Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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The Area

Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and the sixth most populated city in the US. If you’ve never been to PA before, just know it’s a lot wider than you think. You can be on the west side of the state near Pittsburgh and be close to Ohio and West Virginia, but the east side is just a quick drive to D.C., New York, or New Jersey. Philadelphia is situated across the Delaware river from New Jersey, in the southeastern corner of the state, smack-dab in the middle of New York and D.C. The city itself can feel dense if you’re not used to that sort of thing. Like LA has more people, but it’s much more spread out than Philly and it can be shocking. Philadelphia is much closer in relation to other northeastern cities like NYC and D.C.

Spruce Hill

College Students

Philadelphia is like a giant playground for college students.Away from home for the first time, especially for those from the burbs, students will be amazed at how much there is to do. There are museums, libraries, parks, sporting events, restaurants, and a great amount of nightlife. The universities and colleges in Philly are a part of the city itself, which gives students a good chance to explore the city after classes or on weekends. We suggest Spruce Hill if you’re going to Penn. It has a dense feel with a ton of rental opportunities, but there are also a ton of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.

  • Spruce Hill
  • University City
  • Cedar Park

East Passyunk

Young Professionals

There is a ton to love about Philly, but you really hit the jackpot if you’re a young professional (and single!). One of the neighborhoods that’s recently been seeing a lot of love is East Passyunk (pronounced “Pashyunk,” obviously). This neighborhood sits on one of the only diagonal streets cutting across Philadelphia’s carefully planned grid-system. And that’s kind of the base of where you start to understand Passyunk: it’s a bit off, in a good way. The seriously walkable main avenue is lined with indie boutiques, bars, cafes, and some of the best spots to eat in the city. Don’t be put off if you tell someone you’re moving here and they tell you to go to “the shady deli by the CVS.” You’ll get the absolute best hoagie you’ve ever had and for only $3.50 you’ll be thanking us later.

  • East Passyunk
  • Fishtown
  • Washington Square West

Graduate Hospital

Young Families

Philadelphia is a steal for young families looking to settle down for a while. Locals know it’s way better than Boston and NYC (or God forbid, New Jersey) and you still get an amazing city. Graduate Hospital is a great neighborhood for anyone in their 20s or 30s and wanting to start a family. Locals will tell you that the area was “rough” about 10 years ago, but the people who have recently moved here love the area and intend to stay! If you visit you’ll see a ton of people out with a dog and a stroller, people out in Julian Abele park just hanging out or listening to live music, and friends enjoying dinner and drinks along South.

  • Graduate Hospital
  • Rittenhouse Square
  • North Broad

Lower Merion

Established Families

There is no shortage of great suburbs in Philly. If you can afford it, the Main Line suburbs are the ones you want to start with. There are gorgeous homes, good schools, and trains that get you downtown, easily. We suggest Lower Merion, which is a Main Line suburb and has fantastic schools and colleges (a sore spot for downtown-ers). In this area you’ll get relatively low taxes, a safe area for the kids, and a decent commute by car or train.

  • Lower Merion
  • Gladwyne
  • Penn Valley

Rittenhouse Square

Empty Nesters

Philly is a great, walkable city for someone looking to have a bustling, but enjoyable retirement. There are a ton of great things to do year round and the large tourism culture ensures your family will have a ton to see when they visit. Check out Rittenhouse for a sophisticated city feel. It has well-manicured streets, beautiful stately row homes, and gorgeous well-kept public parks. Situated near the river and sandwiched between other bustling downtown Philly neighborhoods, you can easily walk to any other spot to get out and enjoy the city.

  • Rittenhouse Square
  • Midtown Village
  • Fairmount