Refresh your soul this summer: create your own Philadelphia alley tour! Here are a few of the best-known mews and locally loved hideaways.
Elfreth’s Alley is a cobblestone street in Old City, and the longest continually inhabited road in the country. It’s a beautiful blast from the past. From its working-class roots, it has become a modern residential haven for teachers, artists, and entrepreneurs.
Walk-ins are welcome at the Alley and the Museum House tours, Friday through Sunday from noon to 5pm.
Walk just south from Old City, or take the city’s excellent public transit system. Hop down to Society Hill—a quaint Center City East oasis of side streets. One of the best known is Willings Alley, built around Old St. Joseph’s National Shrine. Walkscore.com calls Willings Alley a walker’s paradise, and “very bikeable” too!
Walk still further south, and explore residential mews such as S. American Street and S. Philip Street Alley.
Amble around Headhouse Square. Meander off into Stamper Street. While you’re there, don’t miss Headhouse Farmers’ Market at Second and Lombard Streets. What a cornucopia of fabulous foods! But go early, because it all goes fast. The High Street Bakery has breads, scones and pretzels so good, you’ll have to come back.
From Society Hill, walk eastward. Nestled into a corner framed by Lombard Street between and S. Seventh and Eighth Streets, this is another gorgeous, tree-lined alley. Check it out when you cool off at the big splashing fountain at Seger Dog Park at 1001 Rodman Street, or when you visit the Henry George Birthplace in Washington Square West.
South Quince Street
Nearby, at Manning Street and S. Quince Street, you’ll find a little slice of history. Just a short walk from Jefferson Hospital in Washington Square West, it’s an unexpected cobblestone alley of colonial townhomes with street lamps, tall trees, and garlands of ivy. Walk over and take a breather.
Saint Albans Place
Saint Albans Place, just southwest of Center City, is a unique, walking-only street where the gardens are lovingly tended in a community courtyard in the front of the homes. Walk along the 2300 block of Saint Albans Street to find the neighborhood Philadelphians call Albans Place. It is so beautifully and richly cultivated because it was long ago closed to vehicle traffic. It was once a working-class Irish enclave. It's now one to the most delightful green nooks in the city.
Explore Our Apartments in Historic Philadelphia
Whether you're thinking of living in a rowhome apartment at 124 Market Street in Old City, or at 2131 Walnut Street, Center City West; whether your pick is 1612 South Street near Graduate Hospital, or a renovated property in the historic district of Northern Liberties, enjoy modern amenities in the heart of historic Philadelphia. Live within walking distance of some of the mid-Atlantic’s most beautiful streets.
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