Villanova, Pennsylvania, is one of the Main Line’s most prized addresses, and a drive through this beautiful area can feel almost like a drive through an East Coast version of Beverly Hills with gated mansion after gated mansion tucked behind privacy walls and hedgerow landscaping. It should be no surprise, then, that Villanova is ranked as one of the wealthiest ZIP codes in Pennsylvania, sometimes topping the list. As such, expect to find a wide array of beautiful real estate. Stone estate homes are plentiful, some dating to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Stretching across both Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, and Radnor Township, Delaware County, the region is perhaps best known as the home of Villanova University, founded in 1842 by the Brothers of the Order of Hermits of St. Augustine. The campus brings much energy to the community when school is in session. For those with school-age children, Radnor Township or Lower Merion Township public schools, both highly regarded, or nearby private schools, including Agnes Irwin, The Haverford School, The Baldwin School and Episcopal Academy, among others, provide world-class education.
Historically, Villanova simply was yet another stop on the Main Line, the train line running between Center City Philadelphia and the suburbs along Route 30/Lancaster Ave. to the west. It was a place for wealthy Philadelphians to establish country houses for summers away from the city. More recently, it has become a choice residential area thanks to its proximity to the Blue Route, a relatively new north-south section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike that connects a few miles north of Villanova to the highway’s east-west section and to the Schuylkill Expressway, making commuting to important employment centers that much easier.
Route 30/Lancaster Ave bisects Villanova and is the main commercial corridor for local residents. There is not much left of the original “town center” with most older buildings having been replaced by newer commercial construction.