We are located in a part of Philadelphia, specifically the Northwest, that sometimes gets overlooked when tourists are planning their visits to the Philadelphia area. Chestnut Hill is only 10 miles to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 11.3 miles to City Hall, 14.8 miles to Pat’s Cheesesteaks, and 19 miles to the airport. The City is accessible from Chestnut Hill via the Septa Chestnut Hill East or Chestnut Hill West lines and the commute is about 30 minutes, depending on traffic. Buses also travel from Chestnut Hill to Philadelphia. Did we make our point clear? We’re in a very convenient location not too far from many of the top tourist destinations in Philadelphia.
Why Chestnut Hill? Chestnut Hill is a historical part of the City. The main road, Germantown Avenue, is lined with Belgian blocks, similar to cobblestones. There are many restaurants and boutique shops along the avenue and beautiful stone houses in the neighborhood. It is quaint and a fun place to shop, eat, walk around, and explore! There are also many sites worth seeing during your visit to the area, some of which are highlighted below.
The Morris Arboretum has 92 acres of colorful gardens that are home to more than 12,000 different trees, plants, and flowers that are all labeled. The Arboretum is a popular wedding venue and also offers educational classes. The Arboretum has an interactive Tree Adventure Exhibit with a canopy walk that is 50 feet high.
Another popular attraction in Chestnut Hill is the Woodmere Art Museum. It opened to the public in 1910 and is housed in a 19th-century stone mansion on six acres. The building, grounds, and a large part of the core collection are gifts from Charles Knox Smith, who enjoyed contemporary art. The Museum continues to honor Smith’s vision of bringing art and nature together, which is why they have acquired outdoor sculptures in recent years.
After visiting the Arboretum and Art Museum, you’re going to be hungry! A great place to go for lunch or a snack is the MARKET at the FAREWAY, which we like to refer to as a mini Reading Terminal. With 14 vendors, it is full of a variety of different dining options including Korean tacos, Mediterranean cuisine such as hummus, falafel, and lasagna, sushi, and deli sandwiches. You can also get your caffeine fix from Poppy’s Café and get dessert from Barry’s Buns, Made by ME, or Nuts to You.
A visit to the area is not complete without seeing Fairmount Park and Valley Green Inn. This is a great place to visit after you’re full and want to walk off your lunch. Fairmount Park has over 9,200 acres of rolling hills and hiking, walking, and biking trails. Visitors may see horses passing through, runners along the flat portion called Forbidden Drive, and families with young kids feeding the ducks outside of Valley Green Inn. There are many entrance points and paths as you can see in the map. The Valley Green Inn is located in Fairmount Park and is a popular wedding venue and restaurant for Sunday brunch. The house was built as a hotel around 1850. It was almost demolished in 1899, but fortunately, received funding to be restored in 1901. It’s definitely worth a visit!
Other places worth noting and seeing in the area include the Cliveden, Keswick Theater, and the Esherick House, one of the most studied houses designed by architect, Louis Kahn. This list will get you started and if you are looking for more information, please visit the Chestnut Hill Historical Society and the Chestnut Hill Business Association.