In the 1880s, a wealthy newspaper publisher joined the founder of Drexel University to create one of the nation’s first planned suburbs, which they located 19 miles west of Philadelphia, along the Main Line of Public Works rail line.
Wayne remains one of the region’s most sought-after locales for shopping, dining and the arts.
They called their community Wayne Estates, after Revolutionary War general “Mad” Anthony Wayne. Hotels and houses went up, putting the town on the map as both a residential and vacation destination.
In 1906, the Wayne Hotel , still in operation, opened its doors to travelers along the Main Line. Today, Wayne remains one of the region’s most sought-after locales for shopping, dining and the arts, with its approachable central business district clustered around Lancaster Avenue and North Wayne Avenue — locally known as Restaurant Row.
Wayne sits 19 miles west of Center City along I-76 or US-30, and downtown parking lots augment metered street parking. SEPTA’s Wayne Station stop, next to Restaurant Row, services trains making the 40-minute trip to and from Philadelphia until midnight.
Each September, streets fill with vendors, performers, carnival rides and more for the Radnor Fall Festival . Shops stay open later in December as horse-drawn carriages take to the streets and Santa Claus visits for an old-fashioned Christmas event.
For art lovers, Wayne Art Center sponsors events like the Plein Air landscape-painting festival in May and an international, juried contemporary craft show in December and January.