As the birthplace of America and the cradle of liberty, Philadelphia enjoys the distinction of being one of the most important cities on this side of the world. But far beyond the docks on the Delaware or the cobblestone streets is an expansive array of suburbs with unique identities and rich histories of their own. From Conshohocken to Collingswood and Pike Creek to Phoenixville, there’s a suburb for everyone in the Philly area, and we’ll take you through twenty of our favorites.
The identities of each suburb are informed by their history and their relation to the city; some, like Lafayette Hill and Newtown, are on the sites of former occupations of the American Revolution, with town history dating back to early European settlers in the seventeenth century. Others, like Malvern and Ardmore, grew rapidly with the dispersion of city residents out towards the Main Line and today serve as commuter towns with their own smattering of unique places to eat, drink, and shop. We’ve also included communities in New Jersey and Delaware, since it would be remiss to talk about the surrounding suburbs without thinking of the tri-state area as a whole.
In this article, we’ll discuss the history of each suburb from its founding identity through its modern day place in the Philadelphia landscape. We’ll give you a lay of the land, from the streets and roads to the ever-expanding public transit system covering parts of all three states and many counties within them. We’ll give you the lowdown on where to eat, drink, shop, stay, and visit to make the most of your time in each place. And most importantly, we’ll give you our honest opinion on everything in the Philadelphia suburbs. So without further ado, lets go!
Why Ardmore is an Amazing Philadelphia Suburb
Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s bustling Main Line, Ardmore is a walkable, convenient, and fun inner suburb with easy access to the city, Montgomery and Delaware counties, and multiple interstates to take you wherever you need to go. With sidewalks throughout the town and wide streets, moving in and around Ardmore is an absolute breeze. Lancaster Avenue, the main thoroughfare that cuts through many towns on the Main Line, plays host to many cafes, restaurants, and stores stocking nearly anything you could possibly need. There’s no shortage of entertainment and things to do in Ardmore, making it the perfect place for a commuter, a family, or anyone looking for a nice change of pace from city life.
Getting To and Around Ardmore
One of the most diverse towns in the area, Ardmore straddles the border between Montgomery County and Delaware County. It covers just over two square miles in land area and counted 13,566 permanent residents in the 2020 census. Ardmore encompasses two townships: Haverford (Delaware County) and Lower Merion (Montgomery County). Getting to and from Ardmore is very easy; hop off of I-76 in Gladwyne or Belmont Avenue, take the Villanova exit on I-476 and drive a few miles up Lancaster Ave, or take Lancaster Avenue all the way down for direct passage to and from West Philadelphia. If you’re the public transit type, you’ve got options; the town is served by the Ardmore stop on the Paoli/Thorndale Regional Rail Line, three stops (Wynnewood Road, Ardmore Junction, and Ardmore Avenue) on the Norristown High Speed Line, and the 103, 105, and 106 SEPTA bus lines.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Ardmore
Ardmore is a destination for all things food, drink, and shopping on the Main Line and beyond. If you’re looking for an all-in-one spot, Suburban Square is a must-see. Tenants include Trader Joe’s, Lifetime Fitness, HipCityVeg, Nike, Apple, Shake Shack, GAP, Sephora, and much more. Lancaster Avenue alone sports area favorites like El Limon, Positano, Tired Hands Fermentaria, Ardmore Pizza, and Buena Vista. The Ardmore Music Hall hosts world famous artists throughout the year, and the townships regularly hold outdoor concerts and activities whenever the weather permits. Ardmore has a lot to offer, and it’s easy to see why it’s become a destination for those in the area and beyond.
Why Ambler is a Cool Philadelphia Suburb
Situated roughly sixteen miles northwest of Philadelphia’s iconic City Hall, the borough of Ambler has long been a desirable area for commuters and those looking for a break from the bustle of downtown. Originally occupied by the Lenni Lenape people and later settled by William Penn, Ambler developed as a railroad town in the nineteenth century. Since then, Ambler has forged an identity as a former manufacturing town with a strong urban core, featuring a diverse blend of restaurants, bars, outdoor spaces, and historical landmarks. The borough has grown from just 220 people in 1880 to a sizable population of 6,807 in the 2020 Census, a 6.1% increase since 2010.
Getting To and Around Ambler
Ambler is conveniently located in the northwestern suburbs of Philadelphia, about a forty minute drive from Center City. It’s easily accessible via I-476; just hop on Butler Pike at the Plymouth Meeting exit and follow it for a few miles. Coming from north of the city, Ambler is located just off of Route 309 and Route 73. If you’re the SEPTA type, you can take the Lansdale/Doylestown line from Philadelphia out to the Ambler station; the morning inbound routes feature express trains to make commuting a breeze. Within the borough, hop on the 94 or 95 bus lines to take you towards Chestnut Hill and Willow Grove, respectively.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Ambler
One of the perks of living in Ambler is the easy access to nature. With Fort Washington State Park nestled right around the corner on Route 73, Prophecy Creek Park just a little further up the road, and Robbins Park right in the middle of the downtown area, there’s no shortage of natural space. Ambler residents are served by four elementary schools: Blue Bell, Shady Grove, Lower Gwynedd, and Stony Creek. All students are zoned to Wissahickon Middle School and Wissahickon High School. Additionally, there are a number of parochial schools within close range of the borough, and Gwynedd Mercy University as well as Temple University’s Ambler campus are just a short drive away. Ambler offers a blend of entertainment, gastronomy, and local culture perfect for anyone looking to take the best of city life with an abundance of nature.
Why Collingswood is a Fantastic Philadelphia Suburb
It didn’t take long for us to hit our first stop in New Jersey. Collingswood is just a short drive over the Walt Whitman Bridge, and incredibly convenient for suburban Philadelphia living with easy access to a bustling metropolis. Located in historic Camden County, Collingswood is a picturesque neighborhood with walkable streets, verdant passages, and food and drink that gives the town a very homey feel. In fact, the stretch of restaurants along Haddon Avenue was ranked as the number one small town food scene in America by USA Today in March of 2018. Originally settled by Quakers in the late 1600s, Collingswood developed as a close suburb of the city, allowing for both a small town feel with convenient access to one of the biggest cities in the country.
Getting To and Around Collingswood
Located just five miles southeast of Philly, Collingswood is truly in the shadow of the city. Just twenty minutes from Center City, work and leisure are an easy commute from this little town. Hop on US-30 and take that over the Ben Franklin Bridge to I-676 and you’ll be there in no time. You can also take I-76 West over the Walt Whitman Bridge and then head up I-95 for direct access to Society Hill, Old City, and more. Though SEPTA doesn’t stretch into this part of New Jersey, the PATCO line more than picks up the slack. Catch the train from either the Ferry Ave or Collingswood Stations for a quick ride into Center City. If the bus is more your thing, take the 403 or the 451 for connections all across the region.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Collingswood
Collingswood has long been known as an escape from busy city life. With a large, expansive park system, Collingswood offers plenty of opportunities to interact with nature; its location along the Cooper River Lake makes it ideal for those looking to catch a breath of fresh air. The main corridor of town is filled with small businesses unique to Collingswood; it’s always recommended to take a stroll down Haddon Avenue. Collingswood is also known for its restaurants; in fact, it’s considered a destination amongst South Jersey towns. Though it is a dry town, restaurants will let you bring your own bottle, and it’s easy to find a bottle shop nearby. The town also plays host to one of the largest farmer’s markets in the region; stop by between May and November to get your hands on some real Jersey tomatoes and other local delights.
Why Conshohocken is an Amazing Philadelphia Suburb
Conshohocken, or “Conshy” as the locals call it, is a vibrant town about ten miles northwest of Philadelphia chock-full of restaurants, nightlife, and culture. Located in Montgomery County along the seemingly ubiquitous Schuylkill River, Conshohocken is home to a dynamic urban core just outside of Philly with a youthful vibe and friendly atmosphere. Historically a milling and manufacturing town, Conshohocken has experienced a rebirth in the past two decades, with many new housing complexes being built to serve the burgeoning area population. The area is served by the Colonial School District but is within proximity of many independent and private schools in the region.
Getting To and Around Conshohocken
Conshohocken has a local distinction of being one of the easiest places to get to and from on this list. Located at the crux of I-76 and I-476, you’re never more than five minutes from a highway on-ramp to take you in any conceivable direction. Located about twenty-five minutes from Center City Philadelphia, just hop on I-76 E and follow the “curve” and you’ll be downtown in no time; head in the opposite direction for about fifteen minutes and you’ll find yourself in King of Prussia with access to the PA Turnpike. Conshy sits just minutes away from the Main Line and Plymouth Meeting, making it a perfect spot for any commuter looking for a little more space. Having a car is helpful, but certainly not wholly necessary; the town is served by the Spring Mill and Conshohocken Regional Rail stops and by the 95 and 97 SEPTA bus routes.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Conshohocken
If you’re in Conshy, there’s no shortage of places to see, especially on Fayette Street! Stop in at Great American Pub for an extensive draught list and some of the best wings in the area, or grab some seafood at Flanagan’s Boathouse just around the corner. Ask any local about El Limon and you’re sure to see a smile; the BYOB Mexican joint has been an area favorite for many years. If you’re looking for something more subdued, go to the outdoor garden at Coyote Crossing for a drink or two and enjoy the creative vibes in their yard. Getting outside is easy; the Schuylkill River Trail runs right along the edge of town and continues all the way to Center City. Staying active is simple with running paths and basketball courts spread throughout the town. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in Conshohocken.
Why Doylestown is an Cool Philadelphia Suburb
Located about halfway between Philadelphia and Allentown, the borough of Doylestown has a rich history as the population center and beacon of culture for greater Bucks County. Positioned 25 miles north of Philly and 65 miles southwest of New York City, Doylestown has become a popular spot for those looking to get out of the urban sprawl and enjoy a more serene life with a small town feel. Doylestown is known far and wide for its quaint shopping districts, expansive farmlands, and tight-knit community. Kids in Doylestown and the surrounding areas are zoned into the Central Bucks School District, one of the best in the state of Pennsylvania.
Getting To and Around Doylestown
Doylestown is served by the intersection of state routes 202 and 611, making for an easy trip in nearly any direction from the town itself. Though rather rural, the confluence of roads in the area means easy access to Philadelphia, Trenton, and New York City. Its location near state route 313 gives it easy access across the upper part of Bucks County as well. There is regular coach bus service between Doylestown and both Philly and NYC, making day trips to either city a total breeze. In terms of public transportation, the town is served by the 55 bus, which runs from Doylestown all the way down to the Olney Transportation Center, making it a direct connection to the SEPTA Broad Street Line. The town is also served by Regional Rail, with stops at Delaware Valley College and in the town of Doylestown itself.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Doylestown
The borough is home to a number of historic structures, museums, shops, and parks within its town limits. Points of interest include the County Theater, Michener Art Museum, Mercer Museum, and Moravian Pottery Works. Stop by Ringing Rocks Park for one of the more interesting nature experiences you’ll ever have (and don’t forget your hammer), or go play ball on the many courts and fields at Neis Park. If you’re hungry, drop in to Finney’s Pub, Mesquito Grille, or Villa Capri for food and drinks. And if you’re looking for something a little more upscale, try out a table at the New Britain Inn for dinner. No matter what you’re looking for, Doylestown has a little bit of everything.
Why Haddonfield is a Fantastic Philadelphia Suburb
We’ve arrived at the second New Jersey entry on our amazing suburbs list, the wonderful, all-American town of Haddonfield! Situated just down the road from the previously-discussed Collingswood, the town of Haddonfield has a rich history in Camden County and an important presence in the South Jersey of today. Settled by Quakers and later occupied by dignitaries such as Steven Spielberg, Frank Stefanko, and Claude Giroux, Haddonfield today is a quiet suburban town with an inspiring array of boutiques, shops, restaurants, and gathering places that make it an ideal place to live. The Haddonfield Public School system is frequently recognized as among the best in the state, and the public park system through the town is expansive and accessible.
Getting To and Around Haddonfield
Located about seven miles southeast of the City of Philadelphia, Haddonfield is very easy to get to and from by all means of transportation. Getting to the city is as easy as getting on US-30 and taking that over the Ben Franklin Bridge to I-676. It’s also possible to take I-76 West over the Walt Whitman Bridge and then head up I-95 for direct access to downtown Philadelphia. The town of Haddonfield itself is incredibly walkable; local residents like to note that no part of Haddonfield is more than two miles from any other, making pedestrian access a breeze. The historic town implements a twenty-five mile per hour speed limit throughout its limits to encourage walking, biking, and other activities on its many sidewalks. The town is served by the Haddonfield stop on both the PATCO and NJ Transit Atlantic City Line, and is also served by the NJ Transit 451, 455, and 457 bus lines.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Haddonfield
Finding something to do in Haddonfield is easy, for there are activities nearly anywhere you look. It’s always a good idea to stroll down Haddon Avenue or the stretch of Kings Highway East that runs through town; many small businesses, shops, and eateries line the streets, making it very convenient for anyone to find anything they need. Thinking about grabbing a bite? Definitely consider dropping in to Tre Famiglia, The Kitchen Consigliere, Bistro at Haddonfield, The Little Tuna, or Verona Ristorante. Though Haddonfield is a dry town, that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped pouring coffee! Check out Jersey Java and Tea, The Spice and Tea Exchange, or Trouble Brewing Coffee House. And for dessert? Make sure you don’t skip Gracie’s and Gelato Dolceria to get a fix for your sweet tooth. Want to walk it all off after? In addition to the miles of sidewalks in town, stop by MacDonald Park or Pennypacker Park to relax by the Cooper River. If you’re looking for a tranquil time, Haddonfield is the place for you.
Why King of Prussia is an Amazing Philadelphia Suburb
King of Prussia may be famous for hosting one of the largest shopping malls in America, but it has quickly become one of the most desirable communities in the Philadelphia area. With large urban pockets spread out amongst suburbia, King of Prussia offers the best of both worlds; easy access to amenities without sacrificing open space. With a population just north of 20,000, KOP sits about thirty five minutes northwest of Center City Philadelphia, making it easy to access both downtown and the dense ring of inner suburbs surrounding it. Built on what was originally both Lenni Lenape and later Revolutionary War land, the King of Prussia area is both steeped in history and showing promise for a seriously bright future.
Getting To and From King of Prussia
King of Prussia is very easy to access by car or public transportation. Situated right at the crux of I-276 and I-76, KOP is a pivot point for many car trips. It’s also built right upon the intersection of Route 202 and Route 422, making it easy to get out into Chester County and upper Montgomery County. To get downtown, just hop on I-76 east and ride it towards the city. If you’re taking SEPTA, you’ve got a number of options. The King of Prussia mall is a suburban transit hub; from here, you can catch the 92, 99, 123, 124, 125, and 139 bus lines. The Hughes Park stop on the Norristown High-Speed Line is about eight minutes driving from KOP, and the Strafford stop on the Paoli/Thorndale Regional Rail Line is about twelve minutes from the mall. King of Prussia also has aspirations of having its own regional rail stops in the future, stay tuned!
Copper Hill’s Guide to King of Prussia
If you’re looking for things to do in KOP, you’ll have many, many options to choose from. It almost goes without saying that you can find literally anything you need at the King of Prussia Mall, but what you might not know is that the mall has also become a culinary destination for the area, with many restaurants on the property like Bartaco, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Yard House, and Shake Shack. As if the mall did not already have enough options, slide around the corner to the King of Prussia Town Center to find an amazing upscale mixed-use community of residential high rises and a walkable core of restaurants, shops, and lifestyle opportunities like gyms and bars. Living in King of Prussia means never being more than an arm’s reach from anything you need.
Why Narberth is a Cool Philadelphia Suburb
Nestled within the region’s inner Main Line, the quiet, quaint community of Narberth is focused on the small things. With abundant educational opportunities nearby, Narberth is the perfect place to settle down with a suburban lifestyle without sacrificing proximity to our major urban area. Narberth is a tight borough (only a half square mile) and just over four thousand people nestled between Wynnewood and Bala Cynwyd just outside the city of Philadelphia. With walkable streets and a collection of independent businesses, Narberth has its own small town charm while being a part of the larger Main Line community.
Getting To and From Narberth
Given its size, Narberth has a great location within Montgomery County. Situated part way between Lancaster and Montgomery Avenues, the borough is centrally located to schools, restaurants, stores, parks, and much more. The major thoroughfare through town is Wynnewood Road, which connects to most main streets in the area. The borough is less than a ten minute drive to the I-76 east and west on-ramps, and has easy access to City Line Avenue and West Philadelphia. The town is also served by the Narberth stop on the Paoli/Thorndale Regional Rail line, and it’s less than a ten minute drive from the Penfield Station on the Norristown High-Speed Line. If you’re taking the bus, you can catch Route 44 within the borough, or you can catch Route 105 on Lancaster Avenue just over the line in Wynnefield.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Narberth
In Narberth, the entire Main Line is yours! You’re never more than a quick drive from the best eating, drinking, and shopping in the area. Within the borough, there are many things to do. If you’re hungry, stop in the Narberth location of Conshy’s favorite spot, the Great American Pub. Thinking about something different for dinner? Look no further than Coco Thai Bistro, Ryan Christopher’s BYOB, or Spicy Asia Cuisine. Dessert? Au Fornil and Village Treats have you covered. If you want to play some ball or just get some fresh air, take a stroll through Narberth Park and Playground, or check out the ballfields on Sabine Avenue. Narberth has its own community theater, which puts on productions year-round. If you’re more of the film type, drop in and see a movie at Reel Cinemas. Enjoy life at your pace in the picturesque borough of Narberth.
Why Jenkintown is a Fantastic Philadelphia Suburb
Situated just north of Philadelphia, Jenkintown has long been a destination with its classic and giant old stone homes, walkable streets, and easy access to the city. A central component of the sprawling northern suburbs, Jenkintown was originally settled way back in 1697, and now straddles the Route 611 business corridor between Abington and Cheltenham. With a lively business district filled with shops, restaurants, and a few treasures unique to the borough, Jenkintown boasts strong schools and a strong community for all who reside nearby.
Getting To and From Jenkintown
Jenkintown is located directly north of Center City, about ten miles above City Hall. The borough is wrapped around a stretch of Route 611 (known as Old York Road in Jenkintown, and Broad Street in Philadelphia) that runs up from North Philadelphia into the hinterlands. Other significant streets in the borough include Walnut Street and Greenwood Avenue, which intersect each other at the center of town. Jenkintown is served by the 55 and 77 SEPTA bus lines with access to Olney, Chestnut Hill, Mayfair, Willow Grove, and Doylestown. For those looking to commute, it’s easy! You can get to Center City either by taking the 55 to Olney and hopping on the Broad Street Line, or by catching the Regional Rail from Jenkintown-Wyncote Station on the west side of the borough.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Jenkintown
Though small in land area, Jenkintown has a lot to offer both its residents and visitors. The Drake Tavern, a popular spot for beer and food since 2004, is a fantastic place to get your fix on some good pub fare and have a drink. Other favorites include King’s Corner Public House, Human Robot, and Andy’s Chicken. Need a pick me up? White Horse Coffee and Java Shop have you covered. Take a stroll at the parks by Jenkintown High School, where you’ll find many people watching the football and baseball teams in season. With lots of artisan shops and small eateries lining Route 611 and spread throughout the town, there’s something for everyone in Jenkintown.
Why Lansdale is an Amazing Philadelphia Suburb
Lansdale gives the feel of a small city without the overcrowding, a perfect balance for the commuter or anyone looking to join a strong, close knit community. Situated about fifty minutes northwest of Philadelphia, Lansdale is considered one of the premier commuter towns in the area, offering both its own distinct identity as well as convenient access to Center City Philadelphia by public transportation. With a population of just under 19,000 people, Lansdale boasts strong schools and a thriving main street consisting of independent businesses and many eateries. The borough itself is very walkable, with many miles of sidewalks within the town limits.
Getting To and From Lansdale
Lansdale is located approximately twenty eight miles northwest of Center City Philadelphia, making it easy to get downtown and to the surrounding areas northwest of the city. Getting to the city is as easy as hopping on I-476 South and changing over to I-76 West in Plymouth Meeting for direct access to downtown. Lansdale is also quite close to Route 309, making it easy to travel across the outer suburbs and up to Allentown. The borough also has strong public transit infrastructure. Those looking to head to Philadelphia can hop on at either the Lansdale Regional Rail stop or the Ninth Street Lansdale Regional Rail stop; the same line also continues on to Doylestown. The borough is also served by the Route 94, Route 96 and Route 132 bus lines, with services to Chestnut Hill, Montgomeryville, Norristown, and Telford.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Lansdale
The main drag in Lansdale, Main Street, is home to a number of local restaurants, bars, breweries, and coffee shops, most of which are within walking distance of each other. If you’re looking for a good drink, we recommend checking out Well Crafted Brewery, Local Tap, Round Guys Brewing Company, or Blue Dog Pub. Thinking of dinner? Don’t miss Stove and Tap, El Tapatio, Lansdale Tavern, or Mama Thai either. If you’re on your way to work and need a cup of coffee, you’re in luck. Backyard Beans, Koffee Korner, and Amarillis Cafe have you covered. Take a walk through the expansive Moyer’s Road Park or have a quick jaunt through Fifth Street Park for some nature. And should you ever need it, you’re just one turn away from Jefferson Lansdale Hospital on North Broad Street. If you need it or want it, you can surely find it in Lansdale.
Why Lafayette Hill is a Cool Philadelphia Suburb
Built upon the former site of many Revolutionary War battles and taking its name from the Marquis de Lafayette, the unincorporated community of Lafayette Hill sits just outside of the northwest boundary of the City of Philadelphia. Located about twenty five minutes from Center City, Lafayette Hill has long been a heralded option for those looking to stay close to the city without sacrificing space. Situated amongst the verdant landscapes of Whitemarsh and Springfield Townships, Lafayette Hill sits between Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood to the south and Conshohocken to the north. Students living in Lafayette Hill are served by the Colonial School District, one of the best in the area, and are within reach of many elite private schools in the region.
Getting To and From Lafayette Hill
Lafayette Hill is nestled in the hills right outside of the Andorra neighborhood of Philadelphia, about twelve miles northwest of City Hall. Tucked inside the bend of the Schuylkill right around the Conshohocken Curve, Lafayette Hill is a place of abundant nature, with many neighborhoods sporting tree lined streets and accessible forests. The area has multiple shopping centers and easy access to both the borough of Conshohocken and the surrounding commercial districts in Plymouth Meeting. It’s only a seven minute drive to reach the on-ramps for both I-476 and I-276, with quick access to I-76 as well. Hop on the highway and you can be downtown in under half an hour, while getting over to King of Prussia is only half of that time. Lafayette Hill is served by Routes 27, 95, 97, and L with service all over the region. Those looking to hop on the Manayunk/Norristown line at either Miquon or Spring Mill, or take a quick drive up to Chestnut Hill to catch either of the departing lines.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Lafayette Hill
Hidden in this suburban gem are many fantastic eateries and houses of drink. Craving Italian? Don’t miss From the Boot, Amici Vicinato, or Sorrento’s. If you’re looking for Asian food, Hunan Wok gets the job done every time. For a solid dining experience, stop in at Brittingham’s, The Persian Grille, or Nirvana Indian Bistro. For a good beer after a long day, stop into Whitemarsh Beverage and grab a six pack to enjoy at home. Taking a stroll through the expansive Miles Park is always a nice activity, with many fields and courts ready to host any sport. Enjoy the natural trails just off of Andorra Road, and for the golfers out there, the Union League has a course just outside of city limits. Lafayette Hill’s natural beauty and easy access to its surroundings make it a great place for anyone to live.
Why Malvern is a Fantastic Philadelphia Suburb
As one of the crown jewels of Philadelphia’s Main Line, Malvern sits at the western end of towns making up the stretch. Roughly twenty five miles west of Philadelphia in Chester County, the borough of Malvern is a destination for food, drink, and entertainment in the outer suburbs. With a population of a little under four thousand people, Malvern is of a comfortable population density, with the borough spread out over 1.27 square miles. A popular town for those commuting into the city, homes in Malvern offer lots of interior and exterior space with easy access to amenities of all kinds.
Getting To and From Malvern
Malvern borders the nearby boroughs of Paoli and Exton, and sits just below Routes 30 and 202, making it easy to connect to larger highways. The borough also sits less than ten miles from West Chester. The area is primarily served by Route 202, connecting the borough to Lancaster to the west and King of Prussia to the east. Getting to Philadelphia can be done in one of two ways; either take 76 East all the way to Center City, or take US-1 down to I-476 S, and then connect to I-95 N and cruise into Old City or South Philadelphia. The area is served by SEPTA Routes 92 and 204, collectively serving West Chester to King of Prussia, and Lionville to Paoli, respectively. Malvern is also served by a SEPTA Regional Rail station bearing its name.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Malvern
Living in Malvern affords many opportunities for eating and drinking, entertainment, and education. The area is served by the Great Valley School District for K-12 education; the borough is also home to two private schools, grades 6-12 Malvern Preparatory and grades 9-12 all-girls Villa Maria Academy. Nearby schools also include The Phelps School and Willistown Country Day School. The area is also home to Immaculata University and is just a short drive from nearby West Chester University. The borough is home to many restaurants; make sure to check out Brick and Brew, Restaurant Alba, Manam Indian Cuisine, and Fattoush Mediterranean. Thinking drinks? Don’t miss Flying Pig Saloon, Sly Fox Taphouse, McKenzie Brew House, or Chickie’s & Pete’s. Find a balance between urban and rural in beautiful Malvern, Pennsylvania.
Why Media is an Amazing Philadelphia Suburb
Nestled in the verdant rolling hills of Delaware County, the town of Media has become an oasis in the suburbs. Serving as the county seat and sitting just over thirteen miles from Center City Philadelphia, Media was incorporated in 1850 and since then has stood as a quaint escape from the big city while offering a distinct culture of its own. The borough boasts strong schools and educational opportunities and a true charm among its beautiful streets. The town was once a summer retreat for wealthy Philadelphians; today, it is home to just under 5,700 people within its borders.
Getting To and From Media
Media is located in the direct center of Delaware County, about a thirty five minute drive from Philadelphia’s City Hall. Getting to the city is fairly easy and can be done in a number of ways. With easy access to I-476, many folks take that route south to connect with I-95 and head north towards Old City. Additionally, it’s possible to take I-476 north and connect with I-76 West to get downtown. The borough is served by SEPTA bus routes 110 and 118 with services to 69th Street Transportation Center, Penn State Brandywine, Newtown Square, and Chester Transportation Center. Media is also served by the Route 101 trolley, with many stops within the borough en route to 69th Street Transportation Center. Those looking to take advantage of the Regional Rail system can board at the Media station, with service to Elwyn and 30th Street Station.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Media
Media is an often overlooked destination for food, drink, and entertainment, but we’ll help you find the gems in the area. Stroll down State Street or Baltimore Pike for your pick of many restaurants and breweries; we recommend checking out Fellini Cafe, Stephen’s on State, La Porta Ristorante and Wine Bar, and Court Diner. Feeling thirsty? Stop in for a cold one at Tap 24, Off the Rail, or Sligo. While you’re there, see a show at the historic Media Theater for the Performing Arts or stop in to check out the Delaware County Institute of Science and see their renowned herbarium. If you’re the nature type, Media sits adjacent to a number of parks, trails, and forests. For a breath of fresh air, Media is the place to be.
Why Pike Creek is a Cool Philadelphia Suburb
Marking here our first Delaware entry on this list, the suburb of Pike Creek is conveniently located near three of the area’s major urban centers without sacrificing any of the tranquility that’s earned it status as a top 100 American community to live in. Situated on the northern end of New Castle County, Pike Creek is a community of just over seven thousand people spread out over just under 2.7 square miles. Pike Creek is located just over an hour’s drive from Center City Philadelphia, though it’s just a ten mile drive to Wilmington, and even closer to the town of Newark. With its central location to all three communities, it’s no wonder that Pike Creek’s popularity has been growing over the years.
Getting To and From Pike Creek
Sitting just three miles from the Pennsylvania-Delaware border, Pike Creek also offers easy access to Chester County and the surrounding towns. Driving to Philadelphia is as simple as taking Route 7 to Route 141, and then taking Route 495 north to I-95 and heading up towards the city. Getting to Wilmington is just a quick drive on Route 48; getting to Newark is even easier, just a few miles down Paper Mill Road. The Pike Creek area is served by Delaware Area Rapid Transit; getting to Philadelphia entails taking DART Route 18 to the Wilmington SEPTA station and catching the regional rail. Getting to Newark can be done by taking the Route 18 bus to Greenbank Park and switching to the Route 6 bus towards the Newark Transit Hub.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Pike Creek
Pike Creek is known for its peaceful countryside feel, but the main commercial district has plenty to do. If you’re hungry, definitely stop in to El Diablo Burritos, Sushi Xtreme, Valle Cucina, or Cafe Americana. For a night out, we recommend Tyler’s Bar & Grille or Two Stones Pub just up the road in Hockessin. The area is abound with strong educational opportunities as well, with students in the area being zoned to either Red Clay School District or Christina School District; Goldey-Beacom College is also located directly in the middle of Pike Creek. The area has strong nature preserves, with many miles of trails in the Middle Run Natural Area and White Clay Creek State Park. For a break from the hustle, you’ve got to check out Pike Creek.
Why Newtown is a Fantastic Philadelphia Suburb
Located on the banks of the Delaware River just south of the site of Washington’s famous midnight crossing, Newtown retains much of its colonial-era charm as it emerges as a hotspot for renters and buyers alike. Sitting about thirty miles upstream from Philadelphia and just across the river from downtown Trenton, New Jersey, the borough of Newtown was originally settled by William Penn and was later home to George Washington and his Continental Army as they fought for freedom from British tyranny. Today, the borough is home to just over two thousand residents spread out over half a square mile of sidewalk-lined streets and a quaint main drag with food, drink, and shopping options.
Getting To and From Newtown
Newtown is located in central Bucks County, putting it in proximity to both Philadelphia and New York City. It’s just a twenty minute drive to Trenton Transit Center, where one can catch SEPTA’s Trenton Line, multiple NJ Transit train and bus routes, Amtrak service heading down south or up to New England, or the River Line down to Camden. The borough itself is closest to the Woodbourne station on the West Trenton Line, and it’s also serviced by the Route 130 bus with service to the Neshaminy Mall and to the Torresdale neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia. Students in Newtown are zoned to the highly-regarded Council Rock School DIstrict, and the borough is just a short drive from Bucks County Community College, Holy Family University, The College of New Jersey, and Princeton University.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Newtown
To get a true taste of Newtown, you must take a stroll down the vaunted State Street. With almost two hundred years of history among these blocks, it’s no surprise that Newtown is home to America’s oldest continuously operating movie theater. The Newtown Hardware House is the oldest business in the borough, having been open for over 130 years and still going strong. The borough is known for its abundance of taverns; if you’re thirsty, we recommend checking out The Temperance House, Green Parrot, or the Sycamore Grille. Also worth your stopping in are La Stalla, Rocco’s At The Brick, and Triple Sun Spirits Co. Newtown also sits adjacent to the ever-popular Tyler State Park, and contains within its borders the Clark Nature Center. If you’re looking for an old-school town with a new-school feel, Newtown is the place for you.
Why Phoenixville is an Amazing Philadelphia Suburb
High up above the city on the banks of the upper Schuylkill sits Phoenixville, the once run-down mill town in the midst of a historic resurgence as a destination for all of Montgomery and Chester Counties as a hotbed of food and culture in the farm-laden region. Situated roughly twenty eight miles northwest of Philadelphia, Phoenixville boasts a strong urban core with walkable streets and many amenities among its blocks while sitting right next to the expansive Valley Forge National Park, the site of many significant events in the American Revolution. The area retains its historic charm while looking towards the future of the town.
Getting To and From Phoenixville
Phoenixville is located in the upper reaches of Chester County, bisected by Route 23 and the Schuylkill River. Getting to Philadelphia usually involves taking Route 23 down through Valley Forge National Park, hopping on I-76 East in King of Prussia, and riding the highway down to the city, a trip that can normally be done in under forty five minutes. The borough has easy access to the King of Prussia Mall and the rest of the main line, with Route 202 just a short drive to the south. The nearest Regional Rail stop is the Elm Street Station in Norristown, just under ten miles from the borough, though Phoenixville is also served by Routes 99 and 139, with service to Norristown, King of Prussia, and Royersford. It is also possible to obtain coach bus service to a variety of destinations originating from Phoenixville.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Phoenixville
The Phoenixville borough is one of the more underrated spots in the area for going out and having a good time. With a strong culture of bars and breweries, it’s easy to find something to do in the borough. We recommend checking out Stable 12 Brewing Company, Bluebird Distilling, and Root Down Brewing Company. Thinking of a more exciting night out? Stop in to Fenix Bar and Lounge, The Rec Room by Conshohocken Brewing, or GridIron Sports Bar. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, don’t miss Sedona Taphouse, Bistro on Bridge, Avlos Greek Cuisine, and Three Brothers Grill. While you’re in the area, you must at least drive through (if not take a hike in) Valley Forge National Park to see the original structures from Washington’s stay in the area. The Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area has lots of information on the borough’s rich history as a former industrial center, and Reeves Park has fields and courts for sports of all kinds. Students in the area are zoned to the Phoenixville Area School District. If you’re looking for a small urban center away from the big city, Phoenixville is the place to be.
Why New Hope is a Cool Philadelphia Suburb
Perched over thirty miles north of Philadelphia on the eastern bend in the Delaware, New Hope is a borough of just over two thousand people with a rich history and thriving culture. Historically a train-stop town and a halfway point between Philadelphia and New York, New Hope served travelers needing an overnight stay on their journey between cities. New Hope previously was a center for paper milling and production, though today the main industry for the borough is tourism. New Hope is connected via bridge to the town of Lambertville, New Jersey, with the two sharing a strong bond and relationship.
Getting To and From New Hope
New Hope is located on the upper eastern end of Bucks County, with the Delaware River being the border. Getting to both Philadelphia and New York is fairly simple. To hit the big apple, drivers need to take Route 202 to I-287 and then head into the city, taking a little under ninety minutes. Getting to Philadelphia is significantly shorter; just take Taylorsville Road to I-295, and then connect with I-95 Southbound for a fifty minute drive to Center City. New Hope is out of the reach of SEPTA bus service, but the borough is served by Trans-Bridge Lines coach bus service. The nearest Regional Rail station to New Hope is the Yardley Station on the West Trenton Line, sitting about twelve miles south of the borough. Students in New Hope are zoned to the New Hope-Solebury School District, with nearby private school options consisting of the Solebury School, George School, and Buckingham Friends School.
Copper Hill’s Guide to New Hope
Sitting right on the Delaware River, the commercial center of New Hope offers many opportunities to rest and relax and enjoy the quaint feel of the town. We recommend stopping for a bite to eat at Martine’s RiverHouse Restaurant, Oldestone, The Landing, Los Catrines Cocina, and Zoubi. The riverfront area also offers options for nightlife; don’t miss out on drinks at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company, Great Barn Brewery, Fran’s Pub, or The Salt House, all located either on or just off of Main Street, the main thoroughfare of the borough. There are also a number of food and drink options just across the river in Lambertville; both towns have parks, playgrounds, and opportunities to get back to the basics in nature. New Hope is the perfect place for anyone looking for a quaint retreat from the busy, bustling city life.
Why Wayne is a Fantastic Philadelphia Suburb
Right in the heart of Philadelphia’s Main Line, the community of Wayne has long been a destination for city residents looking for a little more space without sacrificing quick access to the downtown core. Straddling Lancaster Avenue, the main business district of Wayne includes many small businesses and historic points that give the town a historic feel, including The Wayne Hotel and the Anthony Wayne Theater. Sitting on the line of but firmly inside of Delaware County, Wayne is a popular spot for those looking to live near but not in Philadelphia without losing the charm of a small urban core.
Getting To and From Wayne
Wayne is centrally located on the Main Line, making it quite easy to get to Center City, King of Prussia, and many other area destinations. While it’s possible to take Lancaster Avenue all the way into the city, most prefer to take I-476 North to I-76 East and ride that route downtown. King of Prussia is just a short drive up the aptly named King of Prussia Road, and the rest of the Main Line is easily accessible via Lancaster Avenue. The community is served by the Wayne Station stop on SEPTA’s Regional Rail, and is covered by the Route 106 bus with service to Paoli and the 69th Street Transportation Center. Students in the area are zoned to either Radnor School District or Tredyffrin School District depending on their location, with nearby private school options available in the form of Episcopal Academy, Shipley School, Haverford School, and Friends Central School.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Wayne
Wayne’s main drag on Lancaster Avenue is full of spots for the diner, drinker, and shopper alike. For a meal, we recommend checking out 118 North, White Dog, New Wayne Pizza, Cornerstone, Gryphon, and Christopher’s, among others. For a drink, stop in at Rosalie’s, Great American Pub, or The Goat’s Beard. If you feel like getting fancy, it’s well worth the time to make a reservation at The Wayne Hotel and enjoy exquisite service and an incredible dining experience. With nearby King of Prussia offering an unparalleled shopping experience, it’s also a good idea to stop in at one of the many artisan shops and small businesses on Lancaster Avenue as well. With many tree lined streets and parks in the area, Wayne is a nice change of pace for those looking for an escape.
Why Kennett Square is an Amazing Philadelphia Suburb
Frequently recognized as the mushroom capital of the world, Kennett Square has become a treasured community in Chester County for its open spaces and lush pastures. The borough itself is home to just under six thousand people spread out over a little more than one square mile. Considered a suburb of both Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE, Kennett Square provides easy access to both cities as well as the borough of West Chester; it also served as an important stop on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. But back to those mushrooms… Kennett Square is responsible for over fifty percent of the United States’ mushroom crop! But trust us, there are more than just vegetables to be found here.
Getting To and From Kennett Square
Located in lower Chester County about three miles from the Delaware border, Kennett Square is about ten miles as the crow flies to Wilmington; it is about thirty miles to Center City from the borough. Commuting to Philadelphia is very doable; the trip consists of taking Route 1 to Conchester Highway and connecting I-95 North towards the city. Getting to Wilmington is as simple as taking Old Kennett Road to Route 52, about a thirty minute drive. Kennett Square is out of the reach of SEPTA within the borough, but the Thorndale Regional Rail Station is about twenty three minutes up Unionville Road. Additionally, the Route 111 bus to 69th Street Transportation Center stops in the nearby borough of Chadds Ford. Students here are zoned into the Kennett Consolidated School District.
Copper Hill’s Guide to Kennett Square
Kennett Square is home to Longwood Gardens, one of the premier botanical displays in the entire country, attracting many thousands of visitors per year. It is also home to the annual Kennett Square Mushroom Festival, with markets, attractions, and a parade. If you’re hungry, we recommend La Verona, Portabello’s, State Street Pizza, and Keller’s Eatery. Feeling thirsty? Definitely stop in at Victory Brewing, Kennett Brewing, Braeloch Brewing, or Giordano’s. Get outside and explore Nixon Park, get in a round at Kennett Square Golf and Country Club, or peruse the many shops and stores on State Street. If you’re looking for a small town feel, Kennett Square is a great place to start.
Why West Chester is a Cool Philadelphia Suburb
Long heralded by locals as a piece of the city outside of the city, the youthful and vibrant West Chester has come a long way in the past few decades. Home to West Chester University and Cheyney University, the town has a sizable student population during the school year, though the official count rests at just under nineteen thousand residents, though when that area is expanded to include the surrounding neighborhoods, the number climbs to just over one hundred thousand. With a strong urban center and large neighborhoods just outside of town, West Chester is a great place for professionals, young families, and anyone interested in having a neighborhood feel without being in a big city. West Chester sits about forty five minutes directly west of Center City Philadelphia, making a daily commute by car or transit very possible for anyone considering the WFH lifestyle.
Getting To and From West Chester
As the county seat of Chester county, the borough is home to all administrative offices and government agencies serving the residents of the county. The downtown area is largely made up of the West Chester Historic District, with the town also consisting of a corporate center and nightlife on High Street and Market Street. Getting from West Chester to Philadelphia is a breeze; just hop on Route 3 and follow it all the way to city limits in West Philly. One could also take Route 352 to I-476, or take Route 202 to King of Prussia and hop on I-76 East. The borough of West Chester is served by the West Chester Transportation Center. Riders here can catch the Route 92 to King of Prussia, the Route 104 to 69th Street Transportation Center, or the Route 135 out to Coatesville. West Chester is also served by the Exton Station for both Regional Rail and Amtrak service, located just six miles north of the downtown core.
Copper Hill’s Guide to West Chester
There’s no shortage of things to do in West Chester. The West Chester Railroad (the town used to be served by many trains) does tourist trips along the historic tracks; the borough is also home to the American Helicopter Museum, Chester County Historic Center, and the Brandywine River Art Museum. The borough also has frequent outdoor open markets and happy hours in the center of town. If you’re hungry, check out Market Street Grille, Teca, or Marshalton Inn. Looking to go out? Don’t miss Kildare’s, Ryan’s, Bar AV, or Jitters Sports Bar. If you’re thinking more about the laid back vibe of a brewery, stop in at Levante Brewing, Artillery Brewing, or Iron Hill Brewery. Getting outside is easy at the Stroud Preserve or Hibernia Park. No matter what, West Chester has something for everyone.
Now that you’ve taken a full tour of the Greater Philadelphia area, from the inner ring to the far flung farmlands, we hope you’ve learned a thing or two. Philadelphia’s suburban sprawl is as rich in character and history as the neighborhoods that make up the city, and truthfully, it’s not much of a stretch to think of these towns as neighborhoods of their own amongst the surrounding counties. From the historical sites lining the northwestern suburbs to the rolling hills of Chester County and northern Delaware all the way to the convenience and easy access that the inner Main Line provides, we’re confident that there’s a Philadelphia suburb for just about anyone.
We know this for sure because these are just twenty of our favorites; there are SO many more unique and interesting places within a short distance of the city that we just couldn’t list them all. For the (sub)urban explorer, the farmer, the foodie, or the outdoors lover, the Greater Philadelphia area provides easy access to all of the things you love … including the city itself! Think of this list not as a final answer, but rather as a starting point in your journey to see all that Southeastern PA, Southern NJ, and Northern DE have to offer.
Moving to a new city, a new neighborhood, new suburb, or even just a new block can be daunting. With many unknowns, it’s understandable to have some hesitation and trepidation, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. At Copper Hill, we specialize in helping our clients find their forever home in a place they love, and part of that means sharing our regional knowledge and expertise with everyone. Thinking about making a move? Copper Hill can help! Get in touch with us to learn more about how we help our clients find their perfect places.