West Chester (Pennsylvania)
No taxi services run steadily through the downtown West Chester, but the downtown area is an easy walk from one end to another. Walking around downtown can be nice because of the historic atmosphere and brick sidewalks with a mixture of shops, bars, resturaunts, and local offices.
The entire town is rich with history. The cobblestone streets were put in in the 1700s. The soldiers of the Revolutionary War walked through West Chester on those very cobblestones. Visitors along with residence marvel at the building where Abraham Lincoln started his journey towards the presidency. West Chester has more than 3,000 structures built before the colonial time which puts the entire downtown on the list of National Registered Historic Places. The town was home for the legendary African-American folk artist, Horace Pippin, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Samuel O. Barber (1910-1981) along with many other aspiring and proven artists.
There are so many exciting things to do in West Chester. With all of the restaurants, bars and shopping there is an activity for everyone.
West Chester University is a major attraction to the area. Many families visit the campus in hopes of sending their children to a highly accredited university. Because the school is located in the heart of the town it is mainly seen as a college town, which means the nightlife is always active and exciting. For those who enjoy golf there is more than five golf courses in West Chester.
Parking is free all weekend in the Parking Garages & Lots and on-street meters. And you never have to feed the meters after 5 pm everyday.
For those interested in the arts, downtown West Chester is home to more than 15 shops containing art gallery work.
West Chester is known for its quaint boutiques and trendy shops. Gay street is a central area for shopping. Malena's Vintage boutique, Plane Janea and Niche are just some of the fashionable shops located on Gay Street. The unique finds in Malena's Boutique range from 50's cocktail dresses to Gucci bags. This little store has everything a fashionista would want. Plain Jane sells any type of beauty product a girl could need. This affordable store has jeans and nice button-downs for men along with beautifully, colorful dresses for women. These are just a few of the shopping experiences West Chester has to offer.
One place that is frequented by the local kids during the summertime is the Brandywine River. There are plenty of rope swings and little spots to hang out. The rope swings aren't really a tourist spot, they are more like a hangout spot for residents of West Chester. The Brandywine River Park is also a popular place for companies and large groups to spend the day. There are also canoe and kayak tours during the spring and summer seasons.
Downtown West Chester is known for its bars and restaurants. The town offers a variety of over 25 restaurants. The restaurants range from coffee to sandwich shops to italian cuisine. Cosi, located at 113 W Market St, is a popular place for people who are looking for a filling salad and to make there own s'mores. Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, located at 3 West Gay street, serve fresh beer, fresh food, and interesting culture. The laidback atmosphere only adds to the appeal of this self beer brewing restaurant. Another fantastic restaurant is the Lincoln Room. It is located in one of West Chester's most historic and famous structures. This classical establishment is known for its early morning tea and luncheon menu. These restaurants represent the pinacle of fine dining. Some local favorites include:
i-Pasta. Ristorante Italiano, 134 East Gay Street , + 1 484 887 0760, . More than 50 seasonal recipes, Italian tradition and local ingredients. Served on Homemade Pasta. Menu includes gluten-free, vegetarian, meat, seafood recipes and homemade desserts. Open Tuesday-Thursday 5pm- 9pm. Friday-Saturday 5pm- 10pm.
Lorenzo's Steaks and Hoagies, 216 East Market Street , + 1 610 696 5660, . Local hoagie shop specializing in Philly cheese steaks. Offers appetizers, lunch, dinner, and breakfast. Menu includes cheesecakes, hot and cold sandwiches, wings, and fried chicken and seafood. Large portions. Quick service.
Café Fiorello’s , 730 East Gay Street , + 1 610 430 8941 . Serves authentic, old world Italian dishes inspired by the best of Sicilian and Mediterranean cuisine. Offers Dinner and Lunch. Open Monday- Saturday 11am- 10pm. Sunday 4pm- 10pm.
Country Bagel, 145 East Gay Street , 929 South High Street + 1 610 696 8890, 1 610 696 7440 . 2 locations, one downtown, other in Parkway Shopping Center just outside downtown. Local Bagel Shop with variety of breakfast options. Also offers lunch. Menu includes 25 varieties of fresh bagels, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, wraps, pastries and muffins, and coffee.
Being a college town there are countless places to grab a slice of pizza. Many also offer Philly Cheese Steaks. 24 in total-America's Pie, Papa John’s, Dominos Pizza, Pizza Hut, Amore Pizza, Pizza University, Culinary, Peace of Pizza, Rigtown, Rigtown Uptown, Saucey, Nino’s Pats Pizzeria, New Haven Pizza, Chris's Pizza, Benny's Pizza, Sam's Pizza Island, Tommy's Pizzeria, Empire Pizzeria and Grill, Joey's Pizza, Carmines, Jumbo Pizza, Café Fiorello’s, Brother’s Pizza, The Bistro.
Being a college town, West Chester has many bars to offer its visitors and residents. Barnaby's of West Chester,Baxter's, and Landmark Americana are just a few that are filled to the max every friday and saturday night. The Note, which is owned and operated by West Chester native Bam Margera, offers live entertainment and musical performances.
Baxter's 40 East Market Street, West Chester, PA 19380 (484) 631-0241
DeStarr's Restaurant & Bar E 112 Gay St, West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 692-4160
Iron Hill Brewery 3 West Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 738-9600 www.ironhillbrewery.com
Jitters Sports Bar 146 West Gay St., West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 696-0427
Kildare's Irish Pub 18-22 West Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 431-0770 www.kildarespub.com
Landmark Americana 158 W Gay St., West Chester, PA 19380-2806 (610) 701-9900
Ryan's Pub 126 West Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 344-3934 www.ryans-pub.com
Spence Café 29 East Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 738-8844 www.spencecaferestaurant.com
The Spare Rib 135 East Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 696-6350
Square Bar 250 East Chestnut St., West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 696-9825
Teca 38 East Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 738-8244
Barnaby’s of West Chester 15 South High Street, West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 696-1400 www.barnabyswestchester.com
The Note 142 E. Market Street, West Chester, PA 19380 (484) 947-5713
Jake's Bar 549 N. Matlack Street, West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 431-3900
There are many hotels in and around the West Chester Area. As the suburbs expand more and more hotels are being built.
I. Sheraton Great Valley Hotel [www.starwoodhotels.com] - (610) 524-5500
Holiday Inn, 943 South High Street, 1 610 692 1900- 
The Brandywine Valley is home to many upscale bed and breakfasts.
There has been a rise in assaults lately near the university, however anybody who exercises street smarts should be okay. Always travel with a group, and don't provoke fights. Stay in well-lit areas, and avoid suspicious people. If anybody harasses you, ignore them. Women in particular should definitely avoid drawn-out conversations with strange men, and should always be accompanied.
As with most towns, caution should be taken, but paranoia isn't necessary. Any measures that would keep one safe in a city apply here as well.