Great Philadelphia Suburbs — From Well-Known Favorites to Little-Known Gems!

Philadelphia suburbs abound in history, charm, and fun things to do. Here are four local gems, each with its own distinctive flavor, each a short distance from center city: Yardley, Ambler, Downingtown, and Moorestown!

Philadelphia suburbs are as diverse as they are plentiful! The towns of the Philly region are heaven for the history buff and outdoor lover alike. Whichever direction you go, you are sure to find Philadelphia suburbs to delight you!

Yardley: Charm Along the Canal

Little Yardley is a Bucks County gem, nestled along the Delaware Canal. Yardley features beautiful old homes, terrific shops, and superb restaurants, including the wonderful Canal Street Grille, offering fabulous Greek dining and a canal view. Heading out of doors in any season, Yardley is a perfect spot for a stroll or bike ride. Nearby Lake Afton is not just a favorite in the warmer months; winter is when it really shines. The water freezes over, and locals love to ice skate there, and cross-country ski around the lake, too. With all of its year-round delights, it’s no wonder that Yardley is such a sought-after suburb!

Amble Over to Ambler

Ambler, one of the close-by Philadelphia suburbs north of the city, has always been a favorite, but nowadays it is a must-experience! A recent boom in cultural and fine dining attractions means Ambler is hopping day and night, and all-year round. Take in a classic or new film at the gorgeously restored Ambler Theater, or enjoy some of the best performances around at Act II Playhouse. Restaurant choices abound, and include Saffron (fine Indian food), From the Boot (for delicious Italian cuisine), and the cozy and very popular Forest and Main brewpub. Ambler’s Farmer’s Market is tops as well, with numerous great vendors. Pick up a beautiful handmade bouquet from Cultivating Joy flowers while you’re at the market, and savor splendid Ambler!

Head Down to Downingtown

Great Philadelphia suburbs can be found heading south as well. Folks are flocking to Downingtown, a super spot south of Philly. Downingtown has a thriving art scene; the annual Delaware County Country Studio Tour is a prime example. Visitors on the tour can enjoy the finest in original art and handmade crafts from gifted area creators. If exercise is more your focus, what could be nicer than a trip to Marsh Creek State Park? There’s boating on the lake, and a wonderful pool in the summertime. In the early fall, take part in Bike the Brandywine (a challenging 80-mile loop through the Brandywine Creek Greenway). And if all this activity makes you thirsty, stroll over to the pride of Downingtown, Victory Brewery and Restaurant. Victory’s unique beers are considered some of the best in the country!

Moorestown, New Jersey — Yes, New Jersey!

Philadelphia suburbs are not just located in Pennsylvania! Right across the Delaware River there are quite a few top-notch towns in southern New Jersey that attract folks who work in the city but want to live out-of-town (without sacrificing a short commute). Moorestown has been around for 300 years, and it has been lovingly preserved from the beginning. Moorestown Friends School is just one of the many excellent educational offerings in the area — and it’s been going strong since 1785. And there’s much more than history here — for example, wonderful restaurants. Hungry Moorestown visitors and locals alike flock to Distrito, owned by internationally renowned chef Jose Garces.

And that’s just a small sampling of incredible Philadelphia suburbs. With all this choice, you’re sure to find your perfect Philly home base!


Elise Seyfried is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the author of two books of humorous spiritual essays, and a playwright (co-author of 15 plays for children). Her work regularly appears in the Chestnut Hill (PA) Local and The Word in Season (devotional). She has also written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lutheran Digest, Guideposts magazine, Metropolis and The Wittenburg Door. Elise was the lyricist for the Stanley Drama Award-winning musical Flight, based on the life of Howard Hughes. Elise has served as publicist for the Lewes (DE) Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, ME.She is the mother of five children, and her family life is prominently featured in her writing. Elise's topics to date have included children/parenting issues, humor and spirituality. An avid cook, Elise also enjoys writing about food and dining. Since 2002, Elise has been Director of Spiritual Formation at Christ's Lutheran Church in Oreland, PA; previously, she worked for years as an actress. She blogs at

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