Best Activities to Do in Mount Airy

Best Activities to Do in Mount Airy
Just 20 minutes outside of Center City Philadelphia, Mount Airy is perfectly perched alongside the pristine Wissahickon Creek. There are tree-lined streets dotted by elegant homes with stone facades, high-design townhomes, and modern renovations that deserve second and third looks. And since it’s near the Wissahickon, there are acres of green space and an excellent trail system.

This neighborhood of more than 29,000 has a solid suburban feel, with outdoor and indoor activities to please just about everyone. And when you search for things to do in Mount Airy, the activities are typically grouped together with Germantown and Chestnut Hill, as explained below. 

Neighborhood history

Originally part of Germantown Village, Mount Airy was the site of the chief justice of Pennsylvania’s home in 1750, and British troops marched down Germantown Avenue in the Battle of Germantown 27 years later (1777). After the railroad line from Germantown to Chestnut Hill was built, Germantown Avenue became a commercial corridor, and Germantown Village was welcomed into the City of Philadelphia. This thoroughfare is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Besides its Revolutionary War history, one of this area’s biggest draws is the commercial corridor, with its cobblestone roads and imaginative shops, restaurants, and galleries. Some of the historic homes in Mount Airy date back to that same era, with large living spaces and renovated or modern interiors. Mount Airy has a real sense of community that extends to Chestnut Hill and Germantown.

Mount Airy restaurants

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The three Northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods of Mount Airy, Germantown, and Chestnut Hill are similar in nature and within miles of one another. Germantown Avenue runs through them, and many of the local businesses are found on it. One of the finest restaurants in Mount Airy is Jansen, which is housed inside a restored 18th-century cottage and features a lovely outdoor dining patio. Trattoria Moma is more casual and offers cooking classes that sell out quickly.

Chestnut Hill’s Cake is an outstanding BYO restaurant/bakery that serves French-inspired breakfasts, brunches, and lunches, while CinCin can be described as Chinese/French fusion. Also, in Chestnut Hill, Tavern on the Hill offers American food and cocktails. And if you want to cook at home, three of the best spots to pick up fresh fare are the Germantown Farmers’ Market, Chestnut Hill Farmers’ Market, and Yu’s Farm Market – all on Germantown Road.

Mount Airy, Germantown, and Chestnut Hill shopping

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Wear comfortable shoes to go shopping in the Mount Airy area because one store after another sells unique items you will want to bring home. Chestnut Hill’s Windfall Gallery is a high-end, folksy clothing and accessories store that retails fair-trade items from around the world. You might also like the elegant men’s footwear at Style By Blain and the women’s and children’s clothing selections at Quelque Chose.

As for shopping in Mount Airy proper, look for ARTrageous Brush & Flow, Bella Mosaic Art, and JTL Designs. The closest shopping malls are Cedarbrook Plaza and Greenleaf at Cheltenham.

Outdoor and indoor attractions

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The biggest outdoor attraction in Mount Airy is Wissahickon Valley Park, where you can go horseback riding, fishing, and hiking. There are more than 50 miles of trails, a gorge with steeply wooded hills, and a covered bridge. It is one of the largest urban parks in the country and is a designated Audubon Important Bird Area. The Morris Arboretum has a spectacular plant collection and a swan pond and offers classes and special events – it’s lovely during the winter holidays. Mount Airy also has smaller outdoor recreation areas, like Lovett Park, Ned Wolf Park, and Pelham Park.

The Philadelphia Cricket Club is less than 10 miles from Mount Airy. This private club is home to the St. Martin Golf Course, squash courts, cricket, tennis, an outdoor pool, and dining options. There are quite a few other country clubs in the area as well, like the Flourtown Country Club, North Hills, and Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. There are also more than 50 biking routes in the area.

You can take short drives to some of the excellent wineries just outside of Mount Airy, like Penns Woods in Chadds Ford and Karamoor Estate in Blue Bell. And when you need to relax and rejuvenate, visit one of the area’s high-end day spas like CURE de Repos or the wonderful Spa Elysium & Fringe Salon Apothecary.

Mount Airy residents can drive to certain New Jersey beach resort towns in about an hour – Atlantic City is about 72 miles away. It will take you twice as long to drive to the Mount Airy Casino Resort, though, as it is located up north in the Poconos!

Mount Airy’s historical attractions

One of Mount Airy’s best-known historical attractions is the Cliveden estate, where The Battle of Germantown took place. It is a designated National Historic Landmark and offers tours, programs, and classes.

Built in 1801 and donated to Philadelphia in 1939, Germantown’s Johnson House was used as a haven for the Underground Railroad and is also on Germantown Avenue. Rittenhouse Town is also worth a visit and is the site of America’s first paper mill. Although the paper mill is gone, there are some historic homes on the grounds and special events.

Mount Airy has an artistic side, too

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The wonderful Woodmere Art Museum has nine galleries with more than 6,000 works, and you can also enjoy special presentations, take classes, and listen to musical performances. For an artful night out, visit the Sedgewick Theater to see the Quintessence Theater Group perform. Past performances include The Alchemist, Camille, and Little Women. The downtown area has some delightful murals mapped out by Mural Arts Philadelphia, and the Mount Airy Performing Arts has dance and yoga classes and also sponsors art exhibits.

The Mount Airy specialists at the Liz Clark Team have in-depth experience in the Mount Airy real estate market, and their clients enjoy the personalized service that comes from working with a detailed, focused team. There are so many things to do in Mount Airy, and whether you are buying, selling, or just want to learn more about the area, call Liz Clark and see what a difference she and her associates can make.

*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash

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If you’re thinking about selling your home, obsessively scrolling for a house, planning a relocation to the area, or just feel unsure where to start, we can help. Reach out for a zero-pressure 30-minute phone or video meeting to get started. We are here to listen, support, and educate so you can feel confident with your decisions in our swiftly moving market