Choosing a place to live is difficult. There are many factors to consider, so the choice can become overwhelming, especially as the shift to remote work means that many people aren't tied to a specific location for their jobs. You'll need to consider the weather, cost of living, schools, and job opportunities. Then you'll need to think about whether you prefer to live in a city, town, or suburb, and what types of local amenities and activities are important to you.
Philadelphia's Main Line suburbs offer access to the city's jobs, arts, history, shopping, and other amenities. The Main Line is a vibrant, upscale region full of beautiful historic homes and grand mansions. Each of the Main Line's towns has its own character, but many have walkable town centers with an excellent selection of shops, restaurants, and entertainment. The area is also full of lush parks and green spaces. If you're looking for a new place to call home, here are the top reasons you should consider the Main Line.
The Main Line offers the space and quiet of suburban life while simultaneously providing easy access to Center City Philadelphia. If you enjoy having a lawn and a driveway as well as access to city amenities, the Main Line is a great choice.
This area is named for the line on the old Pennsylvania Railroad, and it still has convenient access to the city through the SEPTA Regional Rail service. This makes a daily commute, or an evening of dinner out and a theater performance, quite simple. The different Main Line towns each have a different character, but many have walkable town centers and a nice selection of local businesses and restaurants. This means you don't need to go into Center City for an enjoyable shopping trip or night out.
Southeastern Pennsylvania is also close to a number of popular destinations. The area is within a two-hour drive of the Pocono Mountains, the Jersey shore, and New York City. This makes frequent ski trips in the winter or beach trips in the summer a possibility for Main Line residents. New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. are all connected to Philadelphia by Amtrak train service, making visits to these cities easy. The location also comes with four distinct seasons. Those who like the variety of flowering trees in the spring and occasional snow in the winter will enjoy the area.
While the city is best known for casual favorites like cheesesteaks and soft pretzels, Philadelphia is also home to a wide selection of world-class restaurants. For Main Line residents, a short train ride into Center City makes an evening out especially convenient. Philadelphia has had more than 30 restaurants recognized by the James Beard Foundation.
This includes the award-winning Fork, the authentic Indonesian Hardena, the French-inspired Laurel, and vegetarian Vedge. Many of Philadelphia's restaurants are BYOB, which can allow residents to enjoy fine dining without paying a restaurant markup for drinks.
However, a trip to the city isn’t required for an excellent meal. The Main Line itself is home to many award-winning restaurants. These include DanDan Ardmore and Lola’s Garden and (also in Ardmore) or Autograph Brasserie in Wayne. Whatever your dining preferences, you’ll be able to find plenty of food to enjoy in Philadelphia and the Main Line.
The Main Line's easy access to other cities makes keeping your old job a possibility, but not everyone is looking for remote work or a long commute. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent places to work in the Philadelphia area. Wells Fargo has more than 6000 employees in the region, and Comcast, which is based in the city, has nearly 190,000 employees.
The city is also home to several major universities, including the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania. Penn, Temple University, and Drexel University each have associated hospitals and healthcare systems, offering plenty of employment opportunities to those in the healthcare field. For those who would prefer not to commute into the city, colleges and healthcare systems are also plentiful on the Main Line.
More recently, the city has been referred to as "Cellicon Valley" because of its potential as a hub for gene therapies. Penn has hosted important research in this area, and private companies like Tmunity are testing how CRISPR gene-editing technology can be used in cancer treatments. This makes Philadelphia a great place to job search for scientists interested in this innovative research area, which is only likely to grow in the coming years.
Photo courtesy of Bryn Mawr College
When living on the Main Line, you’ll have plenty of stellar educational opportunities for your children no matter their age. Stellar private schools like Baldwin, Agnes Irwin, Shipley, the Haverford School, and Friends Central are located in luxurious Main Line neighborhoods, providing a top-tier education close to home.
If your child is ready to move on to higher education, there are plenty of fantastic colleges and universities throughout the Main Line area, not to mention Philadelphia, which is home to the University of Pennsylvania, part of the Ivy League and ranked eighth among national universities. Students can also choose to attend Villanova University, Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, or Swarthmore College.
Temple University is one of Pennsylvania's best public universities, and its arts and business schools are especially well-ranked. Drexel University is an R1 research institution, with a co-op system for undergraduates and a range of graduate and professional schools. All three of these universities have medical schools and law schools.
The area has an impressive selection of law schools, medical schools, nursing schools, and many other graduate and undergraduate programs. This makes Philadelphia an excellent place to study just about anything that interests you, whether you'd like to take a few classes or complete a degree. The reasonable cost of living makes the city a good choice for students, and college-bounded teenagers won't need to leave town to get a world-class education.
Philadelphia is known as the birthplace of America, and the city maintains a number of museums and historical sites commemorating this background. The city is home to Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were created. The Liberty Bell remains a Philadelphia icon. The National Constitution Center and the Museum of the American Revolution provide even more opportunities to learn about revolutionary history. More recently, the city has hosted The African American Museum in Philadelphia, which is the country's first museum dedicated to African American history. Other attractions include the Betsy Ross House and Elfreth's Alley, which is the oldest continuously inhabited residential street in the country.
Closer to your new home, the Main Line has plenty of historical sites to explore as well. These include the 300-year-old Harriton House in Bryn Mawr and the home of Revolutionary War Captain John Pugh in Wayne. Nearby are several more pieces of Revolutionary War era history. These include Valley Forge National Historical Park, where the Continental Army spent a wartime winter.
6. Arts, Sports, and Culture
Main Line residents have easy access to Philadelphia, which is home to a range of arts and cultural institutions, as well as professional sports teams. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the nation's largest. The Barnes Foundation holds a world-class Impressionist collection, and the Rodin Museum holds one of the largest collections of the artist's work outside of Paris. The Academy of Natural Sciences is the country's oldest natural history museum, and the Franklin Institute is a leading science museum. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is yet another impressive art collection, and the Walnut Street Theatre is America's oldest. The Academy of Music regularly hosts touring Broadway productions. Options for enjoying fine and performance art in Philadelphia are endless.
Philadelphians and nearby suburbanites are known to be passionate fans of the city's five professional sports teams. All of the teams play in or near the city. These include Eagles football, 76ers basketball, Flyers ice hockey, Phillies baseball, and Philadelphia Union soccer. This means that whichever sport you prefer to watch, you'll find plenty of fellow fans in your Main Line community. You'll also be able to easily travel to the home stadiums to watch games in person.
Once you've decided that the Main Line is a good fit for you, you'll need to narrow down the specific town you'd like to live in and start looking at homes. The best way to do this is to work with a real estate team that is familiar with the area. The MacDonald Team, led by Stephanie MacDonald, has the experience you need. Stephanie MacDonald has more than 18 years of real estate experience and specializes in Center City and Main Line real estate. If you're looking for a new home on the Main Line, contact the MacDonald team today.