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Things to Do in Chestnut Hill and Germantown

April 30, 2021

Quelque Chose. Photo courtesy of Chestnut Hill Business District.

The cobblestoned blocks of Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill offer more than 200 unique shops, businesses and restaurants to explore. Shop seasonal styles at boutiques including Quelque Chose, Sara Campbell, and Noble Goods. Style By Blain offers fashionable, high-end men’s footwear, including styles from Alden, Gaziano & Girling, and Paraboot. Visit Serendipity Shops for Philadelphia-inspired gifts including shirts, mugs, and more alongside soaps, candles, and other home goods. Windfall Gallery sells fair-trade items made by over 250 artists from around the globe, including jewelry, handmade gifts, folk art, décor and more. For more businesses and boutiques that can be found throughout Chestnut Hill, click here. TIP: Clothes and shoes are tax-free in Philadelphia!

Johnson House Historic Site. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Tour some of the area’s historic homes, such as Loudon Mansion, built in 1801 on one of the highest hills in the Philadelphia area, where soldiers received medical treatment during the American Revolution. Travel further west along Germantown Avenue to the Johnson House. The Johnson family, who lived here for generations, were abolitionists and this home served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Today, the museum is central to Philadelphia’s annual Juneteenth celebrations commemorating the end of slavery. Not far is the Cliveden estate, which was the site of the Battle of Germantown – the most notable and bloody of skirmishes during the American Revolution. A museum on the property gives a great overview of the history.

Morris Arboretum's Step Fountain in the summer. Photo by P. Meyer.

Chestnut Hill serves as the northern border to the 1,800-acre Wissahickon Valley Park, an urban oasis of dense forests, bubbling streams, and more than 50 miles of biking, hiking and horse-riding trails. Spend more time outdoors at nearby Morris Arboretum. The historic, 92-acre property is home to some of the largest trees in the region, as well as an impressive collection of lush gardens, a swan pond, and the only remaining freestanding fernery in North America.

Don’t miss Historic Rittenhouse Town, a national historic landmark dedicated to teaching about life in this early industrial village. Residents’ lives revolved around the British North America’s first paper mill, founded in 1690 on a tributary of the Wissahickon Creek appropriately called Paper Mill Run. See paper being made and craft your own.

Woodmere Art Museum. Photo by D. Moran.

Learn more about Philadelphia art and artists at the Woodmere Art Museum. The museum’s collection contains more than 6,000 works showcased in nine galleries and offers guided tours, a jazz and classical music series and gallery talks.

Cover photo: Valley Green Inn at Wissahickon Valley Park. Photo courtesy of En Route Marketing.

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