Philadelphia's Upper North district is a huge area north of Lehigh Ave and west of Front St. This isn't the most visited part of town, but nonetheless there are plenty of interesting neighborhoods to explore.
Manayunk is known as the "city on a hill," home to many unique stores and shops as well as a thriving student and artist community. The neighborhood is built on a hill up to Ridge Ave. Some very interesting, beautiful, and historic architecture lines the winding Green Lane up the hill, as well as many other roads in the neighborhood. These beautiful rowhomes, townhomes, and single-family homes are home to everyone from working class laborers to middle class professionals, young adults, college students, and young families. The same is true of the surrounding Roxborough neighborhood, which acts as the "suburbs" of Manayunk, though it, too, falls within the city limits. Manayunk's demographics and architecture are largely extended into Roxborough, although instead of the nightlife hotspot of Main St., Roxborough's main thoroughfare is Ridge Ave, which is lined with shops, markets, and restaurants as well as convenience stores. Manayunk also hosts an annual Arts Fest and the main climb for the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship in summer months. Main Street runs through the heart of this unique shopping and dining destination with over 70 chic boutiques and galleries and 30 restaurants and eateries. It is also a popular nightlife destination for young adults. Flat Rock was the original name given to this section of the Schuylkill River, where rapids churned through the rocks in the section of the river, above the Wissahickon Creek. In 1824, a community meeting of the newly formed town changed the name to Manayunk, derived from the Lenape Amerindian word manaiung (place to drink). It was named a National Historic District in 1983.
East Falls is named for its eastern location to the falls across from the Wissahickon Transfer Center. It is home to Philadelphia University, Drexel University College of Medicine, and Women's Medical College (the first women's medical school in the world), which is currently being renovated into a mixed-used development by a team that includes Philadelphia's own Wulff Architects. The end of Kelly Drive culminates at East Falls; take the bridge over the Schuylkill River to MLK Drive to continue your 8 mile bike ride back down to the Art Museum. Ridge Ave. intersects Midvale Ave, in the heart of East Falls, where you can expect to find a mixture of markets, pizzerias, sports bars, and unique restaurants. Beautiful and interesting architecture abound on the rowhomes and townhomes of Queen Lane, Indian Queen Lane, Penn St., and the surrounding blocks. Travel up Midvale Ave. to see old world style rowhomes populated by middle and upper class professionals. Take Vaux St towards Philadelphia University to find mansions and other old world and tutor style large homes that mix urban and suburban layouts on winding roads. This neighborhood is also populated by wealthy Philadelphians, including Ed Rendell, governor of Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2011, and former US Senator Arlen Specter.
Mt. Airy is a residential neighborhood that could be described as eclectic, with its main streets crossing at the site of a natural food co-op. Young families tend to live here on many tree-lined streets. Mt. Airy is subdived into two areas, West Mt. Airy and East Mt. Airy, with Germantown Ave ("the Avenue") forming the border between the two. The Avenue (along with the rest of the neighborhood) is undergoing a renaissance, anchored by the popular North By Northwest restaurant/music venue. Characteristics of the neighborhood include some amazing architecture of all different styles and better-than-average public transit access. There are also some historical sites related to the Revolutionary War's Battle of Germantown. It is a very liberal area, politically speaking, with a very diverse population.
Chestnut Hill is the next neighborhood west from Mt. Airy along Germantown Ave, Chestnut Hill is largely a leafy, quaint, residential neighborhood that has, historically, been associated with wealth. It boasts beautiful rowhomes as well as large homes on large properties and a few mansions. The architecture is beautiful, including some famous buildings. Germantown Ave. has the feeling of a quaint small town main road reminiscent of a New England, or even old England, town. It has a bustling main st complete with restaurants, a hotel, a farmer's market, bakeries, and plenty of stores and boutiques. It feels like a charming small town on the edge of the city.
By car Manayunk can be reached via Schuykill Expressway or Kelly Drive in about 10 minutes from downtown Philadelphia.
Manayunk is only about a 25 minute ride from the suburbs. To get there is simple. From the suburbs, take Old Eagle Road to Upper Gulph Road and make a right. You will follow this road for about 3 miles then make a left onto Old Gulph Road. This winding road takes you about 10 miles down until you reach Spring Mill Road. Take a right until you come to an intersection. At this intersection make a right onto Conshohocken State Road. Go about 1.5 miles until you seen Belmont Avenue and make a left. Belmont Ave. will lead you under the bridge straight onto Main Street in Manayunk.
Access to Center City from East Falls is accessible from 76 East and Kelly Drive. Manayunk is a short drive by traveling West on Ridge Ave, and making a slight left onto Main Street and City Avenue is on the other side of the Schuykill River.
Rte. 61 - Manayunk to Center City Phila
Rte. R - Wissahickon to Frankford Transportation Center
Rte. K - Arrot Terminal to East Falls
Rte. 1 - 54th & City Line Ave to Parx Casino
Septa buses 9, 27, and 32 all run to Manayunk from Center City. The bus rides usually lasts anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.
The Norristown line, formerly called the R6 line, stops at East Falls right above Ridge and Midvale, the Wissahickon Station in the Wissahickon neighborhood at the eastern edge of Manayunk along Ridge Ave, the Manayunk Station in the heart of Manayunk one block above Main St, and the Ivy Ridge Station along Umbria St. in Roxborough.
The Chestnut Hill West and Chestnut Hill East lines, formerly R7 and R8, respectively, stop in East Falls at the Queen Lane Station. Beyond which lie five stops in Germantown - Tuplehocken, Chelten Ave., Germantown, Wister, and Morton, as well as seven in Mount Airy - Upsal, Carpenter, Allen Lane, St. Martins, Washington Lane (this could also be considered Germantown), Sedgwick, Stenton, and Mt. Airy, and five in Chestnut Hill - Highland, Chestnut Hill West, Wyndmoor, Gravers, and Chestnut Hill East.
At the intersection of School House Lane and Henry Ave., is Philadelphia University, which was previously Philadelphia College of Textile and Science and features a previous home of Grace Kelly on its campus.
- The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118 (From Center City Philadelphia: Cars Only, Avoiding Expressways Take the Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum, bear right onto Kelly Drive, follow Kelly drive to the end onto Lincoln Drive (about 4 miles), follow Lincoln Drive to the end (3.6 miles), turn right onto Allens Lane, Allens Lane ends at Germantown Avenue (.4 miles), turn left. Follow Germantown Avenue through Chestnut Hill, after descending a long hill, turn right on Northwestern Avenue (2.6 miles at Chestnut Hill College and Lincoln Woods), the Arboretum entrance is 750 yards on the right at 100 East Northwestern Avenue. All Other Vehicles Take the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) to the Blue Route (476 N) -- exit 331B; get off at exit 19 (old exit 8) (Plymouth Meeting). Make a right onto Germantown Pike. Continue on Germantown Pike (it becomes Germantown Avenue) for just over 3 miles; turn left on Northwestern Avenue. Arboretum entrance is about 1/4 mile on the right. Using Public Transportation: Accessible via Chestnut Hill East (#R7) or Chestnut Hill West (#R8) trains. Get off at Chestnut Hill stop and wait for L bus toward Plymouth Meeting or Plymouth Meeting Mall. Bus MUST say Plymouth Meeting or it won't pass close enough to the Arboretum. Ask to get off at the Germantown Avenue & Northwestern Avenue stop. Walk down Northwestern Avenue for .5 miles past Chestnut Hill College and the apartment complex until you come to the black wrought-iron gate of the Arboretum. Back To Top Biking from Center City: Get on the Schuylkill River Trail anywhere along the river. (If the train is blocking your way the Walnut Street Bridge has a ramp down to the trail.) Follow the trail along Kelly Drive untill you reach Ridge Avenue. Cross the street and go left along Ridge Avenue. The street crosses over a small bridge that goes over the Wissahickon Creek (a waterfall will be on your right). Take your first right onto the bike trail directly after the bridge. This is the beginning on the Wissahickon Trail/Forbidden Drive. Follow this trail to Northwestern Avenue (about 7.5 miles) Turn right up Northwestern Avenue (you will see Northwestern Horse Stables on your right). Cross over Germantown Avenue and continue on Northwestern Avenue for another .5 miles. The entrance will be on your right. Bike racks are located next to the parking lot. Bikes are not permitted on any trails in the Arboretum. The entire ride is about 12 miles and will take approximately 50 minutes.), ☎ +1 215-247-5777, . April - October: Weekdays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Weekends 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. June - August: Thursdays Open Until 8:30 November - March: Daily 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.. Spend time with family and friends exploring the Arboretum’s 92-acre lush and colorful gardens. More than 13,000 labeled plants of over 2,500 types are growing in the Arboretum’s living collection. These include representatives of the temperate floras of North America, Asia, and Europe. This historic collection traces its foundation to John Morris’s interest in plants from around the world, and includes plants collected in China by E.H. Wilson at the turn of the century. Many of the Delaware Valley’s "trees-of-record" (the largest of their kind) are found in the Arboretum. Most notable are the katsura, Engler beech, Bender oak, and trident maple. More recently, staff members have regularly engaged in plant collecting expeditions in Asia and the United States, increasing the diversity of plants available for today’s urban and community landscapes. Currently plants from 27 countries are represented in the collection with a primary focus on Asian temperate species. Significant plant groups in the Arboretum’s collection include maples, magnolia species, native azaleas, members of the witch hazel family, roses, hollies, and conifers. With the diversity of our collections, there is seasonal interest throughout the year, for all levels of gardeners. Look for the following plants throughout the year: December through February – Alluring winter interest that includes paperbark maple, stewartia, kousa dogwoods, hollies, and rare and unusual conifers of all shapes, sizes and colors. March through June – A panoply of colors comprised of witchazels, winterhazels, magnolias, cherries, maples, dogwoods, rhododendrons and azaleas, crabapples, roses, and stewartia. July through September – Enlivening the long days of summer are hydrangeas, summersweet, butterfly bush, chaste tree, sourwood, golden-rain tree, and annual and perennial displays. September through November – The richness of fall colors includes maples, black gum, sweet gum, dogwoods, oaks and hosts of others. Members Free PennCard holders Free Children under 3 Free Youth (3-17 years) $7.00 Student and Active Military (must have ID) $7.00 Adult $14.00 Senior (65+ years) $12.00 Hike, Bike, or SEPTA $7.00.
Throughout the summer months Manayunk holds various events on Main Street and surrounding areas.
In early June, the Philadelphia International Championship is held throughout the streets of Manayunk. Moving through Main Street and stretching up onto Manayunk Avenue, the bike race moves through various sections of the Manayunk/Roxborough area.
The “wall” refers to a section of the race where the bikers are required to scale Lyceum Avenue, which has a steep 17 percent grade. The “wall” has become a main attraction for the race, as many riders find this the most challenging stretch of the race.
The race has become a Philadelphia tradition, drawing thousands of visitors and spectators each year
The Manayunk Arts Festival is held in late June each year. Over two hundred artists come to Manayunk to showcase their work along Main Street.
The Festival draws thousands to the Manayunk area, with vendors and artists lining the street with small booths. Local restaurants set up stands where passerby’s can sample the local cuisine.
Many of the main businesses stay and offer specials throughout the weekend long festival.
While the Arts Festival and the Bike Race are both held in the month of June, the gathering of artists provides a quieter option for families.
Since its start in 1989, the Manayunk Arts Festival continues to attract more and more visitors each year.
Red Bull Soapbox
In September 2008, Red Bull held its annual Red Bull Soapbox Derby in Manayunk. Thousands came to Manayunk to view over twenty "boxcars" race down the "wall" on Lyceum Avenue. The event took place September 6th, at 1 PM.
Recreation in Manayunk is very diverse. Keeping busy is not hard because the area has so much to offer. Manayunk offers more than just shops and restaurants, it is surrounded by nature. The top recreations in Manayunk are biking up the "Manayunk Wall", hiking the Manayunk Tow Path, and rowing along the Schuyllkill River.
Located only minutes from Manayunk's Main Street, lies Fairmont Park. Fairmont Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, and offers a variety of recreational options. Throughout the park lies paths for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, both paved and unpaved, as well as Boathouse Row. The Fairmont Park trails are popular among residents and a popular channel for escaping the inner city. The park runs from West Philadelphia, west to the King of Prussia area.
Many Manayunk residents take part in organized team sports that take place throughout the area. Through Philadelphia Sport and Socials Leagues, both men and women are able to have fun and meet new people. Many leagues work with surrounding bars and restaurants to provide locations for teams to unwind after a competition.
Manayunk has two miles of extensive shopping centered along Main Street, including clothing boutiques and art galleries. Main Street also is a great place to find jewlery, electronics, beauty supplies, and florists.
- A.I. Poland Jewelers, 4347 Main St, ☎ (215) 483-1316. Tues, Wed, Thur: 10-6. Fri: 10-7. Sat: 10-5. Sun, Mon: Closed. Family owned for 107 years. If you are looking for nice jewelry at a relatively cheap price, this is the place to look. $10 sterling items to varied prices of gold and diamonds jewelry.
- Beans Beauty Supply, 4405 Main St, ☎ (215) 487-3333, . Mon, Tues, Thurs & Sat - 10-6PM. Wednesday & Friday - 10-9PM. Sunday - 11-6PM. Family business since 1980. The staff is very helpful with the large array of products available. The salon is great with hair color and specializes in cuts for curly hair
- Main Street Music, 4444 Main St, ☎ (215) 487-7732. Mon-Thu 11AM-7PM. Fri-Sat 11AM-9PM. Sun 12PM-6PM.. The prices on the new music ranged from very reasonable to a little expensive. The store is pretty small, but they use the space well, and there's far more CDs in there than you'd assume.
- Gary P Mann Design, 4349 Main St, ☎ (215) 482-7051, . Tues-Sat: 11-6. Sun: 12-5. Owner operated really special jewelry store. Beautiful one of a kind jewelry you won't see anywhere else- experts in custom design- appraisals, repairs, vintage and items in every price range.
- Orbit, 4312 Main St, ☎ (215) 508-6728. Manayunk’s only contemporary American Crafts & fine art gallery. Also carries gift for any occasion, such as glass sets carvings. Small but colorful appearance.
- Fleur, 4254 Main Street, ☎ 215-482-4609, . Fleur is a classic and elegant flower shop that has a variety to choose from. Quite pricey, but the quality of these flowers will keep you coming back for more. They always have a fresh assortment greeting you on the sidewalk so it's almost impossible to not stop. Great place for timeless centerpieces!
- Tag Clothing, 4358 Main Street, ☎ 215-482-9656. Sun-Thu 11AM-7PM; Fri-Sat 11AM-9PM. Tag is an amazing shop that offers upscale clothing lines. Diesel, 7 For All Mankind, Joe's Jeans, Free People, 3 Dots, Michael Stars, you name it, TAG has it. It is expensive but with name brands like these, the quality of the clothing is worth it. Loud and upbeat music will have shoppers pumped to browse the store for hours!
Franco's Trattoria- Fine Italian Dining- 4211 Ridge Ave., 215-844-7889
Johnny Mañana's- Mexican Cuisine and famous margaritas-4201 Ridge Ave., 215-843-4747
Bucket's Bar and Grill- Casual Bar Atmosphere- 3749 Midvale Ave., 215-849-1222
Shan Chuan- Wide range of Chinese and Japanese Cuisine- 215-844-7889
The Pour House- Local Bar Atmosphere- 4213 Ridge Ave., 215-848-2770
Slices Pizza- 4249 Ridge Ave., 215-843-4747
Golden Crust Pizza- 3732 Midvale Avenue, 215-848-4400
Major Wing Lee's- Convenience and Sandwich Shop- 4207 Ridge Ave.
Sherman Mills is a community artist's lofts which have been renovated and include their own community of cafes, an art supply store, and studios.
The Trolley Car Cafe opened on November 12th, 2009 and was part of a plan for preservation in East Falls.
Remember that most of the restaurants and bars of Main St are essentially concentrated on little more then 520 yards along the Canal, though you will find others at the Southeast end of the street.
- Bayou Bar and Grill, 4245 Main Street, ☎ (215) 482-2560 ([email protected]), .
- Chabaa Thai Bistro, 4371 Main St, ☎ (215) 483-1931 ([email protected]), . Chabaa, one of the Thai words translating the hibiscus flower, is a peaceful invitation in itself.
- The Couch Tomato Cafe', 102 Rector St, ☎ (215) 483-2233 (fax: (215) 483-6627), . Dine-in, take-out or delivery upscale café.
- Jake's Restaurant, 4365 Main St, ☎ (215) 483-0444 ([email protected]), . "Nouvelle Cuisine" and bar.
- Manayunk Diner, 3722 Main St, ☎ (215) 483-4200, . Breakfast all day, upscale entrees, home-made desserts and full-service bar with a separate lounge. </drink>
- Machismo Burrito Bar, 4330 Main Street, ☎ 215-508-3333. Mon-Fri 11AM-9PM; Sat-Sun 11AM-10PM. One of a kind "build your own burrito" spot. It is a sit down restaurant with a twist. One can order saffron rice with spinach or even vegan style cheese, meats and sour cream! Toppings can be traditional or outrageous. (Mon-Fri,Sat-Sun 11AM-10PM)
- Duff's Steaks, 114 Levering Street, ☎ 215-508-1125. Tue-Sat 11AM-11PM Sun-11AM-7PM Closed Mon. If you're not willing to make the trip into the city to the all time favorite Pat's steaks, Duff's will do the trick. Duff's offers amazing authentic cheese steaks. You even have to order it like at Pat's, "wiz with or wiz without". Come in on Tuesdays for $5 steaks, every Tuesday/every steak $5..Phenomenal steaks at a great price!
- Goldmine Unlimited, 4223 Main St., ☎ 267)331-8752, . 12-6/2-10. Vintage/Design/Gallery/2nd Hand/Junk/Antiques/Collectibles
- Tiffin - Indian cuisine
- Limpopo - International African cuisine
- Earth, Bread and Brewery, 7136 Germantown Avenue. A great place with amazing flatbreads and beers!
- McMenamin's - Popular among locals; pub food and beer, sports
- Infusion Tea - Coffee house
Wine and Sprits on Ridge Avenue offers a wide assortment of wines and liquors.
East Falls Beverage offers a variety of imported and domestic beers with a delivery service.
Manayunk is known for its hip night scene. Thursday-Saturday nights Main Street transforms into a hot destination for young adults. For the 21+ crowd Main Street offers 18 different bars to party in. Some bars are more sport related while others transform into dance clubs. Crowds from all over the city visit Main Street on the weekends because they know they will be able to find a good party, after all Manayunk does come from the Lenape Amerindian word manaiung (where we go to drink).
- Grape Street Pub, 4100 Main St, ☎ (215) 483-7084 ([email protected]), . Not only a 'trough', but also a live music venue supporting local bands.
- Kildare's Irish Pub, 4417 Main St, ☎ (215) 482 7242 ([email protected]), . Not that far from the Irish Cill Dara atmosphere; one of the six Irish Pubs of that brand in Pennsylvania.
- Manayunk Brewery, 4120 Main St, ☎ (215) 482-8220 ([email protected]), . A restaurant too, serving American Regional Cuisine.
- Old Eagle Tavern, 177 - 177 Markle St, ☎ (215) 483-5535.
- Mad River Manayunk, 4100 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127, ☎ 215-482-2666, . 11AM - 2AM. Looking for a fun night out in Manayunk? Look no further. With 20 flat screen TVs to watch games, the largest dance floor in Manayunk, DJs and live music nearly every night, 3 frozen drink machines, nightly drink specials and a brand new deck on the river, this is the place to be.
- Castle Roxx Cafe, 105 Shurs Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19127, ☎ 215-482-9000. Sun: 5PM-1AM. Mon- Wed: 6PM-2AM. Thur- Sat: 5PM-2AM. This bar has two floors with live music, djs, and lots of drink specials.
- Tonic on Main, 4421 Main Street, Manayunk, PA 19127, ☎ 215-50-6005. Sun: pub 12PM-2AM, Tues- Fri: pub 5PM-2AM, Thurs- Sat: lounge 9PM-2AM. Great drinks, nightly drink specials. Illusuions is the new club inside that has dj's and VIP bottle service. Fun night out if you are looking for a more upbeat night.
- J.D. McGillicuddy's Pub, 111 Cotton Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127. (215)930-0209. Sun- Sat: 11AM-2AM. If you're looking for a more low key night out to grab a couple drinks with some friends then this is the place to go. Friday nights they have kareoke here, which is usually a good time.
- Flat Rock Saloon, 4301 Main St. (Roxborough Ave.) Philadelphia, PA 19127. (215)483-3722. Mon: 4PM-2AM, Tues- Sat: 12PM-2AM. This place allows smoking so if you're a smoker and are just looking for a quiet night at the bar listening to music from a jukebox then this is the place for you. But make sure you have cash on you because they don't accept credit cards.
- Bourbon Blue Restaurant and Canal Lounge, Number 2 Rector Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127. (215)508-3360. Sun: 10AM-1AM. Mon- Thurs: 4PM-1AM. Fri- Sat: 4PM-2AM. A little more up-scale. The Canal Lounge is more for an older crowd. It's open every Friday and Saturday from 10PM-2AM and has live entertainment from 10:30PM til close. They play jazz and blues music and have some cover bands. Parking isn't a problem because they have valet on the weekends.
- Chestnut Hill Hotel - Chestnut Hill, 215 242-5905, . In the heart of the Chestnut Hill commercial district - a 25 min train ride from center city.
- Holiday Inn Philadelphia City Line, 4100 Presidential Blvd, . $119.
- Homewood Suites by Hilton, 4200-A City Avenue, ☎ (215) 966-3000 (fax: (215) 966-3020), . $199.
- North American Motor Inn, 4444 City Line Ave. $79.
- Manayunk Diner, 3722 Main St, ☎ (215) 483-4200, . — free Wi-Fi for customers.
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