The Main Streets Trail of Greater Philadelphia
Experience the delightful shops, fantastic dining and fun events on Greater Philadelphia's Main Streets...
For more than a century, Philadelphia’s Countryside has been home to some of the nation’s best small-town shopping and eating.
Charming mom-and-pop shops and book traders convivially co-exist with lively and contemporary boutiques that outfit discerning shoppers of all ages and tastes — all within 60 miles of Philadelphia’s City Hall.
Visitors can stroll and linger in shops and independent galleries, chatting with store owners and neighbors. And hungry visitors and residents can often grab a seat right on the sidewalk of many main drag restaurants and enjoy a meal alfresco.
When it comes to events, Greater Philadelphia’s Main Streets don’t slouch either. Farmers markets crop up weekly, and First Fridays and Second Saturdays are great occasions for businesses to stay open late and offer specials and discounts.
Plus, nearly every Main Street is home to a singular festival or event, like Phoenixville’s Blobfest or Kennett Square’s annual Mushroom Festival .
Experience the best shops, dining and history on the Philadelphia region’s Main Streets with our guide, below.
Mill Street and Radcliffe Street
A mix of independently owned restaurants and shops lines Mill Street in the historic waterfront town of Bristol . This charming stretch runs through the center of town, all the way down to the shores of the Delaware River. Radcliffe Street intersects with Mill Street at the King George II Inn, one of the oldest continuously operating inns in the country and part of Bristol’s National Register Historic District . On the First Friday of every month, businesses in the shopping district stay open late and offer discounts, specials and giveaways. The town celebrates Historic Bristol Day every October with a street fair.
Main Street and Court Street
The Bucks County Court House provides a strong orientation point to start a stroll around Doylestown. Thanks to a layout that crisscrosses several diagonal roads, a few V-shaped corners (West State, West Court and Clinton; Court and Main; State and Main) bustle with activity. Visitors can stroll along sidewalks lined with brick pavers and Victorian-style street lamps while admiring Doylestown ’s remarkable architecture and historical attractions. After a day spent exploring shops, microbreweries and museums, hungry guests can stop by one of many charming eateries in restored historic buildings. Enjoy the town’s rich cultural scene each September with the Doylestown Arts Festival.
Main Street and Bridge Street
Visitors should plan for a full day of sightseeing in New Hope , with eclectic shops, restaurants and curiosities lining half a dozen blocks of Main Street (which runs parallel to the Delaware River) and just as many side streets. The corner of Bridge and Main streets forms the center of the retail district , and many intriguing and slightly hidden spots tuck into the river bank just beyond Main Street. Packed with specialty boutiques, distinct bed & breakfasts, upscale galleries, diverse restaurants and historical treasures, this lively community hub offers visitors big-city culture with a small-town charm.
The pedestrian-only pathways inside Peddler’s Village leave ample space for visitors to amble through the 42-acre landscaped grounds of this popular attraction. With more than 70 independently owned shops and restaurants and an inn for overnight visits, the village is suitable for weekend strolls or a quick drop-in. There’s extra fun in store on select weekends throughout the year, be it a mouth-watering fruit festival, autumn’s Scarecrow Festival or the spectacularly lit Christmas in Peddler’s Village celebration. Nearly 2 million people visit Peddler’s Village each year.
East Lancaster Avenue and West Lancaster Avenue
Parts of East Lancaster Avenue and West Lancaster Avenue serve as the main thoroughfare for shoppers and diners in Downingtown . Both sections of the main street are home to shops and restaurants, all accessible from Downingtown Station, which serves both Amtrak and SEPTA ’s Regional Rail. The shops include boutiques and cafes, and the bars and restaurants are ready for patrons stopping in for a quick bite or celebrating a night out. Each September, Fall Fest highlights the best of the borough’s tastes, sites, and sounds with more than 200 vendors and Victory Brewing Company’s beer garden.
In Kennett Square , the action centers around State Street , which showcases locally owned businesses, charming shops and farm-fresh eateries. The self-proclaimed “Mushroom Capital of the World,” the town features restaurants and shops where visitors can learn about the region’s mushroom farming industry and sample the ingredient in countless dishes. Talula’s Table — a State Street institution since 2007 — remains one of the country’s most sought-after restaurant reservations , and offers small-batch menus that change daily. Dining on State Street is even more fun in warm weather, when restaurants and shops shut down the road for Third Thursday events that include live music, outdoor dinner service and kid-friendly activities.
Bridge Street and Main Street
Bridge Street — the town’s main drag — offers a mix of wine-tasting rooms, low-key restaurants and artsy, locally owned shops. Bridge Street is divided in the center of town by Main Street, home to boutique retail and food outlets. Phoenixville blends historic charm with a modern mindset that attracts visitors craving a relaxing day with a creative twist. The weekly farmers market attracts visitors from all over the county, and annual events like the Firebird Festival and Blobfest mean extended hours and special deals at the town ’s many restaurants, pubs and shops.
Saint Peters Road
The historic Saint Peters Village is nestled in a ravine near French Creek, making this former industrial working community far different from most other main streets of the Philadelphia Countryside. Privately owned and well preserved, the tiny village is made up of shops and storefronts that haven’t changed much at all since the 19th century. A small stretch of Saint Peters Road is home to a bakery, a general store, quaint boutiques and an inn for visitors who want more time to explore the community and its surrounding nature.
Gay, Market and High streets
West Chester ’s downtown grid spans several blocks, with more than 120 shops, boutiques and eateries filling the storefronts on Gay, Market and High streets. Market Street and High Street are lined with alfresco dining options aplenty, and visitors can take advantage of upscale and affordable shopping on the main drags of this quaint Brandywine Valley town . Thanks to nearby West Chester University, the bustling downtown area exudes an energetic, young vibe with a thriving arts and culture scene highlighted by First Friday each month. Fun events — like the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic every August — draw thousands.
The feeling of community on Media ’s State Street is palpable — shopkeepers tend lovingly to stores situated in buildings older than the town itself, and acquaintances greet one another during outdoor concerts on the pedestrian Plum Street and at open-air dinners that invite visitors to dine under the stars. The year-round Media Farmers Market brings fresh edibles downtown, Second Saturdays keep shops open late, and the seasonal Dining Under the Stars brings residents and visitors together for open-air dinners on spring and summer Wednesdays.
North Wayne Avenue and Lancaster Avenue
Wayne ’s upscale community blends the past and the present, as some of the best antique stores in the country mingle with designer boutiques, spas, quaint gift shops, elite hair salons and four-star restaurants. Everything comes together in the town ’s compact central business district at the intersection of Wayne Avenue and Lancaster Avenue (Route 30), a broad avenue lined with shops, dining options and landmarks. Known as Restaurant Row, North Wayne Avenue has more than a dozen restaurants and bars, and foodies can easily pop into a different one for each course. The streets close down every third Sunday of September for the popular Radnor Fall Festival.
East Butler Avenue and West Butler Pike
Despite having an actual Main Street, Ambler ’s commercial corridor is actually along East Butler Avenue and West Butler Pike. (Main Street is also home to several shops.) Ambler’s dining scene includes cuisines from around the world as well as urbane destination restaurants, and “shop local” is the mantra in this town , where chain stores are practically nonexistent. Warm-weather months bring music-heavy First Friday celebrations and a Saturday farmers markets, plus the Ambler Arts & Music Festival in June and Dog Days of Ambler pet event in August.
Ardmore ’s major thoroughfare — Lancaster Avenue — holds the majority of the town’s restaurants and shops. The train station, open-air Suburban Square shopping center and the Ardmore Farmers Market are located just off the avenue, as is the globally lauded Tired Hands Brewing Company . The mix of eateries in town spans the globe, and shoppers rejoice in a densely packed retail scene. The town also caters to treasure seekers with its bounty of antique shops and thrift stores.
611/Old York Road
Old York Road — or Route 611, as it’s officially called — serves as Jenkintown ’s main thoroughfare. The majority of the town’s shops are here, though its restaurants, which merit their own exploration, tend to be located on the side streets. Jenkintown brims with historical interest and secret finds; curious visitors will find National Landmarks, an active arts scene highlighted by the Jenkintown Festival of the Arts each September, and a symbol of the civil rights movement following Martin Luther King Jr.’s seminal address at Salem Baptist Church in 1963.
Haverford Avenue and Narberth Avenue
The main activity in Narberth centers around the intersection of Haverford and Narberth avenues — two tree-lined streets that are home to shops, bistros and the borough’s movie theater. Narberth’s main streets are home to bars, restaurants, cafes as well as salons, a toy store and other well-appointed shops that service the community. Shops stay open late for First Friday and the main streets belong to pedestrians every fall for the annual Sidewalk Festival and Music & Arts Festival. Thousands of visitors attend the winter Dickens Festival, when the town turns into 1840s London with characters from A Christmas Carol , Victorian decorations and horse-drawn carriages.
The appropriately named Skippack Pike serves as the hub of this historic village , and most of the restaurants and shops are clustered in small buildings along or slightly removed from the street. With a mixture of European charm and hippie ease, the shopping-centric destination has evolved through the years to become a popular tourist hub. Stylish shops and modern bars — all locally owned — offer specials on First Fridays, held from April through October, which celebrate local art and music with activity spilling out onto porches and sidewalks.
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