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Old 07-16-2009, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,740 posts, read 13,124,571 times
Reputation: 8618

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Hi,

I am originally from Philadelphia (Newtown Square) but have lived in the DC area for 20 years. We are considering moving back to the Philly area with a possible job in Horsham. I am looking for a walkable downtown. I am somewhat familiar with some areas. I have heard great things about Doylestown, and we visited it last weekend. It was very quaint. But I wasn't sure if the downtown was exactly what I have in mind. I am looking for something that is a bit more family oriented. I would like to be able to walk to a recreation center, playgrounds, library, baseball fields, and a grocery store. From what I saw of Doylestown, as cute as it was, it was mostly restaurants, county seat buildings, and some touristy attractions, plus the library. Maybe I missed part of it? We were only able to do a quick drive-through. So my question is, is there a walkable town that meets my criteria? It doesn't have to be quaint like Doylestown. Would North Wales fit the bill? Or another Montgomery County town? How about Newtown? For what it's worth, for those who are familiar with Northern Virginia, I live in the Town of Vienna now, and I am looking for something similar. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:42 AM
 
Location: Sanford, FL
596 posts, read 1,547,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michgc View Post
Hi,

I am originally from Philadelphia (Newtown Square) but have lived in the DC area for 20 years. We are considering moving back to the Philly area with a possible job in Horsham. I am looking for a walkable downtown. I am somewhat familiar with some areas. I have heard great things about Doylestown, and we visited it last weekend. It was very quaint. But I wasn't sure if the downtown was exactly what I have in mind. I am looking for something that is a bit more family oriented. I would like to be able to walk to a recreation center, playgrounds, library, baseball fields, and a grocery store. From what I saw of Doylestown, as cute as it was, it was mostly restaurants, county seat buildings, and some touristy attractions, plus the library. Maybe I missed part of it? We were only able to do a quick drive-through. So my question is, is there a walkable town that meets my criteria? It doesn't have to be quaint like Doylestown. Would North Wales fit the bill? Or another Montgomery County town? How about Newtown? For what it's worth, for those who are familiar with Northern Virginia, I live in the Town of Vienna now, and I am looking for something similar. Thanks in advance.
I'd recommend Narberth, on the Main Line. Though at 20 miles distance it's a bit further than others mentioned. However I think it meets all of your criteria which would make it worthwhile. Narberth is a great little town with an excellent family-style quality of life. There is little if any crime. It's very walkable with sidewalks on each street, lots of trees, two great parks and a rec center with youth leagues. It has a nice little downtown with independent shops. The nearby Route 30 corridor (about a mile) provides many more services including restaurants and a Whole Foods Market. The school system (Lower Merion Public Schools) is one of the best in the country. The Narberth SEPTA train station is in the center of downtown and provides quick access to Philadelphia for cultural amenities. An ACME grocery store is within walking distance of most of town or a very quick drive.

I am familiar with Vienna, I lived in the DC area for 8 years...and Narberth today is like Vienna 20-25 years ago...before all of the growth. Though Narberth won't change as it's already built out.

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Old 07-17-2009, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Between Philadelphia and Allentown, PA
5,077 posts, read 13,327,939 times
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I'd personally recommend Horsham. I live there and have so for several years and it just keeps getting better. There are parks galore, rec center, stuff always going on. Lots of activities for families, shopping, movies, dining, etc.
I like it and recommend it to anyone looking for that kind of town.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:04 AM
 
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How about Hatboro? It's a small town, with library, playing fields, playground, pool. It doesn't have a walkable grocery store though....other than WaWa and Produce Junction. It also shares schools with Horsham (Hatboro-Horsham SD.)
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:23 AM
 
316 posts, read 886,598 times
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Look into Jenkintown. I think its closest to meeting your criteria with nice proximity to Horsham (10-15 minutes). It will have most of what you are looking for in about a one mile radius. This all of course depends on your budget, living in certain parts of Jenkintown makes the ability to walk around more easy than others. Jenkintown is a great area. Its about 30-40 minutes from CC, it has the best access to CC via Septa Regional Rail with 4 lines running into the city. Its a desirable area because its a nice place to live and offers easy accessibility to the city but with many amenities within about 10 minutes of it.

Also, I'll just say, I have nothing against Narbeth, its a great area, but its not the friendliest of commutes to Horsham, not terrible or anything, if you already lived in Narbeth and were looking to work in Horsham, I'd say go for it, but its not exactly around the corner and since you can pick the area now, I wouldn't say start with that.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,673 posts, read 10,245,988 times
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You can try Ambler as well - very close.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,740 posts, read 13,124,571 times
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Thanks, everyone for all of the great ideas. I remember Narberth as being very nice. I'll have to look into the commute, though. One of the factors that would sway us to move is a better commute than we have now since DC is notoriously horrible, although I'm not sure Philly is too much better. I will look into Jenkintown, Ambler, and Hatboro. Does Horsham have a walkable downtown area? I have never been there. If so I will check it out as well. Any ideas on North Wales? I saw online that it has a Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and a small downtown, but not sure what it's like in person. Thanks again for taking the time to share your ideas.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:56 AM
 
316 posts, read 886,598 times
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Horsham doesn't really have a walkable downtown. Or not one you'd want to walk in my opinion. Horsham has many businesses and then it has the residential area surrounding it for the most part. And then the towns of Maple Glen and Hatboro which are both next to Horsham, have more of the walkable downtowns.

North Wales. The Trader Joe's and Whole Foods (which I still call Fresh Fields especially this one since it was here before the others) are across the street from each other. And I'm being kind when I say "street". They are across the highway from each other. They are both in cute shopping centers, especially the Trader Joe's, which is part of Shoppes at English Village (that should be googleable). Are you familiar with 309? That's the road they sit on. Not a walking area at all. So, like if I go to both, I park at Trader Joe's, go there, maybe check out another store or two on that side, get back in the car, drive across 309, park at Fresh Fields, and go in there. I hope that gives you an idea of what I mean, its really basically a highway that sits between the two (one that is very easy to cross in a car), even though likely if you search for their addresses Bethlehem Pike is what it will say.

Jenkintown has both the Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. And I believe Narbeth either has both or one and the other very nearby.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
548 posts, read 1,835,315 times
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I was looking for some the same amenities as you are when I was moving, and we settled on Ambler. It has a walkable downtown with restaurants, shops, movie theater, etc. It doesn't have a grocery store though, but they are working on getting one to replace the departed Acme.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,740 posts, read 13,124,571 times
Reputation: 8618
Thanks, Jasmine Flower for all of the great info. about Whole Foods (which I also called Fresh Fields for the longest time!) and Trader Joe's. I'm not familiar with 309 but I can picture it with the description you gave me. It really helps. Thanks!
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