Northwest Philadelphia is one of the best areas in the city to visit if you're looking for a quiet, suburban feel in the neighborhood. This district outside of Center City is still known for its historical roots, and its developing neighborhoods that have a blossoming nightlife all of their own. For instance, many travelers spend an afternoon in Germantown Philadelphia to see colonial buildings and then head for a rowdy night out in Manayunk. Some travelers may prefer the quiet hotels in Germantown over the more expensive, crowded options in the city center. Most of the options in this district will be significantly more affordable than their city center counterparts, which is a contributing factor to the young atmosphere found in Northwest Philadelphia.
German Quaker and Mennonite families founded Germantown Philadelphia in 1681, and the founding day is celebrated each year on October 6. Located approximately seven miles northwest of city center, Colonial Germantown has been designated a national historic landmark, and a number of historic things happened here, including the birth of the anti-slavery movement in 1688. This rich collection of historic buildings includes a schoolhouse, tavern, and excellent examples of colonial architecture and mansions. George Washington lived in Germantown Philadelphia at one point in 1793, when he was trying to escape a yellow fever epidemic that was plaguing the center of the city.
It may not surprise visitors that hotels in Germantown are mostly historic, charming, and small; travelers looking for the high-end amenities of luxury accommodation should head into the city center. Hotels in Germantown offer a relaxing atmosphere and an opportunity to explore the many cultural attractions of the neighborhood on foot. Art galleries, shops, and restaurants will also keep you busy during an afternoon of exploring Germantown Philadelphia. Whether you’re looking for art supplies, cookware, or books, you’ll find something unique in this section of the city.
Other areas of Northwest Philadelphia include Mount Airy, Chestnut Hill, Roxborough, and Manayunk. Each of these areas has a significant European-influenced population, including Irish-American, Italian-American, German-American and British-American. African-Americans are another significant population in this region of the city. This blend of cultures results in a phenomenal range of shops, restaurants, and crafts. Visitors who are looking to experience a glimpse of the melting pot of America will find just that in the Northwest section of Philadelphia.
Northwest Philadelphia is a diverse region in many ways; in addition to ethnic diversity, there is a range of economic diversity as well. Areas such as Chestnut Hill are known as affluent neighborhoods, while places such as Manayunk are a desirable location for recent college graduates and young professionals looking for more affordable rents. Offering the city life without the city noise, this section of Philadelphia displays architecture ranging from four centuries ago through to present day condos. This suburban feel and hilly terrain has lured young families, couples, and professionals away from the city center and into a more defined neighborhood. A pleasure for visitors as well, Northwest Philadelphia is a great place to relax.
Image: R. Kennedy for GPTMC