Chestnut Hill: The Perfect Close-To-Home Getaway For All

Chestnut Hill Hotel Chestnut Hill Hotel

It’s the perfect time to discover, or rediscover, the Philadelphia neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, a charming urban village that lets you get away from it all without sacrificing anything at all.

Checking off your foodie bucket list? Chestnut Hill has renowned restaurants and nationally recognized dishes you can only find in the neighborhood (including one local eatery’s sandwich known throughout the country and adapted by major food magazines).

Want to feel inspired? Chestnut Hill’s brimming with arts and culture, with a museum and galleries featuring local and national artists. If you want to unplug, there’s plenty of nature to breathe in the fresh air. We’re just minutes from the hiking trails and vistas of Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Valley, and we’ve even got some of the city’s oldest and rarest trees, found in Pennsylvania’s official arboretum.

With just a short drive or train ride from Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Bucks County, and Central New Jersey, and easy parking for regional visitors, a staycation in Chestnut Hill is a no-brainer that can transform a weekend close to home.

Chestnut Hill has over 200 businesses and year-round events, making it a must-visit and truly one-of-a-kind destination no matter the season. But if your time is limited, we’ve created a guide to help you kickstart your weekend getaway.

Getting to Chestnut Hill

Before you visit and explore the neighborhood’s destination-defining assets, you’ll need to get here first. No matter your mode of transportation, Chestnut Hill is easy to get to.

For those taking public transportation, Chestnut Hill can be accessed by a number of SEPTA services: two SEPTA Regional Rail lines — the Chestnut Hill East and Chestnut Hill West, and SEPTA Bus Routes 23, 77, 94, 134, and L.

For those driving, Chestnut Hill is only 25 minutes away from Center City and just a short drive from Lancaster, New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., with access to multiple major roadways like the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Pennsylvania Route 309, and interstates 476 and 76.

30th Street Station, a major transportation hub for SEPTA and Amtrak services, is only one train ride away on the Regional Rail and less than 30 minutes away by car. All roads (and rails) lead to Chestnut Hill!

Book A Room, Stay A While

There’s so much to explore in Chestnut Hill that you’ll find it’s too much to fit into one day. Fortunately for travelers, we’re well-served by lodging opportunities that can serve as your home base away from home.

You won’t find major hotel brands here. What you’ll find instead are boutique quarters that offer a personalized experience you can only find in independent, family-owned businesses.

Book a room at the Chestnut Hill Hotel, a dog-friendly, 36-room retreat with free parking, kitchenettes for long-term guests, rooms with fireplaces, and four on-site dining properties (including a brewery and farmers market). The hotel is right in the heart of the Germantown Avenue commercial district, within walking distance to other fine eateries, on-trend and niche retailers, and services like nail salons and spas.

For a charming experience slightly removed from the hustle and bustle, check in at Silverstone Bed & Breakfast, a 19th-century mansion owned by husband and wife team Romuald and Yolanta, with spacious rooms, a garden, veranda, and large outdoor deck, and a private kitchen. Your hosts are there on hand with tips on where to go for sightseeing and cultural events in Philadelphia. Silverstone is also located near Fairmount Park, one of the largest natural parks in the United States.

You can also spend your Chestnut Hill weekend at Anam Cara Accommodations, which features furnished apartments for short- or longer-term stays. Located on the south end of the commercial corridor of Germantown Avenue, Anam Cara Accommodations is in close to proximity to many local favorites, including Bredenbeck’s Bakery & Ice Cream Parlor and Baker Street Bread Company.

TIP: To really maximize your Chestnut Hill weekend, you may have to forgo your daily naps!

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

You’ll never go hungry or thirsty in Chestnut Hill, which has a trove of over 25 restaurants, bars, and craft breweries for breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, and nightcaps.

Start your first morning in Chestnut Hill with a cup of coffee and small bites like donuts at Poppy’s Café at the Market at the Fareway, a modern farmers market with a diverse set of vendors serving fare from across the world. For a heartier breakfast —  at any time of the day — with a splash of southern hospitality, head to Breakfast Boutique, owned by married couple Rob and Dez.

Chestnut Hill’s commercial corridor provides almost 10 blocks lined with local businesses, so don’t forget to browse for one-of-a-kind items as you work up an appetite.

For lunch, head over to Chestnut Hill landmark McNally’s Tavern, which has been serving delicious meals for nearly 100 years and is known for their famous Schmitter sandwich.  The Schmitter is truly a bucket-list creation. Created right here in Chestnut Hill, the sandwich consists of steak and salami, cheese, fried onions, tomatoes, and a special “Schmitter sauce” — all layered inside a Kaiser roll.

We love non-meat eaters in Chestnut Hill, too! We recommend you check out All the Way Live Café, an all-vegan, all-raw restaurant that offers vibrantly colored dishes like salads, soups, and no-meat burgers like their delicious Chickpea Burger.

As you make your way back to your room for some rest, first head back to Market at the Fareway to stock up on ingredients to cook in your kitchenette or for quick bites. A variety of vendors offer made-to-order and to-go dishes, fruits and vegetables, cuts of meat and seafood, and sweet bites like desserts and pastries, and more.

Toast to your staycation at Chestnut Hill Brewing Co., where you will find high-quality, small-batch beer to pair with wood-fired Neapolitan pizza made with local and organic ingredients and other delicious bites. For non-beer drinkers, Chestnut Hill Brewing also offers cider, cocktails, and wine.

Arts & Culture

Woodmere Art Museum Woodmere Art Museum (Photo by Darryl Moran)

You can explore your artistic side and get inspiration here in Chestnut Hill, a mecca of culture with museums, local galleries, and artist and photography studios.

Stop into Chestnut Hill’s various galleries and studios like Gravers Lane Gallery that showcases contemporary art, Gallery on the Avenue that features international art, and the Wendy Concannon Photography Gallery that features bold, graphic, and often abstract works by the Philadelphia fine art photographer.

Located just a short drive from the cobblestone main street corridor, is Woodmere Art Museum, where art lovers will want to spend the day under the sun and explore the stunning outdoor sculpture collection on the museum’s grounds.

Woodmere’s Outdoor Wonder (WOW) includes sculptures by nationally recognized artists, monumental estate trees of the 19th century, a pollinator garden, and more to explore. You can also head indoors and view one of the captivating exhibitions on display that tell the stories of Philadelphia and its artists.

Use art to take date night to the next level! AR Workshop Chestnut Hill is a boutique, do-it-yourself studio that features hands-on, step-by-step instructional classes where you and a loved one can create home décor, including canvas pillows, centerpiece boxes, pillows, and more! AR Workshop has a number of BYO classes that allow you to sip and create with your favorite bottle of wine.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Morris Arboretum Spring Morris Arboretum

25 years ago, Chestnut Hill earned the moniker of Philadelphia’s Garden District after attracting widespread acclaim for its green landscapes and lush gardens that line Germantown Avenue, which have been annually recognized by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

What would Philadelphia’s Garden District be without outdoor space and fresh air? Unplug and get away from it all right here in Chestnut Hill.

The neighborhood is nestled along the 1,800 acres of Wissahickon Valley Park, providing both calming views and also many opportunities for outdoor explorers access to expansive and hidden trails for hiking and biking, horseback riding, natural treasures.

TIP: Before hitting the trails, head to Chestnut Hill Sports or Wissahickon Cyclery along the Avenue to stock up on hiking and cycling gear.

Chestnut Hill is also home to Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, where visitors can stroll 92 acres of lush gardens full of diverse flower and plant life, including Japanese flowering cherries, 10 variations of roses, and over 8,000 tulips. You’ll also find many of Philadelphia’s oldest and rarest trees.

Morris Arboretum is recognized as Pennsylvania’s official arboretum, and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Check the Arboretum’s Bloom Calendar to find out exactly what to see during the month of your visit.

For a quiet reflection outdoors, head to Pastorius Park, a 16-acre park featuring a pond and fountain and an amphitheater. The park has various entrance points, including one located just a couple of blocks off Germantown Avenue, a short walk from the Chestnut Hill Hotel.

There’s something for everyone to see and do all year-round in Chestnut Hill, so a staycation is perfect for any season.

To get a taste of what Chestnut Hill and its businesses are offering, follow Chestnut Hill on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and the hashtag #chestnuthillpa. To see more businesses, visit our directory online.