Sandwiched smack in the middle between DC and NYC, Philadelphia was once called the “6th borough of New York” a number of years back. While it does boast a healthy population of over 1.5 million residents, unlike New York, it never feels crowded and there are plenty of options in Philadelphia apartments for residents to call home. Make no mistake, though, Philadelphia is a friendly city – it features a collection of individual neighborhoods, each with their own charm and unique personalities, where small local businesses thrive and people know each.
While Philadelphia is a thoroughly modern city, it has a rich history. It’s been around officially since 1682, and was named Philadelphia (meaning, ‘brotherly love’) by William Penn. Central to the Revolutionary War, both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were signed in Philly by the Founding Fathers, who apparently spent a lot of time there when they weren’t busy inventing things and founding stuff – when Benjamin Franklin ran away at age 17, his destination was Philadelphia. The famous kite-flyer is memorialized throughout the city, with a parkway, a bridge, a football stadium, a shopping mall, and a science museum, as well as many businesses, parks and suburbs sporting his moniker.
It is almost completely true that “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. With an average temperature of 64.7 degrees Fahrenheit, the climate is pleasant year-round – winters are mild, springs are breezy, summers are sunny, but not too warm, and autumn boasts moderate temps.
Getting Around Philadelphia
The Philadelphia International Airport makes travel to and from Philadelphia by air convenient, and once there, navigating in or around Philadelphia is easy, whether you have a car or not. Hoofing it is popular in Philly, which has been named one of the “top 5 most walkable cities in the U.S.” – more than 40% of downtown residents walk to work, more than any other city in America. Bicycling is another common mode of transportation in town. Philadelphia is also accessible thanks to public transportation like the Path train, and SEPTA.
Commuting in Philadelphia
Almost 150,000 people commute from Philadelphia every day, with an average commute time of just over 31 minutes. Amtrack’s Acela Express connects commuters from Philadelphia to New Haven, Baltimore, New York, Boston and Washington, DC. Commuting by car is reasonable as well, by hopping on one of two major highway hubs in downtown, the 1-95 and 76.
From WPXN 88.5, the University of Pennsylvania’s alternative and college-oriented station to the NPR news/talk on WHYY 90.9 and WTEL 610 sports stations, there are endless AM and FM radio stations to suit your musical or content taste, while standard television stations such as ABC, NBC, CBS and specialty cable programming options cover your viewing needs. The daily Philadelphia Enquirer has been reporting on local news since 1829, but there are other numerous daily and weekly publications to feed your news addiction.
When William Penn planned Philadelphia, designating healthful, open green spaces and aesthetically pleasing gathering places for the community was clearly a priority – Franklin Square, Fitler Square, Logan Square, Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square are just a few examples. Families, college students and retired people all find Philadelphia welcoming. From its bike paths to its massive cultural arts roots to its foot-friendly atmosphere, it’s easy to see why Philadelphia is called the “City of Brotherly Love” and living the life in apartments in Philadelphia is so special.
"While the film ""Rocky"" featured its steps prominently as the best place to celebrate being a winner, the Philadelphia Museum of Art was famous around the world long before then. With approximately 25 special exhibits each year, and boasting over 227,000 works, it is one of the largest art museums in the country. Pennsylvania residents are proud to claim the cracked Liberty Bell as their own, and tourists and history buffs flock to Independence Hall and the Constitution Center for a dose of early American patriotism."
Things to do in Philadelphia
Apartment living in Philadelphia is a joy for sports fans – just head out the door! The South Philadelphia Sports Complex is where all of Philadelphia’s professional sports teams call home. Philadelphians are fanatic about their Phillies. And, they love their 76ers, Eagles, Flyers, and their Major League Soccer team, The Philadelphia Union. Philadelphia foodies can find everything edible just steps from their loft – with more than 30 restaurants and 80 vendors, gourmands love the Reading Terminal Market. Recently renovated, the historic market opened in the late 1800s. Shopaholics can get their outlet fix at Premium, Franklin Mills, King of Prussia and Center City outlet malls.
For annual city attractions, check out the Mummers Parade. Started in 1901, it is considered to be the oldest folk parade in the U.S. This costume-filled event is a Philly tradition that is celebrated annually on New Year’s Day. In the early summer, it’s time to absorb some visually enthralling culture by welcoming the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival, featuring 25 illuminated larger-than-life displays sporting thousands of sparkling lights.
Philadelphia Vacation spots
There are plenty of nearby outdoor recreational activities for Philadelphia residents, whether you’re looking for an afternoon picnic or a vacation getaway. Fans of water sports will enjoy the canoeing and kayaking on the scenic Brandywine River in Chester County, PA., while boaters and windsurfers will love Lake Nockamixon. Outdoor enthusiasts can get back to nature hiking more than ten miles of trails at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. If fine wines are your thing, spend an afternoon sampling the dry and sweet vino offerings at Chaddsford Winery. Whether camping or glamping is your style, there are plenty of outdoor vacation destinations for Philadelphia renters. Named after famed Native American Athlete Jim Thorpe, the Jim Thorpe Camping Resort offers 28 acres of secluded, serene wooded landscape, while the Cape Island Resort in nearby New Jersey offers more convenience-oriented amenities at their campgrounds, including tennis courts, a recreational pavilion, two large swimming pools, a kiddie pool, and movies.
Where to move in Philadelphia
Whether you are a young couple, a family, a college student or an active retiree, there are apartments in Philly to suit your lifestyle. For example, young families will appreciate the Drexel Hill area. The family-friendly community boast less expensive housing costs than any other Philly neighborhood. Jet-setting equine lovers will enjoy living in the Devon area. Known for its beauty, affluence and horses, its residents rate the highest median incomes in Philly, along with the lowest unemployment rate. College students can easily find local housing near their classes. Popular affordable neighborhoods for students include Bella Vista and Queen Village, Old City, Manayunk, Fairmount, University City (West Philly), Graduate Hospital, Center City, and Northern Liberties neighborhoods. If you are cool and hip, Philadelphia has plenty of artsy areas to live. For example, Old City near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, is filled with loft buildings and art galleries. Just past Society Hill and a short 10-minutes from 30th Street Station, it is popular for its many clubs and bars that draw impressive night-time crowds. Northern Liberties, Bella Vista and Queen Village neighborhoods offer condo buildings, apartments and small houses for rent, and sport an historic older charm for hipster appeal.