Best Neighborhoods in Philadelphia
If you’re considering renting an apartment in Philadelphia, options abound. Some of the best neighborhoods for renters in Philadelphia are located in West and Northwest Philadelphia, including Manayunk and Roxborough. Whether you’re a young adult, a family with little ones, a busy professional or are looking to settle into your golden years, you can find something to love in these diverse neighborhoods.
West Philadelphia, in particular, is considered one of the city’s biggest melting pots. If you’re looking to live amid residents of varied experiences and backgrounds who all contribute to the fabric of the city, West Philly may just be your spot. Part of what has contributed to the area’s vibrancy is the influx of leading universities and hospitals. West Philadelphia is home to University City, which features some of the nation’s most well-known educational institutions, including University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and University of the Sciences. These research-driven facilities have attracted some of the leading minds in the medical and science worlds, many of whom have settled right in West Philadelphia.
Even if you don’t go to school or work in the neighborhood, the convenience of West Philadelphia is undeniable. The area is located directly across the Schuylkill River from Center City, a quick 15-minute drive. To avoid traffic and parking in the downtown area, however, many West Philly residents opt for public transportation. The Market-Frankford Line allows locals to speed right across Market Street into the heart of the city in just minutes, while buses and trolleys also enable them to navigate throughout all other parts of the city and suburbs.
Things to Do & See
However, with everything there is to see and do in West Philadelphia, there’s little reason to ever travel too far from home. Thoroughfares like Lancaster Avenue meet all of residents’ daily needs — with casual, on-the-go eateries suited to residents’ busy lifestyles, and everything from banks to pharmacies to grocery stores. And when you want to treat yourself, the culinary scene in West Philadelphia rivals that of Center City any day, with its multicultural influences and international flavors.
Arts and Culture
The bustling college communities have made West Philadelphia a haven for those seeking artsy and intellectual entertainment — from the Penn Museum to the Institute of Contemporary Art. West Philadelphia has become increasingly popular with young families, largely for its safe and accessible streets and robust community-oriented offerings, from farmer’s markets and festivals at Clark Park to hands-on learning at the Please Touch Museum. The Mann Center hosts some of the nation’s biggest names in music, offering a unique concert-going experience under the stars.
West Philadelphia is also one of the neighborhoods for renters in Philadelphia that offers the most opportunities for outdoor adventure. The Philadelphia Zoo is located within West Philly, offering visitors of all ages an innovative, interactive experience at the nation’s first zoo. Perhaps the area’s most well-known and well-traveled outdoor space is Fairmount Park, a popular find for everyone from bikers to bird watchers and from runners to horseback riders, who can always find something new to see amid the hundreds of miles of trails, many of which feature spectacular views of the Schuylkill River.
Manayunk & Roxborough
On the other side of the river are Manayunk and Roxborough, which also offer endless potential for outdoor exploration. The riverside neighborhoods are nestled right next to one another and along the river and Manayunk Canal, where you can hit the Schuylkill River Trail for exercise and relaxation. Elsewhere in the area, Wissahickon Valley Park features wooded and paved paths and a full lineup of nature-focused community events.
Shopping and Restaurants
However, one of the most well-known areas in Manayunk and Roxborough is Main Street. Populated by hundreds of shops, restaurants, and bars, the corridor is a haven for those seeking active nightlife experiences. The avenue features some of the city’s leading restaurants, and the diversity of the dining options means you can always find something new to taste on each visit to Main Street. The businesses in the area embrace the community energy that extends throughout Manayunk and Roxborough, often participating in events such as food festivals, music series, fundraisers and holiday events.
That community atmosphere helps Manayunk and Roxborough to feel like their own small towns within the big city, an idea that is furthered by the unique fusion of history and innovation. The area dates back hundreds of years and previously thrived as a center for mills and factories, many of which still stand today alongside the many rowhomes that populate the narrow, cobble-stoned streets. That historic charm alongside the business boom on Main Street gives Manayunk and Roxborough a quaint, quirky vibe, making it as much of a popular destination for young folks as it always has been for longtime residents.
No matter your age or interests, you can appreciate the appeal of the neighborhoods’ convenience. Manayunk and Roxborough are located just 15 minutes from Center City Philadelphia, making them ideal spots for those who work downtown but who are craving a more residential, peaceful living experience. Drivers can easily access the nearby I-76 or op for public transportation. Two Regional Rail stations are located right near the centers of both neighborhoods, and commuters can also use the network of SEPTA buses that run through the region. That convenience is just one of the many advantages that make Manayunk and Roxborough some of the most popular neighborhoods for renters in Philadelphia.