a casino and thoroughbred horse racing track. The casino was built on the grounds of what was originally Philadelphia Park Racetrack. The complex includes the throughbred horse racing track, expansive casino, a dance club, numerous dining options, and the Xcite Center.