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Chestnut Hill, considered Philadelphia’s “Garden District,” is a perfect place for those who want a more suburban living environment within the Philadelphia city limits. The area is just 20 minutes from Center City Philadelphia. Bordered on the north by Fairmount Park, the largest urban park in the U.S., Chestnut Hill is known for its stone manor homes, Tudor estate homes, 3-story colonials and the charming shopping and downtown district that has a little something for everyone. In fact, in 2012, Chestnut Hill’s Germantown Ave. was deemed to offer the “Best Main Street Shopping” in Philadelphia magazine’s “Best of Philly” awards, and it’s grown stronger since with a new Fresh Market and other shops added to the mix more recently.
Named one of the top 7 urban enclaves in the world by Forbes.com, Chestnut Hill has a walkability score of 91 out of 100 and is served by two SEPTA commuter lines, Chestnut Hill East and Chestnut Hill West.
Chestnut Hill has plenty of greenspace with the Wissahickon Valley Park, Pastorius Park and the Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. The arboretum features some of the city’s oldest, rarest and largest trees as well as 13,000 labeled plants from all over the world. The Woodmere Art Museum, housed in a 19th-century stone mansion, is highly regarded for its focus on Philadelphia and the city’s artists. And in October of each year, a Harry Potter festival complete with Quidditch tournament, takes place in Chestnut Hill, where the neighborhood’s stone houses and public buildings create the perfect backdrop for all-things Harry Potter. Visit the Chestnut Hill business district site and Chestnut Hill Community Association for a fuller picture of activities in the community.
When many people think of real estate Northwest Philadelphia and Chestnut Hill, impressive stone estate homes built by some of Philadelphia’s wealthiest families are often top of mind. These Colonial-, Normandy- and Tudor-style homes have an almost fairy-tale quality to them and harken to a time in the early 20th century when owners of such homes had live-in staff and caretakers. Many back up to Fairmount Park. These properties are exquisitely maintained, creating beautiful streetscapes in every season. Expect to pay at least $1,000,000 for one of these larger homes. Of course, Chestnut Hill has more modest digs, including small colonials and twins, but average prices tend to be some of the highest in the city limits.
Many residents commute to jobs in Center City Philadelphia and the Fort Washington/King of Prussia/Conshohocken areas, though rush-hour traffic is not for the fainthearted. SEPTA provides mass transit buses and trains throughout the day.