Best Places to Live in Philadelphia
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
May 8, 2014
Filed Under Places
by Catalogs.com Info Guru Aurora LaJambre
Philadelphia is a big city with a small town feel in many of the neighborhoods.
Over the past few years, artists and younger families have flocked here for the affordable housing and rich culture. If you’re planning a move, you’re in for a treat and a delicious cheese steak or two.
These top places to live in Philadelphia rock in every possible way.
10. Washington Square West
Locally referred to as Philly’s Gayborhood, Washington Square West is one of the city’s prettiest pockets. The homes are almost as colorful as the rainbow street signs and flags adorning many of the bars and local businesses. Narrow brick streets and ever-present urban greenery give this ‘hood loads of character, however tempered by a recent onslaught of fancy strollers.
Though it’s geographically located in Philly, Fairmont feels almost suburban, with its endless trees and communal atmosphere. The sidewalk cafes, bars and older, more affordable homes attract a younger, intrepid crowd.
8. Bella Vista
This scenic south Philly area was home to many of the country’s first Italian immigrants, and remains primarily Italian-American to this day. What does that mean for new residents? Outstanding cafes, old fashioned bakeries and restaurants ready to make you feel at home. There’s plenty of opportunity to meet the new neighbors at local art openings and the community’s annual block party, a.k.a. the Italian Market Fest.
7. South Street
A go-to for any visitor, South Street is one of the coolest places to live in Philadelphia. The area offers everything you could want from affordable restaurants and bars, to live music, theatre and plenty of Philadelphia-style shopping. South Street itself can get crazy noisy on the weekend, especially when the weather is nice, but once you’re a few blocks away things are fairly quiet.
With nearly 50 restaurants and bars lining the historic Main Street, you’ll have plenty of company in Manayunk. Rents are higher here because of the nearness to three universities, but the steeps hills and old industrial buildings have kept prices from skyrocketing, so far.
5. Northern Liberties
Once home to artists and hipsters in expensive ripped shirts, these days Northern Liberties draws mostly high-earning professionals and affluent retirees. Residents have access to SEPTA transit, a Superfresh grocery, a brewery, many small bars and boutiques, and two large public parks for outdoorsy types.
Named after the breweries of this neighborhood’s past, North Philadelphia’s Brewerytown is up-and-coming at breakneck pace. The combination of small, creative businesses, a local grocery and new condos is a package many residents can’t resist. With live music venues, galleries and a year-round calendar of cultural happenings, the area is thriving.
3. Rittenhouse Square
Unlike many recently revitalized neighborhoods, Rittenhouse has long been among the top places to live in Philadelphia, in part due to close proximity to Penn and Drexel universities. You’ll find an eclectic age demographic, a mix of brand name and boutique shopping and classic Philly food catering to both foodies and students on a budget.
Looking for that energized American city vibe without big city attitudes and even bigger price tags? Fishtown is a wildly affordable neighborhood drawing people from every kind of background. The beer garden, artsy eateries and lively bar scene means you can stay local and still as social as you desire on weekends.
Life in Fairmount, where Rocky Balboa ran up the stairs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is all about spending time outdoors. The Fairmount Park is one of the country’s largest municipal parks, plus you have the beautiful Boathouse Row and the Fairmount Water Works. The Schuyllkill River trail is ideal for joggers, walkers, cyclists and other weekend warriors. And when you’re looking for some relaxation, people watch by one of the neighborhoods fountains or boat watch by the river.